20 October 2011

Ferries and Mini-Cruises - a growing trend

Once upon a time a car ferry was a fairly basic piece of kit designed to transport vehicles from A to B. Sometimes there was a bar, a self-service restaurant and a duty-free shop, but the early ferries were not built for comfort.

That has all changed. A modern car ferry is more like a cruise ship, with sleek lines, restaurants, bars, cinemas and sometimes even swimming pools. The cabins, especially the better specified ones, are more like hotel rooms, with ensuite facilities, proper beds and TVs.

The ferry companies realised that these facilities, often under-utilised outside the holiday season, could attract a new sort of customer, not so much interested in taking their car abroad, but who enjoyed the very experience of travelling on these comfortable ships. To further enhance the experience live entertainment is provided on board, and at the port of arrival excursions and shuttle buses ferry customers to the various local attractions.

Some of the mini-cruises allow for just a shopping trip at the destination, whereas others give the traveller the chance to spend a couple of nights enjoying cities such as Amsterdam, Bruges and Santander. The choice is yours.

The destinations served by the ferries to France, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands and Spain offer ample opportunity for sightseeing. Below is a selction of links to just some of the destinations. If a short break in comfortable on board accommodation without the car to some of Europe's best destinations appeals, with none of the hassle associated with flying, , then why not check out these mini-cruises?

P&O Mini-Cruises from Hull to Amsterdam, Zeebrugge (for Bruges), and Rotterdam
DFDS Seaways have a whole range of mini-cruises from Newcastle to Amsterdam and from Harwich to Esbjerg in Denmark with some great offers
Brittany Ferries Mini-Cruises from Portsmouth to Santander in Northern Spain

7 October 2011

Plymouth to St Malo on Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries have announced that they are launching a new ferry crossing between Plymouth and St Malo, to run once a week during the winter.

The car and passenger ferry departs from Plymouth on Tuesday evenings and the return sailing leaves St Malo on Friday mid-morning.
More about the Brittany Ferries Plymouth St Malo ferry.

We think this is a useful addition to the ferry crossings between England and France, and this is why:
  • Plymouth and St Malo are both cities well worth visiting.
    Plymouth has something for everyone with shops, theatres, cinemas, bar and restaurants. In addition Plymouth Sound and the ancient steets of the Barbican are awash with history, and the views from the Hoe are stunning.
    St Malo is also rich in history, with one of the best preserved walled citadels in Europe. It too, although smaller than Plymouth, has a wealth of attractions, including some excellent beaches
  • Both cities offer easy access to some superb countryside and coastal scenery, all within a short drive from the ferry. From Plymouth visit the Devon and Cornwall coastline, and from St Malo take a trip to Mont St Michel, or the riverside town of Dinard
  • These are popular holiday areas, and no wonder, but in the summer season they can be very crowded. These crossings give you time and space to make the most of what Devon and Cornwall and Brittany and Normandy have to offer.
  • The timing of the crossings mean you can leave the UK on Tuesday evening and arrive refreshed after a good night's sleep. Then you have the option of a short break, returning to the UK on Friday in time for tea, or with hotel prices at their lowest of the year you might want to stay for a full 10 days, maybe venturing further afield into France. And of course you can always choose a different return crossing!
So why not give it a go? Below are the links to check the timetables and book the crossing, as well as links to the hotels we offer in Plymouth and St Malo.

Timetable for Brittany Ferries Plymouth St Malo ferry crossing
Hotels in Plymouth
Hotels in St Malo