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Ferry options? Day or night? Thoughts and info, please


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Another factor for Club Voyage members to take into consideration is the variation in benefits for crossings at different times of day.  Namely a free basic interior cabin (or exterior for just £5) on afternoon crossings from the UK or on morning crossings from France.  No reduction for cabins overnight but a generous breakfast allowance for each passenger.

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1 minute ago, PGTV said:

Toblerone….

it’s the only thing I see people buying (Armorique Plym to Ross). I’m yet to do this myself. 

Cheaper to buy that in the shops in the UK!!  Although I still get it on the boat anyway..🤣

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

My purchases will be in bottles and at least 40% ABV (ideally 50% )

Unfortunately I cannot tolerate alcohol so I raid the chocolate.  And biscuits...

 

Edited by Khaines
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I have been travelling to France for work, I used to work for a company based in St Malo and holidays initially to Brittany then to the vendee and now to the south of France.

Living in Cumbria for me and my family there is only one option outward an that is Portsmouth to St Malo leaving after breakfast and getting to Portsmouth around 5 o clock.

I have tried evening crossings to Caen and Roscoff from Plymouth but always arrived in France feeling knackered to be honest so St Malo is default choice, anyway nothing better than sitting at rear of Bretange watching Blighty dissapear with a G n T in hand.

Return crossing Caen to Portsmouth as easier to join motorway network and head home.

   

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2 hours ago, Khaines said:

Unfortunately I cannot tolerate alcohol so I raid the chocolate.  And biscuits...

 

Might be just me - but I find the coffee from the £ 1.00 vending machine onboard the Armorique better than the £ 3.50 one from the cafe onboard? There is a bitter chocolate coffee (think it is), I purchased by mistake, took a few sips and thought ewww, but actually turned out really nice. It’s the one I go for now.

i avoid the tea pots in the self service thou - I mistakenly opened the lid on one. Yes, you can get 2-3 cups worth, but gee, it was black inside! Don’t think they are cleaned properly 

completely useless facts - but someone might find it interesting 

 

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1 hour ago, PGTV said:

Might be just me - but I find the coffee from the £ 1.00 vending machine onboard the Armorique better than the £ 3.50 one from the cafe onboard? There is a bitter chocolate coffee (think it is), I purchased by mistake, took a few sips and thought ewww, but actually turned out really nice. It’s the one I go for now.

i avoid the tea pots in the self service thou - I mistakenly opened the lid on one. Yes, you can get 2-3 cups worth, but gee, it was black inside! Don’t think they are cleaned properly 

completely useless facts - but someone might find it interesting 

 

I remember picking up an Earl Grey teabag instead of an English Breakfast one.  One sip of that...🤢. Luckily they changed it in the self service!! 

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Sorry i know it's not normandy relevant but here goes. For us we travel to Bergerac, we live in somerset so our best departure ports are Plymouth or Poole. Poole means cherbourg and we find the overnight gets us rested for the long drive which we do in one hit. Plymouth means Roscoff and again overninght suits for the same reason, although it is slightly further. Coming back we do afternoon on a monday, meaning we leave Bergerac PM Sunday, stop overnight somewhere near Nantes and then get afternoon ferry back to Plymouth. Always get a cabin, but we are CV members so this helps. At least then you a) have storage for belongings and b) have somewhere to crash if tired or it's a rough crossing. 

Leaving Plymouth we try and take the later overnight boat and eat in the harbourside in Plymouth, then you can get onboard have some drinks and get your heads down. Coming back from Roscoff you can get lunch in the town before returning (as long as you don't forget the time as we nearly did last year when we were last on board!!)

As I say, not Normandy, but gives some other views. As an aside, from Somerset the Portsmouth drive is a ball ache before and after. Hate it.

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Portsmouth is usually a 6 hour drive with a pit stop if we use the A43 passing Towcester & Silverstone for the M40 rather than use the M42.

When we travel to Ouistreham we always opt for the AM sailing. We'll either overnight in one of the check in lanes or leave around midnight. Both options still mean I sleep until dinnertime in the cabin.

Problem with that is I'm then awake too late the following night, compounded by the time adjustment.

Ideally we opt for the St Malo sailing then drive for 3 hours at most back into Normandy as it doesn't knacker my sleep cycle and we're still at our destination in the Region by dinnertime.

We always book a cabin, usually a commodore, we tend to keep ourselves to ourselves and like the option of having a kip or sitting on the couch. Must have a shower and a change.

I like most of the ships which serve France, there always seems to be a nice balance between cabin location and onboard services... been on all of them at least 3 times (Armorique), lost count how many times I've sailed on Bretagne & Normandie and must admit to having a soft spot for Barfy. 

For Spain we'll tend to look more at the Cap Finistere although the Saturday AM sailings provided by BDS were very comfortable up in your cabin on deck 10. Looking forward to sampling Galicia to Cherbourg and Spain.

We'll head to Spain if we're venturing into the south of France up as far as Bordeaux.

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3 hours ago, jonno said:

Portsmouth is usually a 6 hour drive with a pit stop if we use the A43 passing Towcester & Silverstone for the M40 rather than use the M42.

When we travel to Ouistreham we always opt for the AM sailing. We'll either overnight in one of the check in lanes or leave around midnight. Both options still mean I sleep until dinnertime in the cabin.

Problem with that is I'm then awake too late the following night, compounded by the time adjustment.

 

Sounds a familiar journey to me, although I prefer to leave the north early in the morning and hit the A34 post rush hour to arrive at Portsmouth for lunch then get the afternoon sailing to Ouistreham.  I then book a hotel in Caen to hit the motorways the next day so I'm in Brittany or the Loire by lunch.

I've found heading down to Portsmouth the night before more tiring with the M1 and A34 being slow going, and find it harder to doze off in a hotel being alert from the drive.

St Malo is the ideal choice but getting it booked in time is the issue!

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