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ferry info

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by jags, 13 May 2008.

  1. jags

    jags Über Member

    is it possible to catch a ferry back home without booking ,like if you diden't want to be tied to time say touring france or spain at your lesure could you just plot a course from one port to other and get the ferry back home
     
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Yes you can book on the day at the ferry ports. It's unlikely that with a bike there would ever been too little room. But be warned, some of the ports with infrequent sailings (Le Havre, Roscoff, etc) can be completely dead and deserted between ferry sailings. But eventually someone pitches up a couple of hours before your sailing, and will happily sell you a ticket.

    One thing to watch is that the price structure on the ferries seems to be changing. It used to be that last minute, standby type tickets were pretty cheap, but more companies seem to be following the Easyjet and other budget airlines, by never undercutting those who bothered to book early. SpeedFerries have gone this route (although they don't carry bikes) and I have heard heard of another switching to this, but I can't remember which one it is.

    The other option on routes with traditional ticket pricing, is to book on the last date you could possible return to give you that guarantee and then, if you're early, just ask to be allowed on the next available sailing. I've always been let on.
     
  3. maurice

    maurice Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    I think SpeedFerries might have changed their bike policy recently - I did a quote with them a few days ago for one passenger + bike. They were the cheapest too! Times weren't so great though.
     
  4. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    "Now Carrying Bikes"

    Well, there's a turnup. The CEO was walking around the ferry last time we were on with the van, and he asked what we would like to see. We said bike transport and he made a note. Thought it was just a PR stunt!

    Still, the warning remains that in exchange for cheap fares when you book early, you do trade off flexibilty and last minute cheap fares.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    jags

    jags Über Member

    thanks tim bennet and maurice,so if a fella was to travel from ireland to either spain or france can you reccommend a good route to take say a week's tour fully loaded ,and catch a ferry back to ireland. you guys know about these things thanks.
     
  6. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    jags, whilst agreeing with the earlier responses, I trust you are aware some ferry crossings may be fully booked in summer time!
    If you have commitments, then you should book your return trip in advance. I once had to wait for a week in Gothenberg for a ferry, I just missed the first one, the second was fully booked and I got a space on the third. Fortunately time was not important, and I had enough money to extend my stay.:smile:
     
  7. OP
    OP
    jags

    jags Über Member

    snorri thanks ,no i would not like to be stranded for a week ,but i dont want to be tied to time or to do a circluar route would it be possible to buy an open ticket
     
  8. maurice

    maurice Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Depends on the company I think.

    I've not done any cycle tours yet (have a France trip planned in June which is why I'm here), but done a few motorcycle trips. One time we decided to turn up and get a crossing without a booking. It was a busy Sunday, one ferry broke down, Calais packed out. Ended up having to pay through the arse for a one way ticket and wait 4 hours for a crossing with space.

    Just because your bicycle/motorcycle doesn't take any room doesn't mean they'll let you on - it's all about the passenger limit :smile:.
     
  9. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Man-Machine Staff Member

    Location:
    Stevenage
    It really depends on the route. Dover - Calais you'll be safe enough just turning up, as even if you have to wait for a few to go they're fairly frequent. If it's a two-a week job you may want to book.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    jags

    jags Über Member

    thanks lads emm maby i would be better with a ticket ,i was kinda thinking out loud take the ferry over to france cycle around for a week no pressure( hah) ah well ill have to think of something else
     
  11. Percy

    Percy Well-Known Member

    I've caught inpromptu ferries back from St Malo and Dieppe with no problem - the St Malo one was in the height of summer, the Dieppe one I checked sailing times on the net two days before and arrived 45 minutes before sailing, bought a ticket and got on, no problem.

    Depends on your commitments and where you're looking to sail from I think - north coast of France you've got 4 or 5 options only a day or so ride between them, if you miss one.