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Galícia, Salamanca and Santona - Newbuilds for Spanish Routes (e-flexers)


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2 hours ago, Paully said:

Rick is right when he says that the Family holiday with the car to France has gone out of fashion. For many it has...up until now. Suddenly the package tour by air looks like a very unappealing prospect, not to say un reliable.

  Colin is very right when he says the Tourist infrastructure of which BF is a big part, needs to re position themselves,market their strengths and from that create trends that will last. 

France can offer almost everything to everyone (well not slapper by the Med places thankfully). They need to market themselves better rather than rely on the afficionados just turning up which they seem to have done for too long. Now really is the time to go for it..

I wish them every success..we are hoping for 2 visits next year

 

We have children just coming up for secondary school but our holiday preference has always been gites in France or casa in Spain with a bf crossing. However we are struggling with this now as even when you pay too price the accommodation is extremely basic, hardly any even have WiFi that is useable, even though we love the ferry to Santander or st malo when you have a family you can’t get away with no internet for any length of time. I am a loyal user of bf and holidays but they need to get the owners of the accommodation to up their games to keep relevant in this new world, once this Covid thing settles I really do think bf have a gr at opportunity to sell a different product 

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She's  in...

I believe anyone wanting such a thing would find one located just off the side of the ship...

And off she goes...

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3 hours ago, RickOShea said:

Western Channel is a tough market even with BF being largely the only player there.  It's been in decline for many years as the traditional British family holiday in France with a car has gone out of fashion which is a large part of the reason that BF has put so much effort into developing their Spanish market.

Spain's popularity as a holiday destination has increased substantially since around 2012 but it hasn't effected our desire to visit France.

2010, 10.5m France... 11.3m Spain.

2019, 10.5m France... 18.1m Spain.

None of the ferry companies have recovered the numbers they carried pre 2009 crash.

The largest drop in passenger traffic over the past decade has been at Dover, a fall from 13.1m to 10.9m - losing over 800,000 between 2018 & 2019. Newhaven has seen a substantial increase, a rise of 55%.

The Spanish passenger figures for 2019 are 287,000. That's a big drop from the 336,000 carried in 2018 and falls way behind the routes to St Malo & Roscoff which consistently see around 350,000 passing through each port. 

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On 19/11/2020 at 21:33, Botley Dan said:

We have children just coming up for secondary school but our holiday preference has always been gites in France or casa in Spain with a bf crossing. However we are struggling with this now as even when you pay too price the accommodation is extremely basic, hardly any even have WiFi that is useable, even though we love the ferry to Santander or st malo when you have a family you can’t get away with no internet for any length of time. I am a loyal user of bf and holidays but they need to get the owners of the accommodation to up their games to keep relevant in this new world, once this Covid thing settles I really do think bf have a gr at opportunity to sell a different product 

As a family of 4 we last used BF in 2016, sailing on Friday night on the cap, returning on the Saturday night crossing. 
 

if we were to sail again we would chose cap again on the Friday morning. What doesn’t work for us with all the other crossing times is they don’t join up with the likes of Siblu Resorts who do Saturday - Saturday as a standard. Yes we lost one night in 2016 as a result of this but this year we could get to the resort comfortably by the afternoon. 
 

The reason why we skipped using BF for the last 4 years is when you add up food, travel, accommodation you may as well go all inclusive. Oh and the biscay was unfriendly to us on the return crossing.
 

who knows what we do summer ‘21 ! But not a Galicia or Pont Aven trip for us. I also don’t fancy spending more than 24 hours on a boat. WiFi isn’t good enough for our family and they will get bored ! 

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I always favour traveling from Portsmouth to Spain as its a relaxing journey for me.  As I live on the Isle of Wight it is ideal to take the bike to Spain.  But it would had made sense for the Cap Finistare and the Pont Aven is used from Portsmouth instead as they only take 24 hours to get there.   Even though I will look forward traveling on the Galicia next year if things change.  The question is how long will the Galicia take if she was used from Plymouth instead?  I'm sure many wouldn't mind traveling 24 hours from Plymouth.

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2 hours ago, Ian Walker said:

I always favour traveling from Portsmouth to Spain as its a relaxing journey for me.  As I live on the Isle of Wight it is ideal to take the bike to Spain.  But it would had made sense for the Cap Finistare and the Pont Aven is used from Portsmouth instead as they only take 24 hours to get there.   Even though I will look forward traveling on the Galicia next year if things change.  The question is how long will the Galicia take if she was used from Plymouth instead?  I'm sure many wouldn't mind traveling 24 hours from Plymouth.

