Which is the best ferry and route to book for France?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by joner8888, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    There must be a lot of seasoned MH ferry users on here :thumb:
    i have been with motorbikers only before.:thumb:
    We live in Somerset so driving all over to Dover then down again is out so, which of the available ports and ferry companys is best /cost effective to use?
    We don`t mind any day or time of day just want to keep the price down .
    Going in july---to heading to around La Rochelle area ------and can i be a little Conservative with the length and height of my MH when filling in the on line form?:Blush:
     
  2. Melian

    Melian Funster

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    Best Ferry

    Hi ,

    We live in Exeter, and i have priced the ferries against going to the tunnel and for the prices of the ferries from poole, portsmouth or plymouth it is still cheaper to travel to Folkstone, and go through France,

    Fisherman 8
     
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  3. pepper386

    pepper386 Funster

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    I got best deal through the caravan club, they was very helpful, finding cheapest crossing & time, hope you have a good trip
    regards
    Tony
     
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  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Every time I've done the calculation it's always been cheapest to go Dover-Calais then drive through France to our destination, using Aires to stop overnight. We usually book through the CCC, and as early as possible in the year.

    If you're heading for La Rochelle and you arrive at Calais during the morning I can recommend the free Aire(s) at Fougeres (NE of Rennes) as a good halfway stopover. Lovely medieval chateau to wander around, and a big supermarket on way back to the autoroute if you need to stock up.

    At La Rochelle there's an Aire in the Ave Jean Moulin Park'n'Ride with all the facilities and a free P&R bus ticket for up to six people included in the fee. If you're touring the area I can recommend both the Isle d'Oleron and La Palmyre. Click the signature link below for Aire info if needed.

    Bon Voyage
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
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  5. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    The best Ferry and route is DFDS. Dover to Dunkerque.

    A lot of users go Dover - Calais with P & O or DFDS. However, it is more cost effective to go via Dunkerque with more freqient ferry's from DFDS than Calais.

    You can stay overnight in the ferry car park (if you want to?) and their is cheap fuel a couple of miles up the road.
     
  6. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    I have found the Dover/Dunkirk rout as economical re motorhome crossing Hymer 2.4 x 6.0 metres, have been stopped at Dover re claiming motorhome under 2.4
    metres high but did not charge me extra, they pointed out height restriction is required as some loading is to the side of the ferry, when loading vehicles are directed to this. if your vehicle is over 2.0 m and damage is then caused the operator claim not to be liable.
    Interesting point is at ticket booth they now have height indicators to give some guidance for loading operations.
     
  7. MrJinks

    MrJinks Read Only Funster

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    We travel from Dorset and always go via Dover. Ferry or Tunnel. Even with our 12mpg RV it is still cost effective to go this way to Normandy or Brittany. The time taken is the only disadvantage. Depends whether getting there in a hurry is important.

    With regard to booking online.....try different lengths in the application and see it it makes a difference to the price. Eurotunnel is one price whatever the length. I think most Dover ferries only start upping the cost if you are over 8m but other channel ferries differ on all lengths.
     
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  8. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    the tunnel can be cost effective

    The tunnel can be cost effective with out having to lie about the size... Use it all the time.. no rough seas to worry about .. fast journey.. much nicer than a ship bouncing about in rough seas...

    Bob
     
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  9. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    I like to cross from Portsmouth, either to Cherbourg or Le Havre. It costs a bit more, it takes a bit longer, but it is more relaxed. I can't be doing with the naff bits of Northeast France, so Cherbourg is an ideal place to drop straight down to the Loire; Lot et Tarn; Provence etc etc regions.
     
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  10. capinpugwash

    capinpugwash Funster

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    The best ferry is the one that suits you.

    If you are only concerned about the total cost from A to B then do that calculation. If you put a price on convenience and comfort then use that one.

    I live in the Southampton area and use Portsmouth to Le Havre on LD Lines. It suits me and I have an overnight cabin. Is it the cheapest, probably not. Is it the the one that I consider the best value for money, Yes.

    You pays your money and you makes your choice.

    Sounds like the bleeding obvious, but that is because that's what it is.:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
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  11. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

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    I live just 10 minutes from Portsmouth's ferry port but have never used it as the fare is quite expensive.
    Our usual departure port is Dover.
    earlier this year as we were going to do an extensive tour of Brittany we decided to go Newhaven to Dieppe.
    Its a small ferry port and only a couple of sailings per day. It worked well and did save us driving down from Calais. The fare for a 7 metre moho was £207 booked online. We later found out that had we booked by phone we could, as state pensioners, have had a 20% discount making this journey very good value.
    The ferry ship itself is ok if a little 'used' and the duty free shop a bit disappointing. Breakfasts are good. The service is more HGV orientated than most ferries but still quite civilised.
    We were allowed to overnight at the Newhaven and Dieppe ferry mustering areas. There is also a large aire just a couple of hundred yards from the Dieppe quay.

