Ferries - UK to Spain

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Dave and Ginny, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,490
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hi all

    We are looking at our second trip to Spain again for a few months, Feb to May. We drove all the way down and back last year which was great, taking our time and using the Aires. As we all know, meeting many fellow travellers is part of the fun and sharing travel idea's etc. Something mentioned to us a few times was looking at ferries all the way down to Spain.

    I'm just having a look at the Ferry options from mainland UK to Spain, Santander or Bilbao. Using the Caravan Club site, I'm getting single crossing of £350 ish and returns of £750/£800 ish. It seems to change everytime I search, or vary search parameters a little.

    Looking at fuel costs, mileage etc by driving, on the face of it, they don't appear to be bad prices.

    Can I ask for members opinion, views, thoughts etc...and any tips as to the best way to book to get the best deals should we decide to give this route a try.

    Cheers all, Dave
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,002
    Likes Received:
    12,300
    Location:
    Ramsey, Isle of Man.
    I have just booked LD lines from Santander to Poole in march, one way.
    14m rig with inside cabin was £294.
    I thought this was a bargain, compared to BF which, on the day before, from Santander to Portsmouth, again 14m with inside cabin, would have been £554. Quite a saving.

    Craig
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. busby

    busby Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    3,141
    Location:
    derbys
    There is L D lines Poole to either Santander or Gijon at £300 with int cabin one way for 6.5 metre van with 2 passengers. I think some on this site have used it. Good overnight parking at Poole for £5. BUSBY:BigGrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    If you want to get there and not suffer bad driving weather they do make a lot of sense.

    We are about to go out to Santander but will decide how to get back later depending on the weather and how we feel.

    People rarely work out the full cost of driving a motorhome and usually a good few come up with "the journey is the holiday" even if this means days in snow across France.

    Of course the downside is staggering off the boat a bright shade of green, yes I did see that once as we waited to board at Plymouth, but we had a good crossing.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,578
    Likes Received:
    11,557
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    I've just joined the BF Spanish travel club. It costs £100 a year and there is a £100 joining fee for the first year, but I get 30% off the ticket price on any sailing to Santander and 15% off trips to France.

    It's probably not really worth it for the first year but in subsequent years there is quite a saving. I live on the outskirts of Plymouth so BF are very convenient and in recent years I have made more than one trip a year, including several by push bike!

    There is also a club for France which is only £60 a year which saves 30% on trips to France but it only gives you 10% off the Santander ferry.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,490
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks for reminding me about this one that I now remember someone telling me about! :RollEyes:
     
  7. busby

    busby Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    3,141
    Location:
    derbys
    I can give you a travel club quests number to give you a discount on B.Ferries. BUSBY:BigGrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    577
    Location:
    Ribble Valley
    We may have been the victims of unusually bad weather but booking a ferry that's crossing the Bay of Biscay in winter has turned out to be a bit of a mistake. It's difficult to know what is best, book early for the discounts or wait until you can get a proper weather report. I booked early for Portsmouth/Santander. It didn't go! We ended up doing Portsmouth/St Malo. What a disappointment. 500miles I wasn't expecting to drive. In future I think I'll spend a little more.
     
  9. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,490
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks for all the opinions on the merits of a ferry to Spain as opposed to a drive.
    Our 6.5 came out at a surprising £600 with LD Lines (DFDS), from Poole to Santander. That includes inside cabin both ways. It seems pretty good to me.

    You could drive yourself nuts trying to work out the cost comparison variables! :Doh:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    4,795
    I agree with you. As it happens we have just booked with LD from Poole to Gijon return going out next week and coming back late March. £548…….. I'm happy with that :BigGrin:

    The cheapest with CC was £733 :Eek!::Eeek:

    Like Hilldweller says, save the diesel, miles……..and go green :RollEyes::Eek!::Eeek: haha
     
  11. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    4,795
    Where is that please? I'm interested :Smile:
     
  12. Bollard

    Bollard Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Saltdean, Brighton
    Portsmouth - Santander/ Bilbao

