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Ferry prices defy logic


fjmike

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Last night I got round to booking a crossing for summer holidays (July). Being an optimist I went onto Brittany ferries, just for the motorhome on its own £533 +. Next up P&O £260 for motorhome and smart trailer. Not happy with that looked on Eurotunnel £250 for the same. finally tried Norfolk line (DFDS) £118 for motorhome and smart trailer. All of these crossings where on the same dates and similar times ie the cheapest. So how can DFDS charge less than half that of P&O on a longer route?No suprises which crossing I chose
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It is all a case of 'market forces' One year we found DFDS to be the cheapest, the following P&O were cheaper. Also the time of the booking can make a difference but whether booking early, or waiting for a last minute deal is something I cannot answer as again there is no logic. The tunnel seems to have pretty standard prices regardless of date and only varies a bit for time of crossing. The ferry Companies play fast and loose and maybe using either CC or C&CC will get a cheaper deal.

 

Sometimes just changing the day of travel by 1 day can make a big difference. Also sometimes booking early gets a cheaper deal, sometimes a last minute deal is a good one. Sorry, if I had the answers I would be a lot richer.

 

However, i do agree that Brittany Ferries often seem very expensive and I do not know why as the only time I ever used them the crossing was horrible. It is not as if their service is superior, in fact usually the opposite.

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Guest JudgeMental

with the tunnel you need to travel out in the evening and back before lunch...

 

For our July out and August return last time I looked tunnel cheaper then DFDS

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JudgeMental - 2012-01-24 7:33 PM

 

with the tunnel you need to travel out in the evening and back before lunch...

 

 

The prices I quoted were just that , out in the evening (22.00) and even if we did come back before lunch it made no significant difference.

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You did not say which crossing you are going by but as you mentioned Eurotunnel it must be Dover/ S omewhere but I did not think Brittany Ferries went on that route?

I tried yesterday with Brittany to book a 6 metre panelvan in September out Portsmouth/Bilbao and returning midweek Cherbourg/ Portsmouth in October. Dropped dead at a price of £750+ but then spotted that I had booked the cataraman on the return though I did not know it ran that late in the season. Tried again same dates but using the slow boat Caen /Portsmouth for the return. The price---£790+.!! Slower but more expensive!! I thought France wanted tourism.

 

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malc d - 2012-01-24 7:54 PM

 

 

But not similar routes, or duration of crossing ?

 

 

:-|

 

I thought it was obvious that the Brittany ferries route was not from Dover. I only mentioned it as a benchmark. Living in Swindon they operate from the nearest port and I would prefer to use them but the costs are just too crippling. Longer crossing does not always mean more expensive as my original post illustrated

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fjmike - 2012-01-24 7:03 PM

 

Last night I got round to booking a crossing for summer holidays (July). Being an optimist I went onto Brittany ferries, just for the motorhome on its own £533 +. Next up P&O £260 for motorhome and smart trailer. Not happy with that looked on Eurotunnel £250 for the same. finally tried Norfolk line (DFDS) £118 for motorhome and smart trailer. All of these crossings where on the same dates and similar times ie the cheapest. So how can DFDS charge less than half that of P&O on a longer route?No suprises which crossing I chose

 

I put a post on here back in December regarding the CC doing a special with DFDS which had to be booked before 03.01.2012. Cost from Dover to Dunkirk & return with a 7m van & trailer up to 4m was £68 and no restriction on travel times. Even with £40 CC membership it is still a tenner cheaper than present quotes-seems I got a bargain.

 

Might be worth checking if they have any 'specials' on at the moment

 

Mike

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Guest JudgeMental
fjmike - 2012-01-24 7:42 PM

 

JudgeMental - 2012-01-24 7:33 PM

 

with the tunnel you need to travel out in the evening and back before lunch...

The prices I quoted were just that , out in the evening (22.00) and even if we did come back before lunch it made no significant difference.

 

I just booked now. Out 8.00 on the 18th july and back 15th August at midday. £132...£20 more then last month *-) Thanks for reminding me! or it would probably have been more by the time I got around to it.:-S

 

with your booking its maybe the towing...DFDS are popular with caravaners because cheaper I think

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Dave225 - 2012-01-24 7:26 PM

The ferry Companies play fast and loose and maybe using either CC or C&CC will get a cheaper deal.

 

Sometimes just changing the day of travel by 1 day can make a big difference. Also sometimes booking early gets a cheaper deal, sometimes a last minute deal is a good one. Sorry, if I had the answers I would be a lot richer.

 

When we got our refund from Seafrance for this coming July, we costed DFDS and P&O. Never been with P&O, and not keen on Dunkirk ferryport, but DFDS were significantly cheaper.

However, someone on here mentioned the Clubs' discounts, so I got on to the CCC & they got P&O to price-match DFDS. Result!

 

As for Brittany Ferries, we used to use them many years ago (early 1990s) when we lived in the NorthWest. Their Poole-Cherbourg (branded "Truckline" back then) was pretty good valaue, especially since it avoided a big detour eastwards for us. Since we started crossing again this century, Britanny have always been expensive, and since we're in Essex now Dover is easy.

