Brittany Ferry Bilbao/Santander to Portsmouth?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Bohenny, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Bohenny

    Bohenny

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    Any advice from anyone on taking this as a one way ticket home from South West France? September. Thinking of treating ourselves to a sea crossing instead of the tunnel and for just over 400 pounds it might be a nice change, taking into account usual cost of tolls, diesel at 23mpg, two or three nights on campsites and driver fatigue, etc.
     
  2. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Years ago we did it both ways with a touring caravan - Portsmouth / Blibao, in order to go to the south-west of France. Worked very well for us, and the kids particularly enjoyed the long ferry crossing and sleeping onboard. :thumb:

    Mike
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It's a good option with 2 drawbacks...

    Can be a rough crossing.

    Boring as hell.

    We've done it a few times and never had a bad crossing.
     
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  4. slverdreamers

    slverdreamers Read Only Funster

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    Bilboa crossing

    Love it treat yourself to outside cabin, and allow for a meal, you can stay on the port a Bilboa, its not boring, just a good relaxing couple of days, we do the 2 night crossing the other way and really enjoy it.
    Peter
     
  5. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    We did it both ways last year - painless trip but as Brian said a bit boring.:thumb:
     
  6. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Get an inside cabin. If an outside Cabin all you will see is sea. And it's dark for a large part of the trip.
    the only really interesting part of the journey is leaving and entering port and you will get a better view in the lounges.
    If its a rough crossing you're better off in an inside cabin as the rocking from side to side is not so bad.
    We've done the trip many times and only had one really rough crossing.
    Send me a Private message if you want a code for a discount off the standard Brittany Ferries price.
     
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  7. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    We have done it 3 times. I really enjoyed it.

    Try to get the 'Pont Aven' ship - it's bigger and better than the other ship with better facilities.

    We had a commodore cabin on 2 trips which I have to say was worth the extra expense.

    We had a couple of rough crossings but that adds to the excitement for me:thumb:
     
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  8. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    Hi
    We have done both Ferries both ways several times, We dont like the two night trip that for us is a no no, outside two berth cabin best, but if you get a inside two berth with bunks and getting on top is a prob we put the top mattress on the floor overnight it makes for easier sleep, the Pont Avent is the better one for food, but there is allways something to eat on the Cap Finistaire, one night trip soon passes enjoy. Pete :thumb::thumb:
     
  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi use the pont avon usually from plymouth . dont bother with a cabin . sleep in the restaurant self service bit . in winter we can get it down to 560quid return leave in oct/nov come back april .ideal cheaper than the drive through france and there in a day .prefer the santander route .
     
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  10. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Definately agree with Chris, the Pont Aven is much better than the Cap Finisterre, better choice of food and entertainment too :thumb:
     
  11. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    I agree Pont Aven, I am on it right now (Monday) on my way to the UK, good food, nice bed ( yes I would ALWAYS have a cabin) free Wi Fi I am on my way from Spain and would never drive through France again, we'll unless I was touring France you understand.

    Relax and let the boat do the work, money wise, not a lot in it, so it got to be the way.......IMHO :thumb:
     
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  12. Bohenny

    Bohenny

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    Thanks for all the posts on this idea. Looks like we'll be sailing home this time and hopefully mid Sept won't be too rough!
    :Smile:
     
  13. cruiser

    cruiser Funster Life Member

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    we have done the trip a few times now. had one rough trip. the entertainment is quite good for free. and the food is not bad. and you can drink.:thumb::thumb:
     
  14. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    [HI]Ooooohhhh its the hurricane seaon in the Bay of Biscay [/HI]:Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  15. CarolynandMike

    CarolynandMike Read Only Funster

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    Have done it three or four times. Lovely buffet in dining room for evening meal and breakfast; cinema and evening entertainment (not particularly good but something to do). Take binoculars up to the cabin as it is possible to see interesting seabirds and at some times of the year, whales. If travelling on the Pont Aven, you can borrow a commentary from the Information Desk on the artworks which are dotted around the ship. Definitely worth upgrading to a better class of cabin with floor level beds and some with TV - doesn't have to be Commodore class. Take bottled water with you too as the water prices are a rip off on the boat.

    We will continue to use this at least one way on our trips to Spain - our calculations on approx. expenditure travelling through France doesn't come out any more expensive than the boat.
    :Smile:
     
  16. Bohenny

    Bohenny

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    Thanks again to all those responders to my original post.
    Just got back from Portsmouth after a good trip and a smooth crossing despite a good choppy sea and stiff breeze. Saw two whales blow but that was all.:BigGrin:

    Small tip - If you are having a free night on the quay - if you arrive before about 6pm dockside they check you in and you get to park up in lane and it is nice and quiet. If you are late you have to park in the holding area with all the lorries , further from the toilets, etc.
    We had a nice peaceful night and were refreshed and ready to board at 8 am.

    Cap Finistere has a wildlife guide on board in summer months and she gave a good talk on whales and dolphins and was up on deck all afternoon until sunset.
     
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