Before the outbreak of World War I, cruise liners would stop in Cherbourg before crossing the Atlantic. In fact, this would be the tragic Titanic’s last stop before it went down. However, liners continued to make a halt here. In 1929 alone, 300,000 passengers passed through. In the 1950s, the likes of Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor set foot on Cherbourg’s quay.
All Cherbourg’s naval defences could not protect the place from being taken by the Nazis in June 1940. Much of the harbour was destroyed in World War II. After D-Day, though, American troops rapidly took back the port. In a monumental effort, they restored the harbour so that it briefly became the busiest port in the world.
Reconstruction was in modern style. Post-war, French nuclear submarines have been built here. Alongside the ferry port, a yachting marina has been created. In recent times, cruise liners have returned from time to time. As well as many seafood restaurants, there are now a good number of museums and exhibition centres to enjoy in Cherbourg.