Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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St. Peter Port, Guernsey

St. Peter Port, Guernsey


Resting in the English Channel, far closer to France than England, the Island of Guernsey and its neighboring Channel Islands are rich in beauty and history. The islands present a unique mixture of Britain and France and a rewarding day in port.

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AMBIENCE

The Bailiwick of Guernsey (seven islands including Gurnsey, Alderney, Herm, and Sark), like nearby Jersey, is a Crown Dependency; territory for which the UK is responsible, but is not formally part of the UK. The winding streets and sights of St. Peter Port can fill your day. The main isle is rich in fortifications from all stages of its past, its north and west shores are studded with beaches, and the rugged south shore is lovely for coastal hikes. Compact Herm Island is explored on foot or by bike, and is known for beautiful Shell Beach and coastal walks. Larger, rugged Sark Island has no cars. Walks are longer, or take a bike or carriage ride. It's most famous for La Coupée, a narrow road along a knife-edged ridge. Alderney is too distant for a day visit.

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HISTORY

Rising seas at the end of the Ice Age separated these islands from the mainland. After the Romans left, Britons crossed the Channel, settling Brittany and these isles. Normandy annexed the islands in 933; they were William of Normandy's holdings even before he conquered England in 1066. Except for German occupation during WWII, the islands have been held by the English Crown ever since. Sometimes used by the English to harass France, the islands have also been a handy refuge for the French; Victor Hugo lived and wrote here in exile while Napoleon III reigned, and English didn't become the official language until 1948. Though not important strategically, Hitler strongly fortified the islands during WWII. The British chose blockade over attack; liberation came at war's end, long after Normandy was freed.

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FACTS

Size: Island: 24 sq. mi (62 sq. km.)/ Baliwick of Guernsey: 30 sq. mi. (78 sq. km.)
Climate: Oceanic Temperatures: 53°F (12°C) to 67°F (20°C)
Population 65,849/62,948 Busy Season Summer
Language: English Money: Guernsey Pound (£) or British Pound (£) (equal in value)
Time Zone: British Summer (UTC +1) Transportation: Walking, bus, taxi, ferry
Phones: Country code 044, city code 1481, dial 999 or 112 for emergencies
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