The city of Caen, the capital of Basse Normandie (Lower Normandy), is reached from the ferry port of Ouistreham in the Baie de Seine on the northern Normandy coast of France. William the Conqueror based his duchy here. Although heavy WW2 bombing destroyed much of the old town, the Conqueror's 11th century chateau (housing an excellent art collection), Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Abbaye-aux-Dames and the mostly gothic Eglise St Pierre still survive. Much of the medieval city was built using ‘Caen stone', a creamly local limestone similar to that used in the construction of London's Westminister Abbey.
Half an hour away is Bayeaux and its famous tapestry in the renovated 17th century seminary of Centre Guillaume Le Conquerant and the historic Cathedral of Notre Dame. From Caen you can also reach the Normandy D-Day beaches - nearby is Pegasus Bridge and Sword, Juno and Gold Beaches; Omaha and Utah beaches can be reached in under an hour. Mont Saint Michel is less than 2 hours away from Caen and Paris no more than 2 hours by railway.
There are no cruises currently listed for this port of call.