    As mentioned on previous posts if you join the Brittany Ferry Club you get discounts as described. We have used this route a number of times and it can be rough. It's worth checking the LD LINES boat I believe it is quite a lot smaller than Brittany Ferries boat and could make a considerable difference on the crossing comfort. Another point which came to light this year . . . a close friend needed to return earlier than his return leg back to the UK. If he had booked two single trips (no extra cost) out and back it is looked at as two contracts. This being the case you have far more flexibility with your sailings if unfortunately a change in or out is needed. The young lady from Brittany confirmed it is a much better way if you are club members to make the bookings! Worth a look. I certainly will stick with Brittany as the breakfasts on board are superb. Members pay just 3 euro's . . . as long as you keep it down!!!!:Wink:
     
  13. Twizzlefrillypants

    Twizzlefrillypants Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Chichester
    I would just add that Bollard makes a valid point regarding the ferry. A couple arrived here in Spain a few days ago who had used this line and reported their worst crossing ever saying that the ferry was thrown about badly and probably did not have stabilisers. Sleeping was near impossible. I am not sure how this would have compared with the BF ferry given the same conditions but worth consideration if one is subject to mal der mer.
     
  14. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    4,795
    you do have a point…………I'm just hoping for better weather than we had early in January!

    As for the BF club it would make sense if we were going more than once but this will be our only trip to Spain this year.
     
  15. ronita

    ronita Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Leeds
    We travelled from Portsmouth to Santander on Friday on Brittany ferries cap finistere. The crossing was brilliant. The catering left a lot to be desired. The choices were an expensive a la carte French cuisine menu, cheaper menu on the top deck salad bar open to the elements and water on the floor, or a limited choice of snacks from the onboard shop to eat in your cabin. This totally spoilt our crossing as we were expecting to eat meals in a self service warm indoor restaurant as we have done previously on there sister ship the pont aven which we are travelling back on in march.
     
  16. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    4,517
    Location:
    Tyne & Wear, sometimes..

    No operator would take a passenger ferry across Biscay without stabilisers, the consequences of 40 ton trucks shifting and breaking loose would be unimaginable and potentially tragic.

    We were on the Norman Asturias in August from Gijon to St Nazaire. It is actually quite a large ship, but was built originally mainly for freight and freight drivers only. The ship is stabilised. However it has very little in the way of passenger spaces and things to for passengers to do, especially if you have young children. It was adequate for the 16 hours overnight Gijon to St Nazaire trip but not a lot to do for the 26 hrs crossing from Poole to Santander, but it will get you to Spain......

    The Norman Asturias only has a small cafeteria with a limited menu, a small Bar and a miniscule shop. With just 125 cabins it has a passenger capacity of around 500

    Compared to say The Pride of Bilbao which P&O used to Spain, which had a cinema, small pool and sauna, observation deck and "quiet" lounge, a coffee shop, piano bar, casino area, large cabaret bar with live entertainment in the evening, an A la carte restaurant as well as a pizza and snack bar etc, the Norman Asturias has very limited passenger facilities. It is significantly cheaper though.........

    As for size the LD ferry is almost on a par with The Brittany Ferries vessel Pont Aven and is not significantly smaller than the Cap Finisterre on that service. It just looks smaller as it is basically a freight ferry, and as thus has a much smaller accommodation block, and smaller passenger capacity, making it "appear" to look a lot smaller than the others.

    Pont Aven.....184.6m length x 30.9m, beam. Gross Tonnage 41,700 mt

    Cap Finistere..204m x 25m. Gross Ton. 32,728

    Norman Asturias...186.6m x 25.6m. Gross Ton. 27414


    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. DogShowDiva

    DogShowDiva Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Sotogrande
    Excellent prices but do not take dogs .. No good for us !!!! :Sad:
     
  18. busby

    busby Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    3,141
    Location:
    derbys
    Why book a return as its no cheaper. I always book my return when i know i am coming back.BUSBY:BigGrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    4,795
    That's true and we normally do. In the case of the LD fares they only have (had?) 500 fares at each 'special price' then as they sell them the price goes up to the next level.

    As it happens we need to come back when we do but we can always change it for a tenner :Smile:

    Hedge betting I s'pose :BigGrin:
     
  20. busby

    busby Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    3,317
    Likes Received:
    3,141
    Location:
    derbys
    To Chocksaway,,Parking at Poole if i remember correctly is as you turn right to enter road into the Port the car park is just on the left..Hope this helps. BUSBY:BigGrin:
     
Loading...

Share This Page