I guess it depends where you live. I've already booked crossings on Pont Aven from Plymouth for next year, and I'm delighted she'll be doing two return trips from the South West every week again.  For several years I have been forced to travel via Portsmouth because of the limited service from Plymouth. The Galicia looks like a pleasant ship, but the extra driving time, coupled with several more hours at sea isn't particularly attractive.

 

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10 hours ago, Tregastel said:

I guess it depends where you live. I've already booked crossings on Pont Aven from Plymouth for next year, and I'm delighted she'll be doing two return trips from the South West every week again.  For several years I have been forced to travel via Portsmouth because of the limited service from Plymouth. The Galicia looks like a pleasant ship, but the extra driving time, coupled with several more hours at sea isn't particularly attractive.

 

I like Pont Aven from Plymouth too, but the prices from there to Roscoff have gone through the roof.  £525 return for a car and two adults next summer - and that's just for day time crossings without cabins. Goodness knows how much going overnight would come to. 

 

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29 minutes ago, wortley said:

I like Pont Aven from Plymouth too, but the prices from there to Roscoff have gone through the roof.  £525 return for a car and two adults next summer - and that's just for day time crossings without cabins. Goodness knows how much going overnight would come to. 

 

I agree that's not cheap but the price you've quoted does reflect crossings at weekends and in high season, where historically they have always been high; some midweek crossings are considerably cheaper than that. And why not take the plunge and join Club Voyage which would save you £150 on that crossing alone!

Chris

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15 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

And why not take the plunge and join Club Voyage which would save you £150 on that crossing alone!

French CV is a no brainer, we managed to save the joining fee and the annual fee on our first crossing & with the free / cheap day cabins and food discount it is great. The only trouble is every time I get fed up with the queues etc and look at switching to the tunnel, it never makes sense financially !

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25 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

I agree that's not cheap but the price you've quoted does reflect crossings at weekends and in high season, where historically they have always been high; some midweek crossings are considerably cheaper than that. And why not take the plunge and join Club Voyage which would save you £150 on that crossing alone!

Chris

My point is that a simple crossing from Plymouth to France is way dearer than a crossing on similar dates from Portsmouth/ Caen, or Poole/Cherbourg - over £100 difference on first glance. 

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Point taken Wortley but if you look closely (I tried dummy bookings on both routes for end of July/early August) yes Caen has some cheaper crossings but the popular weekend ones are even more expensive again. As long as you can be flexible with dates there is usually a better value option somewhere although again I accept that some don't have that luxury.

Chris

Edited by Fine Whine
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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:

Point taken Wortley but if you look closely (I tried dummy bookings on both routes for end of July/early August) yes Caen has some cheaper crossings but the popular weekend ones are even more expensive again. As long as you can be flexible with dates there is usually a better value option somewhere although again I accept that some don't have that luxury.

Chris

The cheapest basic price on both routes seems to be £119 for a single  economy crossing, however they do adjust price for the seasons and also the tickets are sold in batches starting with the lowest price and then moving up the prices as tickets sell out. 

Roscoff is very much a holiday route and a lot of people had vouchers from this summer that they wanted to spend !

The cheapest prices are when tickets are released & it is an individual decision whether it is worth buying then and if so what type - my decision is always to buy early and buy flexi, however buying late and economy can also make sense off peak.

ps and at the end of the day it is the customers decision !

Edited by David Williams
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24 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

This must be a first for a ferry. An open air gym on Galacia. I'd use it for sure.  The Stena Harwich ferries have an open air basket ball court but no gym.

Screenshot_20201122-163952_Samsung Internet.jpg

Do BF really want more medivacs for us Snow Birds on the way to Spain😀

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2 hours ago, IanN said:

Do BF really want more medivacs for us Snow Birds on the way to Spain😀

What they didn't mention is that the exercise bikes are in fact connected to an extra propeller and the more you get out on deck and work up a sweat the sooner you get to Spain. It's also part of the new SOLAS regulations allowing her to make it to Brest in the event of the main engines being unavailable. Now if they could just work out how to harness all the static electricity the lycra will generate, they could really claim she's emissions-free.

Ed

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Steady on Edward, us oldies can’t cope with getting into a sweat on a Sunday evening, Monday to Friday not good either.
I can imagine the headline, Vendée Globe sailors shocked by fast ferry Galicia creating a mini tsunami on her regular weekend OAP trip to Santander...

And please don’t mention Lycra again...😂

Chris,

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3 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

And please don’t mention Lycra again...

