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Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Letchworth, United...
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Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Hi all,

I am looking to book a ferry for next summer and wanted to ask for advice about options to consider.

I appreciate there are some existing posts cover some of the points I am asking about the key points of this post is the best way to octane the best price/options from Brittany ferries or any other provider that are suggested.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Some thoughts below:-

• we are a family of four with two adults and two young children

•we will be camping and therefore wish to drive and not fly (our precise camping destination in Brittany has not yet been decided)

• We may be travelling with some additional families so possibly up to about five or six cars

• We all live just north of London so would be looking to travel from the likes of Portsmouth or similar most probably to St. Malo but we are open for other considerations

• We like the option of staying in an overnight cabin on the way out and no cabin on the return but are open to any option

• Initial research indicates that Brittany ferries are likely to be the best option

Assuming the BF comment above is the best option, does anyone have any comment as to the bet way to obtain the best prices? Some further comments below.

• Is there a best time of year to book i.e. six months in advance

• Are there any third-party companies that offer discounts to their members for ferry travel such as being a member of the RAC or any other organisation

• are there any suggested ways of obtaining a lower price than simply booking with Brittany ferries directly (is it the case that Brittany ferries offer discounts at certain times of the year etc)

Thanks in advance.

Jason

Josselin
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1. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Brittany Ferries are expensive all the time.

Portsmouth to St Malo is the most expensive.

For the return I would stronly recommend a cabin as the journey is endless.

They cover Poole Cherbourg which we have used which is quicker.

There is the quick ferry from Weymouth which might suit too.

After years of using Dover and driving both sides of the Channel we now go Zeebrugge Hull.

Scunthorpe, United...
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2. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Keep an eye on their web site as the last couple of years they have offered early booking discounts around November for the following year.

We travelled Portsmouth to St Malo last month on an overnight sailing. The cost included an inside cabin which does sleep 4 (2 bunks). This worked well. Check in was swift at Portsmouth and also unloading at St Malo.

We were planning to come back Caen-Portsmouth to give us an overnight sailing on the return trip (rather than the daytime St Malo-Portsmouth) but all Brittany Ferry sailings were cancelled because of industrial action by some ferry crew. I can't comment on this sailing. Brittany Ferries came up trumps over this. They emailed us and explained that alternative arrangements had been made with P&O to carry all their passengers free between Calais and Dover and that they would reimburse the cost of the sailing.

We didn't like the P&O crossing as much. Passport control and check in were chaotic as there were so many cars. There was another ferry unloading at Dover and also a freight carrying ferry when we docked so roads from the port were very busy. The Brittany Ferry experience is much more relaxed and pleasant.

We've also used Plymouth-Roscoff but this seems a long way for you to drive and Portsmouth does make sense.

They are our ferry of choice and we'll be using them again next summer (booking when the new brochure comes out).

Essex
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3. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Sign up for mail from Ferrysavers - they often send out info when the fares are cheapest!

Also aferry and directferries are other good websites for 'bargain' fares and are both stacked with information about all sorts of different ferry routes and companies!:

http://www.ferrysavers.com/

http://www.aferry.co.uk/

http://www.directferries.co.uk/

Letchworth, United...
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4. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Based on my original post and the replies so far (thank you everyone), I think it is likely that I will sail from Portsmouth and perhaps do a different route on the way out to the one back but that may be dictated by price.

Perhaps a night sailing from Portsmouth to somewhere and a day-sailing return. I appreciate that where we stay in Brittany (as yet to be decided) may dictate some of this. The idea behind the night sailing is simply that we have young children and thought they might be super excited by sleeping on a ferry.

As suggested, I have signed up for newsletters from all of the relevant ferry providers and agents but I would still welcome any recommendations about getting the best deal.

Has anyone tried booking through, as an example, the French site of Brittany Ferries?

I will post any good options I find but if anyone has anything to suggest I would really appreciate it.

Thanks again in advance.....

Letchworth, United...
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5. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Just a quic refresh of this post. Does anyone have anything else to add? Really appreciate any additional thoughts.....

Thanks.

Exeter, United...
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6. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Hi there.

I travel regularly to France and only came back a couple of weeks ago.

I always use Brittany Ferries and mainly use the overnight crossing from Portsmouth to St Malo.

Its a good sailing due to the times. mid evening departure gives you time to get onboard and settle in. Perhaps have some food or a drink in the bar. There is usually a cabaret on this sailing. A cabin is a must! Also you will get free breakfast with a cabin. Arrival early in the morning leaves the whole day ahead of you!

The french side of Brittany Ferries do not offer promotions or discounts as a rule. You will need to look on the english side for that.

If you are looking at Ille et Villaine as an area to explore then look at Combourg as a base. It is perfectly situated most things are 30mins away by car. They have a town run camping site or there is a very large site near Dol de Bretange.. Camping des Ormes.

Hope this helps :)

London, UK
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7. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

On the Portsmouth-St Malo route you normally have no choice but to travel out on a night crossing and home by day. To the aboe comment I would add to try to be on deck for the approch to St Malo which, depending on weather and tide, can be magnificent.

Letchworth, United...
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8. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

Thanks everyone; much appreciated.

For those that have done the night trip from the UK and then a day trip back, have you always gone back on the same route or have you gone back from another port? Perhaps as its a shorter journey more suited for the daytime? Is this cost effective?

Exeter, United...
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9. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

In answer to your last question i have often come back by other routes.

As they are day crossings the quicker the better really!

You have two options in Normandy from Caen or Cherbourg going to Portsmouth or Poole.

The crossing back from St Malo is very long.... and this particular route is more expensive. So the above two options would be quicker and cheaper.

10. Re: Ferry crossing (England to Brittany)

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