Jump to content

Long Plymouth - Roscoff overnight crossings.


Recommended Posts

Out of general interest I was looking at overnight crossings from Plymouth-Roscoff and noticed that occasionally some of the crossings were almost 12 hours. I think it was on Fridays later in the summer. Does anybody know for the reason for this? - is it due to tidal conditions. They were on Armorique who could realistically do it in 5/6 hours so it must be quite surreal trundling across at half speed - maybe similar to how Silja Europa operates the Tallin- Helsinki schedule.

There have also been reports of services hugging the Cornish coast and even coming to a standstill - is this purely to prolong the cruise experience and maximise comfort for evening meals.  

I I’ve noted that Galicia’s overnight Portsmouth - Le Havre is around 7/8 hours when she could easily do it in 4 also. It seems a shame they can’t apply this to the Caen services.

Would be nice to hear more anyway.

L’Q.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A combination of being good for the guest experience and good for fuel consumption, sometimes at Plymouth it is due to scheduling ships in the harbour, not sure if that is relevant this year.

There is no point in being fast overnight and landing at 4 in the morning (even assuming that the port is open then !).

Caen has bad timings as each ship does 3 crossings a day,

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It was always the Saturday overnight sailing from Plymouth which didn't arrive on Sunday morning until 10 am. I loved that timing - it allowed me a lie in, a leisurely breakfast and a stroll on deck to watch Pont Aven clear the Roscoff berth at9.15 am. to let Armorique in. Will that ever be the eventual timing once again? 

Edited by wortley
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thursdays were always double ships?

Pont arrived from Spain and docked in Plym around 3-4pm - she then departed Ply to Ross at 8:45pm

armorique departed Roscoff around 3pm and docked at Plymouth for 9pm. So they passed each other in the Sound.

Armorique remained docked overnight at Plym for Friday 8am daytime crossing to Roscoff, while Pont sailed overnight to Roscoff. Because of the earlier departure from Plymouth (8:45pm), she sailed west towards Cornwall at a slow speed, before crossing the channel around midnight.

Pont arrives at Roscoff at around 7am, but moves out of the way for Armorique when she docks around 1-2pm, she then leaves again at around 3pm heading back to Plymouth. Pont moves back, and sails to Cork at around 8pm. 
 

that was pre 2020. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Going off the timetable, as an example there is a crossing departing Sat 17/7 at 22:00 arriving 10:15 on Armorique. This every following Saturday. 

Thats 11.25 doing a crossing that takes 5/6 hours. Will she hug the Cornish coast and sail south, depart late, arrive earlier (like Stena Holland) or across at a slower rate of knottage?

I could of assumed it is to maximise revenue for evening meals etc but the departure is too late and Armorique is not exactly a party ship with casinos and clubs and bars etc.

Nevertheless it would appeal to me as the arrival time is very leisurely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on what has happened before, she will sail round slowly in circles in sheltered areas around Devon / Cornwall and then make a leisurely crossing at her most efficient speed (whatever that is !). Come next month you hopefully will be able to track her.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

Out of general interest I was looking at overnight crossings from Plymouth-Roscoff and noticed that occasionally some of the crossings were almost 12 hours. I think it was on Fridays later in the summer. Does anybody know for the reason for this? - is it due to tidal conditions. They were on Armorique who could realistically do it in 5/6 hours so it must be quite surreal trundling across at half speed - maybe similar to how Silja Europa operates the Tallin- Helsinki schedule.

There have also been reports of services hugging the Cornish coast and even coming to a standstill - is this purely to prolong the cruise experience and maximise comfort for evening meals.  

I I’ve noted that Galicia’s overnight Portsmouth - Le Havre is around 7/8 hours when she could easily do it in 4 also. It seems a shame they can’t apply this to the Caen services.

Would be nice to hear more anyway.

L’Q.

