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It's interesting to see they have teamed up with Flixbus to offer connections to Paris. I'd be interested to know if this was BF's initiative or the coach operator's. I doubt there will be many £9 tickets available but even if you have to pay £20 it's pretty reasonable especially if combined with a special offer on the crossing. In France these long distance coaches are a relatively new idea introduced by the economy minister, Mr. Macron, a couple of years ago along the lines of those in the UK and Germany. Prior to that they were not allowed due to the SNCF monopoly. The only coaches were the Eurolines as they were deemed to be international services. The new companies are allowed to operate provided they connect at least two regions and stop at intermediate cities poorly-served by the train network. Has anybody tried any of these new services in France? And if so how do they compare with National Express or Megabus? Ed

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It's interesting to see they have teamed up with Flixbus to offer connections to Paris. I'd be interested to know if this was BF's initiative or the coach operator's. I doubt there will be many £9 tickets available but even if you have to pay £20 it's pretty reasonable especially if combined with a special offer on the crossing. In France these long distance coaches are a relatively new idea introduced by the economy minister, Mr. Macron, a couple of years ago along the lines of those in the UK and Germany. Prior to that they were not allowed due to the SNCF monopoly. The only coaches were the Eurolines as they were deemed to be international services. The new companies are allowed to operate provided they connect at least two regions and stop at intermediate cities poorly-served by the train network. Has anybody tried any of these new services in France? And if so how do they compare with National Express or Megabus? Ed

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Dear Member,

I am pleased to confirm that our services to France and Spain are now on sale for winter 2016 right through to November 2017. This gives you the opportunity to shape your travel plans earlier than ever and highlights our commitment to the destinations that we serve as well as you as members.

As a Club Voyage member, I want you to know that your business is very important to us, which is why you receive this notification ahead of our other customers. I want to give you the best opportunity to select the most popular sailings as well your preferred cabins - all of which you can secure for just a £35 deposit.

yOur membership

I am sure that you will be happy to know that membership savings of up to 30% as well as other on board benefits will be maintained for 2017. Membership fees will also be held at 2016 levels. I hope that you continue to value your membership over the coming twelve months.

Schedules

In 2017, we will continue to offer the widest choice of routes to France and Spain, with a mix of cruise-ferry, high speed and the popular économie services.

This winter we will be continuing our annual fleet maintenance programme which will involve the dry-docking and refurbishment of some of our fleet, including Barfleur, Baie de Seine, Normandie and Etretat. In order to accommodate this some of our ships will be shuffled around which means there will be a slight reduction on some of our services for certain periods this winter.

Thank you once again for your business this year and we look forward to welcoming you on board in 2017.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

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Dear Member,

I am pleased to confirm that our services to France and Spain are now on sale for winter 2016 right through to November 2017. This gives you the opportunity to shape your travel plans earlier than ever and highlights our commitment to the destinations that we serve as well as you as members.

As a Club Voyage member, I want you to know that your business is very important to us, which is why you receive this notification ahead of our other customers. I want to give you the best opportunity to select the most popular sailings as well your preferred cabins - all of which you can secure for just a £35 deposit.

yOur membership

I am sure that you will be happy to know that membership savings of up to 30% as well as other on board benefits will be maintained for 2017. Membership fees will also be held at 2016 levels. I hope that you continue to value your membership over the coming twelve months.

Schedules

In 2017, we will continue to offer the widest choice of routes to France and Spain, with a mix of cruise-ferry, high speed and the popular économie services.

This winter we will be continuing our annual fleet maintenance programme which will involve the dry-docking and refurbishment of some of our fleet, including Barfleur, Baie de Seine, Normandie and Etretat. In order to accommodate this some of our ships will be shuffled around which means there will be a slight reduction on some of our services for certain periods this winter.

Thank you once again for your business this year and we look forward to welcoming you on board in 2017.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

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Dear Member,

We've enjoyed an excellent summer season and I would like to start this month's newsletter by thanking each and every Club Voyage member for your support and custom in 2016. We were blessed by excellent weather, our ships were technically very reliable and we carried more passengers through our UK hub Portsmouth than at any time in our history.

