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Motorhomers' Guide To Ferry Companies And Crossings.


Frank McAuley

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After a traumatic experience with LD Lines on their St Nazaire to Gijon sailing in May 2014 I think it would be a worthwhile endeavour to collect and collate the experiences, both good and bad,of travellers using motorhomes and or caravans on ferries.

 

I note that the subject of animal welfare has already been raised but there are many others, eg :-

loading/unloading procedures;

electrical plug-ins;

special arrangements for disabled;

reimbursement for damage to property/ motorhomes/caravans;

personal injury claims;

professionalism/courtesy of crew;

facilities on board ship and at the dock;

pricing and special offers;

security;

legal assistance/advice as offered by organisations like the Camping And Caravan Club to redress

alleged Ferry Comp violations!

 

I am sure there are others but I'm not aware of any surveys or dynamic info on this site but with so with so much going on in regions which heretofore were of little concern perhaps the time is right!

 

Perhaps this could be an "ongoing" thread which could be updated throughout the year as many motorhomers now tend to travel on a near-fulltime basis :-|

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As far as I know the Greek Ferries that allow 'camping aboard' have hook ups and Mac Rayne have deck areas for dogs.

Both companies crews are excellent and the Greek Ferries don't have overpriced meals.

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Two last month were both superb, the frequent traveller share (with judgemental) means that the tunnel is cheaper than the ferry, and I can book up to the day before. Because they have so many trains they will usually fit you on the next available if early, or a later one if you are delayed. Both going and returning they put us on early, although once we were about a metre over for an even earlier one and had to follow a van around the platforms to the next one. Although a longer drive to the south, the convenience, especially with dogs makes it an obvious choice.

Irish ferries were brilliant when we had a breakdown and were five minutes late, the attendant fiddled with his computer, got us on the fast ferry for no extra charge, and the ferry waited for us before pulling up the gates! Arriving in both Ireland and back to the UK it was straight off without any checks, either for us or the dogs. That surprised me.

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I used to be a big fan of Eurotunnel and Tesco vouchers, and the excellent bacon sandwiches at Folkstone, but since we've been towing a car on a trailer the fares became seriously uncompetitive.

 

We've used other ferry lines but P&O provides by far the best food and facilities and the fares have always been competitive too, so they are currently our favourites.

 

Check in with a pet is done at the checkin booths for the ferries and works painlessly. Eurotunnel was more of a performance and requires diversion to a special building, before you can check in for the train - but with the advantage coming home on an early train that we could spend the night parked quietly near the pet check building.

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Hi folks, we have used Portsmouth Le Havre Brittany ferries this year , outbound 5 1/2hours, return via fast ferry 3 hours 40 .

 

completely uneventful both ways, coffee on board outbound, with own sandwiches, busy but plenty of seats

 

interesting manouver required to board for return, had to reverse up ramp and was almost last to be loaded. Not to be recommended if you are towing something.

 

insurance and fares booked via Caravan Club, Membership of which has exceeded25 years without complaints..cant understand why some people whinge..if you dont like the club, then quit.

 

previous years we have used dover PO routes but this year compared costings and decided just as effective via portsmouth, eliminating long drag up to dover and back down the other side.

 

Tonyg3nwl

 

 

No experience of tunnel as we dont use Tesco,

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Initially this thread might have appeared trivial but , already, I can see it developing!

 

Re the reversing up the ramp I was directed to attempt this manoeuvre by LD Lines staff at St. Nazaire and I have a Motorhome and trailer - 41 feet long!

 

I found CCC had clout in partially resolving my issues with LD Lines BUT I certainly wouldn't recommend this ferry to a caravanners or somebody towing with a Motorhome!

 

 

 

 

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There's no prob reversing a coach,flat bed or artic up the ramp of a ship but try it with a caravan or especially a motorhome and trailer.

The configuration is "wrong". ie instead of a small tractor unit and much larger trailer you have a 8m + mhome and a 3m+ trailer- it's nigh impossible : you also have professional drivers and turn tables instead of tow balls !

 

CCC recognise this and have had discussions ( they assure me they have) with LD Lines to invoke special arrangements for caravans, large motorhomes and motorhomes with trailers to board earlier so they have manoeuvering space on deck whereby they can drive on/off .

 

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