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K2rockall

Day Trip Offers vs Short breaks

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I love travelling with Brittany Ferries and have done numerous trips with them over the years. The majority of these have been day trips either with a car (more recently), or on foot. I also did a package trip to Santander once, and then hired a car which I loved. 

As much as I like the day trips (typically to Caen or St Malo and back), unfortunately you have to rush around like a mad thing to see places and always seems a shame to get back on the ferry at the end of the day, rather than extend the trip. So why not extend the trip I hear you ask? Well it just seems to cost so much more, even to extend for a couple of nights. That's what I don't understand and hoping someone can shed some light on. You're still undertaking a round trip to France and back so no more burden on the Ferry operator, with a car and yet a day trip offer is typically £80ish for two people, but extending even for just an additional 24 hours you're suddenly talking £300. I don't get it?

Looking forward to hopefully booking a trip to Normandy this summer with my partner to show her the Landing beaches and D-Day heritage spots particularly as the 75th Anniversary, but so much to see and can only cover a small part of it on a day trip. 

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Yes, day trips can be a bit of a rush although St Malo does lend itself to a 24hr excursion with options along the coast in both directions or inland plus a meal in the Intra Muros

I've not priced up any short breaks this year but we did one down to the Loire Valley last year to view some of the Chateaux which was good value.

I think you have to look at it on the basis that day trips are exceptionally cheap although cabins each way can jack up the costs and that a fairer comparison should be made with the cost of a short break in the UK. Decent B&Bs or 3 star hotels over here can be surprisingly expensive unless you settle for a Travelodge or chain hotel out of town whereas many French B&B hotels in Brittany and Normandy can be very pleasant places to stay in attractive locations and with local cusine as opposed to steak and chips at the nearby Brewer's Fayre!

In the end it's whether the overal package cost seems reasonable for the enjoyment you get.

There are some nice hotels in Bayeux or along the coast which make great bases for exploring the landing beaches and local area. Look at mid week travel options too, we have found Monday to Thursday can often be cheaper.

Edited by cvabishop
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All the operators from Portsmouth have always done bargain basement day trips which can't make them any money at all. The differential you mention is nothing new.  That being said I have just done a test booking for a two night stay in St M in October which comes to £244 for footpax including an outbound cabin. I might even book it. It doesn't seem that bad value. But it's not such a steal that I'd definitely take the offer. 

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We've usually taken advantage of the 'up to 24 hoursin France' offers for £50, sailing from Poole and 0830 and returning on the 1830 from Cherbourg the next evening.  With Barfleur's current sailing patterns this is no longer possible but twice this year we've sailed from Poole at 0830 on Monday and returned on Friday evening. The first of these trips (in March) was £128 for the two of us and the car, and £138 when we repeated the exercise last week. Excellent value!

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If looking at short breaks it might pay to book the hotel with BF as well, as a package this can work out cheaper.

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Yes, it certainly makes sense to book the hotel with BF, usually makes a big difference compared with doing your own thing.

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4 hours ago, BBCone said:

We've usually taken advantage of the 'up to 24 hoursin France' offers for £50, sailing from Poole and 0830 and returning on the 1830 from Cherbourg the next evening.  With Barfleur's current sailing patterns this is no longer possible but twice this year we've sailed from Poole at 0830 on Monday and returned on Friday evening. The first of these trips (in March) was £128 for the two of us and the car, and £138 when we repeated the exercise last week. Excellent value!

I am taking advantage of the overnight sailings from Poole we used to have while we have the revised timetable.  I am catching the overnight crossing at 21.15 to get to Cherbourg early morning, catching the 15.30 home.  Gives more time ashore than the normal schedule unless you do an overnight crossing home.  I prefer the 24 hr thing, I get to do what I want.  Suits me fine.

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I booked a short break in France offer from Portsmouth to Caen and return with 3 nights in a hotel in Arromanches. Worked out as £494 for two which is pretty good I think. Much cheaper than ferry and hotel seperately. Will be great to emerse ourselves in all the Normandy history again being the 75th Anniversary year. 