Farewell Normandie Express

It's always with a tinge of sadness that we say goodbye to our fast-craft Normandie Express at the end of the season. Following an extended run on Portsmouth to Cherbourg, she returned to Le Havre for the winter lay-over. Normandie Express works incredibly hard during the summer, as do the engineers who service her 24/7 and have kept her and four waterjet engines running without a hitch throughout the season. She is rather like a Formula One car - so needs rest and plenty of love and care before her return in April 2017.

Looking forward

We now look forward to the autumn and 2017 where choice of routes, times and cabins can be secured for our usual £35 deposit. Spanish routes are filling quickly and we are already half full on several sailings in the summer, so do take the opportunity to book now if you can.

Take a virtual dive

Travelling on Pont-Aven or Cap Finistère soon? Why not take a virtual tour of the deep? Our virtual reality headsets plunge you below the waves from the comfort of your seat, taking in an immersive undersea world complete with rays, dolphins and whales. Talk to our entertainment managers on board for more information or to try it out.

Upcoming events

There are a few interesting events taking place in France later this month. For film fans, there's the Festival du Film Britannique de Dinard (Dinard British Film Festival), running from 28 September to 2 October.

While for music aficionados, there's the Atlantic Jazz Festival taking place in Rennes from 29 September to 16 October shortly followed by Le Marathon Vert on 23 October.

Can we tempt you?
bullet6.jpgWith our on board wine offer: we have six boxes of popular Vieille Ferme on offer for just £100, which is fantastic value at just £2.78 a bottle. Or, how about six bottles of Chateau la Tour de By for £63.40? This is an excellent wine and I thoroughly recommend it.[/TD]

bullet6.jpgWith hair care products: There’s an exclusive 10% discount for Club Voyage members on the haircare range from the natural hair care specialist Leonor Greyl. With products that make hair shine ever brighter, feel ever softer and look ever more beautiful you can take advantage of this great offer by presenting your travel documentation in our on board boutiques* during the rest of September and into October.[/TD].

Plans for New Year?

I know it is a little early, but I am pleased to announce that our New Year Cruise to Rouen is now on sale. On board Pont Aven, you will have the opportunity to indulge in a fabulous New Year’s Eve gala dinner, enjoy an exclusive entertainment programme as well as celebrating New Year twice at both French and British time. You will also have time ashore to explore the historic city of Rouen. From just £129 per person for 3 nights away, why not make it a New Year to remember? Click to find out more.

The Trip to Spain

We were delighted to host comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on Pont-Aven in September, filming for their new TV series The Trip to Spain. The pair were part of a 20-strong TV crew, filming scenes leaving the harbour in Plymouth, arriving in Santander as well as a variety of locations en route. The series airs in April 2017 on Sky Atlantic. And from what we’ve seen of rehearsals it’s going to be extremely funny.

Awards

I believe that membership of Club Voyage represents excellent value and a great range of services, a view that is validated by the steady increase in membership which now stands at a record 41,000. I hope you feel the same way, in which case I'd like to encourage you to vote for us in the British Travel Awards.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

 

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Dear Member,

November is an important month for Brittany Ferries. Following a strong summer season, and a great autumn, we ease ourselves into winter with our focus already turning towards 2017. Of course we will continue to maintain our services, but quieter periods allow us to schedule some of the important technical, maintenance and cosmetic work to ships that support the high standards you expect from us. This is the schedule of work currently under way - as well as that planned for early 2017:

  • Baie de Seine (Portsmouth - Spain) in Santander until 4 December
  • Barfleur (Poole - Cherbourg) until 28 November
  • Bretagne (Portsmouth - St Malo) from 31 December until 14 February 2017
  • Normandie (Portsmouth - Caen) from 3 January to 10 February 2017
  • Cap Finist�re (Portsmouth - Spain) from 11 February to 28 March 2017

The taste test

Our new wine App, MyWineTest is a fun, digital way of choosing wines that might match your tastes. But away from the technology, our teams on board are well qualified to help those who prefer a more traditional means of selecting fine wine. Olivier Caraës is a great example: he worked as head sommelier at Gordon Ramsay's 3-Michelin-star restaurant in London. Olivier works on board and can be found in our various boutiques throughout the year giving customers advice, as well as hosting tastings. He is also part of an 8-strong panel that carefully selects the wines we stock at the beginning of each year, ensuring we choose excellent wines at great value.

