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TriumphGuy

May Day Holiday in France 2020

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We are booked on a TA with HAL next April and will be arriving in Le Havre on May 1, which is May Day, a National holiday. We have an excursion booked to Paris with HAL for that day. What can we expect? Will everything be closed? We really won't have a lot of time in Paris due to the travel time, so I'm wondering if it's even worth the expense and hassle if all the attractions are closed. We will be staying almost a week in the Normandy region the following week to explore the D-Day beaches, museums, towns, and Mont St Michele so don't really want to do shore excursions to those areas.

Anybody been there on May Day? 

Thanks,

Burns & Diane

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 Check this website that gives museas etc. that are open on May 1. Also compare this with the list of May 8 to see the difference between those days. https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-see-in-paris/info/guides/museums-and-monuments-open-on-public-holidays-in-the-month-of-may

Restaurants will be open,banks and schools will be closed and various shops might be closed too.

Edited by Ine

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No doubt you will be aware that the 8th May 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of VE day so lots of activity, visitors and possible restrictions at WW2 sites around that date. We had an excursion to Monte Carlo cancelled a couple of years ago on 8 May because of expected WW2 parades and road closures, ended up walking round Cannes so better than nothing.

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We'll be on that cruise too.  It never occurred to me that May 1 is a holiday. I was thinking about taking the train to Rouen that day.  Now I wonder if it will be worth it.

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Yes, May 1 is a National Holiday in France.  To make matters even worse, in 2020 it falls on a Friday which gives the French a 3 day weekend!  There will be many closures (especially of stores) but there will be some touristy shops open.  Some cafes and restaurants will be open (especially in Paris).  As to museums and other tourist attractions, you can usually find specific information online...for each place you plan on visiting.  Also, if you are planning on using the trains they will be on a truncated holiday schedule (often similar to a Sunday schedule).  Suffice it to say that the many French see the word "work" as a 4 letter word and they love their holidays.

 

Hank

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If Mr Macron's proposals to revise the government pensions are still in play, I'd expect the International Workers Day to have some additional marching, striking, etc.  There were widespread disruptions for travel to the New Year's celebrations earlier this week.

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Well I guess we can be assured if we book an excursion with HollandAmericaLine then at least those sites will be open. I do however agree many shops will probably be closed and I am sure many restaurants as well. 

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4 hours ago, lajaunie52 said:

Well I guess we can be assured if we book an excursion with HollandAmericaLine then at least those sites will be open. I do however agree many shops will probably be closed and I am sure many restaurants as well. 

Holland America cannot guarantee that any sites listed now for the excursion will be open if there is a major strike.  They can guarantee that they will take you as far as possible to as many scheduled sites as possible, and at least do a drive by sightseeing tour.  Most importantly, they can guarantee that you will not be caught in transportation upheavals and miss making it back to the ship.  

 

Hopefully, everything will be ok.  But, anyone going to Paris next May 1 is better off booking a ship's excursion than trying to DIY.

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Oh I do agree they definitely can’t guarantee strike issues but I think they have a pretty good idea as far as what it open excursion wise due to holiday 

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47 minutes ago, lajaunie52 said:

Oh I do agree they definitely can’t guarantee strike issues but I think they have a pretty good idea as far as what it open excursion wise due to holiday 

Don't be so sure.  The cruise lines have a set of standard descriptions for each excursion they offer at each port.  They do not change the descriptions for each sailing of the year.  What is more likely to happen is that on a given day you will board the bus and there will be an announcement that "such a place is closed today for the holiday, but we will take you to this other place instead."  I may be wrong (I hope I am), but just browse the cruise line website and check the description of the same excursion on different sail dates. Chances are it will be the same each time. 

If you want to know exactly what to expect during a holiday, go to the attraction's own website and check its schedule. With any luck there are no differences, but there may be some. 

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Sometimes, local situations work to the traveler' advantage.

 

Our Celebrity cruise stopped at Piraeus / Athens at the same time Kanzler Merkel arrived in Athens to deny the Greeks another bail out. The bus trip to the Acropolis, National Museum, etc was truncated to just the Acropolis, and back to the ship.

 

There were barricades, rolls of barbed wire, military people, etc along the road. But, little traffic, as many people stayed home from work. And, no crowds at the Acropolis.  Our guide kept saying how it's never like this. No crowds.  We walked up to the top, wide open views, etc.

 

Our ship left earlier than originally scheduled because the line had been advised there "might" be a strike of dock workers on the next shift.

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