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Sandbanker

Baie de Seine Seakeeping

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Our next trip to Spain (5th this year) is at the end of this month and the only crossing satisfying our dates is the Economie. We normally go by CF or preferably PA. Can someone share their experience of the seakeeping of the BDS across the BDB? It is a slow trip and this could prolong the suffering.

In anticipation of prolonged suffering we have paid out for a “Spacious Outside 2 Berth Economie Plus Cabin” with TV.  Will this make any difference?

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I can only comment about how I found her on the North Sea, which was very comfortable. She has great length which helped her if pushing into heavy seas and with the accommodation being at the front and engines at the back she is quiet and vibration free. I know the route across Biscay has a lot more swell though and I don’t know how she copes in those conditions.

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Economie plus cabins are on deck 10.  The rollers on the bay are usually travelling from West to East.  That is it is a beam sea.  Hence the possibility of much rolling because BDS is long and thin.  Am I right?  Does she have stabilisers and are they effective?

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My experience of BDS is only on Portsmouth - Le Havre but I can say that she compares well with the other members of the fleet. I travelled on her a week ago, the sea was fairly agitated and I watched the pilot ship bouncing up and down in the swell while BDS was very stable as we left Le Havre. On the plus points, you should get a double bed in your economie plus cabin. The standard cabins are comfy too with wider berths than on other ships. I would recommend taking a few books to help pass the time as there is very little to do on this ship.

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She's the same width as Cap Finistere, just a couple of metres shorter. Her Economie Plus cabins are a bit of a misnomer as they are no smaller or less equipped than Bretagne's Commodore offering, the difference being that there's no breakfast, fruit & macaroons. They are either twin singles or double although I don't know if the settee has the usual up and over berth.

The midships lounge on deck 10 is a relaxing, quiet place to spend some time with excellent views, wifi if so inclined and the odd book to read.

The self service restaurant can get a bit cramped due to it's size and the only real food offer onboard and serves the usual BF fayre with unlimited desserts. She also has an outlet similar to Cap's Le Petit Marche next to the boutique.

I've crossed the Bay of Biscay on her, the North Sea & the English Channel and have enjoyed every crossing. I like her and personally think she's a better seakeeper than Pont Aven.

 

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Haven't been down to Spain on her yet, but I was onboard during a very rough crossing to Esbjerg with @Phil Ka few years back which she handled well (cabin rattle aside!).

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11 hours ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

BDS is an amazing vessel, which spent 15 ish years on Harwich to Esbjerg, a year or so on the Baltic, and 2 years in Spain / France! 

She has amazing amazing sea keeping! 

A pleasant ship yes, but I think 'amazing' is perhaps pushing it a little ;) She is, after all, a converted freighter and as such was very much a compromise on Esbjerg-Harwich, and now with Brittany Ferries.

Edited by Ryan_H
typo
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Personally I find her a  very good seakeeper, and the plus cabins are lush - they open out onto the old Commodore lounge. I think you'll have a ball :)

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Wait for the e-flexer. 400 odd artics to Spain each time :) I wonder if she will be able berth comfortably in Pompey and Spain. Defintatly too long for Plymouth sadly:/

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Rattling rivets. It is better now we are in the bay. But last night approaching Ushant it was horrid. The sea state was probably not greater than 6, but the swell was hitting our starboard bow quarter causing slamming at about 10 second intervals and heavy corkscrewing. The slamming caused loud rattling bangs, and one could sense the shock wave travelling from one end of the ship and back again.

We failed to finish our lamb curry, and retired early, but not otherwise overcome.

The warning indicated by the wavy line painted on the hull is confirmed by the robust structure of the extensive handrails throughout the ship.

Having said all that the economy plus cabin was splendid in an old fashioned sort of way, and the reading lounge is very comfortable and relaxing. Lots of old shipbuilding polished mahogany. So much room everywhere, including the wide staircases down to the car decks.

 

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I must admit, I thought she was lovely when I tried her from Le Havre. You'd certainly need to bring your own entertainment if you were travelling to Spain. The reading lounge is a lovely touch and being a little provocative, I'd suggest the finish isn't far off similar areas on some cruise ships (albeit with a view in the other direction).