Thinking of fine wine, could I encourage you to take a look in our on board boutiques where we have a great range of competitively priced wines to complement any table? Current offers include three bottles of Château Haut Canteloup for just £15 - available across our fleet.

Christmas shopping - it's all at sea

Our boutiques might also help take up some of the strain when it comes to Christmas shopping this year. If you are travelling in the coming weeks, you'll find some exclusive offers, duty-free equivalent prices, lack of queues and even a gift wrapping service. You may just find exactly what your loved ones are looking for. Perhaps take a moment to look at our special offers booklet before you travel.

24 hours from £24

I know that a number of you take the opportunity at this time of year to get over to France and carry out some maintenance on your property, drop off presents for loved ones or even stock up on some essentials for Christmas. Why not take advantage of our latest 24 hour offer? We are currently offering day trips to France from just £24 per person. Even better, as a member you receive a further 10% off of this fare. Choose from Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth sailing into St Malo, Caen, Le Havre, Cherbourg or Roscoff. Sail overnight or by day and, if you have the time, you can even mix and match your routes. Maximum stay is 24 hours and both legs of the journey must be completed.

Christmas markets

If you haven't travelled with us recently, you may not have picked up a copy of the winter Voyage magazine. There's a list of French Christmas markets on the final page. They include Brest (2nd to 24th December), Morlaix (12th to 24th December) and St Malo (17th to 27th December). Meanwhile, the Mont St Michel will also be lit up with four miles of Christmas lights from 6pm to midnight (10th December to 15th January).

Click here for the online magazine.

Rouge rocks

Those with homes near the pink granite coast will know the secrets of this incredible stretch of the Brittany coastline. But if you don't know the area, it's well worth a visit. A walk along the meandering coastal path from the pretty seaside town of Perros-Guirec presents the visitor with a strange and breath-taking array of rock formations in a variety of shades of pink and red. Find out more here.

Say it with flowers

We've teamed up with Appleyard Flowers for an exclusive pre-Christmas offer to our members. Appleyard are a small team of experienced florists who are passionate about floral design. We arranged a great deal for members, which gives you 50% off the luxury 'Peace' bouquet when booking with the following code BRITTANY50 until 24 December. They deliver to the majority of the country, however, the 50% discount does not apply to the delivery charge.

Holiday 2017 - 20% off

Finally this month, it might be worth reminding friends and family about our 2017 holiday offer. Shortly to expire, there's currently 20% off the price of a Brittany Ferries sail-and-stay package including hotels, French cottages, Spanish casas and chalet camping. The offer includes school holidays and a £40 per person deposit secures the deal. But hurry, this offer applies to all bookings made before midnight on 29 November.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

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Dear Club Voyage Member,

As another year draws to a close I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and loyal custom throughout 2016. It's been a pleasure carrying you and your families and I hope you will continue to travel with us next year.

That was the year that was:

Looking back, we've had a really positive 2016 carrying more than 2.4 million passengers. We also completed the £65 million investment in sulphur reducing scrubber systems on six cruise ferries and chartered a freight-only ship to northern Spain. We've just renewed the contract for twelve months, helping ease some of the garage space pressures we experience on our popular Spanish services next year.

On the political stage of course things have been a little tumultuous to say the least. Few forecast the Brexit result, even fewer the outcome of the presidential election in the United States. Many of you will have properties in France or Spain and I'm sure will have followed the news closely but whatever your personal convictions, the consequences of these events have created a degree of uncertainty, something I was keen to understand in the context of travel plans for next year.

Looking ahead:

With this in mind, following the Government’s autumn statement I commissioned research among 1,000 customers and non-customers to gauge the collective mood and ensure our planning aligns with any trends and customer sentiment. The results were reassuring. A move to 'staycations' and shorter holidays seems to be less likely in 2017. By and large holiday makers are still considering destinations abroad and are not planning shorter holidays or fewer breaks next year. I wanted to share this with you as I know some of you rent out your properties and will be keen to know this.

Surveys are surveys of course, but perhaps it's interesting to see all Commodore Cabins on routes to Spain in July and August have sold and we already have several full sailings. I'm sure I have many of our Club Voyage members to thank!

Our brand:

On the subject of thanks, some Club Voyage members have also recently taken part in customer research sessions as part of a Brittany Ferries brand review. We've learnt so much hearing from you, as well as from less regular travellers - and some who have never even heard of a French ferry company operating services on the Western Channel.