So in reply to your various questions, the Saturday evening departure from Plymouth arriving into Roscoff at 10h15 is to facilitate PA arriving from Cork at 07h00, then returning back to Plymouth to take up her afternoon Spanish run. Armorique will almost always stay close to the U.K. coast as it’s generally sheltered from any adverse weather, PA the same on Thursday nights. Galicia heads to Cherbourg on Sunday nights not Le Havre, it’s basically a manœuvre to allow crew change in France and no pressure whatsoever to arrive early. The demand at Caen/Ouistreham has always dictated a 3 round trips per day service, there are only 24 hours in a day so unfortunately early arrivals/late departures are de rigueur.

But it used to be worse!  Currently overnights from U.K. are 22h45/06h45. When the Duc ruled the roost it was 23h15/06h30 - and spare a thought back in the 90’s for the poor blighters charged full cabin rate for a Stena overnight from Southampton on Stena Normandy, arriving into Cherbourg at 05h00 local time so the knock on the door to get your bottom into gear was at 03h00 U.K. time....🤪

Chris

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Friends were in France on holiday with us a few years ago and she was 32 weeks pregnant so BF wouldn't carry her. They ended up using DFDS and returned on the night crossing which leaves DIeppe at midnight and arrives in Newhaven at 4am. We had crossed back on NEX and stayed overnight in Oxfordshire. They came off their ferry and got as far as Slough before the driver had to stop for a sleep. We saw their car at two different motorway services on the M6 and finally caught up with them at Abington services on the M74 and they had had a grim crossing in terms of the ferry time.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We long for the return of thoes leisurely, slow overnighters on the Pont. Left Plymough then chugged across the pond at a crawl, sometimes actually drifting on a smooth ocean for a couple of hours. Early boarding, up to our Commodore, into Le Flora for a big buffet diner, a few glasses of this or that, then retire to bed as the Pont heads for France. Wake at 7.00 am with breakfast in bed then off the ferry totally relaxed and ready for the long drive south! Oh happy days! When will they return, I wonder?

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you @KenTownley loved a Thursday evening departure from Plymouth after an early loading and as you say a great meal in La Flora. We have had many a great long weekend and filling the car to the brim at a certain wine establishment in Roscoff.

With the new timetable (if it happens) it's going to be a Tuesday departure this year. Never mind longer in France cant be bad.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/05/2021 at 08:46, KenTownley said:

We long for the return of thoes leisurely, slow overnighters on the Pont. Left Plymough then chugged across the pond at a crawl, sometimes actually drifting on a smooth ocean for a couple of hours. Early boarding, up to our Commodore, into Le Flora for a big buffet diner, a few glasses of this or that, then retire to bed as the Pont heads for France. Wake at 7.00 am with breakfast in bed then off the ferry totally relaxed and ready for the long drive south! Oh happy days! When will they return, I wonder?

And this is why ferries, done properly, are so much better than flying. 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/05/2021 at 08:46, KenTownley said:

We long for the return of thoes leisurely, slow overnighters on the Pont. Left Plymough then chugged across the pond at a crawl, sometimes actually drifting on a smooth ocean for a couple of hours. Early boarding, up to our Commodore, into Le Flora for a big buffet diner, a few glasses of this or that, then retire to bed as the Pont heads for France. Wake at 7.00 am with breakfast in bed then off the ferry totally relaxed and ready for the long drive south! Oh happy days! When will they return, I wonder?

We tried this but our experience was a little different:

Early last minute boarding (due to child being sick on journey from Yorkshire), up to our Commodore cupboard with barely space for the travel cot , into Le Flora, then out again after realising how long the whole process would take and that it wasn't really suitable with a baby, then down to the self service for a passable big buffet diner plate, a few glasses of this or that, then retire to bed as the Pont heads for France. Wake at 12am, 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am 7.00 am due to sleepless baby (witnessing the boat drifting on a smooth ocean) with breakfast in some kind of daze bed then off the ferry totally knackered relaxed and ready for the long drive south only to find we are in Brest, not Roscoff! Oh happy days! When will they return, (never, no more kids) I wonder?

 

I'd do it again tomorrow, if given the chance!

  • Haha 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

12 hours on a ship to France or 12 hours on a plane to Thailand.?  

The timing of the journey is the same, and the economy seats on the plane and those on the ship are pretty similar.  I never could afford business class on the plane or commodore class on the ship, but the sights and smells of Asia saw me going there as often as to France.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, wortley said:

12 hours on a ship to France or 12 hours on a plane to Thailand.?  

