We are using the Brittany Ferries Caen - Portsmouth overnight route for the first time and wondered if any seasoned travellers had experience of this route. We sail at 11pm and wondered what time we could expect to board, so that we could have a meal onboard rather than stopping off near the port.
Any info appreciated.
We use it regularly - you probably won’t board until 10:30pm for the 11pm sailing. I think the self-serve restaurant might be still be open at that point but we never bother that late.
Thanks Paul, definitely too late to eat, so will find somewhere locally.
I have used this route for years. We always eat in Caen before arriving at Ouistreham to get the ferry. There are now gangs of african males on almost every approach to the ferry-port and in all the car parks in the old fishing port itself and it is very intimidating to try to stop or park near the ferry port itself. Since the arrival of the migrants, the restaurants and businesses of Ouistreham have been devastated.
The boat is usually busy but on the night crossings I do not recall the restaurant being open. Best eat before… in Caen.
Yes, the presence of migrants in Ouistreham is very off putting, and not a little intimidating as Chris says. there is a much heavier security presence in the port now.
Robert have you booked a cabin for the overnight? I’ve made the Portsmouth to Caen overnight crossing several times. It’s pretty good. The bars stay open until about 12.30 and they usually have a pub quiz and some form of entertainment. We usually have a few drinks then go to the cabin. I would highly recommend going to the a la cartel restaurant for breakfast in the morning though they are really excellent, lovely coffee and if you have the full cooked breakfast you can do the buffet and have a full cooked breakfast to its a great spread and far better than the self service where the portions are pretty measily to be honest.
Here’s the restaurant info on the website for reference.
Will the restaurant be open when I travel?
The restaurant opening times vary according to the ships’ departure and arrival times’ and the length of the crossing. Exact opening times will be on display outside each food outlet.
Generally on day sailings the self service restaurant is open for the duration of the crossing, on overnight sailings it remains open until late serving hot and cold dishes.
For the 4 ferries (Pont Aven, Normandie, Bretagne and Mont St Michel) which have a la carte restaurants, these are generally open at set times during day sailings. On overnight sailings on Pont Aven and Bretagne, the restaurant opens for a limited time. Restaurants will be open for breakfast on overnight sailings.
The information above is a guide only. At certain times of the year, the a la carte restaurant/s may not open at all. Please contact us for specific details.
I concur with the recommendation for breakfast in the a la carte restaurant rather than the self-serve, the only snag is it opens a bit later (certainly on the Portsmouth->Ouistreham crossing) so it can be a bit of a squeeze to get breakfast and finish before they are trying to throw you out of the cabin.
But, as Brian says the coffee is much better and you can stuff yourself with as much croissant, bread and cold meats as you want or go for a full cooked breakfast.
If you go for the club voyage thing the cost of the continental breakfast is covered for free anyway.
We often use it. Unfortunately, unlike the St Malo - Portsmouth service (which we prefer) there is very rarely early boarding because of when the ship arrives from Portsmouth. We plan to arrive at Ouistreham (the port for Caen) around 7 to 7.30 pm to allow time for a meal in one of the many (and decent) restaurants around the port. It pays to board as late as possible anyway, so that you don’t have to drive your car up the ramp but park instaed on the lorry deck so that you are one of the first off! Even if you check in a t 10.35, they’ll still let you on! PS. If you eat in a restauarnt, cehck your car carefully afterwards as there a number of migrants hanging around trying to fin ways of getting to UK!
Thanks for all the replies. We did eat in the port having arrived at about 7.30pm.
Didn’t spot any migrants, although I was a little concerned how safe the vehicle was, park down a side street for over 2 hours.
Sadly a sign of our times, but both crossing were just fine, and we’ll certainly be using it again.
Thanks again for the replies.