And I thought it was less controversial than some ideas I've posted this week. People are offended by everything these days.  Sheeesh! 😉

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11 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

 

And please don’t mention Lycra again...😂

 

Quite right Chris..Lycra is the `Work of the Devil`

Edited by Paully
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We booked within a few minutes of booking getting released and I rushed through everything,knowing the first cabins to go are the pet friendly ones.we got what we wanted but on looking I did not book a flexible ticket and this may cost us a bit of money if the new controls on entry into Spain do not change before then.yes I am fool and the wife said it a bit stronger than that.stay safe

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

What they didn't mention is that the exercise bikes are in fact connected to an extra propeller and the more you get out on deck and work up a sweat the sooner you get to Spain. It's also part of the new SOLAS regulations allowing her to make it to Brest in the event of the main engines being unavailable. Now if they could just work out how to harness all the static electricity the lycra will generate, they could really claim she's emissions-free.

Ed

You have solved the question of why they thought 2 engines were enough. The "emergency power source".

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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:


I can imagine the headline, Vendée Globe sailors shocked by fast ferry Galicia creating a mini tsunami on her regular weekend OAP trip to Santander...

 

I worked for a company which was a Vendee Globe sponsor back in the late 1990s. The mention takes me back...

 

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4 hours ago, Nick Hyde said:

This must be a first for a ferry. An open air gym on Galacia. I'd use it for sure.  The Stena Harwich ferries have an open air basket ball court but no gym.

Screenshot_20201122-163952_Samsung Internet.jpg

Well, if they got an exercise area for the pooches, it was about time the passengers were thought about - assume being outdoors you can have a ciggy whilst on the press bench!

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On 19/11/2020 at 21:33, Botley Dan said:

We have children just coming up for secondary school but our holiday preference has always been gites in France or casa in Spain with a bf crossing. However we are struggling with this now as even when you pay too price the accommodation is extremely basic, hardly any even have WiFi that is useable, even though we love the ferry to Santander or st malo when you have a family you can’t get away with no internet for any length of time. I am a loyal user of bf and holidays but they need to get the owners of the accommodation to up their games to keep relevant in this new world, once this Covid thing settles I really do think bf have a gr at opportunity to sell a different product 

Cant you just use mobile data? That's what we do on campsites. I can't say it's even a consideration for us. A decent pool on the other hand.....

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On 19/11/2020 at 21:33, Botley Dan said:

We have children just coming up for secondary school but our holiday preference has always been gites in France or casa in Spain with a bf crossing. However we are struggling with this now as even when you pay too price the accommodation is extremely basic, hardly any even have WiFi that is useable, even though we love the ferry to Santander or st malo when you have a family you can’t get away with no internet for any length of time. I am a loyal user of bf and holidays but they need to get the owners of the accommodation to up their games to keep relevant in this new world, once this Covid thing settles I really do think bf have a gr at opportunity to sell a different product 

We have had  six or seven holiday gites in France for family groups ranging in size from 2 to 14 - but have always separated booking the accommodation from booking the travel. The Booking.com website with detailed descriptions, photographs and reviews has never let us down in finding the sort of houses and facilities we wanted - and revealing some cracking good overnight hotels and chambres  d'hotes along the way too .

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1 hour ago, wortley said:

We have had  six or seven holiday gites in France for family groups ranging in size from 2 to 14 - but have always separated booking the accommodation from booking the travel. The Booking.com website with detailed descriptions, photographs and reviews has never let us down in finding the sort of houses and facilities we wanted - and revealing some cracking good overnight hotels and chambres  d'hotes along the way too .

 

Bearing in mind your previous comment about ferry pricing next year, we shared a cottage with friends just outside Potes (Picos, Spain) in July 2017 so high season. I can’t find the ticket but from memory paid around £1600 all in, accommodation, return ferry on PA from/to Plymouth including a car, 4 adults and 2 outside 4 berth cabins each way, £400 per head. I booked the complete package through BF holidays, they were very helpful. A few weeks later I put in a dummy booking for ferry only on the same dates and it was almost as expensive.

It might pay you to at least cost the whole thing using BF before committing, you may be pleasantly surprised....
Chris

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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:

 

Bearing in mind your previous comment about ferry pricing next year, we shared a cottage with friends just outside Potes (Picos, Spain) in July 2017 so high season. I can’t find the ticket but from memory paid around £1600 all in, accommodation, return ferry on PA from/to Plymouth including a car, 4 adults and 2 outside 4 berth cabins each way, £400 per head. I booked the complete package through BF holidays, they were very helpful. A few weeks later I put in a dummy booking for ferry only on the same dates and it was almost as expensive.

It might pay you to at least cost the whole thing using BF before committing, you may be pleasantly surprised....
Chris

I agree with what you say Chris, it pays to book all together but I think his original point was that a lot of BF properties don't have some of the things he needs.

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