Return of famous ocean liner Queen Mary 2 to her birthplace, Saint-Nazaire.
Several open-air shows will take place on the evening of Saturday, 24 June 2017.
Americain soldiers receiving their tobacco ration (detail). Photo Signal Corps.


“The Bridge” and Queen Mary 2: an outstanding event in Saint-Nazaire on June 24 and 25

In 2017, Saint-Nazaire celebrates the 100th anniversary of the arrival of American troops in Saint-Nazaire during WW1. Commemorations, cultural and festive events will take place all through the year. The highlight will be, on 24 and 25 June, “The Bridge”, an unprecedented challenge.

On June 24, the famous ocean liner Queen Mary 2, built in Saint-Nazaire, will come back to her birthplace for the first time since she left Saint-Nazaire. Her arrival is expected around 5 PM. She will berth overnight  in the “forme-écluse Joubert”, the famous Normandie dock. On Sunday June 25, at 7 PM, the liner will engage in a historical transatlantic race against some of the fastest sailing trimarans in the world. The “centennial transat” will take them from the bridge of Saint-Nazaire to the bridge of Verrazano in New York. During the week-end, come and party in the harbour of Saint-Nazaire: open-air shows, fireworks and more await you! Click here to read more about The Bridge 2017 in English; here you find the detailed programme of the week-end (in French).

Another outstanding event: from June to the end of September, a large open-air exhibition of 111 photos telling the story of the American troops in Saint-Nazaire from 1917 to 1919 is visible in various parts of Saint-Nazaire (see our article in French).

The historical reason for all these events: in 1917, the USA had joined the war, fighting alongside the Allies, and chose Saint-Nazaire as one of their most important entry harbours to France and Western European battlefields. On June 26, 1917, the first American Expeditionary Forces arrived in France via Saint-Nazaire. Between 1917 and 1919, almost 198,000 troops and a daily average of 4,000 tons of material transited through Saint-Nazaire. The people of Saint-Nazaire lived alongside the Americans; there were mutual discovery, concerts, fights and weddings…  If you come to Saint-Nazaire this summer, the photo exhibition “Little America” gives you fascinating insight into that shared moment of history, 100 years ago.

Please note: between June 22 and 25, driving and parking will be complicated around the harbour site of Saint-Nazaire, see the map for more details (in French).