Jump to content

Mini Cruises


hf_uk
 Share

Recommended Posts

Seeing as during Covid, almost without realising, the Pont Aven now goes Plymouth-Spain-Plyouth direct twice a week without a silly coach-transfer being required (something which many have longed for to return for some time), I wondered about the return of the legendary Santander mini-cruise. BF used to market this themselves when Wessex Continental took it on and facilitated coaches etc when Pompey was involved. Now things are returning to normal, it would be nice to see this growing again. I know that BF crew were never big fans (loutish locals in the bar lol), but I wonder if it would work in the current climate. The only thing I can think of which may be an issue is the time/timings ashore. Best scenario used to give you 7 hours ashore in Spain during the day, but I suppose the if the schedules only allowed 2 or 3 then it's not as inviting....

Edited by hf_uk
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It also makes perfect sense still to make use of Pont Aven, as she has tons of cabins and tons of passenger space, and it seems like Portsmouth will be an e-flexer city in the future!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good idea and an option I would take up if available.

I'm sure BF would not want to turn it into a booze cruise as per the Pride of Bilbao. I did a couple of trips from Plymouth many years ago on the Val  De Loire and they were fine. They were mid-week crossings, not at the weekend so this likely helped with this matter plus sales could be restricted. They included food vouchers as well as I remember.

As per a recent post I'm sure a mini-cruise option would go down well on the shorter routes out of Portsmouth as well.

By the way no offence to the POB cruisers, I know some people loved them. I once had the option of a St Malo trip or the POB mini-cruise. I chose St Malo and had a lovely 24 hours trip. On arrival back at Portsmouth Saturday evening I was thankful I chose the Bretagne.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Edited by Abbotsman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dedicated mini cruises are fine but but some years ago we unfortuntately shared a St Malo crossing on PA with a cruise organised by one of the Hampshire local radio stations. They completely took over the bar area with their celebrations and high spirits which drove us away to find somewhere else to sit where it was a bit quieter. I'm sure they all enjoyed themseslves but it rather spoilt the crossing for us. We weren't expecting a frenetic nautical travelling nightclub atmosphere having passed the age for such activities!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Abbotsman said:

Didn't a valentine cruise get cancelled once due to issues with the PA?

Roses are red, violets are blue, with Pont Aven on the blink, that's my marriage proposal down the loo 

Ed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Yes, I think it was Wave on our occasion.

I did one of them too, it was mad!!!

All these exceedingly, how shall I put this, "relaxed" sorts who were very errr "lively" and a touch  umm "assertive". 

I could see one of these jolly chaps taking a swing at me and things then  turning a bit "hectic", so I retired early. 

A bizarre trip.

Though there was also the other one where everyone was in fancy dress, these two fellas were dressed as Batman and Robin.  I said "Wotcher Del boy!!" he looked pained, and told me with a pained expression, more people said he was Mr Trotter than Mr Kent.

Rhys

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Abbotsman said:

By the way no offence to the POB cruisers, I know some people loved them.

No offence taken. POB was a fine way to travel until P&O decided to encourage the booze cruisers. I think a lot of it has died away now, even the Newcastle ships are far quieter than they used to be. Budget airlines now mean revellers can get to Amsterdam and more far flung places far quicker. They're all happy to pile onto a very shabby Ryanair flight now.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, jonno said:

No offence taken. POB was a fine way to travel until P&O decided to encourage the booze cruisers. I think a lot of it has died away now, even the Newcastle ships are far quieter than they used to be. Budget airlines now mean revellers can get to Amsterdam and more far flung places far quicker. They're all happy to pile onto a very shabby Ryanair flight now.

 

That's true, but I just wonder whether perhaps, the budget airlines popularity may have peaked and maybe their hay day could be over? Of course it doesn't necessarily follow that this could or would mean more business for the ferries, but I think it will be interesting to see how travel habits develop in the coming years. 

Also, there are many more cheap "mini cruises" available with the established cruise lines such as P&O, which must also be a factor. 

 

Edited by Ryan_H
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Ryan_H said:

That's true, but I just wonder whether perhaps, the budget airlines popularity may have peaked and maybe their hay day could be over? Of course it doesn't necessarily follow that this could or would mean more business for the ferries, but I think it will be interesting to see how travel habits develop in the coming years. 

