Unless you're in a large group or travelling "high season" I'd be careful about booking ferry crossings too early. I booked 6 months in advance for a Britanny Santander crossing last year only to find ticket prices had dropped 25% weeks before the departure date.
Next year I'll be checking the net regularly and booking as late as possible. Unless you travel plans are cast in stone there are always alternatives.
Must admit that i've never seen any kind of deal for Brittany ferries!!,but i'll take e'm very time,haveing done the Bilbao/Portsmouth(P+O),the Santander/Plymouth beats e'm hands down.
Have only ever gone one way,the worlds far to bigger place to over the same piece of ground twice on the same holiday.
What i have heard from friends who have been trying save a buck on cheap ferries,heaven help if you early or late,if you like to be organised fine,but on the Dover/Calais run i can't remember the last time i got on the boat i booked!!!,either going or comeing back,and with P+O it doesn't matter,cuz they run e'm like buses.
It's a VERY long time since I've taken a bike on a ferry, but I've been taking the car and family to Europe at least once a year for the past 10 years. Choice of ferry is usually dictated by desired destination, and I've used P&O, Superfast and Britanny Ferries. That's also the order of preference that I'd rate them in. P&O & Superfast, in my experience, beat BF hands down in terms of customer service. Much slicker, and less "take it or leave it, monsieur." The P&O dinner buffet is very good indeed.
We shop mainly in Tesco, and the loyalty points, at 4:1 redemption ratio, can be used against P&0 ferry costs.
Roll on summer! Might manage to persuade SWMBO to let me take the bike on a trailer.
I've used Brittany, P&O, Norfolkline and even many years ago the hovercraft of happy memory. IMO Brittany has easily the best food, as FifeTiger suggests the fixed price menu is great. It's also a nice start to a French trip with comfortable accommodation, although it is pricy and the Dover crossings are all much cheaper. If cost was not a factor I'd choose Brittany every time.
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