The Seine

Dear Captain,
Your vessel is bound for a Rouen Harbour terminal, Le Trait, St Wandrille, Port Jerome, Radicatel or Honfleur. Please read carefully hereunder information and advice .

Pre-arrival information

Pilot boarding time is confirmed by pilot office on VHF73 2 hours before for vessels at anchorage.

Maximum draft / Arrival draft

Rouen pilot office computes daily maximum allowable draft (seawater) taking into account latest soundings, height of tide and relevant safety margin. This max draft may vary from 10.5 to 11.5 m.

Note that your pilot boarding time will be fixed in accordance with your draft. It is therefore of the upmost importance to provide an accurate arrival draft (seawater) to your agent and to Rouen Harbour.

Squat calculation

Barass formula for open waters is to be used to make squat prediction on the Seine River.

Tug requirements

Number of tugs is fixed by pilot office depending on vessel’s characteristics, tide and weather conditions. If you require extra tugs for any reason, agent or pilot office is to be informed as soon as possible as minimum notice to get a tug is 2 hours.


Please note that restricted visibility occures  regularly on the river. Make sure that both your radars are in good working condition  and report any known deficiency.

Boarding ground and procedure

Pilot usually boards the vessel 1NM South West of RP buoy (this buoy is located in Rouen anchorage area N°1).
The pilot boat contacts the vessel on departing from Le Havre harbour. Pilot boat transit time from Le Havre to boarding ground varies from 15 to 40 min depending on weather conditions.
Boarding speed is usually 8 to 9 knots.

Transit times

Transit times indicated below are given, for reference only, for a vessel making 11-12 knots through calm water. Vessel’s draft, maritime traffic, tide, weather conditions may  alter these times.

From pilot station to:

  • Honfleur: 50 min
  • Radicatel: 1H50
  • Port Jerome: 2H00
  • Caudebec (pilot change): 2H50
  • St Wandrille: 3H15
  • Le Trait: 3H35
  • La Bouille (Rouen Harbour entrance): 5H00