Motoring Discussion > Brittany Ferries Miscellaneous
Thread Author: legacylad Replies: 22

 Brittany Ferries - legacylad
Never used them....last time I took a car overseas was my Saab 9000 NSF Hull > Zeebrugge in the previous century. Or was it the 19thC ?

Do prices drop nearer the departure date if lots of availability ? I’m travelling solo, Portsmouth > Santander, with rental accommodation booked on the C Blanca 6-27 May, so I’m flexible with my travel dates...happy to spend a few days driving South, camping en route.

After 27 May I plan spending 3 weeks back oop north exploring the Picos and Pyrenees, and sponging off my French amis who live in those parts, so again flexible with sailing dates and times.

Any advice please from those who may have used this service...friends recommend the vessel Galicia. Thanks

Maybe this should be in non-motoring. Please move if so.
Last edited by: legacylad on Thu 3 Nov 22 at 09:50
 Brittany Ferries - smokie
I've not used ferries for some years but I have friends who travel out to Le Mans each year, many using Brittany, and they book as soon as bookings open. I expect that gets the best price but maybe it's as much a matter of shortage of availability that particular week.
 Brittany Ferries - martin aston
We used them several times over the years but not since 2014. However my niece had a crossing trip last week and said it was good.
I can’t comment on prices but a couple of tips that I think are still valid are to use the dining option. It’s up to French standards (my niece being in her 20’s took a food photo). Also I don’t know if they require you to book a cabin but even if there is a reclining seat option I would recommend you book a cabin. This is especially the case if you have a long drive to do. Being able to stretch out in a cabin, even during the day, makes it much more relaxing.
Finally find out how to disable your car alarm. I forgot to turn mine off and the sea motion triggered it so I was tannoyed. Not out of concern for my car battery but because the car was near the kennels and the noise triggered a canine howling contest.
 Brittany Ferries - Terry
We have used them a few times - probably never again in winter.

Wife is a poor sailor at the best of times - I don't recall a single journey in winter without bad weather - but the last was by far the worst.

- departure from Santander was delayed 12 hours due to high seas in Bay of Biscay.
- waves breaking over the front facing bar/restaurant on 7th deck
- even walking from the cabin was fraught - ship rolling and crashing, injury risk
- journey ended in Plymouth not Southampton due to time lost
- ambulances waiting quayside to take off the wounded

Some may find the experience exciting - a bit like bobsleigh, mountain biking etc. Adrenaline rush territory. It is not particularly cheap.

The boats are far from a luxury cruise to the sun - think motorway services not luxury break (in fairness the food is OK). Cabins we have experienced are pokey and dated.

Personally if going for two/three weeks will fly and car hire, longer will do short crossing and drive.

 Brittany Ferries - smokie
I suspect it is considerably cheaper than car hire, which has over tripled in about a year in my experience. I am away at the moment in Portugal and paid something like €600 for the 7 weeks hire, which is considerably up on last year, and next year is coming in at over €1600 for the same period, for a Seat Ibiza. It may get cheaper nearer the time but I doubt it.

I'm thinking of driving my own car down, via the tunnel (as the boat was so pricey).
Last edited by: smokie on Thu 3 Nov 22 at 13:06
 Brittany Ferries - Dog
Back in the day, I droved from Dover to Tenerife (there may have been a couple of ferries involved)

LHD Citroën AX diesel with 'alf our home in the back - we were going to live there.

I droved back to Santander via Portugal (thyme to kill) on my own = no problems at all at all.
 Brittany Ferries - carmalade
Used Brittany ferries many times on the Portsmouth - st Malo or Caen , but not for about 10 years now . We always booked a commodore cabin , bigger than a regular cabin , and used to include a very pleasant continental breakfast.
 Brittany Ferries - Bromptonaut
We've used them a few times from both Plymouth and Portsmouth to various French destinations including Caen, Le Havre and Roscoff. Always had a cabin and wouldn't do it without. Pretty expensive but worthwhile, particularly if it eliminates some M/way tolls and/or an overnight stay.

In our experience it doesn't get any cheaper if you wait. More likely to find options closed off as sailings fill, though perhaps less so outwith the main summer season.

Cabins were excellent or very good even on the 'Economie' sailing to Le Havre. Don't think we had any option for inclusive food at breakfast but maybe I overlooked something and it may be different on Spain sailings.

If you're due to arrive at destination first thing in the morning it's wise to retire early. There's an alarm call a good hour before arrival and we've felt a bit jaded when not getting to bed until post midnight.

Loading at Portsmouth is laborious. You check in then sit in an assembly area from where you're called forward to final assembly/loading. Vehicles are randomly selected for a lookover by Maritime Security who want to look in the boot and, in our case the caravan, including opening cupboards.

