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About VikingVoyager

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  • Birthday 19/11/1978

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  1. In this pic, it looks like they have added a "party dome", in the style of Stena Fantasia!
  2. I think that this just a bone being thrown to distract from Yellowhammer. A true return to Duty Free would mean that zero duty rates would be applied, i.e. you wouldn't even be paying the duty in the country that the product was bought in. If that's the case,we must assume that there would be fairly strict limits on what you can buy. At the moment we can bring in as much French wine and Belgian beer as we can carry - will that change, I wonder? If one was at the expense of the other, I know which I would choose, and it wouldn't be a litre of Vodka.
  3. We go to France most years (or Germany, Austria, Netherlands etc) with the kids and the tin tent. To get us and the caravan there and back usually costs about £700 but we get six nights site fees included for that, which is worth about £250. We could save about £150 by using a short sea route but it's not worth the hassle as we live oop north. Despite those costs we find France to be roughly similar, probably cheaper, than the UK for our two week holiday. Here in the UK. we'd probably end up somewhere like Cornwall and on a campsite without the great pool facilities that we can find in France, which keeps the kids happy. We find that visiting attractions like chateaux, museums and kid-centric things like sealife centres and small theme parks is cheaper in France than the UK. Even things like parking are more reasonable. We find we eat out much less as we can picnic nearly every day although the food items in the supermarket trolley are a little dearer than the UK. It's also preferable due to the weather and less frenetic atmosphere. We can also escape from the more annoying Brits! If brexit happens, I think we'll be even more likely to continue our trips - if only to show the kids what life is like outside of the increasingly closed-in UK.
  4. Well the answer's clear then. Barfleur to replace Bretagne, which should increase numbers even further due to leap forward in passenger experience and Pont to Poole. Job done.
  5. Yes, the return holds even less attraction. We would probably opt for a Caen return crossing when booking with BF. Just us though, I know lots love route
  6. I'm not criticising the idea of paying a premium for better sailing times. For us though, it's always a non starter. It sets off a bit late from the UK (we'd rather be in time for an evening meal with young kids and some relaxation before bed).
  7. And they are able to charge quite a premium for it too!
  8. On that basis, wouldn't an Ireland Vigo route make more sense? That would be from one EU port to another. Ships bringing exports from the Ireland to the UK could return loaded with both UK to Ireland exports and UK to Spain / Portugal people and goods. Ireland would become the land bridge!
  9. We nearly always used Cherbourg as our holiday route as a family in the 80s. It was a choice of that or Le Havre and it won because: shorter crossing (but still long enough for a break) - any extra distance done in the car quickly neutralises when you spend less time sailing a bit cheaper we were nearly always holidaying in western France so little or no benefit from Le Havre in terms of travel time All of those things still hold true if your destination is west or south of Paris and still hold true when you compare them to St Malo. The only problem with Cherbourg now is getting to Poole! Most of the above applies to hauliers too, though they of course need to factor in rest breaks too.
  10. Nearly always an overnighter for me. So maybe half a bottle of wine and a pint or so (the night before)
  11. We live in the western bit of Yorkshire and holiday in mainland Europe. We nearly always go from Hull unless we were specifically visiting Brittany. This year for example, we'll be driving from Zeebrugge to the Dordogne as it cuts out the trip to Portsmouth. We'll do 85 miles in the UK and then 530 in France (total 615). We could go Portsmouth St Malo and do 280 UK miles and 335 French ones (total 615 - sound familiar). Each UK mile can be more of a bind, especially when there is a ferry to catch and we very much like the Hull crossing as you get a really good chance to relax, so it's a no brainer. All of that said, if there was a Liverpool St Malo crossing, or maybe even a Gretna (!!!) St Malo (as a compromise to the Scots! - might require a bit of dredging and port construction) we'd take a look at it. According to my measurements, that crossing would be about 460 NM. At 22 knots average speed you would still be looking at a 21 hour crossing. Would 3 hours be sufficient turnaround to allow one ship to do a daily crossing in one direction? Pie in the Sky but fun none the less.
  12. How much longer does it take to turnaround a Spirit than a Pride? The last time I did the straits was in 2012 (Calais to Dover on a Spirit). This was an unscheduled trip paid for by BF as we couldn't use Armorique due industrial relations. We did a booze cruise the previous year on one of the Darwins / and a Spirit. For the length of the crossing we found all the ships to be well suited. I certainly don't recall being bowled over my MSM in comparison (other than increased deck space) when we used it three years ago.
  13. Reading this thread somewhat bemusedly. There seems to be some evidence that loading is often very ad-hoc - are these just the exceptions that people have happened to notice? We travel mostly on P&O North Sea and mostly with a caravan - so we know which deck we are going to be on. Time of arrival does very much so influence time of boarding but these boats have a very leisurely turn around. My own guess is that with BF, it's not that the loading pattern is all that complex really but that they need to ensure that they have enough of the right spaces to load quickly and without gaps - due to the tighter turn arounds. That in itself brings complexity but of a different kind.
  14. This is one my favourite pictures of her: the best cruise ferry of the 1980s
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