Brittany Ferries is to launch a new budget service on its routes from Portsmouth to Le Havre and Santander in Spain.
From 25 March 2014 the new “no-frills” service could provide budget conscious travellers to western and central France with an alternative to the short-sea crossings from Dover/Folkestone – cutting mileage considerably and reducing the need for overnight accommodation en route.
There will be a weekend service between Portsmouth and Santander in northern Spain and five return crossings between Portsmouth and Le Havre, one of which will be freight-only.
Branded Brittany Ferries économie, this new product is designed to appeal to those who wish to travel to France or Spain at a very reasonable fare without the cruise-style experience normally provided by Brittany Ferries.
Nonetheless, customers can expect good quality French catering on board (but with a limited choice) served by bilingual French crew. The cabins will all have en-suite facilities, but without carpets, and there will be a lounge where seats can be reserved on overnight crossings. Pet owners will welcome the 12 pet-friendly cabins and there will be two specially equipped cabins for disabled passengers. Entertainment will be restricted to a movie lounge.
One way fares for a car plus two this spring will start at just £79 to France and £169 (including reclining seats) to Spain.
These crossings maybe a bit slower (e.g. 4hrs Portsmouth – Le Havre).
The traditional Brittany Ferries crossings do tend to have great standards of food and accommodation compared to the more “functional” short sea crossings and do offer a more civilised and relaxed way to Normandie, Brittany and western France – so that your holiday can feel like it has begun as soon as the ferry docks.