Train from Le Havre to Paris

Old Feb 27th, 2012, 03:18 PM
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Train from Le Havre to Paris

Our cruise will be docking in Le Havre at 8am and leaving at 10pm. We are currently planning to take the train into Paris and meet our tour guide there. The guide will be with us for six hours and then we will be on our own and take the train back. Can you tell me how reliable the train and train schedule are. We have shortened our touring plans from 8 to 6 hours just to be sure to be back in time. I am a little nervous. This is my first trip to Europe ao I am unfamiliar with their train system.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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The trains are very regular and very on time. You can rely on the schedules to within a minute or two. Unless there is a strike (which would be announced in advance) the only other things that could slow a train would be an accident or break-down, and those are infrequent occurrences.

I'm not that familiar with Le Havre so I don't know where the train station is in relation to the cruise terminal so I would check that out before you arrive in case you need a bus or taxi. In case you didn't know you should buy your tickets in advance (up to 90 days) to get the best prices. Buy them from an official website and not RailEurope unless you are sure RailEurope has cheaper prices (usually their prices are higher).
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Old Feb 28th, 2012, 01:24 AM
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Le Havre is a pretty common port of entry for cruises calling at Paris, but since the town lies in Normandy on the north-western French coastline, you're looking at a commute of at least around 2.5hrs into Paris. Trains depart every hour or so (at 45 mins past the hour when I checked) from Le Havre-Graville station and arrive into Paris St. Lazare station. So just be prepared for the 5hr round trip, it's a longish commute for a day trip.

If you managed to get the 8.45am train from Le Havre, you'll reach Paris at at 11.40am. You'd have to leave good time to be able to get back to port on time.

In terms of getting from the port to the station, it's about a 20 minute walk, but depending on whether you're allowed to wander through the port facility (sometimes it's not explicitly permitted) I imagine your cruise line may offer a shuttle service to the station for a premium, or alternatively there are usually taxis near the dock.

As FMT says, trains are pretty reliable, but since you're only in Paris for few hours don't try to fit too much in (which is probably obvious!)
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Old Feb 29th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Thank you for your replies. Yes, it is a cram packed day but we will be prepared for it!
One last question, would you recommend a private car to Paris? Would it be any faster or would the train be our best bet?
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Old Feb 29th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Does it have to be Paris? You could have a wonderful time in Rouen, for example, and not be in panic mode all day.
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Old Feb 29th, 2012, 12:11 PM
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Private car may not be as fast, especially getting into Paris itself, notorious for 'bouchons' or bottlenecks on access roads to Paris - trains are fast and reliable - going as fast as cars if not faster now that the French cops are stringently enforcing speed limits for several years.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:44 AM
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Pretty sure even without traffic, a car won't get you there faster than the TGV... I would also stick around the region and have a more relaxed day and save Paris for another day (or week!)
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 04:59 AM
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Shuttle buses run from the ferry port to the main Le Havre train station.

On weekdays you can leave the main Le Havre station (not Le Havre-Graville) at 09:03, connect in Rouen, and arrive in Paris at 11:40. On Saturdays you can leave at 09:11 on a direct train and arrive at 11:40. On Sundays you won't be able to leave until 10:59 (way too late).

On weekdays you could leave Paris as late as 18:50 and arrive at Le Havre at 20:59. On Saturdays you could leave as late as 18:20, connect in Rouen, and arrive in Le Havre at 20:57. On Sundays you could leave as late as 18:20, connect in Rouen, and arrive in Le Havre at 21:00.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Pretty sure even without traffic, a car won't get you there faster than the TGV>

that is if TGV trains ran there and they do not and if they do they run over conventional rail rights of ways with far lower speeds than TGV trains and it could be regional trains that stop a few times.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 09:28 PM
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Our ship will dock in Le Havre 9/30/14, 0800 hrs. Be there until 2200 hours. Has anyone taken the train and met up with a tour operator in Paris and what station will we exit for to begin any touring. any reliable tour information will be helpful.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 04:24 AM
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Your train will arrive at Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris, right near the Opera and The American Express office, which of course runs all kinds of guided tours.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 01:02 PM
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I have had TGVs in France that were off much more than a minute or two, although not that often. But it does happen, and not just due to strikes. I've had ones be delayed an hour or two, actually (from CDG to AVignon, as I recall, or somewhere south). We never found out why.

At least the return will be easier because you will understand the train station and system better. I hope you've taken trains because many things are the same everywhere (that you have to look at boards to find the departure quai, etc.). If you don't buy a prepaid advance ticket that is unrefundable, then you will have to compost the ticket, also, before entering the train (punching it to show it is used). If you don't, it is illegal because you could try to get a refund or use it on a different train if it doesn't show it has been composted (a time stamp is put on it). There are yellow machines at the front of the quai where you do that.

There are shuttle buses from the train station in Le Havre to the ferry terminal, I don't know where that is compared to where cruises dock, but could be close. You'll probably want to take a taxi, it's about 2 km+ (about 1.5 miles).

Here is some info that may be useful on that
http://traveltips.usatoday.com/trave...ce-104372.html
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