Leaving Wilhelmshaven, Germany you will enter the North Sea and head southwest to the English Channel to Cherbourg.
English Channel, England
The English Channel, often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about 350 miles long and varies in width from 150 miles at its widest to 21 miles in the Strait of Dover.
There are several major islands in the Channel, the most notable being the Isle of Wight off the English coast, and the Channel Islands, British Crown Dependencies off the coast of France. The Isles of Scilly off the far southwest coast of England are not generally counted as being in the Channel. The coastline, particularly on the French shore, is deeply indented; several small islands close to the coastline, including Chausey and Mont Saint-Michel, are within French jurisdiction. The Cotentin Peninsula in France juts out into the Channel, and the Isle of Wight creates a small parallel channel known as the Solent in English waters. The Celtic Sea is to the west of the Channel.
For centuries, navigation between England and France was by ferry. Today the predominant crossing is the newly created "chunnel", a high speed underground rail line.
Cherbourg, in Normandy, France, is an entry point for ferries from England and Ireland, a commercial port. The Cherbourg waterfront will be the site of the festival on July 14-17, 2005, for the Sail Training International Tall Ships Race. The city has a large aquarium, and maritime museum, including a nuclear submarine. You will not be far from the D-Day beaches of Normandy, if you would like to visit the American Military Cemetery there, or the D-day Landing museum.
Cherbourg was also the site of the 1864 Civil War naval battle in which the Union ship USS Kearsage sank the Confederate raider Alabama. The sunken wreck of the Alabama was located in 1984, and many relics have been recovered from her.
Other ways to pass the time in Cherbourg include a ramble along the Plage Vert (grassed-over beach) or up to the Roule Fort where there is a view of the whole town. Enjoy an afternoon at a sidewalk cafe watching the passing scene, or even some shopping.