Francuskie Centrum Lotów Kosmicznych




Situated on the west bank of the Kourou River, 65km (40mi) west of Cayenne, Kourou used to be little more than a moribund penal settlement. These days, thanks to the influence of the European space program, it has rocketed from the 19th century straight into the 21st. It's worth visiting the town and touring the Centre Spatial Guyanais to witness this collision of worlds.

Currently, three separate organizations operate here - the Agence Spatiale Européenne (European Space Agency), the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (French Space Agency) and Arianespace (a private commercial enterprise developing the Ariane rocket). Between them, they comprise about 15% of the country's economic activity, employ about 1000 people and conduct eight or nine launches per year.




There is a marina, run by the Yacht Club about 1.5 miles up the river Fleuve Kourou. This is best navigated at HW-2.

There are also tidal anchorages in the river. Beware of the strong stream, running at up to 4 knots and make sure you avoid any danger from large vessels by anchoring well out of the channel. Holding in the mud and rocks of the river is surprisingly poor, so make sure you check your anchor is secure and, if possible, put out two anchors allowing for the tidal flow.

There is also a municipal pontoon. Call the Capitainerie Tel 0594 320 042 or VHF channel 16.

One possible anchorage is at the river mouth, in front of the sailing club (CNK), clear of the moorings, by the Hotel de Roche. There is another outside the marina.


  Kourou - reporta¿ z wizyty