Also, there are many more cheap "mini cruises" available with the established cruise lines such as P&O, which must also be a factor. 

 

I think that there are a growing number of travellers who are now realising that for many routes the likes of Ryanair are no cheaper than more 'upmarket' airlines.

As an example, pre Covid and before Ryanair switched to Arlanda we booked flights on SAS to Stockholm which were only £5 more expensive. For that you got twice the baggage allowance, inflight wifi, free snacks & drinks and a few inches more legroom. Now you even have to factor in that the Irish airline has begun to charge for cabin baggage too. 

I wonder whether the traditional cruise liners are a little too formal for many mini cruisers?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

Also, there are many more cheap "mini cruises" available with the established cruise lines such as P&O, which must also be a factor. 

Yes, pre Covid you could get a 3 day cruise on a proper cruise ship for much the same as the BF Christmas & New Year cruises and to a much highr standard.

Ryanair announced yesterday they would be lowering their fares over the winter to encourage demand.

Quote

I wonder whether the traditional cruise liners are a little too formal for many mini cruisers?

You don't need to be formal on cruise ships these days unless you are travelling in the high price cabin categories and dining in the poshest restaurants. There are plenty of eating options that don't require dressing up and a lot of cruisers are happy enough with that.

Edited by cvabishop
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, jonno said:

I think that there are a growing number of travellers who are now realising that for many routes the likes of Ryanair are no cheaper than more 'upmarket' airlines.

As an example, pre Covid and before Ryanair switched to Arlanda we booked flights on SAS to Stockholm which were only £5 more expensive. For that you got twice the baggage allowance, inflight wifi, free snacks & drinks and a few inches more legroom. Now you even have to factor in that the Irish airline has begun to charge for cabin baggage too. 

I wonder whether the traditional cruise liners are a little too formal for many mini cruisers?

We flew from Nantes to Nice and back last week with easyJet and couldn't fault the service, cleanliness, punctuality and efficiency. Yes it's very expensive if you book late but get in early and the prices are reasonable. Then factor in that it's only 5 hours door to door compared to 12+ in a car plus probably a night in a hotel to break the journey for the children and it's not difficult to make a decision.

Ed

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Abbotsman said:

Wave 105 radio station did mini cruises to both St Malo & Santander. Didn't a valentine cruise get cancelled once due to issues with the PA?

I think it may have even been twice! 😮

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to see BF reintroduce their cruise and stay offers again that they used to do. We've used them a couple of times for a quick trip to France. Santander sounds a good idea too. P & O have started theirs up again to Holland, and DFDS have too I believe.

As for loud Brits on holiday, I've often felt embarassed by them. A few years ago (whilst in my mid twenties), I was in Sydney, and another Brit and myself felt that we had to apologise for the behaviour of our (unknown to us) countrymen/women who were being very rowdy in an area of the backpackers hostel, whilst the rest of us were just chatting and having a few drinks. The other guests from all over the world just couldn't understand that mentality.   I've heard from a few different friends who have been on various different flights recently, who have all had experiences of loud/intoxicated Brits, mostly female, on low fare flights. They were all impressed with how the cabin crew and airport staff are taking a zero tolerance approach to this sort of thing now. 

On the P & O minicruises the main revellers tend to stick in the main bar, and thankfully there are a number of alternative locations where they don't seem to venture. Although to be fair, I've never seen it too rowdy on those boats, and P & O do have some fairly robust looking staff who I've seen deal with the one or two troublesome individuals very well. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s a shame that some of the vessels don’t spend more time in port, or even stay overnight meaning you can use the ship as a floating hotel. The lack of time in Spain puts me off doing a mini cruise. It’s not like the vessels are like the Tallink, Viking Line or Color Cruise ‘twins’ where they are part of the destination in itself.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The old Newcastle-Bergen route used to afford you a night and then entire day in Bergen, where you could come and go as you pleased. This was the case under Color Line through to DFDS. I'd say it was the best 'mini cruise' product I've sampled over the years, though Stockholm-Helsinki is a very close second. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mini-cruises were the way we first discovered the joys of BF both to France and Spain.

Now can we please have a minicruise from Caen to do some UK shopping, washed down with a couple of pints of Fullers Best. Or maybe the 24-hour ticket – allowing a morning departure from here and returning next day? I think I'm getting too old for an overnight each way – unless with a cabin, and even then...

 

Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...