France drive time v ferry time

(14 Posts)
RedNats5 Sat 13-Apr-13 09:10:15

We are thinking of booking last minute trip to the vendee in may half term.
Brittany ferries will cost £628, i can get for £320 using avios points but i was saving those for eurodisney. And is then 4.5 hr drive, I can get euro tunnel for free on tesco rewards but it is a 7hr drive time.

We would stay in a hotel on the Calais side before tackling the drive the next day. So 4 hrs down to Folkestone, euro tunnel and then hotel then Drive to vendee.
The other way would be 4hrs to Portsmouth, hotel, high speed ferry to Le Havre then 4.5 hr drive.

Has anyone any experience of either drive/crossing and can offer any advice. We can share the driving

dingit Sat 13-Apr-13 09:14:26

We have done Calais to Vendee and it's not too bad, and our dcs were tiny. Do you have a car DVD player. It's a sanity saver. Oh yes and with headphones, so you can listen to music!

RedNats5 Sat 13-Apr-13 09:31:37

Yep got those, lifesavers indeed. Dc's travel well used to 4.5hrs drive for their grandparents.
They are 8,6&4.

ClaudiaWinklepants Sat 13-Apr-13 09:42:33

We have done Essex to Var, South of France in 12 hours. This was via the euro tunnel/Chunnel & we left at 12 midnight. 2 shared driving with minimal breaks. Upside is everyone slept in car well, downside who ever is in the passenger seat gets interrupted by being on the wrong side for the tolls (iyswim).

Pulled on our drive way in France at 11.58 that morning.

Portable DVDs/iPods etc a must, along with picnic and travel sick arm bands grin

The tunnel crossing cost us £100 and was so easy. Then factor in cost of tolls and petrol & snacks at service station. I believe if you do a serve online, you can find a petrol cost calculator too.

Bon voyage! smile

peppersquint Sat 13-Apr-13 19:41:50

If you can afford it I'd say take the BF crossing. The tolls from Calais to the Vendee will be over a hundred euros each way as well as extra petrol. Also it's a real nightmare to negotiate around Rouen at the moment as there are complex diversions. Hope this helps

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 14-Apr-13 19:25:58

A little confused as you talk about Brittany high speed to Le Havre. When Brittany goes to Caen and LD lines go to Le Havre. If you are looking at Brittany it is worth checkling LD lines as they are often considerably cheaper making the choice easier.

RedNats5 Sun 14-Apr-13 19:36:36

Still can't decide what to do. Brittany ferries do got to Le Havre as well it's a high speed at 7am. The ld lines is an overnight leaving at 11pm and there's no cabins left as its may halfterm so unfortunately isn't really an option for us. Dh thinks we should go euro tunnel and drive I think Brittany ferries and less drive time

Iseeall Sun 14-Apr-13 19:44:20

Calais to the Vendee is a full day drive imo, once you are off the main autoroutes(if you use them) I would suggest you take a very early eurotunnel or ferry crossing. We have been touring for 23yrs or so now in France/Europe (with kids) and imo journeys always take longer than you think.

RedNats5 Sun 14-Apr-13 20:08:09

But thanks yes the price would have been loads less it there was any availability. Our fault for not booking earlier

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 14-Apr-13 20:35:09

Okay then what about the half way house LD lines Newhaven to Dieppe only a 3 hour crossing?

frenchfancy Sun 14-Apr-13 20:56:20

If you are going to the Vendee the shortest drive (about 3 hours to the south Vendée) is from St Malo; The next best option is Caen (about 4.5hours);

We have done Calais in 6.5 hours, but it does depend alot on Rouen.

As said don't forget to factor in the toll charges. Either Caen or St Malo you only pay for the bit south of Nantes, so about 8€. For full charges use the via michelin site.

Yonihadtoask Thu 18-Apr-13 11:36:39

I wouild do the tunnel.

Even factoring in extra costs of fuel, tolls and time - you are in control of the journey.

Our recent trips do take a long time - as we are 4 or 5 hours drive just to get to Folkestone - but I much prefer the tunnel. You can turn up early and often get on - no messing about having to be there an hour in advance of sailing time. No sea sickness.

HarrogateMum Sat 20-Apr-13 11:49:40

Don't forget your tag! You can buy in uk at Sanef tolling website.

slalomsuki Tue 23-Apr-13 06:05:19

I would do the overnight ferry to st Malo or Caen. Get a cabin and all have a sleep and a short drive. It's usually cheaper than the fastcraft.

Speaking from experience with 3 kids here.

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