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Booked via Caravan club DFDS had to phone CC as there site would not allow me to book myself .Out on a Monday in MAY20th 6AM back Thursday 31st 10am ,£68.00 return 6meter van ,much the same as last year.

Did notice that the 8pm and 10pm sailings are now £52.00 one way Dover across ,to many of us sleeping in the car park at Dunkirk !!!!!!!!.Went Dover to Dunkirk last year 10pm sailing for £34.00

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Just checked DFDS direct, and for 25th April returning on 25th June up to an 8 metre van £68 return, must confess the first time I've looked since Sea France went bust expecting the worse but that's less than I paid last year, result.......... ;-)
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If you have a monopoly - as Brittany Ferries has on the long-distance western crossings - then you can ask any price you like as there's no direct competition. This strategy works well as long as people choose not to take the indirect competition option.

 

For example, we want to travel to France via Brittany Ferries' Portsmouth-Caen route because it suits us perfectly, but I'm well aware of BF's ever-increasing fare prices. The 'indirect' alternative would be to choose a different ferry operator and a different route. This would undoubtedly save us money, but it would suit us less. The choice is ours - we pay Brittany Ferries prices (as heavily discounted as we can get them) or we don't travel with that company.

 

I don't see why there should be any logic in comparative ferry charges - ferry operators will charge what they consider the market will bear.

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I have the same view as Derek.

 

The crossing we choose depends on where we are going. As we usually go to the south or west of France we use the Portsmouth - Caen route ( from the Midlands ).

 

No doubt it would be cheaper to go Dover - Calais, but that would involve the M25, and the dreaded Dartford crossing, and we would end up in the wrong part of France.

 

Our trip to Portsmouth is normally trouble free, and much more convenient.

 

It costs more in pounds, but a lot less in aggravation.

 

The day may well come ( quite soon ) when we are no longer prepared to pay Brittany Ferry prices, but until then we just bite the bullet !

 

;-)

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malc d - 2012-01-25 10:14 AM

No doubt it would be cheaper to go Dover - Calais, but that would involve the M25, and the dreaded Dartford crossing, and we would end up in the wrong part of France.

;-)

What is it that happens on these roads that I am missing?

Last crossing was from Dover - A303, M3, M25, M20 - a doddle but 4 hrs.

Last flight over Xmas was from Gatwick in the car - A303, M3, M25, M23 - piece of cake at just over 2 hrs.

Yes, the M25 can get a bit crowded at time althought it seems a little better these days.

Living in Somerset, we could go from Portsmouth or Plymouth (or even Newhaven) but I prefer the drive to Dover rather than paying the crooks at BF - no contest.

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bolero boy - 2012-01-25 10:50 AM

 

malc d - 2012-01-25 10:14

 

I prefer the drive to Dover rather than paying the crooks at BF - no contest.

 

 

 

Isn't that libel or do you have evidence that the people at BF are "professional criminals, rogues or swindlers"?

 

 

 

 

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Guest JudgeMental

In over 20 years have only had one serious delay on M20 on a bank holiday.....dont have to use dartford tunnel, but any time I have, outside of rush hour obviously? it has been no worse then ques at French tolls during summer, and you have to wait ages at these and pay a fortune for the privilege as well *-)

 

Because of Mikes post I finally got around to booking tunnel for summer trip last night...had a look for Easter and prices £50 more then December. I cant do anything yet as unsure of plans. usually try and book main crossings before Christmas, tends to work out best IMO

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mel wood - 2012-01-25 11:53 AM

 

bolero boy - 2012-01-25 10:50 AM

 

malc d - 2012-01-25 10:14

 

I prefer the drive to Dover rather than paying the crooks at BF - no contest.

 

 

 

Isn't that libel or do you have evidence that the people at BF are "professional criminals, rogues or swindlers"?

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to Point out that that comment was made by Bolero Boy, and NOT ME !

 

Your post has been edited / quoted incorrectly.

 

I would appreciate you acknowledging that mistake Mel.

 

Thanks.

 

Ed : I made it clear that I DO NOT prefer the drive to Dover !

- I use Brittany Ferries.

 

 

:-(

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mel wood - 2012-01-25 1:16 PM

 

Malc d - SORRY ! I didn't mean to attribute my comment to you. It was indeed "bolero boy" who made the possibly libellous comment.

 

Once again, I'm sorry at potential offence I caused to you. Thanks for pointing out my error.

 

 

Thanks for the prompt correction Mel - no offence taken.

 

I've just explained it all to the two nice policemen who are with me, showed them your apology, and they have taken the handcuffs off.

 

 

;-)

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malc d - 2012-01-25 1:43 PM

 

mel wood - 2012-01-25 1:16 PM

 

Malc d - SORRY ! I didn't mean to attribute my comment to you. It was indeed "bolero boy" who made the possibly libellous comment.

 

Once again, I'm sorry at potential offence I caused to you. Thanks for pointing out my error.

 

 

Thanks for the prompt correction Mel - no offence taken.

 

I've just explained it all to the two nice policemen who are with me, showed them your apology, and they have taken the handcuffs off.

 

 

;-)

OK, I confess - I forgot my inverted commas - 'crooks'.
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