I think both economy ships really impress when it comes to cabins. I couldn't rate Baie de Seine's cabins highly enough. I'd be quite happy to visit her again on a route further from home ;) (or is that just wishful thinking!)

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Hello, just read this thread with interest, and I wanted to give my own feedback re: the Baie De Seine.

I can say with all honesty that our trip on BDS to Santander back in July was the best BF journey ever for me, but I'm glad we booked an Economie Plus cabin on deck 10. Absolutely brilliant, and it feels far from 'budget' when you are relaxing in your cabin, in the reading lounge or out on deck with sun, blue sky and a bottle of wine. We try to avoid the public spaces on car ferries (other than the bar for a drink or two), so we don't care for overcrowded swimming pools, cinemas, and over priced, mediocre food in the restaurants. The Plus cabin on BDS is almost a Commodore, but without the balcony and a couple of minor touches. We had a comfy double bed, a proper ensuite (not the caravan washroom you get in other cabin types), a sofa and coffee table, plenty of storage, and a 32" flatscreen TV & DVD player (DVDs can be borrowed from the information desk if you don't bring your own). Bring an electric coolbox and you have a useful fridge. Deck 10 is lovely and quiet, with very few cabins, and although other passengers could venture up and use the reading lounge, very few did. As far as food is concerned, we did buy breakfast in the restaurant shortly after boarding, but otherwise had a selection of deli goodies and wine that we'd bought from Waitrose, which we ate on deck or in the cabin.

The BDS is a lovely little boat, with quick and stress free loading/unloading, but it is a bit slower getting to Spain. The weather was good in the Bay of Biscay, so I cannot comment on how it behaves in rough seas, but I thoroughly recommend it to those that really don't care about the 'cruise' features on the bigger ships. The Saturday morning departure from Portsmouth is a huge benefit, as you can do a full week's work, then relax on the early morning drive down to Portsmouth, without the weekday traffic problems. It depends where you live, but for us, Portsmouth is an easy 75 minute drive.

I have booked BDS again for next summer. We're using it both ways this time, and with the Plus cabin, the cost is less than doing the same crossing on CF with a basic outside 2 berth.

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We did venture down from deck 10 to get food, and perhaps next time we will manage a bit better. The first problem was recognising the routine. The instrictions (if you can understand them on first reading) require you to collect your food and sit down at a table to wait for a waiter to come over and assess what you have got. Then, when you have eaten, you have to exit via the till. The second problem was working out the route to take through the servery because it is intersected by the main passage-way to the bar. Most people seemed confused and went round and round in circles. We asked the waiter if it was normal for people to get so confused and he gave a sort of sad Gallic shrug. We felt sorry for him. A suggestion for BF is to paint foot prints on the floor to show the recommended route.

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1 hour ago, Sandbanker said:

We did venture down from deck 10 to get food, and perhaps next time we will manage a bit better. The first problem was recognising the routine. The instrictions (if you can understand them on first reading) require you to collect your food and sit down at a table to wait for a waiter to come over and assess what you have got. Then, when you have eaten, you have to exit via the till. The second problem was working out the route to take through the servery because it is intersected by the main passage-way to the bar. Most people seemed confused and went round and round in circles. We asked the waiter if it was normal for people to get so confused and he gave a sort of sad Gallic shrug. We felt sorry for him. A suggestion for BF is to paint foot prints on the floor to show the recommended route.

I'm not sure, and may be completely wrong, but as I remember, when it was DFDS, you collected your food, and paid before entry to the seating. The assessment at the table seems like a thing BF have introduced. 

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42 minutes ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

I'm not sure, and may be completely wrong, but as I remember, when it was DFDS, you collected your food, and paid before entry to the seating. The assessment at the table seems like a thing BF have introduced. 

Technically it's the same now although the BF staff are laid back about it and accept payment when leaving. I think it may be due to the queue which can form up so opting to find a seat first keeps the customer flow moving.

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On 12/24/2017 at 14:01, swa30 said:

The BDS is a lovely little boat,

Love it!, she's the 2nd longest in the fleet.

I agree about her plus cabins, they are as good as the commodores on Bretagne & Normandie and the Saturday am sailing is ideal for us too as we overnight on the Friday at the port and they let you use a small generator until around 0615., all very leisurely and the missus doesn't need to book that dreaded odd leave day.

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