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Brittany ferries

(31 Posts)
sorrycamel Wed 08-Mar-17 10:27:35

I've just looked up ferries from Portsmouth to St Malo for a summer holiday. They seem much more expensive than I thought they would be - does anyone have any discount codes or know if Brittany offer codes?

jenpetronus Wed 08-Mar-17 11:13:59

I've messaged you sorrycamel

MrsMarigold Wed 08-Mar-17 11:38:29

They're insane, Dover to Dunkirk is worth it, we can't believe we wasted so much money on Brittany Ferries over the years. Also the more you look at the prices the more expensive they get.

jenpetronus Wed 08-Mar-17 12:37:23

They are expensive, but it depends where you're going. If you're heading to Eastern France or into Europe and or you live near Dover, I'd say it's worth doing a shorter channel hop.
Anywhere in Western France, you've got to factor in tolls and fuel too. From Calais to Vannes (where I live) is €30 in tolls and around €60 in fuel, plus a days driving.

oldwife Wed 08-Mar-17 12:41:01

They are really pricey. However it's all down to whether it reduces your actual driving time? Can you get sleep on board? In those ways it can be worth it to you.

Some holiday companies or villa owners will be able to give you a discount code - if they are in the scheme.

We tend to do Eurotunnel or if it has to be a ferry Newhaven to Dieppe. The tunnel is often more expensive- but it's fast and simple.

dreamingofsun Wed 08-Mar-17 12:44:56

have you looked at mid week crossings? personally i would never do this crossing without a cabin - both ways - they are cheap on the way back.

LowDudgeon Wed 08-Mar-17 12:45:41

We went Portsmouth-le Havre with BF for a trip to the Loire Valley in August, which was quite a lot cheaper on some days at some times.

The drive the other side would be very long though, if you're staying in Brittany.

(& it was a tatty old boat! )

jenpetronus Wed 08-Mar-17 12:45:51

I have a code if anyone needs one, but it's frowned upon to post them publicy. Happy for anyone to use it, but best to pm me.

LowDudgeon Wed 08-Mar-17 14:29:35

they call it "economie"

worth a look

sorrycamel Wed 08-Mar-17 15:16:43

Thanks for the replies and jenpetronus for the code.

I was thinking St Malo as it cuts down the driving in France - which is important with a 3yo who doesn't like to be contained.

I'm glad its not just me who thinks pricing is extortionate. Like a previous poster said, I do wonder if there is some pricing mechanism that puts up prices the more a journey is looked at. I am pretty sure it was much cheaper when I sounded out this holiday idea a few weeks ago. I've cleared cache, but that hasn't helped. Gah.

We were looking at cabins. It says many are sold out already - could it be a ploy to encourage quick bookings at high prices....

LowDudgeon Wed 08-Mar-17 16:49:29

No, not a ploy grin they really do go fast. I used to work for a holiday cottage company who also booked ferries direct with BF (& others) & as the year went on it got really hard to find ferry accommodation - even the booked seats filled up fast (& you have to book something on an overnight crossing, so it used to get very fraught)

jenpetronus Wed 08-Mar-17 17:09:11

The cabin thing is terrible. It makes me quite cross, they know how many people want cabins on those peak school holiday crossings, can they not adjust their sailings to make sure there's enough accommodation for everyone?! hmm

We have several guests who book their cabins the same day the sailings go on sale for the following year to be sure of getting one (usually September)

5OBalesofHay Wed 08-Mar-17 18:39:22

Try sailing to Le Havre, it's often cheaper and not too bad a drive the other end (we do this run sometimes to Renne)

LowDudgeon Wed 08-Mar-17 19:19:36

How bad the drive is rather depends on your final destination grin

We went that way for Blois, but that's a similar distance from Caen & St Malo too - all usually 3h30 - 4h. But in fact ours took quite a bit longer, due to torrential rain. Arrival in Le Havre was 1630 & by the time we got to Blois it was dark & we struggled to find our way.

