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Le Quiberon

Portsmouth - Le Havre: 11 hour crossing

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I have looked into the possibility of a Portsmouth - Le Havre crossing early next year (Spring) and noticed that some crossings on board Etretat leave at around 20:30 and arrive at around 08:30 the next morning.

I am just wondering why the crossing is so long  as it can be done comfortably in 4/5 hours. Does the ferry travel very slow or does it dock earlier but allow passengers to disembark later similar to Stena Harwich/Hook.

It actually suits me down to the ground but am interested as to why. Any help will be much appreciated.

Quibz.

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Overnight crossings on the Western Channel have always been scheduled to take longer than the day crossing, ever since they started in the early-mid 1960s.  Today is no different; it's to allow for civilised departure and arrival times given that there is no benefit to be had from completing the crossing at normal speed in any case - wouldn't result in getting any more sailings out of the ship, and saves fuel in the process.  As TFM says, the ship will just potter across at about half speed.

Regarding the timings on the Le Havre route - arrival in Le Havre is a civilised 0830 rather than the horrendous 0700 at Caen because they can - the ship doesn't need to leave Le Havre until the afternoon.  At Ouistreham they have to turn the ship round in 90 minutes and get it away again by 0830, so they have no choice but to go for the 0700 arrival that is almost universally hated by passengers.  On layover day, the arrival in Ouistreham is later.

The 2030/2045 departures from Portsmouth are more intriguing and of great interest.  These seem to happen on Sundays and Mondays, and follow on from unusually early departure times from Le Havre earlier in the day.  I'm trying to work out what the reason for that might be.  I can think of three possible theories that might explain it:  one, that it is purely a choice made by BF to enable a more civilised departure time from Portsmouth (than 2330) that is made possible (in terms of the demands of north-bound freight) by the two-ship schedule that is operating post-Brexit; two, that there may be a need to get the ship away from Portsmouth before the Ouistreham ship arrives due to a need to share the same berth during a maintenance schedule on the PIP linkspans; three, that there may be a need to vacate the Le Havre berth earlier than normal to allow another ferry (from Rosslare?) to use it.  No doubt I will be wrong on all three counts, but it will be interesting to see how it unfolds, as the reason will probably become apparent in time.  Maybe LHC knows the answer (?).

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With the Honfleur, due some time soon we hope, it would be good to see the return of the 7:30am arrival to Le Havre, as it gives time for a round trip on the local bus to Honfleur, as by naming a ship which promotes Honfleur, unlike drivers foot passengers would have the day to visit and get something to eat working also that the boat leaves at 5:30pm.

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Yes, some people like early arrivals from overnight sailings - for day trips as Eddies has said, and for those who have a long drive ahead of them them.

But my own favourite overnight crossing is from Plymouth on a Saturday night which goes even more slowly than the Le Havre ship,  taking a full twelve hours not eleven and doesn't arrive in Roscoff until10 am. It's the only crossing where I get to eat my free breakfast in a leisurely way. 

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Slightly off topic but still Le Havre..can anyone tell me what are the departure roads like out of the port of Le Havre before connecting with the A13 autoroute...Good/nightmare/just busy/poor??...Dont fancy the steep ramp plus salt water car wash of the Etretat at any price BUT if Normandie comes on the route in the near future it might come into my reckoning..Thanks

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

Slightly off topic but still Le Havre..can anyone tell me what are the departure roads like out of the port of Le Havre before connecting with the A13 autoroute...Good/nightmare/just busy/poor??...Dont fancy the steep ramp plus salt water car wash of the Etretat at any price BUT if Normandie comes on the route in the near future it might come into my reckoning..Thanks

It's simple enough. Out of the terminal turn right and continue past the football stadium etc. I think it's the A282 then A131 (new van so no info in the sat nag). The A29 and Pont de Normandie are well signposted over head & the 29 runs straight into the A13. We have a tag so nipping through the toll barriers is painless.

Sometimes we find doing it the opposite way a bit tricky especially as near the left hand turn towards the port in Le Havre parked cars mean we have to straddle two lanes which is obviously annoying for other drivers plus if you're in anything bigger than a car getting across from the inside lane needs to be done well beforehand due to the amount of traffic usually around.

It's like most places, once done you know what to look out for.

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