I remember travelling on the ferry to France as a child – it was always an adventure and a mind-boggling experience for someone without a strong grasp of the laws of physics. The excitement of those journeys came back to me over half-term as we travelled with Brittany Ferries to and from France. For the kids, those crossings were a much a part of our holiday as our stay at Eurocamp itself.
We were lucky enough to be reviewing our journey on Brittany Ferries for Mumsnet, so we thought we’d try out different routes. On the way to France we travelled from Portsmouth to Cherbourg on the three-hour Normandie Express, while on the way back we took the nine-hour sailing on the Bretagne from St Malo. Both journeys were great – and while we’d pick the ease of the express journey next time, the kids loved the longer one on the way home which felt like a mini-cruise.
We didn’t tell the kids we were going on holiday til just a few a days before leaving – because who needs a daily countdown from over-excited children, huh? But when they found out we were going to be putting the car on the ferry, they were fascinated. It was too exciting for them – they just couldn’t understand how the boat would flat with a deck full of cars on it.
Once on board, the three-hour crossing passed by in a flash – and they loved every second. They hardly touched the colouring and sticker books we’d brought, because they were too busy looking out of the window. And then Trolls came on the big screen, so that took care of the rest of the journey.
As on the way back, we were treated to glorious sunny skies and calm seas. Tony and I love being by the sea – we spent so many years living by it – and these crossing were like a tonic to the weeks of work and stress that had led up to our holiday.
We had the luxury of a cabin for the daytime cruise home which meant Tony and Jasmin fitted in naps, and it was nice to have some privacy and a base for the long journey. It passed quickly – the kids watched a movie and we ate well on board between the self-service cafe and the French cafe which helped us pretend we were in the land of croissants for a little longer.
The kids danced for ages in the bar at the mini disco and then laughed til the tears came at the entertainer. Oh to be young. Luckily there was a comfy bar from which to watch them from! The sun deck on the Bretagne was amazing – and the kids loved being between the sea and sky while the sun shone. Both journeys were such an adventure, the kids are already asking when we’ll be taking the ferry again. Given how handy it was to have the car on holiday and pack it full of all the home comforts we needed (and those we didn’t,) I have a feeling it wont be long before we’re on a ferry again!