For some it's been a pleasant surprise to learn our company is still owned today by the same collective of Breton farmers that launched the company in 1973 and that the first cargo of artichokes and cauliflowers was quickly followed by reciprocal demand from British passengers desperately seeking a taste of the good life in Brittany….then Normandy…the Loire…. Spain…etc.

With your support, we hope that demand will continue to grow.

A merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your families.

Kind regards

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

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Bonjour to all,

It's hardly surprising that so many people turn to dreams of spring and summer holidays to help navigate their way through the coldest and darkest of months. But as you consider some of the destinations you visit regularly, I wonder if I might shine a light on some of our ports and the experiences they offer to enhance your next trip a little further.

St Malo

If you arrive at the port early for your ferry home, could I recommend a short stop in Intra Muros (the old city walls) and perhaps a stroll around the famous ramparts followed by a delicious crepe and a coffee? The views are magnificent and of course it�s a very short distance to get to the ferry terminal.

Roscoff

For those in the West Country, I wonder how many miss the delights of Roscoff itself, before heading further afield. Next time you travel, instead of turning left out of the port turn right and head in to the town. It is rich in architecture and seafront walks are superb. I enjoy taking the time to walk all the way round the church in the centre of town - Église Notre-Dame de Croaz Batz. It�s a stunning building.

Portsmouth & Southsea

You might not have considered Portsmouth as a place to stop before you depart for France. But these days it�s a truly vibrant city. Sitting in Southsea Beach Café (a favourite with the crew of Normandie Express) watching your ferry arrive from France or Spain is a lovely thing to do, particularly with children or grandchildren.

Unaccompanied minors

Thinking about grandchildren, the French authorities have reinforced rules on minors travelling without parents or guardians. Please do make sure they have a letter of consent from a parent giving responsibility to a named adult travelling with the child.

Dry docks

As you are probably aware, Normandie and Bretagne are currently in dry dock - in Poland and Spain respectively. Our two grand dames of the fleet will return in February following technical work and a spruce up in preparation for the 2017 season.

Luxury break in Spain

Considering a city break for a change? How about a four night deal to Santander, staying at the five-star Hotel Real. Prices start from £214, including ferry travel and cabins. It's a lovely hotel with some wonderful views.

The Time of Their Lives

The Time of Their Lives is a feature film starring Joan Collins and Pauline Collins, due for premiere on 10 March. You may recall that much of the filming took place on board Mont St Michel last year, with the majority of action set on the beautiful Île de Ré. Further details will follow next month.

Lights, camera, action

We've also learned that filming rights to Pulitzer Prize winning novel All The Light We Cannot See have been sold. It's set largely in St Malo in the second world war and has received critical acclaim the world over. We may see film crews in the walled city sometime in the future. The book is sold on board, but if you want a copy before you go, you can buy it here.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

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Brittany Ferries

Club Voyage

Last chance to sail to France from £59pp

 

There's just one day left in our early spring sailing offer.

 

Book before midnight on Tuesday 14 February and you can enjoy up to 4 days in France from just £118 return - that's just £59 per person.

 

With spring in the air and both the beautiful coast and countryside coming back to life, it's a great time to revisit. Better still, with the crowds yet to arrive, you'll almost feel like you've got all your favourite places to yourself!

 

And, don't forget, as a Club Voyage member, you will receive a further 5% off this fare.

 

So go on, give yourself a break this spring.

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Bonjour everyone,

We are delighted to welcome back Bretagne and Normandie to service following significant investment and work at the Gdansk shipyard in Poland and Astander in Spain. The main picture shows Bretagne in dry dock: new silicone paint adorning her hull should reduce fuel consumption and will make a small difference to her speed. Normandie also looks immaculate from the exterior, but I hope you will also see many improvements to interior spaces, for example new carpets throughout her cabins.

Barfleur Club Lounge

Coming soon we also have an exclusive new lounge for Barfleur. My hope is that it helps address the relatively narrow accommodation options for passengers and will serve demand for more premium space on Poole-Cherbourg sailings. Reserved seats in this exclusive lounge can be booked on daytime and overnight sailings with facilities that include USB charging, newspapers, complimentary drinks and a sleep kit when applicable. In addition, WiFi will also be available in the lounge. Reservations for this 20-seat area are now being taken for sailings from 1 July.

