Dive with us in France
We offer 5-day trips to France, operating out of Cherbourg Marina.
There are numerous wreck sites close to the port in depth ranges from 22m to 65m. The most popular being the troopship SS Léopoldville which lies in a depth range of 38m to 55m.
Cherbourg has many fine restaurants, cafes and bars for you to enjoy your evenings ashore after a day’s diving, along with all types of accommodation close by the marina.
The SS Leopoldville is one of the most impressive wrecks in the English Channel, as well as one of the most tragic, due to the needless loss of over 800 American troops. She was built in 1929 as a passenger liner and operated between Antwerpen and the Belgium Congo. During the war she was requisition to serve as a troop transport between Southampton and Cherbourg.
Read more about the SS Leopoldville and other famous wrecks we have dived from our book
40 DIVES 40 DISHES available directly from us.
On Christmas Eve 1944
She was anchored five miles north of Cherbourg with over 2235 American troops on board, when she was torpedoed by the U-486. Distress signals by radio were slow to be answered, due to Christmas celebrations ashore.
Eventually, the British destroyer HMS Brilliant came along side the listing vessel, which was not an easy task, and took and took as many troops off as she could safely hold. The remainder of the troops perished as they had not been taught how to launch the ships lifeboats. The Belgian crew had already abandoned ship, leaving the Americans to their fate.
The Wreck today lies on her port side in 55m. Her highest point is a 38m. She is almost fully intact apart from the Stern, which has broken off.
As you swim along the topsail, you can see lifeboat davits as well as a lot of fishing line left by local anglers.