first time ferry to france help- s`il vous plait

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by autoswan, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Hi all. We plan to take our first trip over to france mid july for upto 6 weeks . Is it cheapest to book ferry now or closer to departure time ? Weymouth to St Malo is the prefered route but could only find from portsmouth with 6.8m mh.
    Can a return ticket have a non fixed return date ? I checked a few online and 2 adults & 1 child with 2 small dogs kennels and cabin because its a long 8-11 hour night trip with Brittainy ferries was around £839 return !
    there is a 30% discount card to sign up to and im a cc member so will check details but do you guys know any better deals or important info on first trip over i should be aware of ?
    Many thanks :Smile:
     
  2. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    Very rare to find late booking cheaper than early as possible. Western channel crossings are always expensive. You can occasionally get cheaper via a ferry calling at Channel Islands.
     
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  3. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    Of course it depends where you are heading once you land in France.

    We are booked Dover-Dunkirk DFDS, out in July, back end of August, 6 weeks, school holidays, 7.5m, 2 adults, 2 kids.

    £51 return, and can be changed if necessary, via CC.
    Western channel is sooooo expensive..


    :BigGrin:
     
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  4. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    we are aiming for Brittainy then head for the west atlantic coast wander till around Vannes area maybe then south to Pay du fu then La Rochelle maybe keep following west coast down to Bordeaux or even Bayonne .Not rushing or any plans set in stone .
    I just thought added miles and fuel from Calais to there would use a lot of time up and cost more ?
    Never been before so trying to get as much info as poss before just going for it !
     
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  5. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    Last year we went to Brittany, to visit friends working on a campsite at Benodet. We also crossed at Dover-Dunkirk.

    £800 gives you a heck of a lot of diesel (especially at French prices €1.25 - €1.30 / litre).

    This year we will do Dunkirk, Belgium, Luxembourg (cheaper diesel), Rhine Valley, Germany, Switzerland, South of France, SE Spain halfway down, back north to Gijon, (overnight ferry to St Nazaire, €250 including cabin), back up through Brittany & Normandy to Dunkirk.

    The fuel for this trip will cost less than £800.....

    Nothing booked except the ferries, we will mix up Aires, wilding and campsites, and just go with the flow.......:thumb:

    Can't wait........


    :BigGrin::BigGrin:
     
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  6. adriacoral

    adriacoral Read Only Funster

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    Hi we travel Dover to Calais always book one way only and usually end up booking it day before as we never know we're going till then!! spent 5 weeks in france and spain last year and then go to mcdonalds , get free wifi and book return when we are ready!!! costs abit more but never more than about £60 each way!
     
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  7. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    From Swansea, Portsmouth - Cherbourg would be your best bet for time versus fuel = cost.

    From Dunkirk it's a long way through some very uninteresting parts of France, unless you go on some of the minior back roads in which case it comes alive.
     
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  8. carolyn

    carolyn Funster

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    Take a look at ldlines portsmouth to Le Havre, i put in your rough dates and even with a cabin could find it for about £400,we have done Newhaven to Dieppe and it was fine, a bit basic though if you were looking to shop. We are trying Portsmouth to Le Havre wednesday. Hope this helps.:Smile:
     
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  9. Dubiousp

    Dubiousp Read Only Funster

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  10. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    Hi, if you're considering visiting Puy du Fou then it might be worth visiting their website and think about pre-booking as they get booked up quite early.
    If the site shows your dates as fully booked then try phoning direct, we did and got the dates we wanted.

    Hope you have a good trip
     
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  11. Polar bear

    Polar bear Funster

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    We travel to the France quite often and allways use Dover Calais return usually around £70 and very frequent crossings. we live in the west country and travel to Spain via Calais its easy driving with loads of free aires on route and is a lot cheaper than Brittany routes. Have a good holiday but be aware when the French schools close:thumb: for holidays aires and campsites will be vey busy.
     
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  12. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

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    Forget weymouth to st malo

    I may be a pessimist, but the Condor ferry running from Weymouth is not due to start up again until 17 July as major repairs are being made to the ferry port at Weymouth. Given the slipped deadlines to date and mammoth cost overruns, I would definitely give Weymouth a miss for this year! It cost over £100 for two cyclists return to St Malo in 2007 so heaven knows what it would be now!
    I have used the old Norfolk Lines - now DFDS - from Dover to Dunkirk and found it excellent and cheap.
     