WiFi trial on Cap Finistère

Communication with loved ones, colleagues and business partners via smartphones and other mobile devices continues to be a priority for customers. Today it's increasingly hard to live our lives without the multitude of satellites orbiting 22,000 miles above Earth, servicing our busy lifestyles, navigation systems and phones. Fast WiFi is in constant demand, a challenge on board because we are unable to benefit from shore-based networks that feed so much of what we take for granted when on terra firma.

We've had lots of feedback since we introduced complimentary WiFi on board and many customers have asked us to consider options to strengthen the current level of service. As a consequence we plan to trial an enhanced service on Cap Finistère this year, that will operate alongside free WiFi. Cabling work throughout her cabins and other areas of the ship is planned during dry dock to prepare for trial which will run from April until October. Charges will range from €4 to €15 per crossing for users. If you try it do let us know what you think about the enhanced service and range of options.

Join Dame Joan Collins on the red carpet

Last month I mentioned our involvement in a new feature film. The Time of Their Lives stars Dame Joan Collins and Pauline Collins with the main backdrop being the delightful hideaway Île de Ré, but which also features some great shots of our very own ship Mont St Michel. The film is a feel good British comedy that I am confident many of you will enjoy.

It is due for general release across the country next month and we've secured a pair of tickets to the premiere in London, exclusively for Club Voyage Members. So, if you'd like the chance to join Dame Joan and Pauline on the red carpet at the Curzon, Mayfair on 8 March, email the following address: totl@brittanyferries.com with Time of Their Lives premiere in the subject box. We'll pick a name at random by Thursday 2 March.

To view a trailer for the film visit here

Paris and pollution stickers

You may have heard about pollution stickers for cars in Paris. All vehicles (including foreign registered vehicles) will be required to display them, firstly in the capital but with the intention to roll-out the programme in other French cities over time. The idea is to limit the most polluting vehicles from entering population centres at certain times. We will keep you updated, but for now if you are travelling to Paris, the deadline to display a sticker is 31 March 2017. On-the-spot fines will be levied for those who fail to do so. The sticker costs around £3.50 and motorists are being directed to apply online here

There's also a very good article in the Telegraph which gives more background.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens

Group Commercial Director

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Bonjour à tous,

The return of Normandie Express is one of the first signs that spring has truly arrived. She�ll resume her three-hour sprints between Portsmouth and Cherbourg on 20 April, offering the quickest crossing on the Western Channel.

Over the winter our maintenance and technical teams have carried out a number of on-board improvements which I'm sure you will appreciate. But what you won't notice is that her generators have been modified to run on plant-based biofuels while she's in port between crossings. She works incredibly hard during the summer and overnight maintenance is key. Running generators on biofuel helps lower her carbon footprint while alongside in Portsmouth.

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What's on the menu?

Look out for our new menus currently arriving on board, courtesy of Brittany Ferries very own chef de cuisine Patrice Pantalini and his talented teams. I know that our à la carte menus will be the first choice for many members, but others prefer to take their pick from the sumptuous buffet tables, a menu that includes dishes such as delicious monkfish (pictured above). So I'm delighted to confirm that this year, the four course buffet option will be priced at £26.40, a rise of just 50p. Kids menus remain at £5.50. Don't forget too that as a Club Voyage member you receive a 10% reduction on food and wine when spending £15 or more when dining on board.

Sea marshals

Security and safety are the highest priority for Brittany Ferries and you'll recall the introduction of sea marshals on board last year. Helicopter drops took place throughout 2016 involving French military personnel who went on to patrol our ships.

These on-board patrols continue, but the marshals now travel with the ships from port-to-port, as well as being deployed by helicopter on some sailings. If you do see armed personnel during your sailing, please be reassured: these are scheduled security patrols and are no cause for concern.

Onboard benefits and holidays

We know that the majority of members travel to their own property when sailing with us; however why not consider something a little different. Can I tempt you with a short break to France or Spain? There are some fabulous sail-and-stay options available. Starting on 5 April I have extended benefits available to members. When you book a holiday with us, you'll now enjoy a breakfast allowance with your overnight cabin as well as free and half price day cabins to France. Not only that, but you'll receive a 5% discount on the package.

