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Cap Finistere Pont Aven or Baie De Seine


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Thinking of travelling to Northern Spain in mid June, then back up through France via St Malo or Caen. Which would you recommend - Pont, Cpa or Baie. Baie goes early morning so would have to pay for overnight stay which seems to wipe out price advantage.

 

Will have a dog, but all dog friendly cabins seem to have gone.

 

Baie de Seine would appear boring for such a long crossing.

 

Cap Finsitere - what are cabins like? Concerned there is no self service.

 

Is the 2 night sialing on the Cap that bad?

 

Which is likely to be or fell the busier - this can make a difference e.g. quiet Cap would be preferred to busy Pont - does a particular ship cope better with max loads?

 

Cheers for your help.

 

MARTHA

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The Cap is the better sea boat and probably feels less busy. I also think the berths on the Pont (unless you are paying for deluxe or better) - are poor.

The Baie was a popular boat on her runs to Denmark. As a good night's sleep is my preference to listening to a band for a few hours or playing bingo...

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In my experience the cabins on Cap Finistere are very good, comfortable and quiet, and of course there are some pet friendly ones.

 

Personally, I like the Cap Finistere a lot, but for general range of facilities I think most people would agree it has to be Pont Aven, particularly if you are travelling as a family and during the summer. I can't comment on Baie de Seine, but she was nice enough in her previous life with DFDS, though I would say not a match for Cap Finistere.

 

I don't know what the two night crossing to Bilbao is like but I would love to try it!

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Depends where you want to sail to and what day you want to sail on. As you have reported the pet cabins have all gone then that must mean you have a particular crossing or selection of crossings in mind. But as you have a dog then the unavailability of dog faclities on the sailing(s) you are looking at rather stuffs you.

 

If you consider that spending two nights aboard (for what is effectively a 30 hour crossing) is potentially "bad" then you would probably consoder a 24 hour crossing potentially "bad" too and it might be that a long distance ferry journey is not for you. Might be better to consider a shorter crossing to France. The shortest way of reaching France at this time of year is via Poole on Barfleur. From what I have read on the forum Poole is a must-visit, almost sacred, place, and as your previously contemplated journey was from Plymouth I would imagine that you would find it eminently accessible. A voyage aboard the mystical Barfleur will leave you feeling deleriously uplifted, and you will be able to cross to Cherbourg without havng to worry about cabins at all. When you get there there will be plenty of space to give the dog a run-around before continuing on your onward journey as there is hardly anybody else in Cherbourg these days.

 

If you want a bit of variety on your return journey you might like to try the fast ferry from St Malo back to Poole. Fast is a bit of a misnomer because it stops at St Helier and St Peter Port on the way (if the captain feels like it) and takes most of the day, but when you are at sea the vessel involved will feel more like a cross between a plane and a roller coaster. What better way to finish a holiday!

 

Hope that helps and do let us know how you get on! 😀

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Timing is everything. I learned that with long haul flights leaving or arriving at silly o'clock. And the best timings on the ferries to Spain are the Sunday afternoon sailings at about 4pm. out out Plymouth, arriving on Monday midday at Santander. And with a dog in kennels it's the quickest crossing too.

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Cheers for the advice. Think it will depend on timings. CAP sounds ok, and I don't mind the two dayer especially if we call at Roscoff on the way.

 

Can nayone explain the kennel facilities for a large retreiver type dog, as all cabins have gone will have to us the kennels.

 

as spending time in North East Spain before going back via France don't suppose it makes much difference if it's Santander or Bilbao.

 

Don't think the option of the st Malo Pooole catamaran is a sensible one!

 

Marth

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I wouldn't have put my Golden retriever in a kennel on any ship in my opinion it's far too stressful for a dog to be locked up like that for 20 odd hours with visits now and then but plenty people do I'm sure if you ring BF they will tell you the size of the kennels.