Seems a drag compared with Dover.
 Brittany Ferries - legacylad
Further research ( I joined the BF FB forum) now shows my best option being to book a single passage Plymouth - Santander. Several replies from customers who live in Yorks and Lake District sail ex Plymouth. I’m flexible with dates so don’t necessarily need to book a return in advance.

Unlike Portsmouth the vessel has twin berth cabins currently available...I’m travelling solo. And a shorter crossing, but will necessitate a night in Plymouth as its a 12:15 sailing. Not been there since backpacking the SWCP.

Two overnights in Spain prior to the start of my rental accommodation, so thats excellent...a slow meander south, off the motorway network. My Spanish Costa B walking group will advise places to stay and visit.

Anyone got a Club Voyage account so I can get some discount, and £10 off your next trip ?
Don’t ask, don’t get. I’ve been offered one off the BFerry FB forum but rather the £10 go to someone here.
 Brittany Ferries - legacylad
Ferry booked out of Plymouth. Lunchtime sailing so I’ll drive down the previous day and get a B & B within a short drive of the port.
Initial search in the immediate vicinity shows silly prices at the usual chains, even midweek. A decent pub with rooms was recommended, but that’s £88. Strewth. I’m obviously out of touch with B & B prices in the UK..

By comparison, nice hotel in Spain, single occupancy as above, is €65. Includes a delicious 3 course evening meal. Hardly surprising I very rarely use accommodation in the UK.
 Brittany Ferries - Runfer D'Hills
Lunchtime sailing?
Why not just get up a bit early and drive to Plymouth?
Then sleep on the ship?
 Brittany Ferries - tyrednemotional
...allowing for reporting times that would require a very early start from Yorkshire.

Given the sailing time of 20+ hours, however, I'd be inclined to take that approach, especially if I'd invested in a cabin/berth on the boat.
 Brittany Ferries - Runfer D'Hills
5 hours 33 minutes journey apparently.
 Brittany Ferries - tyrednemotional an hour+ reporting time, and a reasonable allowance for delays etc. (LL is old enough to need a pee-break, especially after eleventeen pints of Semer Water ;-) )

8 hours minimum to be safe (and avoid more points on licence) but with an overnight on the boat, I'd still favour it.
 Brittany Ferries - Runfer D'Hills
Aye, me too.
 Brittany Ferries - legacylad
12:15 sailing.
334 miles. 5h 38m without stops. Or delays.
Not on your nelly. And a few pints of excellent beer with a decent mixed grill the night prior to sailing sounds ( Plymouth connection geddit) mighty appealing.

Especially if I’m driving a Duster.
 Brittany Ferries - tyrednemotional
>> 12:15 sailing.

..if you must, that leaves plenty of scope for an overnight short of Plymouth itself, which may give you cheaper/better choices

(Though you may struggle to find places that will let you book in with a Duster. ;-). )
 Brittany Ferries - legacylad
Thanks but found somewhere in the Good Beer Guide with views of the Tamar at Saltash Passage, so booked that.
And according to their online menu they serve an excellent mixed grill.

I’ll be taking my Hilleberg Akto ( it’s a tent) so won’t need to erect that on night 1.

I’ve just seen the new price of an Akto one man tent. £680 ! Paid less than £300 for mine 25 years ago, and still almost as good as new despite a few hundred nights under canvas. Great bit of kit.
Last edited by: legacylad on Sat 10 Dec 22 at 18:53
 Brittany Ferries - Duncan

>> I’ve just seen the new price of an Akto one man tent. £680 ! Paid
>> less than £300 for mine 25 years ago, and still almost as good as new
>> despite a few hundred nights under canvas. Great bit of kit.

Go to a music festival the day after it finishes. There will be hundreds to choose from, all free!
 Brittany Ferries - Zero

>> Go to a music festival the day after it finishes. There will be hundreds to
>> choose from, all free!

Yeah, chose one with not too much vomit to wash out. Avoid the ones with strange white stains.
 Brittany Ferries - legacylad

Sadly an indicator of today’s disposable society.
I’d like to believe many are ‘recycled’ but they are such cheap nasty tents, which is acceptable for a festival, they’ll be chuff all use elsewhere.
 Brittany Ferries - Runfer D'Hills
What are the criteria for booking in with a beige Volvo?
Guaranteed stairlift, warden attended, that sort of thing?
 Brittany Ferries - tyrednemotional's "Pebble Grey" :-p (with unmarked alloys)

(I'd quite like the stairlift, though!)
Last edited by: tyrednemotional on Sat 10 Dec 22 at 21:12
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