The Trip to Spain

Award-winning comedy series 'The Trip' returns to TV screens this spring. Featuring comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, The Trip to Spain begins on board Brittany Ferries' Pont-Aven, with the duo travelling from Plymouth to Santander before embarking on a tantalising series of restaurant reviews and sightseeing opportunities around northern Spain. If you're not familiar with the programme, then I highly recommend it. Tune in to Sky Atlantic on Thursday evenings from 6 April.

If gin's your bag

We've an exclusive offer for members on Bombay Sapphire Gin. Two bottles are now on sale for just £39. And if you need something to carry them in, how about a Kipling or Texier bag? Both brands benefit from a 20% price reduction between 3 April and 31 May. Simply present your ticket at any participating boutique on board.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens
Group Commercial Director

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Edited by Manxscorpio
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Bonjour everyone,

I mentioned in the February newsletter that we are trialling an enhanced Wi-Fi service on Cap Finistère from April to October. I'm pleased to confirm that early reports are encouraging with good uptake of the various options, from free web browsing right through to the Plus package that allows streaming. If the trial continues to go well, I will look at extending the service to the rest of the fleet. The speed of Wi-Fi can be challenging whilst at sea as the signal is beamed via satellites that are 22,000 miles above the Earth. However, we continue to work with our partners to find solutions and create an improved experience.

Winter booking

I know we are already receiving enquiries from those of you that are eager to book a trip this winter or next year. It's likely that we'll open for bookings in July this year, but, rest assured that Club Voyage members will be the first to know. Our systems are currently open to accept bookings up until early November 2017.

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Spanish parador offer

Have you ever considered a stay in a Spanish parador? There's a wonderful selection of former palaces, castles and ex-monasteries throughout Spain. We've set up a short break, starting from £219 as a taster and gateway to some wonderful experiences. The breathtaking views at lakes of Covadonga in the Picos mountains, for example, are easily accessible from the Parador de Cangas de Onis.

Bay watch

Travelling to Spain by ferry through the Bay of Biscay is a special experience. Whale and dolphin spotting is a lovely way to while away an hour or two and we've had reports already this season from our ORCA wildlife officers of sperm and fin whales, bottlenose dolphins and even basking sharks being sighted. But there's also a host of other things to see en route. Our blog post reveals more.

Fête de la Bretagne 13-21 May

If you are heading to Brittany next month, it is well worth trying to catch one of the 300 events that will be taking place in the region. From concerts, exhibitions, traditional dance, street entertainment right through to a traditional Fest-Noz, there are lots of highlights and more information can be found here

Breakfast allowance goes up

I'm delighted to inform you that we've increased the breakfast allowance for Club Voyage members from £7.90 to £8.10.

National Monuments discounts

We've secured discounts of up to 22% on entry at certain attractions in Normandy, Brittany and the Pays de la Loire this year. Included in the list is the Site des Mégalithes de Locmariaquer in Brittany, the abbey on the Mont St Michel and the Château de Angers in the Loire. Show your booking details to receive the discount and search for more information here

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens
Group Commercial Director

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Club Voyage June Newsletter  and brief mention for the new ship coming in 2019
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Bonjour everyone,

I'm delighted to confirm that we've recently signed a ten year deal with Portsmouth Port, our UK hub, confirming Brittany Ferries' on-going commitment to the city and the destinations served in France and Spain. The move reflects our optimism for the future and, in increasingly uncertain times, I hope it helps to send a signal of certainty and reassurance to all our customers.

Keep mobile

Mobile phone roaming charges end throughout the EU on 15 June. This good news means you can keep your phone on while travelling abroad. Don't forget that service at sea is not covered by the arrangement, so if you wish to make calls or use data you can do this but costs are higher than ashore. Please turn your data roaming off if you don't want to use this service. I'm pleased to report that we continue to make gradual improvements to our free Wi-Fi as technology develops. It's a little complicated, but total bandwidth will now be shared between ships. That means a wider bandwidth can be used by one vessel if it is not being used by another.

Enhanced Wi-Fi

In addition to free Wi-Fi, we're continuing to trial an enhanced service on Cap Finistère too. It's all part of work we are doing with a company called CEA Tech on research and development across our fleet. The aim is partly to improve Wi-Fi for customers but also to work on energy production on board with an eye to reducing our carbon footprint further in the future.