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I agree with you. You would have thought that Pont as a purpose built ship would at leat have a 5* purpose built designated area with rooms fro dogs to sleep in.

 

Having travelled Stena Harwich to Hoek, the kennels there were of a very good size and tv in cabin to keep a look. Not bad for a short overnight crossing, but I don't think bf reaches this standard for a longer crossing which is disappointing.

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Can't comment on the kennel situation as I don't have a dog, but the crossings you ask about are exactly what we do in the summer. We take the 2 nighter as it arrives in the morning and gives us plenty of time to get to a first night destination.

Although CF doesn't have a self service as such, the petit marche and the deck 10 (near the doggy area) salad/pizza//pasta bar, which also does some plats du jour, more than make up for it.

 

Last June (and indeed this January) the crossings were so smooth we didn't even know we were moving, but even in the worst Biscay can throw at her, there's always a part of the ship where a comfortable ride can be had.

Hope that helps.

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We travel to France regularly with our dog, a cocker spaniel, and have used BdS on a number of crossings. We agree with the comment about kennels, no way. The pet cabins on the BdS are quite good but I am not sure I would choose to cross to Spain on her. A couple of good books would be a minimum for the crossing. It is certainly a pity that Pont Aven does not have pet cabins. I feel sure that arranging these cabins would not be too difficult.

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We have used all the ships mainly on routes to Spain but we have doe the French crossings as well using all northern Frnce ports. As you say Pet Friendly cabins have to be booked well in advance and for the small advance deposit required you can book multiple cabins and nearer the time select the appropriate sailing. CF has pet friendly cabins but PA does not. The kennels on the PA are better than those on CF as they are bigger. Our Cocker Spaniel has travelled these routes for fifteen years and we always book a large kennel for those time that the cabins are not available. Some dogs are stressed and bark all night but visiting your pet can be done at any time with the access swipe card into the kennels. The pet friendly cabins on the BDS are OK but again you do require early booking. The vessel herself is as advertised as "budget" but we have never found reason to complain. In our opinion St.Malo, is the best of the Northern France Ports.

Enjoy....

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I took the opportunity to check out the kennels on Pont Aven during the NY cruise. Not for us - as written in previous posts. The logistics of pet friendly cabins could,I'm sure be addressed, but surely the added income would make ti worthwhile? Pet-friendly cabins are always the first to be booked. A marketing opportunity? Given the popularity of the Spanish routes....

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There are only two of the ten ferry companies which serve the UK which offers pet friendly cabins, BF & IOMSP. On all the rest it's a choice of your vehicle or a kennel.

 

To be fair to BF they do offer pet friendly cabins on two of their three ships which sail to Spain and as ferry companies go in this matter they are actually leading the way. Neither Stena, P&O or DFDS offer this to Holland, Belgium or Ireland, in fact I doubt you'll find any other carriers in western Europe who offers pet friendly cabins on either short or long sea routes.

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Back in the day..... on sailings to Spain there were no kennels or pet friendly cabins... your pet had to stay in your vehicle and at certain times you attended the reception area and you were allowed three controlled visits to the car deck to feed, water and walk your pet up and down the lines of vehicles - hence the watery evidence on vehicle wheels...

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Talking of back in the day - as someone for whom when I began my interest in ferries the quarantine regs were taken very seriously - I still find the idea of pets on cross channel ferries very strange and counter-intuitive. So much effort used to go into making sure people could NOT take pets into the UK with ease. Not quite sure where along the way this changed, but clearly a different world now. I guess rabies must no longer be considered a problem?

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We travel to France regularly with our dog, a cocker spaniel, and have used BdS on a number of crossings. We agree with the comment about kennels, no way. The pet cabins on the BdS are quite good but I am not sure I would choose to cross to Spain on her. A couple of good books would be a minimum for the crossing. It is certainly a pity that Pont Aven does not have pet cabins. I feel sure that arranging these cabins would not be too difficult.

