Am trying to cost our holiday for next year but Brittany ferries haven't published their timetable for next year. Just wondering if anyone has used the Portsmouth to St Malo overnight crossing on fri/sat in August and could give me an approximate idea of cost? Also how much would a cabin be for 4? Cheers!
Haven't done that crossing, but have done Poole/Cherbourg quite a few times (and Portsmouth/Caen once too). Seem to recall that the last time I looked for August it was over £400 for Poole/Cherbourg (two years ago). Not 100% sure... we decided it was too expensive and went through the tunnel and drove instead!
We priced it two years ago for a Normandy holiday and I remember it coming in at about the £650 mark, which was way too expensive so we did Dover-Calais instead for about £100 and drove at the other end.
It depends a lot on when you want to travel. BF know full well most people are tied to school holidays, but if you can do the 1st two weeks of July before most schools finish it's usually cheaper. We have a gite here in South Brittany, and advertise with BF as well - they are late publishing the schedules this year, but according to the info we've recieved they should be out in the next week to ten days. My advice for the most convenient, and cost effective way to do it would be ; O/night to St Malo (if poss 1st 2 weeks of July) return journey via Cherbourg or Caen on the fast craft (the St Malo return is VERY boring during the day) if whoever you are staying with advertises with BF you will get around 20% off their advertised fares. Last summer on a route similar to above I would say you would pay around £500.00 for an average sized car (inc discount) If you haven't booked with anyone yet, please can I put a link to our website on here?! www.gitegorvello.com Hope that helps a bit....
When we booked ferry and gite with Brittany ferries last August the ferry and gite price (£600 ish for a week) for the crossing was less than the ferry crossing alone would have been, so all inclusive definitely saves costs. I know you said that you wanted fri/sat crossings but if there is any way you can work it crossings on mon-weds are also v significantly cheaper.
If you take a gite via BF for one week you can book your crossings much further apart than that and do a two centre holiday if you have your heart set on a specific place and still benefit from the considerable saving on doing a combined holiday.
Another piece of advice that might be invaluable to someone! We are a family of five and as I begrudged paying for a second cabin we booked one cabin and a reclining seat - I expected two of the kids would easily top and tail. The bunks are absolutely tiny! No way would the kids share with each other. I ended up sharing with DD aged 4 and had to sleep with one hand holding me up all night to avoid falling off the edge.
An alternative to the Dover Calias crossing that comes in cheaper is to go on LD Lines Portsmouth to Le Havre, which does get you considerably further West than Calais, although still with extra driving compared to St Malo. Saturday to Saturday in August 2009 for a family of four in a standard car comes in at around £300 so quite a bit less.