    We would certainly use it again
     
  12. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Can you 'be creative' about your height?

    Only if you are prepared to risk decapitation ...... many years ago I saw them do exactly that to a VW Devon conversion with a lifting roof section as we were just getting out of our Minivan ........ :Eeek: 12 August 1976 to be exact. Southampton - Cherbourg. Took all afternoon and the following night to get there! On our way to a campsite at Playa de Aro ...... :Laughing: The very side rows of vehicles parked on a narrow deck, they wheel chocked everyone, then raised that part of the deck to accommodate another row underneath. The VW driver had SAID to the matelot that he thought he was too high, bloke INSISTED he wasn't and made him drive onto it ..... we deliberately vacated the Car Deck then, as we really didn't want to witness the ensuing (justified) GBH ........ :Doh:

    What about length?

    Well we've had two of em out of the hut with a tape measure in the not so distant past (admittedly with a car and trailer - we'd changed the car after booking and though we'd changed the Reg, length never even occurred to us) and actually refuse to carry us for the sake of a couple of inches - so we had to pay top dollar to cross with someone else. (That was Speedferries though - but I'd never want to chance it again meself. Although we moaned like hell and some lost fare money when they went bump, it was most likely for the best!)

    It's all An Experience and part of the holiday fun ..... :RollEyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  13. Chas17

    Chas17 Funster

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    We too are in Somerset and always use Dover - usually Dunkirk but also Calais. We drive down the day before overnight on Marine Parade and get a ferry about 0900 next day. Next trip is Dover/Dunkirk on 16 July en route to Norway. £39 single including the dog!
     
  14. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    its one of the issues I do not need

    Worrying about some one measuring the RV and trailer is something I do not need. I had a gearbox go on me years ago in an RV on the Hook of Holland Route... I said to the load master no way will I get up that angle of ramp with a tow ball attached.. he said yes I would.. oh no.. gearbox gave out ..burnt almonds smell.. I stopped it in the middle of the ramp locked it and went and found the number two master.. made him come back tot he RV and smell and see the damage... cost Stena a lot of dosh .. they had to pay the claim for a new gearbox...

    Do I need that issue? no.

    Euro Tunnel are not interested in how long you are.. but I still give the size .. there concern is can you swing on tot he loading carriage with the trailer.. at 45' I can manage it and I have seen some serious size coaches manage it ... As the train only has two size carriages... one for coaches or motor homes .. and vehicles with top boxes ... other wise a normal car can go on the auto rack (two decks)... but it is less worry than a ship... Especially for a wheelchair user.. Euro Tunnel make sure they have you by an unload emergency door.. on ships that has been hit and miss.

    For me the tunnel... even allowing for the fact Newhaven is near than Folkestone.. and the camp site is 33 km from Dieppe .. I still prefer the drive out from Calais.. no sea sickness... no damage to my RV.

    Bob
     
  15. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    Having lived in Yorkshire it was always a run to the South Coast (300 miles ish) and catch a ferry..usually Dover--Calais One year when we did Spain for the winter we priced up the ferry to Santander/Bilbao against the Dover/Calais and drive across France..Dover Calais and the drive worked out a better prospect and using the aires across France was a great experience..as people have said La Rochelle area is great...try the Ill de Re thats great there too..whichever way you go...ENJOY and show us all the pics..
     
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  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Regardless of which route you choose your holiday starts when you start the engine at home.

    The travelling is all part of the enjoyment. :thumb:
     
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  17. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    I agree, ferry costs are a factor but so are the actual running costs of the MH, it's not just mpg - a 3.5t van runs at anything up to 70p per mile.

    Unless Dover/Calais/Dunquerqe are on your route perhaps taking another route would at least make a change - and save driving time
    Vic
     
  18. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    Decided --- LD Lines, from Portsmouth,overnight with cabin.
    £480
    To go over to dover and down would take 2 days out of my break and i want to drive in France more not in UK:thumb:
    Cost for return on the Euro train 220, so with fuel ect ,i won`t be saving a lot more
    Now where is a garment they call shorts ?:thumb:
     
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  19. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Next year do your shopping at Tesco, save the reward vouchers and spend em on Euro Tunnel tickets (exchange rate is £3 for every £1 reward vouchers) - OK you still sort-of pay for the crossing - but because it's at a rate of £pittance a week, it SEEMS cheap when you book it LOL
     
  20. MHVirgins

    MHVirgins

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    We're going to Brittany in early September and as we need to visit family in Hampshire, we had planned to go from Portsmouth to Le Havre with LD Lines, the cheapest fare with the CC is around £270 return.
    But we've got a long drive from where we are down to Portsmouth first, around 430 miles before we get the ferry:Sad:
    We thought we could even do a single journey from Portsmouth to Le Havre and then perhaps return from Roscoff to Plymouth and meander back through Devon.
    The Euro Tunnel isn't an option for us because of where we're driving down from and because we need to see family in and around Southsea.
     
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