Brittany Ferries – would you?
Well, yes we would, actually.
When we booked our Keycamp holiday, the provided travel arrangements were a straightforward Dover-Calais crossing. Which is fine, of course. Except it’s a 3+ hour drive for us along the cost to Dover. Then the crossing. Then another 6 or so hours back down the length of France to where we wanted to be. We know from last year that this is bad enough going out – but at the end of the holiday, when all the bags are packed, the cheese is stinking out the car, and you just want to get ho-o-ome… that 3hr journey when you get off the ferry is a killer. It’s a nearly-there…but-not-quite-yet nightmare.
So when Brittany Ferries waved a hand in the air and asked if we’d rather travel the longer Poole-Cherbourg crossing courtesy of their Condor Express service (on the Seacat) we considered it for about 2 nanoseconds, and then not-at-all-reluctantly said “yes please!”. Quite Loudly.
So. The crossing is longer than the standard Dover-Calais 90 minutes; 2 1/2 hrs on the Condor Express, and 4 1/2 on the Barfleur ‘normal’ ferry but not dreadfully so – and still saves time when you consider driving round. The price for six of us, plus car, in August is £340 return. When we factor in the time and petrol in driving all the way round, it’s a no-brainer. Poole is easy to access for most fo the southern half of the country, and landing half way down France is SUCH a bonus, really helping you start your holiday just that bit faster (we caught the 7 a.m. ferry from Poole, and were actually in the pool at the Parc de Fierbois by 4.30 that afternoon).
The ferry itself is bright and spacious, with good food facilities (breakfast was good, and having Costa Coffee on board was a lifesaver), including a small children’s room with a tv playing (TopCat. Yay.) where no one minded if the small ones rampaged a little as it’s tucked away from the rest of the passengers. We had reserved reclining seats, which the children didn’t sit in much, but my husband as designated driver was VERY happy to make use of, and was really glad we had.
For us? Brittany Ferries were by far the easiest way to get to France, and a much nicer, quieter, calmer experience (yes, even with 4 over-excited children at 7 in the morning) than other crossings we may have tried…
Brittany Ferries Poole to Cherbourg prices start from just £89pp for return ferry sailings. This is based on two people travelling with a standard sized car when you holiday for five nights or less. Day trips cost from just £23pp.