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Shefford

Pont Aven - Portsmouth/St Malo 12/14 March 17

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Thanks to everyone at BFE for arranging the latest offer. I certainly got my money's worth this time as I did a Portsmouth-St Malo return trip on Pont Aven.

 

We arrived at Portsmouth at 19.00, managed to avoid the security shed, and drove onto PA straight away. Looked like they had started boarding very early as we were parked on Deck 3 and there were already plenty of vehicles on Deck 4. Found our cabin for two nights, 6488 at the stern, which was just by the cabin we had on our previous PA trip.

 

Headed to the self-service for a light meal, however choices were fairly limited, especially with the salads & cheeses etc. The ship was fairly empty so they were obviously catering accordingly.

 

Had a wander around, then there was an announcement at 20.15 to say that we would not be sailing on time as the harbour was closed due to the discovery of a WW2 ordnance at Southsea. Luckily it was not a long delay, and we sailed at 21.40 and arrived on time the next day.

 

Had a fairly good night's sleep - there was a bit of swaying about through the night - and decided to stay in bed as long as possible as we not be kicked out of the cabin. This decision nearly backfired as we were still half-asleep when the call for Deck 3 drivers came through - the ship hadn't even docked at St Malo. We made it to Deck 3 with two minutes to spare before we were instructed to drive off. At least one other car (at the front of a central lane) was still missing its driver so everyone else was having to negotiate around it.

 

Having docked at 8.15, by 8.40 we were ensconced in the Café du Theatre in St Servan for breakfast. Next we headed off to Dinan for supermarket shopping and lunch, then drove to Dinard and parked in the Parc de Port Breton. We walked down to the bay from there, saw PA over at St Malo, and walked around the coast for a while before heading back to St Malo over the barrage. Finished the day with a walk on the walls. Perfect sunny weather all day.

 

Boarding was from 18.30 and we didn't take long to get through the French security check - they were looking at passports then checking car boots. We were back in our cabin by 19.00 then headed up to Le Flora just after the 19.30 opening time. Sadly the two buffets option was not on the menu, so we had the main course with buffet options instead. The mains we had were vegetable ravioli and fillet of beef, they were OK but nothing special. The buffets however were well up to standard.

 

Had a much calmer crossing back, breakfast in the self-service, then docked on time at 7.45. Took a bit longer to disembark this time as we were on Deck 4. Got through passport control very quickly and home by 10.00 after an excellent trip.

 

PS: I can't see any way to add captions to the photos - can you only add captions to the photos in the gallery?

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You'd think that there should be a requirement for planning permission to allow that monstrosity (of a funnel) to park in such a prominent position on the waterfront of historic St Malo!

 

Great report!

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The funnel looks a lot worse in the top photo, which was taken from Dinard.

Back in St Malo, there was a Condor vessel docked as well, which left sometime around 17.00.

 

PA-&-Condor-ferry.jpg

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Lovely photos...it's certainly true to say Pont-Aven looks much better from some angles than others! Almost to the extent that she looks a different ship if viewed from the front as opposed to side-on.  

Very much looking forward to reacquainting myself with her in two weeks time!

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