Previously known as “industrial tourism”, “economic discovery tourism” has become a new cultural and recreational activity over the past few years, attracting organised and casual groups, adults and school groups looking for new activities.
It entails visits by the public of sites demonstrating skills and expertise from yesteryear (focusing on heritage), the present (business) or the future (science and research).
The Tourist Office together with the local Le Havre association of industries and the Grand Port Maritime du Havre made a selection from their area, where there is a wide range of companies, in some cases flagships of French industry. For example, you can now satisfy your curiosity with a visit to the EDF thermal power station: find out how it works, how flue gas is cleaned, and how CO2 is captured. Or head off to Port 2000 which accommodates the world's biggest container ships (18,000 TEU) to explore the historical heritage, see the dockers' clock and marvel at the vast depots.
You probably use the tram to get around, but do you know the history behind this great means of transport? Find out about the infrastructure, control station and maintenance workshop.
Coffee is a long-standing tradition at Le Havre, as it is France's main port of entry for this trade. From unroasted coffee to the coffee that makes its way into your cup, a tour of the Le Havre de Grâce roasting plant, opened in 1967, will introduce you to the different varieties of coffee as well as the art and history of coffee roasting.
Finally, an amazing and extraordinary tour into the bowels of a work which is today a symbol of unified Normandy. 2,141.25m long, pylons 214m high, 23.60m wide, 7 years of construction! With the longest span measuring 856m, when the Pont de Normandie was opened it was the biggest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
The tour has three stages: the abutment of the bridge (the extremity), the pylon which is accessible via a strut ladder in the metal deck of the bridge, and then the conference room on the left bank for a technical presentation of the infrastructure before a wall of images.
Each business has developed different ways of receiving the public to ensure they fit around their own operations. Security measures, timetables and the public’s route through the premises are also carefully considered.