We also get Normandie on the way out and Mont St Michel on the way back which is nice. 

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9 hours ago, K2rockall said:

I booked a short break in France offer from Portsmouth to Caen and return with 3 nights in a hotel in Arromanches. Worked out as £494 for two which is pretty good I think. Much cheaper than ferry and hotel seperately. Will be great to emerse ourselves in all the Normandy history again being the 75th Anniversary year. 

We also get Normandie on the way out and Mont St Michel on the way back which is nice. 

I think that the important thing is to spend time looking at the options as there are bargains in both the holidays and the normal fares. 

We have a flat about 25 mins drive from Ouistreham and have started taking afternoon crossings out and morning crossings back which works well with the UK Journey. When quiet or booked far enough ahead (with CV Discount), we can get the crossing for 2 + car + outside cabin for £171 which is a decent price and less than Eurotunnel once the petrol and tolls are taken into account.

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On 04/06/2019 at 21:40, K2rockall said:

I love travelling with Brittany Ferries and have done numerous trips with them over the years. The majority of these have been day trips either with a car (more recently), or on foot. I also did a package trip to Santander once, and then hired a car which I loved. 

As much as I like the day trips (typically to Caen or St Malo and back), unfortunately you have to rush around like a mad thing to see places and always seems a shame to get back on the ferry at the end of the day, rather than extend the trip. So why not extend the trip I hear you ask? Well it just seems to cost so much more, even to extend for a couple of nights. That's what I don't understand and hoping someone can shed some light on. You're still undertaking a round trip to France and back so no more burden on the Ferry operator, with a car and yet a day trip offer is typically £80ish for two people, but extending even for just an additional 24 hours you're suddenly talking £300. I don't get it?

Looking forward to hopefully booking a trip to Normandy this summer with my partner to show her the Landing beaches and D-Day heritage spots particularly as the 75th Anniversary, but so much to see and can only cover a small part of it on a day trip. 

So, your observations are quite correct - essentially the cost to BF of conveying 'you' as a unit of a car and it's occupants in terms of variable costs is pretty much the same regardless of how long you're away for, maybe with a tiny tiny difference to the fuel the ship needs etc etc. But, BF still have the fixed costs of staff, running the ships, supplies etc.

If everyone paid 80 quid return, BF would probably fill their ships up all the time - but probably also wouldn't make any money doing so. The bottom line is that customers will either decide a fare is worth it or not. The art of pricing is to, effectively, extract the maximum amount of money that the market/customer is willing to pay. Some people may need to travel for a specific period, others may not. Some people may be going for a holiday, others may not. From the BF perspective, offering a day-trip with limitations on it both in terms of how you travel and how far in advance you can book is carefully calculated to make financial sense for the company.

A similar (but old) example is with airlines - there's a popular assumption that someone away over a Saturday night is a tourist - but someone who isn't could be travelling on business and it could be their company could be paying. They have a need to travel but probably don't want to for longer than necessary. When I used to go out to India, flying out on a Saturday (and thus being away Saturday night) instead of leaving on Sunday could reduce a return economy fare for the following week from 1700 quid to 800. No difference in cost to the airline, but they know what they can get away with charging. They know a business will pay more than double.

Same principle goes with yield management - it could be argued there's no difference to BF in the cost of transporting you from the start of May to the end of May - but prices will increase for half term because that's the only time many people can go and therefore a time for a business to maximise the money it can bring in.

In the case of your example... reverse what you've suggested a little... would you pay 300 quid to go for the day? Probably not. But you're happy to pay 80. To BF, 80 quid is better than none, so if there's enough space you're not blocking someone else from booking, why not?! The line has to be drawn somewhere.

Apologies for the waffle, but hopefully it illustrates some of the possible logic! Yey capitalism!

 

 

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If BF offer a hotel in the area you want to go then doing an inclusive short break with them is usually a no brainer. Breakfast is normally included too which can save quite a bit over having to purchase it. Sometimes you get one night free as well.

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