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Ferries to Santander and Bilbao?

(11 Posts)
swlmum Fri 24-May-13 11:18:12

Anyone done this trip? Either from Plymouth or Portsmouth? We usually drive to southern France but this time thought we might get an overnight ferry to Spain in August.
Just looking for any tips and whether it might be fun/ a nightmare with a 6 year old and 4 year old.
The premium cabins are all booked up but we thought we might get 2x2 berths rather than squeezing into a 4 berth as don't really fancy the bunks and DH thinks it's important to have an outside cabin?
Santander is 1 night on board and Bilbao is 2 for some reason..
Thanks!

milkwasabadchoice Fri 24-May-13 22:22:34

It's excellent! Such a grat way to start the holiday - v relaxing! Decent food, lots of entertainment, and the excitement of a night on board for the children. We lived it. But do take a good stash of books and games.
Not sure about two nights though. Might be a bit long! We did Plymouth to Santander on the pont aven boat. Was good.

MinimalistMommi Sun 26-May-13 12:40:34

I've read the crossing can be notoriously rough in bad weather sad
What sort of prices is it looking like?

milkwasabadchoice Mon 27-May-13 07:58:43

It's true the bay of biscay can be v bumpy and uncomfortable. We happened to have a sea as flat as a pancake, but otherwise perhaps my enthusiasm would be a bit cooler...

Umlauf Mon 27-May-13 08:12:34

We live about an hour from Bilbao and use the ferry a lot. Its awesome! Some people on it just have the ferry as their holiday, they just go there and back.

It was fantastic when my siblings and I were kids (although it was p&o then) as they had a soft play area, kids club, inema etc. you sometimes see dolphins swimming alongside the ship and one year hundreds of whales! I love the longer crossings, they're so relaxing. We often drive through France if the ferry costs too much and its so stressful. I'd recommend it.

rememberingnothing Mon 27-May-13 08:38:25

We did it with DDs aged 1.9 and 5 months. Was great. We were able to take all the stuff we wanted. Buggy car seats travel cot. Ferry was fine with bunks. Dd1 did painting and soft play. Lots of toddling around. 2 nights is better as more time sleeping less time awake! The crossing time is the same.

mikkii Mon 27-May-13 08:41:01

I looked at this, but found it was cheaper to fly, even if we hire a car once in Spain.

swlmum Mon 27-May-13 13:21:49

Thanks for all the replies. Will definitely think about it as getting a bit bored with the usual drive! Just hope it's not choppy....mentioned it to the DCs who got very excited at the idea!

dufflefluffle Mon 27-May-13 13:26:53

Don't discount an internal cabin as I have had the best nights sleep ever becasue of the complete darkness in those. DD was very anxious about not having a window but also slept better. And the 2 berth cabins are one up/one down, aren't they? like half a 4 berth....

swlmum Mon 27-May-13 14:16:58

Thanks re inside cabin... Some of the 2 berths are side by side as well.

Umlauf Mon 27-May-13 15:06:56

One of the good things about inside cabins is that you don't feel as seasick as you don't have the horizon moving around to disorientate you. I usually have the inside cheapest cabins. The bunk beds are fine too, they come with straps which my mum used to strap me and my siblings in in choppy weather to stop us falling out!!

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