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Roscoff to Spain?


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Why can't BF take pietons from Roscoff to Spain? 

We fancied the idea of sailing to Bilbao, having a few days there and then winding our leisurely way back home to Caen by train and / or coach.

But Reservations now say no foot passengers, but did not explain why. 

It seems illogical. We were thinking of going in about April or early May before the peak season, when the ship would probably not be full.

I could understand if the response had been for pietons only at, say, 7 or 14 days notice – ie depending on availability.

So the choice appears to be:

  1. Go via Portsmouth – which will add to time and cost. Although this might at least allow us the flexibility of rail out / sail home, and maybe some Portsmouth shopping on our return
  2. Buy an old "banger" here, drive to Roscoff, and then dump it in Bilbao. There's no way we would want to drive all the way back. But that sounds as if it could be costly and complicated.
  3. Forget the idea and just have a bus / coach hol instead, maybe to somewhere with a choice of local boat trips. Any suggestions?

 

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If I remember correctly, the Cap Finistere does not take foot passengers due to the ratio of vehicle capacity to cabins, with car traffic being prioritised and expected low numbers given there's no return route apart from via the UK.

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I just looked at the prices and if you booked to go out on Monday 23 April for two adults and a car it will cost you 129€ plus whatever cabin option you want. Why not just turn up at Roscoff by train and claim the car has broken down, or whatever,  and you are determined to have a holiday anyway. You have paid for a car space so BF won't lose out, will make the same money from you as a passenger and save a euro or two on fuel due to a lighter vessel. I can't see how they can refuse you access. Ed 

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Except that the blurb on the timetables page ex-Portsmouth says

Quote

Sail the Portsmouth to Bilbao route on our cruise ferry Cap Finistère. This luxury ferry makes two return crossings to Bilbao from Portsmouth each week and carries both cars and foot passengers

So the timetable advertises it, but the booking engine doesn't offer it? I tried looking at a trip to Santander than choosing Bilbao as the alternative route - at which point the calendar page no longer gives the price, simply "Please Call" – which suggests that pietons are an availability offer.

The one-way trip Portsmouth-Santander with outside cabin will be around the £200 mark, so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, BF want to charge me for a Caen-Pmth-Santander trip.

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Yes, I thought about that. If they never do it then there will not be that option in place. Unless they put this unexpected foot passenger on the bus used to bring in the new crew. You can't even book to take a bike with you on CF which seems strange when motorbikes are fine. Weird. Ed 

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Ken .........

I presume that you're hell-bent on Spain as a destination?

If not however, what about Ireland on the PA Roscoff-Cork service. You can certainly travel as 'footies' and I just did a dummy booking for Fri 6th April out and Sat 21st back.  €326 round trip for 2 in a regular 2 berth o/s cabin.

If you've never been there, it's worth considering. Plenty of good quality accommodation and local ferry services to some of the islands on the Atlantic coast. Bus / coach services are pretty good, but any trip like that would need more than a bit of planning + weather a bit of a lottery.

Just a thought.

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44 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Yes, as far as I can gather from the booking engine, CF does not take foot passengers at all. On any route.

Well she certainly did in 2013 on Santander-Portsmouth because we travelled home on her as foot passengers. The passenger walkway was in use just as on the Pont-Aven. We did seem to be the only people using it however and this was via a BF holiday we had booked.

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Oh, I've just found something on the Portsmouth-Santander page.  Says foot passengers are carred on all sailings.  But that doesn't seem to fit with the booking engine.  Engine will only allow bookings for foot passengers on Pont Aven.  Not Cap Finistere, and not Baie de Seine either.

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Thanks for all the input so far, folks.

I hadn't thought of Cork, because the object of the exercise was to get a longer sail than we do between Caen and Portsmouth – and, crucially, then spend some time exploring SW and Western France by train or coach on the way home.

But it will be interesting to see if / how customer services price Caen-Spain via Plymouth. I will onpass

Ken

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1 hour ago, richwarwicker said:

From memory cap finistere doesn't allow foot passengers to book online, the call centre can do it.

That would definitely make sense. The only time I have travelled on Cap Fininstere without a car was in 2013 when we booked a Hotel Real break with BF, over the phone.

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Cap Finistere does carry foot passengers, but because of capacity limitations, bookings have to be made over the phone and are subject to yield management. Having said that,  the odd sailing is sometime available to book online, for example the 1900 Plymouth to Santander on March 16th is currently available to foot pax online.

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After some more investigations we think we will "decouple" the Spanish cruise trip and an exploration of SW France by rail and coach. Just too complex.

The Cruise & Stay breaks offered by BF on the UK website look to be good value for this year.

Does anyone know

  • when 2018 prices for C&S will be posted? Or, for budget purposes, shall I just, say, add 5–10% to the 2017 tariffs?
  • if the French are likely to offer anything similar?
  • if not, will the UK offer me a discounted Caen-Portsmouth crossing? Or would that be stealing business from the French? (If I book a round trip ferry-only Caen–Santander via Portsmouth the French will not charge anything for the first and legs to and from France)

... anything else we need to know? 

TIA

 

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