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Cascading cancellations of cruise stops in Le Havre: “It’s dramatic! »

15 stopovers have been canceled since the beginning of April, the date of the start of the port movement in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), the consequences are significant for tourism players. (©PL/76news)

“We survived the covid and at 300 days of stopping our activity we really didn’t need that when the season has just resumed at Haven. Bouna is one of the co-founders of Le Havre tourist activities Bee Le Havre. Like his colleagues in the tourism sector, he was firmly waiting the return of cruise passengers to board them aboard its buses that criss-cross the streets of Le Havre and the surrounding area every day.

Without ports, no more footbridges or refueling

But since April 5, the stopovers have been cancelled. The cause : the port movement started at the beginning of April and which intensified over the weeks. If the players in the sector interviewed by 76news understand “the right to strike and the fact of fighting to obtain more means”, they warn on the other hand about the “dramatic consequences that this engenders for the whole sector”.

On the port side, Laurent Delaporte, CGT secretary, insists: “I really understand their position, but after three meetings with management nothing has changed. We are for the development of cruises in Le Havre, but after 20,000 overtime hours in 2021 and increased risks of work accidents, it has to stop. »

When the boats arrive, the port authorities are responsible for setting up the gangways and refueling. “I repeat, but since the beginning of the dispute it is not a strike that has caused the vast majority of cruise cancellations, but the fact that we refuse to work overtime, go back on our days off, all that lack of staff. Our main demand is this, not the money! »

15 stopovers canceled since April 5

As a result of this conflict, “we have had 15 stopovers canceled since the beginning of April, we were at 142 scheduled and we are down to 127. This week, we have four cancellations. We have already had social conflicts on the port before, but it did not concern so many stopovers. There, the problem is that the conflict lasts in the midst of a recovery period, ”we explain to the Tourist Office.

And we have no deadline, it’s dramatic for the turnover of companies linked to cruise lines. If it continues, it risks jeopardizing the economic model of some.


Younous Berdiev, from OMB, has been a coach operator in Le Havre for six years. He works with seven employees. “Cruise passengers represent 50% of our activity and the bulk takes place between April and June and then in September. Fortunately, given the context, we have been able to diversify over the years. The coach operator was happy “to resume at full speed this month, but it is very difficult to be informed almost overnight of the cancellation of stopovers and therefore of services”.

“It has never been so long”

The same is also true for guide speaker Adeline Fouquet: “It’s simple, when a stopover is cancelled, as has been the case for several weeks, I earn zero! And it’s not just me that’s been impacted! I had an excursion planned near Honfleur this week in bilingual, we had to visit a company, obviously it had prepared the drinks, cheeses and everything that goes with welcoming cruise passengers. They too suffer from this situation. We are all taken hostage. For Bouna from Bee Le Havre, “apparently, there is no progress, it’s an internal conflict, but the repercussions are on a whole sector”.

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And because it is indeed an internal conflict, the port of Le Havre, contacted, does not wish to comment on the situation.

“I call for a rapid resolution of this conflict”

For his part, Jean-Baptiste Gastinne, president of the Le Havre Cruise Club, in charge of tourism in Le Havre Seine Métropole, says: “I understand the concerns of tourism professionals and cruise operators in particular. They seem legit to me. Fewer cruise ships means fewer tourists for Le Havre and therefore a significant loss of turnover for these professionals who have already been very affected for two years. Haropa informs me that discussions are continuing internally, it is a good thing. I call for a rapid resolution of this conflict to allow a resumption of normal activity as soon as possible. A new meeting is scheduled for Wednesday April 27, 2022 between management and staff representatives.

Each year, Le Havre welcomes 400,000 cruise passengers. “The objective is to reach 600,000 by 2030”, explained on April 6, Benoît Rémy, director of the Tourist Office.

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