On Sunday 5th May 1935 Normandie was ready for sea. In the afternoon the engineers started up the engines: at 5.00pm she eased away from the quay, and with the assistance of harbour tugs moved out into the Atlantic. Speed trials were performed over a measured course at Les Glénans, off the south coast of Brittany, on Monday and Tuesday. This was followed by handling trials. Normandie reached 30·156, 32·125 and 31·925 knots over three consecutive runs, without some of the boilers being fired up.
Tests included 8 hours continuous sailing in the Atlantic, during which she reached an average speed of 30·894 knots. There were three days of manœuvering and emergency handling trials, and equipment testing. Fuel consumption was even lower than expected. As soon as the trials were completed, Normandie headed for Le Havre, arriving on 11th May, where Captain Pugnet docked the massive liner without needing tugs, which were only used to swing the liner round as she entered the harbour.