Sales galore if you book ferries early
NOW is a good time to start thinking about booking ferry travel to the Continent.
Fares rise significantly closer to the departure dates in peak holiday times, and crossings sell out completely on the busiest weekend sailings on longer routes to western France and Spain.
Also, National Ferry Fortnight kicks off next Saturday, and for bookings made between March 2 and 16, operators will offer some enticing deals.
For example, Brittany Ferries will include free travel for two children plus a free day cabin for car bookings made on daytime sailings on conventional ferries to and from France. That can amount to a saving of more than £150 – and the deal will apply to almost all crossings throughout 2013.
2 4 1 on all items on the steak and grill menu served monday to saturday
Monday - Saturday 12noon - 8pm
cheapest item credited for free
Management reserve the right to withdraw the offer at anytime.
not to be used in conjunction with anyother offer.
Contact: 01472 808799
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
In addition, new EU regulations have strengthened ferry passengers' rights when crossings are delayed or cancelled.
Ferry firms now have to provide free refreshments if departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes. And compensation of 25 to 50 per cent of the ticket price can be claimed for delays and cancellations, though not if caused by bad weather or other "extraordinary circumstances" – get-out clauses may well mean payouts are rare.
For more details of these rights, see the Passenger Shipping Association's website, the-psa.co.uk.
Here are some ideas ...
The Dover Strait: Eurotunnel's Folkestone-Calais car shuttle train service is the fastest way to cross the Channel, and services are unaffected by the weather. But fares – from £128 for an any-duration return – are higher than on the ferries.
Normandy and Brittany: Brittany Ferries is the main player on the western Channel, with crossings to Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo, Roscoff, and, starting on May 17, a new Portsmouth-Le Havre catamaran.
Spain: Brittany Ferries sail from Portsmouth to Bilbao and Santander, and Plymouth to Santander.