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enyajtrebor

Motorcycle Holiday

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As BF have taken a lot of flack of late over the Pont saga I thought I would just add a little voyage / trip report that might address some of the balance.

 

Mrs D and I have just had our annual French motorcycle holiday which we booked (with the exception of just one night) with BF using the hotels from their data base. We have used the booking service previously for gites etc but this was a first for a motorcycle holiday having previously used the Eastern Channel routes which fitted in with our itinerary better.

 

From the initial enquiries regarding availability of crossings and hotels the responses from all at BF have been excellent. As per normal we chose Barfleur for the crossings, Poole being much more convenient for us than any other options.

 

Outbound was on the 0830 Wednesday 28th departure and loading was very quick. There were three other bikes as well as ours and we were first on. The deck staff were great and soon had the bikes secure. We took the option of a cabin so we could leave our kit if the crossing was busy. As it was there was plenty of room on deck 7 so we secured a nice double table and window seat. The mezzanine deck was in use but didn’t look particularly full. On board catering staff were friendly and polite with the usual Barfleur food choices and drinks. Compared to DFDS I think BF offer better value.

Arrival at Cherbourg was bang on time and unloading was fairly quick. We were ushered through the French border controls and into the first night hotel in Cherbourg by 1430.

One of the requirements for all the hotels was secure parking for the motorcycle – we chose the following hotels which met all our expectations.

Hotel Le Louvre @ Cherbourg

Hotel Adagio @ Saumur

Hotel Le Champlain @ La Rochelle

Hotel Le Plantagenet @ Chinon

To their credit all provided excellent breakfast, ideally situated and with friendly staff.

During the trip we visited Oradour Sur Glane – there is little you can say.............

Our return trip was 0845 from Cherbourg on Sunday 8th, Barfleur was very lightly loaded, I counted just 40 vehicles on deck 5 and there didn’t appear to be a lot of freight waiting for loading either. The crossing was uneventful and in both directions our cabin on deck 6 was clean and appeared well maintained. Arrival at Poole was on schedule but even with the light loading it took us nearly 30 minutes to clear Border Control and leave the port.

 

So overall a great holiday thanks to BF and all the staff we met were friendly, approachable and efficient. Value for money compared to making our own arrangements was very good with much of the pre trip work being done for us.

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We stayed in the Louvre many years ago before No.3 was born. Our main memory of the hotel (other than the tight car parking space) was the gorgeous baguettes at breakfast. We munched through so many that they had to go across the road to the bakery and bring back more for us.

That was the only time we went on Irish Ferries and the Normandy truly was a rust bucket.

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I am wondering if it is worth booking the Mercure in Cherbourg one day, it is very central and as the Marine Hotel is sadly no more, now demolished, thought it might be worth looking at the Mercure.  Depending on the Brexit situation and sailings affected by it all, been thinking of hotels, another is the Ambassador.  Both quite central.

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