Bilbao Ferry Cancellation 27th January Some advice wanted (1 Viewer)

Jul 1, 2010
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Stayed at the C & CC site at Oxford last night in preparation for the short journey to Portsmouth for the ferry. Just starting to pack ready to leave when at 10.15hrs I receive a text from Brittany Ferries stating ferry cancelled due to technical problems. Completely floored me, gave me a number to ring for assistance, spent 20 minutes listening to the same song so hung up. We booked our ferry through the C & CC along with many of our campsite and rally bookings. So phoned them asking the way ahead, after a lengthy wait on hold they came back offering a ferry tonight to Caen or St Malo in France, the next available crossing to Bilbao being 11th February. Our return is booked for 4th March as we have commitments mid month so I rejected this, barely 3 weeks in Spain and a lot of driving. Also said no to the French crossings we have no maps etc and did not want the lengthy drive down to SE Spain.

I am absolutely gutted, numerous phone calls later am sat here contemplating how much out of pocket we are, the C & CC have stated they will reimburse me for the ferry fares but not the Ā£330.90 in site and rally fees because I am cancelling those and its in their terms and conditions.

This would have been our first European tour, all paid for late November last year, wifey has done a lot of work planning it, gone to considerable expense kitting out for the trip and of course all the fuel, time and campsite fee's making our way down here (we set off last Thursday)

We took out a 6 week travel insurance policy starting from tomorrow so doubt I will be able to claim.

Bitterly disappointed with the mercenary attitude of the C & CC and I am still shell shocked. Anyone care to offer any advice on how to reclaim some of our cash or whatever.

Stewart
 

motorhomer

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You have my sympathy. But surely you should not give up the trip!

From Oxford, I might take up their Caen offer, but otherwise you could just drive to dover and go P&O to Calais. That is what I am doing next week. The journey through france is not unpleasant.

Personally after a string of bad experiences I would never go on the Brittany ferries crossing to N Spain. Some years ago we arrived at Bilbao to be told there was no boat for the return trip. I was working then so had to drive the 650 miles to caen in a day and a half.
In 2013 we went by sea to N spain and had the worst sea crossing I have ever experienced. Very, Very rough. Van slid into vehicle in front in rough seas. Laying on the floor (too rough to climb up on to the bunk!) we just wished we had driven and were staying in French aires.

So I would say get your money back and go to dover pronto. And have some meals out with the cash you have saved!
 
Mar 23, 2012
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As above go for it!!! Bet you enjoy the drive through France as much as the rest of the trip.
If you decide not to how can the CCC justify their rally fees when its their ferry booking thats not happened? just goes to show both the big clubs are businesses not members clubs.
 

eddie

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More fun driving anyway. Grab the cash offered, and enjoy your trip. We have driven to St Malo from Roses in Spain in a day before, but prefer an overnight stop on a motorway Aire if we can.

If the ship has a technical problem, it's safer to cancel the trip than to risk peoples lives

Buy a map on the ferry, and enjoy yourselves sightseeing through France, the route is dead easy

Eddie
 
Feb 16, 2013
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Get yourself over to the tunnel have a good time in France find some aires and stay for free, don't bother with spain

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Aug 4, 2013
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We had to drive home from the dordogne in an unplanned mad hurry last august, drove about 8hrs easily made ferry had 4 hours to spare, got evening Portsmouth Caen crossing and slept overnight , best with a cabin, to be honest roads easy and not the struggle we expected at all. I would just go with the flow and do it, take it nice and steady part of the holiday think you will see plenty places to stop en route. Don't abandon your hol just adapt it, enjoy it good luck, maybe just check the weather forecast too. You might be glad you weren't on the ferry!
 

CWH

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I can't offer any advice, but loads of sympathy.
We've not been over the water yet either and I know I'd be panicking at this news.
But Funsters know what they're talking about - there's so much experience on here from people you know you can trust - please don't give up on your holiday, just change it to fit with the circumstances and enjoy both France and Spain.
Do let us know what you decide to do and how you get on - there's your motivation! - your challenge (if you decide to accept it) is to do a travelogue for us. Please. Link Broken
 
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Stewart J
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A development, OH got on the phone to Brittany ferries spoke to a very sympathetic lady who spent some time searching alternatives then informed us a cancellation had just com in on this Sundays ferry to Santander and they would honor the price we paid and give us a 4 berth cabin (only 2 of us)

So back on phone to C & CC and all is now back on even managed to have our Zaragoza booking changed to the 3rd Feb. Yah a result, site warden here at Oxford will print off all my amended paperwork, still reeling a bit but much happier.
 