The timing of the journey is the same, and the economy seats on the plane and those on the ship are pretty similar.  I never could afford business class on the plane or commodore class on the ship, but the sights and smells of Asia saw me going there as often as to France.

But on the ferry you don't have hours in a terminal with thousands of others, you can get up and walk around the ship and you have your own private space to retreat to.  I'm sure others will add other advantages.  The only advantage of flying is where you end up but the journey itself is more relaxed on the ferry.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, David Williams said:

You won't be filling the car to the brim anymore either !

Some of us will, and plenty of room in a Berlingo as well .

Edited by Chef
  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we are comparing apples to pears here.

If you are travelling UK/France or UK/Northern Spain then the ferry certainly provides a very civilised travel experience and of course enables you take so much more than a couple of suitcases and some hand baggage.

If you are wanting to go further afield the the ferry is not really a viable option unless you are happy with a long ferry trip and then a long drive. That may be OK for some but not for most.

Those who like the sun drenched beaches o the Costas are unlikely to choose a 24 hour voyage to Santander followed by a 500/600 mile drive.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

We tried this but our experience was a little different:

Early last minute boarding (due to child being sick on journey from Yorkshire), up to our Commodore cupboard with barely space for the travel cot , into Le Flora, then out again after realising how long the whole process would take and that it wasn't really suitable with a baby, then down to the self service for a passable big buffet diner plate, a few glasses of this or that, then retire to bed as the Pont heads for France. Wake at 12am, 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am 7.00 am due to sleepless baby (witnessing the boat drifting on a smooth ocean) with breakfast in some kind of daze bed then off the ferry totally knackered relaxed and ready for the long drive south only to find we are in Brest, not Roscoff! Oh happy days! When will they return, (never, no more kids) I wonder?

 

I'd do it again tomorrow, if given the chance!

Oh dearv VV! Not the restful, calm experience you expected. Glad you have not been put off forever.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, KenTownley said:

Oh dearv VV! Not the restful, calm experience you expected. Glad you have not been put off forever.

All part of holidaying with a 3.5 month old. 8.5 years later and she's normally my best buddy on the ferry, even been known to make it onto the dance floor. 

Worth it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, VikingVoyager said:

All part of holidaying with a 3.5 month old. 8.5 years later and she's normally my best buddy on the ferry, even been known to make it onto the dance floor. 

Worth it.

It's why the Rosyth-Zeebrugge crossing worked so well for us when ours were very small. We had a 45 minute drive to Rosyth and if we had a bad night we could have an early breakfast and the 1pm arrival meant that we could take it in turns to sleep through the morning with the other parent looking after the children elsewhere on the ship.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, elaine80 said:

It's why the Rosyth-Zeebrugge crossing worked so well for us when ours were very small. We had a 45 minute drive to Rosyth and if we had a bad night we could have an early breakfast and the 1pm arrival meant that we could take it in turns to sleep through the morning with the other parent looking after the children elsewhere on the ship.

We've opted for Hull on every holiday since bar one (Plym Roscoff again, but a slightly better experience and Caen on the way home).  A two leisurely two hour drive means setting off after lunch and fewer chances of tantrums / sickness in the car.

This year it's Arran and Islay!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, VikingVoyager said:

We've opted for Hull on every holiday since bar one (Plym Roscoff again, but a slightly better experience and Caen on the way home).  A two leisurely two hour drive means setting off after lunch and fewer chances of tantrums / sickness in the car.

This year it's Arran and Islay!

Good luck getting to Arran! The MV Loch Seaforth is currently out of service so Arran is a ship down because the ships have had to be shuffled around (I read that there were 4 Calmac ships either out of service or unable to provide a full service last week).

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, elaine80 said:

Good luck getting to Arran! The MV Loch Seaforth is currently out of service so Arran is a ship down because the ships have had to be shuffled around (I read that there were 4 Calmac ships either out of service or unable to provide a full service last week).

Well...it's booked...and we are hoping by August they'll have some ships back in service!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...