USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- More than 100 Sailors and Marines from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) participated in overnight tours to Paris during the aircraft carrier's visit to Marseille, France, June 9-12.
Truman crew members used the port visit as an opportunity to not only relax and enjoy some liberty, but to learn about French culture and explore Paris' history.
"Our Sailors and Marines are ambassadors, participating in an active campaign to exhibit the values and conduct of which all Americans can be proud," said Truman's Executive Officer Capt. John Meier, prior to pulling into Marseille.
All tours were sponsored by Truman's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office. Meghan Dronberger, Truman's MWR department head, said the tours were specifically designed to keep Sailors safe and to ensure that they have a good time.
"All MWR-sponsored tours are guided by someone who speaks both French and English," said Dronberger. "All the Sailors are supervised, and the hotels Sailors stay in are reputable in the local area."
Ambassadorship is just one of the reasons U.S. ships make port calls, and Truman service members enjoyed the opportunity to experience a foreign culture and a city rich in history and art. Paris offers landmarks such as Notre Dame, the Arch de Triumph, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
"It's beautiful," said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 3rd Class Ciera Blair, who works in Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126. "The architecture is gorgeous. It's got a lot of style."
"I love the buildings. The views are amazing," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Holly Staton, also from VAW 126.
Both Blair and Staton said they enjoyed seeing the Eiffel Tower more than any other sight in Paris.
"The Eiffel Tower is probably the most exciting thing," said Blair. "That's what everyone is talking about."
Sailors and Marines also participated in day trips to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, the French Riviera, Monaco and Monte Carlo.
The MWR tours allowed crew members to see sights they otherwise would not have been able to see, said Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SW/AW) Lashandrea Young.
"I took the French Riviera tour," said Young. "We took a bus to Cannes, went to a hotel in Nice and to Monte Carlo the next day. I liked the variety of things to do."
Whether they took advantage of tours to Paris or simply browsed the cafes and shops near the Marseille waterfront, Truman crew members kicked back and enjoyed their time in France.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.