Hollyberry

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That's good news.
I've stayed at the C&CC Oxford site--really nice managers and staff.

Enjoy your trip.
 

Judge Mental

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One overnight in France and you can be in Spain! Just go...

We had this happen on return leg years ago, drove up that day.....
 
Nov 13, 2012
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Take the refund and cross on P&O to France its a nice run down to Spain good roads and no need to use toll roads and with the lower prices for diesel and a good exchange rate you should do the trip for less than the Brittany ferries price. We take about 4 days to do run to Spain driving around 6 hrs a day. We should hopefully be doing the run down to the Benicarlo rally at the end of February.

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Aug 18, 2011
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Go to Newhaven and take the late evening ferry to Dieppe,,,Docks about 4 am so you can be well down towards the Pyranees by tea time tomorrow. Another day and you will be well down into Spain. You can buy a map at ferry port. Nearly as quick as Brittany ferry. Go for it,,,dont loose all that money. 6 metre van Ā£57 if your over 60. BUSBY:D
 

MikeD

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Brittany ferries are still taking bookings for Sunday 1st Feb for Ā£399 to Santander and return should be ok.

upload_2015-1-26_15-29-7.png
 

Parcverger

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The advice above is excellent - at this time off year the Bay of Biscay can be very unfriendly, and you can drive through France in two or three days. Only last week we had one overnight guest who drove from Barcelona one day and was due on an evening ferry the following day. No reason why not - roads are good and have much less traffic than in the UK.
Bob
www.parcverger.com
 

Fletton

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A development, OH got on the phone to Brittany ferries spoke to a very sympathetic lady who spent some time searching alternatives then informed us a cancellation had just com in on this Sundays ferry to Santander and they would honor the price we paid and give us a 4 berth cabin (only 2 of us)

So back on phone to C & CC and all is now back on even managed to have our Zaragoza booking changed to the 3rd Feb. Yah a result, site warden here at Oxford will print off all my amended paperwork, still reeling a bit but much happier.


It all usually works out in the wash
 
Jan 9, 2013
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Read the above with dismay, and felt your pain - not sure what we would have done, but suspect we would have driven through France. However am delighted that BF came through for you. We are also booked on Sunday's ferry to Santander - and plan to go to Zaragoza on 3rd Feb! Hopefully we can meet up!
 
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Stewart J
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Meeting up would be great Roxie we are booked into Zaragoza night of 3rd Feb, have you any plans for a stopover night of 2nd Feb? I would be nice to have company not knowing lie of the land as it were!

If you'd prefer pm me.
 

Jandek

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Must have been a horrible day for you but glad all sorted in the end, even if it means your trip is shortened. Hope you enjoy the journey down and have a great holiday. Great if you can meet up with a fellow funster for part of journey, especially if you are a bit unsure. In our experience fellow motorhomers are happy to help and share info ... even when they are not funsters! We are currently at Almafra with c and cc rally. Which ones are you doing ?
 
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Stewart J
Jul 1, 2010
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Yo Jan & Dek, booked in for los Llanos 8 & 9th Feb ( then onto the C & CC Rallies at) La Manga, then Playa Tropicana and onto Vilanova Park
 
Apr 28, 2013
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I really feel for you,however others have said all is not lost.I personally would get over to France and drive down,having just driven back from Portugal there was a little snow in Spain but not a problem.
You mention no maps,a possible solution would be if you have an iPhone or tablet or similar,download tomtom western Europe.It is not expensive and you will have a pretty good sat nav for less than Ā£50,good luck and hope this helps.Please keep us informed.

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Jandek

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Hi . We arrive at La manga on 12 th Feb . Will let you know our pitch no when we get there and would be good to meet up
 

Jenowen

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Hope you have a good time, whatever you decide to do. We've found it's often better to take the opportunities that present themselves rather than trying to retain the things that weren't working.
 
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Stewart J
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This from the Brittany Ferries website tonight, not holding my breath for Sundays sailing :-(

Portsmouth to Santander / Santander to Portsmouth
Wednesday 28/01 Portsmouth to Santander 12:45hrs (PONT AVEN)
- We're sorry to advise that deteriorating weather has forced us to bring forward the departure time of this sailing to Spain. The ship will now leave Portsmouth at 22:00hrs on TUESDAY 27thJanuary and will arrive in Spain on THURSDAY morning at 08:00hrs.
Thursday 29/01 Santander to Portsmouth 17:30hrs (PONT AVEN) - Due to deteriorating weather conditions this sailing is expected to be considerably delayed. Updated information will be available on Thursday morning

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