An armada of ships in Rouen

Belem © Armada
A must see event for ship enthusiasts, the Armada is held every four to six years in Rouen. During this 7th edition, tourists will be able to admire and visit dozens of modern and ancient ships. Numerous concerts and activities are also on the agenda.

[ Practical ]

Getting there
- By road
130 km from Paris on autoroutes A14, A13 then on N15
- By train
Intercités train from Paris Saint Lazare to Rouen. The journey takes 1 h 10 to 1 h 30
Hôtel Mercure Centre
Best Western Hôtel du Vieux Marché
Hôtel littéraire Gustave Flaubert
Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde
Hôtel La Cathédrale
Hôtel 1er Consul
La Couronnne
La Marmite
In Situ
Opening hours of the Armada
Village open very day from 10am to 2am, till 3pm only on June 16th
Ships open to visit from 10am to 5pm.
- Normandy Tourist Office :
- Seine Maritime Tourist Office : 0235121010,
- Rouen Tourist Office : 0232084240,
- Armada 2019
From June 6th to 16th, Rouen will be the centre of the world for people fond of sailing ships as the city will welcome dozens of them coming from all over the world. Dozens of tall ships, war ships and yachts are expected and they will moor in the heart of the city, along the quays of the Seine River where entertainments, leisure activities, theme villages, bars and restaurants will come one after the other. An area where people will have free access, as to the ships that will be for most of them open to the public. It will be even possible to have lunch aboard some of them.

Armada © Armada
 Concerts and fireworks
Besides, from June 8th to 15th, free concerts will be given on the quays every day at 9pm with fireworks afterwards. Malo, Deluxe, Little Bob, Dadju, the Goaties, Mnnqns and Hyphen Hyphen are some of the bands and artists on the agenda. On Saturday 15th, there will be also a 8 km long great jog named “Footing des Marins” along the banks of the river.
The Armada will start on the afternoon of June 5th with “La Grande Pagaille” (The Fleet of Follies) a UFO's (unidentified floating objects) competition bringing together fancy unusual watercraft that cross the Seine River.
Ships participating in this year edition will arrive the same day or the next one, always from 9pm to midniht and from 5am to 6am in order to not disrupt the traffic in the city as they must pass under the Gustave Flaubert Bridge, Europe's tallest vertical lifting bridge.
Several of these ships are remarkable. The Cisne Blanco a 76 m long three-masted barque that is the training ship of the Brazilian navy. She was built on the occasion of the country discovery’s 500th anniversary.

Cuauthémoc © Armada
 Tall ships
The Mir, 108 m long, a Russian square-rigged three-master that is the flagship of the Saint-Petersburg academy. She can take on board 114 cadets for training. The Cuauhtemoc, 90 m long, a Mexican three-masted barque serving as training ship. She made in 1990 a round-the-world trip, sailing 26,000 nautical miles in 180 days. The Tenacious, 65 m long, launched in February 2000, the largest wooden three-masted barque, that is designed to welcome on board handicapped passengers. The Sedov, 117 m long, and the Kruzenshtern, 114 m long, the world two largest tall ships, both merchant vessels built in Germany in 1921 and 1926, given to Russia after the Second World War and now used as training ships. The Hermione, a replica of the frigate that ferried La Fayette from France to America in 1780 for support the Americans in their war for independance. The Belem, a French three-masted training barque launched in 1896 and listed as a historic monument since 1984.

Monge © Armada
The four-masted Portuguese ship Santa Maria Manuela, a training vessel that was launched in 1937. She used to take part in the cod fishing campaigns until the beginning of the 1990s. The Oosterschelde, 50 m long, a Dutch goélette launched in 1918 as a cargo vessel that now take passengers all around the world. The Shtandat, replica of the frigate that was the flagship of the Russian fleet commanded by tsar Peter the Great. El Galeón, a replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon.
Mythic yachts and offshore racing boats from the last decades will be also on display as well as modern war ships. Among those expected is the Monge, a Test and Measurement Vessel (BEM) serving in the French Navy since 1992 whose missions are to monitor nuclear and ballistic missiles, to track and measure rocket trajectories and to track satellites.

Dar Mlodzlezy © Armada
 Grand Parade
Small boats will also offer to visitors dinner cruises as well as short trips allowing them to go around the sailing ships to admire them from all angles as well as dinner cruises.
As for the sailors coming from worldwide countries composing the crews, they will be honored on June 12th with an afternoon parade through the city.
As usual, the highlight of the Armada will be the Grand Parade that will take place on June 16th. On that day all sailing ships will leave Rouen, passing under the Gustave Flaubert bridge during day time, then they will follow the Seine till its estuary, near Honfleur and Le Havre. They will need 8 hours to cover the 120 km that separate Rouen to the sea offering a magnificent show to the spectators lining up on the river banks. Last but not the least, the French Air Force aerobatic team, the Patrouille de France, will fly over the Seine River during this final Grand Parade.

Mars 16, 2019
Thierry Joly