If you're going west it can be a lot further, & OP mentions having an antsy 3yo in the car! So weighing up cost v travel time is pretty complicated.

averylongtimeago Wed 08-Mar-17 19:46:26

We travel regularly with Brittany Ferries - at least 4 times a year. We are members of the "frequent traveller' s club" and get around 30% discount on fares, free/very cheap day cabins, 15% I think of food and £7.90 food allowance each for breakfast on overnight sailings that's a lot of pain au chocolate
We save over £100 per crossing.

Whether or not the western channel routes are cheaper or more convenient for you depend on where you are traveling from and too. Live in the SE and heading to northern or eastern France/Belgium? Dover every time.

Live in the Midlands/ west of the UK and going to Normandy, Brittanny, central France or western France? Western routes imo are best.

We have priced it many times: travelling from the west Midlands to practically anywhere except Picardy and eastern France and it works out cheaper to use BF. You have to factor in you fuel on both sides of the channel, as well as extra tolls on the payage.
Plus less time driving, no m25, able to sleep on the boat.....

Personally I prefer Portsmouth -Caen to the Economie service to Le Harvre it's just nicer and we like to go for a walk on the beach before we set off driving D Day landing beaches at Caen Ouisteam

If you pm me I can give you a code for 10% discount.

Dotdil Tue 23-May-17 21:32:19

Just noticed your offer of a code for the very expensive Brittany Ferries.
Would really appreciate a discount code if you have one.
Kind regards

jenpetronus Wed 24-May-17 10:02:30

I messaged you last night with it dotdil - let me know if you didn't get it or you need any help with it smile

rainbowthunder Thu 25-May-17 12:06:46

We go to Vendee regularly and occassionally I look at doing the longer crossings but in the end we never do as it costs so much and you don't save any time, though of course you don't have to drive as far.
Also on Eurotunnel and Calais ferries you can usually get on early if you arrive before your booked time.

Whistleblower0 Thu 25-May-17 17:49:28

It's because you've left it far too late to get a decent price. Also all the lower prices cabins will be gone.

The best time to book is anytime from October to December the year before you are going.

We booked Brittany Ferries a few years ago in. November and paid around £400 with cabins. That was for two weeks mid August

jenpetronus Thu 25-May-17 18:20:29

The price of the cabins doesn't change - 2 berth/4 berth/Commodore/Inside/Outside - they are the same price if you get one onboard or when the crossings first go on sale.

I agree the more in advance you book the more choice though.

I've never been aware of prices changing nearer the time - peak school holidays are always more expensive, as is Friday night overnight and weekends. Mid week is cheaper all year round.

Whistleblower0 Thu 25-May-17 19:19:54

There are lower priced cabins though and they sell out first.

jenpetronus Thu 25-May-17 19:52:41

Do you mean the shared ones?

Wendy4557 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:29:54

Does anyone have a discount code for Brittany ferries? I too am struggling with how expensive it is! Thanks in advance

jenpetronus Wed 11-Oct-17 20:14:08

Messaged you Wendy4557

FireballDragon Wed 25-Oct-17 20:49:19

Re: 1. Worth getting reserved seats on daytime crossings in August? 2. Anyone experienced the new Barfleur Club Lounge?

I'm going to jump in on this discussion on a slightly different matter, if I may.

We are travelling in peak season (next August), on daytime crossings (Portsmouth-Caen on the Mont St Michel and Cherbourg-Poole on the Barfleur). Can anyone please advise me on the wisdom of getting reserved seats? Also, has anyone on here experienced the new Club Lounge on the Barfleur (at £18/seat)?

Before now, on other ferries (we are new to BF), we have never had a problem finding a seat so we haven’t reserved any. However that was outside school holidays and before we had children. I assume it will be a different story in peak season and with a young family.

I have considered getting a basic cabin but think it will actually be less comfortable (we do not foresee the children needing to sleep).

Are there tables near the reserved seats e.g. airline-style fold-down tables?

Can anyone please tell me if all lounges have a TV? I’m hoping some don’t – I personally dislike the background sound of a TV.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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