Posts Tagged ‘Bilbao’
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Note: This post is part of a series on our Self Drive Family Holiday in France.
Catch a Ferry to Spain to Get to the South of France?
The Portsmouth to Bilbao Ferry Crossing
Another option to get to southern France other than taking the ferry crossing to France is to catch the P&O ferry to Spain, which takes you from Portsmouth to Bilbao in northern Spain and then drive to France. This option could work out as whilst the ferry journey is much longer (2 nights on the way there and 1 night on the way back), it does cut out the long drive through to the South of France.
The Drive from Calais to Tarbes (a town in the Pyrenees mountains in the South of France and just happens to be the finish of the 9th stage of the Tour de France on Sunday 12 July) is about 1,115 km and will take about 10 hours 12 minutes of non stop driving. Where as the drive from Bilbao to Tarbes, is only 294 km taking about 2 hours 55 minutes, along the coastline of northern Spain and the fantastic scenery of the Pyrenees.
This option will probably works out more expensive, but I think if you look at is as part of the holiday, it could also be very enjoyable. With exhilarating sea views, restaurants, live entertainment, two on-board casinos, saunas and a gym and a good night’s sleep in your comfortable en suite cabin, it could almost be called a cruise!
So how much does a ferry to Spain cost:
Based on 6 people and a car:
The cheapest price of 2 cabins with 3 births is not ideal for 3 couples, but it is the cheapest option
- Portsmouth – Bilbao Sat 04 Jul 2009 21:15 - £515.00
- Bilbao – Portsmouth Sat 18 Jul 2009 13:15 - £540.00
Total: 1,055.00 = £176 per person
For 3 cabins with 2 beds inside each (perfect for 3 couples):
- Portsmouth – Bilbao Sat 04 Jul 2009 21:15 – £630.00
- Bilbao – Portsmouth Sat 18 Jul 2009 13:15 – £655.00
Total: 1,285.00 = £215 per person
What about the average family:
2 Adults and 2 Children and a car (1 room x 4 Berth Inside)
Total: £765.00 = £191 per person
Or as a couple:
2 adults and a car (1 room with 2 beds) You can get a double room, but it will cost you more.
- Portsmouth – Bilbao Sat 04 Jul 2009 21:15 : £340.00
- Bilbao – Portsmouth Sat 18 Jul 2009 13:15: £365.00
Total: £705.00 = £352 per person
So whilst this is nowhere near a cheap as taking the ferry to France, this option is definitly worth considering especially if you are traveling in a larger group as it can work out fairly ecconomical especially if you take in account the fuel you save and tolls that you don’t have to pay by driving through France.
Portsmouth to Santander Ferry
Another ferry to Spain is operated by Brittany Ferries and only opened in March 2009, it also leaves from Portsmouth but takes you to Santander.
Santander is about 100km west of Bilbao and whilst fantastic if you are wishing to explore Spain or Portugal, it does add an hour to the journey if you are wishing to travel east to the South of France. Having said that this new ferry, the very impressive mv Pont-Aven is said to offer the fastest journey to Spain and takes only 24 hours. The Pont-Aven is also probably the most luxurious ferry to Spain with some great features including a swimming pool and leisure area, 2 cinemas, video games room and slot machines, wrap around promenade perfect for a stroll on the deck, a dramatic five deck high atrium with panoramic views from the lifts. To eat there is the main restaurant, a self service restaurant, a coffee shop and 3 bars including the pool bar.
I checked the prices and it works out pretty similar to the Portsmouth to Bilbao Ferry Crossing run by P&O ferries, and will cost £1218.00 for six people (3 double rooms) and a car travelling on Sunday 5 July 2009 at 4pm, returning on Monday 13 July 2009 at 3pm.
For more information on the UK to Spain ferry crossing check out the Beach holiday guide on Ferries to Spain.
…go back to the main Self Drive Family Holiday in France page.