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  13. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    If going for 6 weeks, go dover/calais £54 return, and take your time to wonder....................lucky you
     
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  14. Onderweg

    Onderweg Funster

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    Hi Jack

    Pounds 837 = Euro 980, minus Euro 150 for a regular ferry = Euro 830 not spend

    Dont take the expensive Diesel on the highway which costs appr 1,459 per liter, but fill up at the big shops like Carrefour, Auchan and many others.
    Price will be 0.10 or 0.20 less per liter and you are zuinig dont forget that :Rofl1:

    For Euro 830 you can fill up at least 650 liter of Diesel which allows you to travel at least 6.500 km. Swansea - Dover is approx 200 km more then driving to Weymouth and the ferry to Saint-Malo saves you approx 500-550 km driving. This times 2 makes 1.400km so that ferry will give you a loss equivalent to 5.100km :Eeek::Eeek::shout:

    My suggestion would be take the cheaper ferry to Calais or Dunkerque (distance between those two cities approx 50 km) and find a nice route south :thumb: :thumb:

    Have a great time
    Paul and Ineke
     
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  15. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Thanks guys after the advice here and from my friends in chat room will defo go the dover over route :thumb:

    Lots of lists of things must do n take etc.. this first trip but maybe need smaller list the next time ? .
    I Dont know if a solar panel would be a good idea or can be fitted in time so im thinking of getting a kippor (i think thats the name) generator if its as quiet as ive heard for extra power in evenings for dvd`s n laptop (if can get signal and find out about mifi n french sims thingys ?)
     
  16. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Dover-Calais plus driving is always cheapest, even with fuel and tolls taken into acount. You can be in Brittany in a day's drive from Calais - we often stop at the Aire by the chateau in Fougeres when we're heading for the parts you describe.

    The Pink Granite Coast around Tregastel-Plage is worth a diversion if you're in Brittany.

    If you're planning on visiting Puy du Fou, I'd suggest making it a Friday or Saturday, book in advance, and definitely get tickets for the CineScenie show at night, which is literally spectacular. Like Breughel on LSD. The aire at Puy du Fou is huge so you'll have no trouble finding overnight parking. For more Puy du Fou tips check the aire review on the 'Aire today' link in my signature below.

    24-28 July is the Fetes de Bayonne Basque festival - all slightly mad. Music, bulls chasing lunatics in the Place Paul Bert, wine flowing copiously, everyone dressed in red and white. Well worth a look if you're down there.

    Generators are not particularly popular on aires as you're often packed in a bit tight - a solar panel would be a far better option.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
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  17. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    Depending on the time you sail, if you want a first night stopping place, the ticket office car park, on the French side, is convenient. Unlike Dover the French ports will let you stay overnight and up to 14hrs.

    Enjoy your trip
    Ed
     
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  18. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    I've been going back and forth regularly in car, them motorhome, for 6 years.
    Taking pets INTO France you are charged on all crossing EXCEPT Dover - Calais or Dunkirk.

    I costed out the saving on ferry crossing versus extra fuel and it was still cheaper for me to go via Dover to drive to the Dordogne.

    The next most economical crossing is Newhaven to Dieppe but you will be charged for pets.

    Further west you go on crossing, higher the cost. LaRochelle is easily reached going via Dieppe.
     
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  19. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    Good decision to go Dover Calais try this firm for cheaper tickets http://www.dovereurochange.co.uk we always used them give em a buzz always worth a punt what we used to do was phone them give them our preferred crossing times and they would do their best to sort out a crossing for us.. then when we were returning to UK give them another call and do it coming back...
     
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  20. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Have been going back and forth to France for years all we have down here is rip off Brittany ferries and like others have already said, "you can buy a whole lot of diesel for the cost of ferries" occasionally we use LD lines Portsmouth-Le Havre if in a hurry. but most of the time Dover Calais or Dover Dunkirque ,and just enjoyed the scenery :Smile:
     
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