Brittany Ferries.....will they survive

Wonder if Brittany ferries will survive this latest blow, obviously they will have virtually no passengers for next two months…they have had cash from the gov and CMG have injected cash but there will come a time when they simply run out of cash and government decide it’s a lost cause. They might strip down to just a couple of weekly trips out of Caen, or a new company take over but won’t offer what BF traditionally have done.

They do a good bit of freight with a new Ireland/France route which I imagine will help.

Hopefully with some belt tightening they will survive.

Obviously I am biased - despite being rather expensive they are the most convenient route for me to get to France. DFDS was OK but more driving and the the tunnel is doable but twice the driving and, at my age, four times the recovery afterwards.

With BF I can leave work on Friday, get the late ferry and be chez moi about 11am Saturday awake enough to “do stuff” which makes a weekend trip taking no time off work just about doable if needed. I could probably do that with DFDS but would be more sleep deprived and would be totally sleep deprived trying to use the tunnel - the rest of Saturday would simply be spent asleep.


That’s what it’s all about. The ferries between Ireland and France are chock a block as the “land bridge” to the Chunnel has died a death?

Wasn’t Brittany Ferries formed for freight traffic?

Yes, to get all the veg grown in the area over to the UK, if I remember correctly, it was set up by the farmers/market gardeners :wink:

I agree with both you and @an_droo . In “the old days” - I’m talking well over 30 years now - the main crossings to the UK were, I think, from Roscoff. All those cabbages! When we first started coming over, we used Truckline (Poole-Cherbourg) which was specifically freight but allowed a few non-freight passengers if we were prepared to rough it a bit!

To be honest, I’d have been happier in recent years if the boats had been rather less luxurious as they were aiming for the “cruise” experience and all I wanted was a bed and a meal. However, that may have been how they made most of their money? I wouldn’t know…

EDIT Now it’s irrelevant to me as (hopefully) any trips I make to the UK will be very few and far between!!


Never been a fan myself after they once accepted an unauthorised booking with my card number even though the person doing it gave a different name to that that was on the card. I found out and blocked it straight away but they threatened me with all sorts of consequences which ended when I still refused and told them to do their worst.

We always used them in the 90s when we used to do a 5 day return Nottingham to the Dordogne so the distance was time critical and carefully calculated. On one such journey the nearest return they could offer was slightly more than 5 days so they said we had to pay full fare.

So we rang P&O and, not only did they say that it was ok if there wasn’t a ferry available on Portsmouth/Cherbourg but also suggested if we used Le Havre, where there were fewer sailings, we could get a 6 day stay on a 5 day return ticket. A more helpful company in many respects and we never used BF again.

But I can see how its demise would drastically affect those ‘living’ in Brittany and Normandy now that P&O is no more.

Brittany Ferries is now a predominantly car carrying operation, I think I saw somewhere that 80% of revenue (or was it units) is car derived…and by a similar amount the nationality is British, with a significant proportion being second home owners…and coaches with children on organised visits.

I guess the need will continue but even when Coronavirus restrictions reduce I think the volume of travel will be significantly reduced for the foreseeable future…habits will have changed, post Brexit travel isn’t going to be as casual. fewer Brits with property, the kids market has collapsed down 80%, as post Brexit every child has to have their own passport and travel documents.

The virus might just have accelerated this and if BF becomes insolvent a phoenix from the ashes might be every different

Morning all

When I came back to the UK on Sat using the night crossing. The upper car decks were not used.

The lower deck had about 20 lorries and the was only half full of cars and vans.

Bearing in mind this was before the additional changes it does not bode well.

For us in Normandy BF are now the only realistic crossing to the UK, especially since Ryanair left Dinard.

Can just sit and wait to see what pans out


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I hear there is a bloke in Calais who is doing a smart line in rubber boats at the moment Andy, where’s your sense of adventure man. :rofl:


surely its the return trip ,when the dinghies are empty thats the better bet :grinning:


Related, I’ve done DFDS on the Dieppe-Newhaven twice since Covid.

Luckily it’s a freight route and they still have what looks to be a hopefully-still-regular contingent of lorries to keep them afloat somehow (pun intended). That route has stayed as you liked Angela - it’s a freight route and passengers are a healthy sideshow.

The last time I drove onto the ferry at Dieppe it was entirely an OK load of lorries. I waited for them all to drive on which took a while. Then after that they beckoned me onto the ferry. As the 1 solitary car on the entire vessel.

The crew gave me a round of applause as I drove onto the ferry and I gave them a big double thumbs up back!

So much goodwill for the ferries after decades of using them and sincerely hope they all survive.

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Newhaven-Dieppe on DFDS?

Newhaven-Dieppe is the next nearest to us but Dieppe is a heck of a drive from here and a long drive the other side as well, since the visits I would be making are in the South west, not around London. However, unlike many people on here, I don’t have family remaining in the UK so it’s less of an issue for me.

We just have to wait and see, I suppose, like with so many pther things :smiley:


Yes, it’s an hour+ more in the UK for me and adds the M25 which often isn’t fun. Also the last bit is annoying slow single carriage way. In France essentially the whole of the stretch from Dieppe to Caen is extra so we would arrive chez nous just as the local supermarkets are closing. We can shop en route but then have to make sure we have room in the car for shopping bags.

Also Dieppe is quite a drive away from fast roads.

The overnight crossing adds time behind the wheel compared with Portsmouth-Ouistreham and reduces the amount of sleep possible as NH-Dieppe is a shorter crossing.

So, doable, slightly cheaper when tolls & extra fuel are accounted for but much less convenient than BF.

We are the far side of Le Mans to Calais, then Dover to Glasgow, 810 miles done overnight to avoid the traffic on the M25, around 15-16 hours all in :yum::laughing:
The tunnel is just too expensive and I like the break the P&O ferry gives me, time to get something to eat and stretch the legs, that and the OH and FIL are sleeping most of the way :upside_down_face:

I have been a regular on Dieppe-Newhaven for many years and always timed my arrival in Dieppe the night before and parked, ate and slept at a routier on the old docks. Quick breakfast, routiers always open early, then a 5 minute swoop aound the docks for the 7am ferry, or whatever. I only latterly changed to the tunnel (night before routier at Abbeville, 1 hour 20 minutes sans peage) because the tides and lack of dredging made Dieppe departures less attractive, and, of course, I wasn’t paying. :wink:

We did Portsmouth-Caen last time, but from Autun it’s about the same time & distance to the tunnel as the ferry. On that basis the ferry loses out because it’s slower and more expensive if we have a cabin (and not restful) plus we don’t have ‘sea legs’.

Given your moniker on the forum that’s quite ironic :slight_smile:

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It came from mountain-biking days, when I rode an ancient Marin.

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