Fête de la musique 21 June

It�s not just druids that celebrate the summer solstice in France! French entertainers will be taking to concert halls, bars, parks and beyond to celebrate the start of summer in a free nationwide event taking place on 21 June. Find out more.

Le Mans 24 hour

The Le Mans 24 hour doesn't enjoy the profile of Formula 1, but for motor racing fans, drivers and car makers it�s the jewel in the crown of the season. We're looking forward to welcoming petrol heads aplenty on sailings during the lead up to the event on 17 and 18 June. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea of course, so do be aware that we will be busy on sailings around those dates, particularly on Portsmouth-Caen.

Get away from under £99 per person this summer

We currently have an 8-day summer getaway offer starting from £99 per person. It's a great deal for all customers, but Club Voyage members also enjoy a further 5% discount on the price.

Think about Nantes

There's so much to see and do in Nantes, but I wonder if it�s a little below the radar for some travellers. We covered this wonderful city in a recent blog post. As well as the Jardin des Plantes, Les Machines - including the fantastic mechanised elephant - later this month I�m delighted to report that the Musée des Beaux-Arts will re-open after a six year €89m refit. It's well worth a visit.

And finally…

I hope to bring you much more news in next month's newsletter about our new ship coming in 2019. It's very exciting and I�m sure will reinforce even further our commitment to you, our routes and the environment in which we operate. Watch this space.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens
Group Commercial Director

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Bonjour everyone,

Last month I said I'd tell you more about our new ship and today we've released details to the press, confirming our order and outlining a few key points. The image above from the shipyard designers gives you a feel for what she will look like but I wanted to make sure that you hear about the things that I believe will be most important to Club Voyage members.

Honfleur

Firstly, and importantly, our new ship will be named Honfleur. I have no doubt this will raise a smile with those of you who own second homes near this colourful town on the Seine estuary or if you are a regular visitor to the region. If you haven't visited the town before, I highly recommend it – it's a little under an hour's drive from Ouistreham and half an hour from Le Havre.

Fine dining

Honfleur will be a full service cruise ferry with a delightful à la carte restaurant serving dishes prepared by our French chefs, made with local produce. But there will also be three further dining options: a self-service restaurant, caf� and bar serving light snacks.

WiFi and TV in every cabin

I'm delighted to confirm that WiFi will be available in all public spaces on the ship, including the garage and in every cabin. Cabins will also come with a TV. There will also be a Club Lounge with 22 seats, drawing inspiration from the exclusive space that will shortly open on Barfleur.

Cabins

Honfleur will come with space for 1,680 passengers and host 257 cabins. More detail will follow, but you can expect deluxe, standard and, of course, wheelchair accessible cabins. Good news for four-legged passengers: there will be a pet-friendly cabin allocation.

The ambience you expect from a cruise ferry

Digital innovations will come in all passenger areas, but the starting point for every lounge and other space is wellness, culture and relaxation. We'll continue to showcase work by local artists and our two cinemas will screen the latest films. Fashion and technology will be sold in boutiques on board while children will be well served with play areas and digital spaces.

Book on board

Honfleur's information desk will be fully adapted to the digital age, giving you as much information as possible about destinations and the vessel while you travel. As well as booking future crossings, large screens will help you research new places to visit on arrival at your destination, find connection times and browse recommendations left by the other passengers.

Greener, smoother, quieter

Our new ship will be fuelled by LNG (liquefied natural gas) and powered through a configuration called LNG-electric propulsion. LNG emits far lower levels of pollutants following combustion and we believe Honfleur will be the greenest ferry operating on the English Channel. But just as importantly her innovative power-delivery system will also reduce vibration. That will mean a smoother ride for you.

Normandie moves to Le Havre

Normandie will move east following Honfleur's arrival in June 2019 to serve the Portsmouth Le Havre route. This means we'll have more garage capacity and cabin availability to Le Havre.

I trust this gives you a flavour of what's on the horizon. Honfleur will be our first new ship since Armorique in 2009, and I hope the significant investment we are making reassures everyone about our commitment to the regions and environments in which we operate. I very much look forward to sharing more details in future newsletters – and to welcoming you on board again in the future.

Kind regards,

Mike Bevens
Group Commercial Director

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Book online or call 0330 159 7070

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