 

I know cocker spaniels are intelligent animals but two books? Something by Sir Arthur Canine Doyle perhaps, or maybe Dogstoyevsky for the more discerning creature. 😉 Ed.

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I'm no expert, but I expect that the previously perceived risks are now lower and the widespread microchipping of pets means that it's now much easier to check and validate animal movements in and out... though, I still find it odd that we can take the dog with us. His passport states his microchip number, the date, make and batch of his rabies vaccination and subsequent tapeworm treatments on each return to the UK as evidence of his compliance. He's confused over Brexit as his passport states he is a member of the EU, but his passport is also blue.

 

Interestingly, for the purposes of bringing him over from Australia, the EU PETS scheme includes Oz which meant that he didn't have to go through quarantine on arrival at Heathrow (just a rather impressive paperwork exercise). However, Australia still considers pets arriving from the UK a risk and requires quarantine.

 

Back to the original point... he's been fine on the tunnel, managed 3.5hrs on Normandie Express in the car quite well and had a total freak out at 2 hours on a DFDS D-Class. I'd take him on a longer western channel crossing, but only in a pet cabin. If I had need to take him to Spain, I'd cross to France and drive.

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I'm no expert, but I expect that the previously perceived risks are now lower and the widespread microchipping of pets means that it's now much easier to check and validate animal movements in and out... though, I still find it odd that we can take the dog with us. His passport states his microchip number, the date, make and batch of his rabies vaccination and subsequent tapeworm treatments on each return to the UK as evidence of his compliance. He's confused over Brexit as his passport states he is a member of the EU, but his passport is also blue.

 

Interestingly, for the purposes of bringing him over from Australia, the EU PETS scheme includes Oz which meant that he didn't have to go through quarantine on arrival at Heathrow (just a rather impressive paperwork exercise). However, Australia still considers pets arriving from the UK a risk and requires quarantine.

 

Back to the original point... he's been fine on the tunnel, managed 3.5hrs on Normandie Express in the car quite well and had a total freak out at 2 hours on a DFDS D-Class. I'd take him on a longer western channel crossing, but only in a pet cabin. If I had need to take him to Spain, I'd cross to France and drive.

 

It is now much easier to comply with the Pet Travel Scheme. Leaving the UK is not much of a problem although they do ask you to scan your pets microchip to identify the animal in the vehicle - However the control aspect is purely for the the return leg back to the UK. The previous timings for vet certification on return for treatment and vet visit being "after 24 hours but before 48 hours" have now been extended to before 5 days..... and the "tick" treatment has been dropped.. just the worming tablet is necessary - the vets costs however remain the same!!! Cats have now been deregularised and no longer need a visit to the vet for their travel.... a bit unfair really ? Our Cocker Spaniels Passport is also Blue... but of course he is not a member of the EU while ours reamin Burgundy and we also not members of the EU....

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Sorry to spoil the joke but technically we are still members for about 2 years yet

 

You missed his point - he is Manx (clue is in the name) and hence not a member of the EU. I didn't read what he wrote as an attempted joke at all.

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I know cocker spaniels are intelligent animals but two books? Something by Sir Arthur Canine Doyle perhaps, or maybe Dogstoyevsky for the more discerning creature. 😉 Ed.

 

 

Eh Ed you want to seem them play scrabble... Now that would really make you paws for thought! :eek:

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Timing is everything. I learned that with long haul flights leaving or arriving at silly o'clock. And the best timings on the ferries to Spain are the Sunday afternoon sailings at about 4pm. out out Plymouth, arriving on Monday midday at Santander. And with a dog in kennels it's the quickest crossing too.

 

 

I completely agree. The Sunday afternoon Plymouth sailing is by far the most sociable. Basically, get onboard, watch the departure.... few drinks, meal, entertainment in the bar, bed. Nice lay in, late breakfast/brunch, and you are in Spain for Midday. It's almost perfect! And of course still the quickest sailing to Spain as there is not the annoying drag up/down the channel to Pompey!

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