Apologies this post isn’t too timely seeings as it’s now winter!!
23/07/19 - 04/08/19
plymouth - santander
santander - portsmouth
first of all we’d originally booked to sail from Portsmouth but due to the tech issues we were moved to Plymouth which was annoying but no disaster!
arrived with plenty of time in Plymouth and found the check in a queue very good. On board in good time and as expected filled up as first proper day of school holidays.
our cabin was fine with a tv and shower room, only unfortunate element was the whole cabin was covered in a thick layer of dust and our sons bed linen was covered in wet black marker pen, (I can only assume it was used as a desk on the previous trip and the linen not changed in Plymouth). After changing our sons clothes went up for some dinner. Again, as expected it was packed but the quality of the food in the self serve restaurant was excellent.
the journey across the channel wasn’t rough, however the swell was fairly noticeable and it was obvious a lot of people weren’t expecting it (including our 9 year old after his pizza!). Our cabin was towards the front and the waves coming off the bow were quite noisy through the night but it was a good nights sleep. Breakfast was good and we had a day wondering round, playing board games in our cabin and reading.
Departure at Santander was easy and we spent the holiday in Brittany ferries casa in a village called Guemes (about 20 km east of Santander). Lots of lovely days out around the north of Spain and it has quickly become a favourite European holiday destination.
return to Portsmouth on Cap Finistere.
this was the Saturday evening sailing and again an easy boarding (delay getting to cabin due to cleaning) - this was no issue though and once we got in the cabin and had a shower (we’d been at the safari park near Santander all day before sailing) we went up for dinner and had a lovely beef stew/cabonara/fish and chips and all food again was spot on. The sailing was perfectly smooth the whole way back and I had my best ever nights sleep on a ship in a very comfy bed. We had breakfast in the main restaurant and it was again perfectly nice, even accommodating our sons request for beans on toast!! Spent a lovely day at the back of the vessel in the lounge reading/ watching the bf staff training on climbing and watching the desk staff hosting down all the vehicles parked outside at the back. Had our evening meal in the self service before arriving back in Portsmouth. We also had our quickest ever exit through customs and passport control. We docked at 1925ish and were home in Botley by 2035! Apart from really uncomfortable beds in our casa it was a lovey family holiday and have booked for northern Spain again in 2020 for our main summer holiday.
I have read nearly every review on her of the Pont Aven and Cap Finistere and in my personal opinion I preferred the Cap Finistere, mainly because we preferred what felt like a more spacious area in the lounge at the back of the ship and the cabin was more comfortable and cleaner. Both vessels were good and would be happy to go on both again - when growing up I spent every summer in France in a BF gite holiday and I brought back wonderful memories and for me has become a preferred method of travel to Europe over flying!