Thursday, August 23, 2007

Speedferries - maybe slow is best

Well we had a nice day in Boulogne yesterday, despite the weather. Passing all those French coaches heading for Margate on our way to Dover, we were keeping our fingers crossed for some relief to the rain and grey skies, both for us and for them. Crossing fingers doesn't seem to work.

just checking they're all there

Speedferries - good or bad? Good - 50 minute sailing, goes to Boulogne, ship looks really sleek. Bad - no cigarette sales on board (claiming tax issues until asked why P&O had a different tax arrangement, then just said "ask the management"), when it's a bit choppy (and on the way back, really rough) it's a horrible experience. Smaller vessels definitely lose their attraction in rough water! The price was ok, and as we only seem to specialise in special offers, it doesn't really matter who we choose, and the extra half-hour on the bigger P&O boat is easily offset by the more stable crossing (and with better shopping to distract us from the weather).

dodging the traffic

And the biggest annoyance (and the pettiest, I know), the buffet wouldn't accept Euro coins! Notes only, change in English currency. Do they not plan/like to deal with foreign travellers at all? Another plus for P&O. It's the coins we need to get rid of!

how they look on a nice day

That last picture is just a publicitiy still from their own web site - far too rough to get a nice external picture yesterday. One or two of the bigger wave-bumps caused a spontaneous (well, hardly) epidemic of sick bag filling. Not by us fortunately, but anouther 20 minutes and who knows?


Eastcliff Richard said...

I think you're right - the extra time on a 'normal' ferry is more than compensated for by the plethora of things to do.

That said I've been thinking for ages about taking the TransEuropa to Ostend to visit the Belgian Eastcliffs, but can't really justify the 4/5/6 hour crossing. It's more convenient to go via Dover and shoot up the autoroute, malheureusement.

ZumiWeb said...

There's a happy medium, and four hours isn't it! P&O (or SeaFrance) seem to be just about the right trade-off of time against suffering. Still, we're trying Speedferries again next weekend, so fingers crossed for a millpond this time.

Eurostar still has the edge for Paris of course (at least until Ashford finally gets binned). That's the December treat. Even the delights of Ramsgate can't quite compete with ice skating outside the Hotel de Ville, and Christmas lights up the Champs Elysees.