Brittany ferries is another cross channel operator that is able
to offer the classic cruise, along with high speed services that sail from Portsmouth,
Poole and Plymouth to the ports of Cherbourg, Caen, Roscoff and St Malo in France, and
having the option of getting further down into France to places like the port of St Malo,
can mean far less driving to get to your desired destination. And this means that
whilst on board you can relax while enjoying the many facilities they have to offer, even
opting for a cabin that all have en-suite facilities, so you can get a great rest and
arrive at your port of call ready and refreshed before the next part of your journey.
Yet for a short ferry crossing, you may just like to do
a bit of duty free shopping and catch a bite to eat or a have lovely café latte before
walking out on deck to experience the sea breeze and the scenery as you are entering the
harbour. Whereas on a longer ferry crossing, not only do you also have the
option of a cabin, but the services on offer are even vaster, with numerous different
restaurants, bars, and activities, obviously the ever important onboard duty free shopping
and in some cases they even have entertainment such as a band, cinema or disco, mind you,
the disco can be an interesting experience in high swells when you really don't need to
move as the boat is doing it for you!!
Obviously, they all have Bureau de Change facilities for exchanging your currency into
Euros, which is the French currency, but normally you are only ever provided with notes,
so it is also a good idea to use a Euro note to get some change and if cannot do this on
board then try and do it as soon as possible, as you will find this extremely useful for
things such as a coffee in a petrol station or utilising some of the public toilets.
And even though you can convert your Euro coins back to your own currency onboard the
ferries, which you cannot do back in your country, if you think you will be taking a trip
to Europe in the near future, it is worth while keeping hold of a few coins for this very
reason, as it will save you hassle next time around.
Now, you are probably aware that you can also get to France via the Channel Tunnel, which
is quicker than even by travelling via high speed ferry as the EuroTunnel will only take around 35
minutes from Folkestone, whereas the high speed catamarans take just under an hour and the
ferry crossing is an average of 90 minutes. But we have found that with the
onboard ferry facilities that cater for children of all ages, including the provisions of
baby food and changing areas for the extremely young through to play areas and then the
video arcades for the older children, it can make for a more peaceful trip for the
stressed out adults, rather than being stuck in a train, even if it is only for a short
And if like us, you have decided on a weekend break,
or travelling back over the weekend so that your children get back to school on time, then
don't forget that most places are shut on a Sunday, so if you have certain activities in
mind, double check that it is not a national holiday or odd hours, otherwise you will end
up with rather a bored party! And as we always say now, planning is very important,
especially in France, when they tend to stop for at least two hours every day for lunch!
And this is especially important if you are travelling through France and want to stock up
with your beer and wine before heading for the ferry
But providing you know to avoid the national holidays (which are always cheaper
crossings), if you hunt around you can find some excellent deals, right through from day
trips to France, a 5 day return, or even an open ended ticket for any length of time you
wish to go on holiday in France and we have found
that Norfolk Line and Sea France offer some fantastic prices, but not all operators take
all credit cards on board, which is the same for paying for your ticket, such as American
Express, so it is worth checking if you always use a card such as Amex.
The only other thing we have to say, is enjoy the whole experience, as it can become part
of your French holiday.