Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

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Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby briggfoot » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:27 pm

Gents, Ladies....

Just wondering if anyone here has any advice on the Brittany Ferries to Northern Spain?

I was toying with the idea of catching the ferry as a foot passenger from Plymouth to Santander, and hiring a car out there to explore the coast of N.Spain and SW France.

However, car hire out there seems expensive, and I'm thinking it might be cheaper to take my own car, full of kit + boards, that saves money on hiring a board out there etc.

Still looking at an eye-watering £300+ EACH WAY - and that's before you add the cost of a sleeping place on the boat, which they insist you have..........You could fly out to Indo and back on that much money!

Anyone done it? Can you wing it as a foot-passenger and just thumb a lift at the ferry entrance?

Cheers in advance
ab
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby DTP » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:22 pm

I did the foot passenger trip and hired a car from Santander last summer. I took a coffin of boards, backpack and tent, bit of a mare lugging it on to the ferry and even more of a mare getting to the cheapest car hire place which is at the airport. It was a great trip but I remember thinking to myself next time I'd save the hassle and pay the extra and take my own car over. Also if you are planning on going to France check with the hire firm as to whether they will let you take their vehicles across the border - most don't. If you take a car you can load up at Lidl before you go and booze on the way back, basic food is pricey (tomatoes, pasta, etc). When are you thinking of going? I'd recommend heading West rather than East if you're doing it in peak summer.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Philshoz » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:56 pm

A couple of options would be a one way to Spain and do the the drive back to Roscoff.

Or cross to Roscoff, drive to St Nazaire,(4hrs) get on this baby http://www.aferry.co.uk/saint-nazaire-nantes-gijon-ferry.htm down to Gijon, then either do the whole thing in reverse or drive back as above.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby ATTMFKH » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:08 pm

Me and the missus did that journey about 17 years ago .......... got smashed on the ferry , entered the Mr & Mrs comp and won a bottle of champers and got even more blootered :oops: :oops:

Got the train para Madreeeth - stayed in Madrid for a week then got a hire car drove through Asturias, Galicia up to A Coruna, wild camped right along that coast , absolutely stunning , backdrop of the Picos de Europe tumbling down to white sandy beaches and reeling points. Gotta be cheaper ways though than £300 each way.

Plymouth or Portsmouth to St. Malo at daft o'clock would be much cheaper. work your way down the coast - Philshoz will put you up for a night I'm sure............. drive & surf all the way to Mundaka then fill your nappy & do the same in reverse or out thru Santander.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Philshoz » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:40 am

ATTMFKH wrote:Me and the missus did that journey about 17 years ago .......... got smashed on the ferry , entered the Mr & Mrs comp and won a bottle of champers and got even more blootered :oops: :oops:

Got the train para Madreeeth - stayed in Madrid for a week then got a hire car drove through Asturias, Galicia up to A Coruna, wild camped right along that coast , absolutely stunning , backdrop of the Picos de Europe tumbling down to white sandy beaches and reeling points. Gotta be cheaper ways though than £300 each way.

Plymouth or Portsmouth to St. Malo at daft o'clock would be much cheaper. work your way down the coast - Philshoz will put you up for a night I'm sure............. drive & surf all the way to Mundaka then fill your nappy & do the same in reverse or out thru Santander.


:shock:
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Biarritz Taxi » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:23 pm

Took the Portsmouth-Santander ferry with a caravan 3 years ago. The 'cruise' was a real eye-opener; appalling cabaret music and a magician who thought he was a cross between Paul Daniels and Neo from the Matrix. Got drunk and sunbathed on the deck for most of the time.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby briggfoot » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:09 pm

Philshoz wrote: :shock:


Well volunteered there Philsoz! :lol:

Biarritz Taxi wrote:Took the Portsmouth-Santander ferry with a caravan 3 years ago. The 'cruise' was a real eye-opener; appalling cabaret music and a magician who thought he was a cross between Paul Daniels and Neo from the Matrix. Got drunk and sunbathed on the deck for most of the time.



That alone puts me off, though I wouldn't mind seeing a Paul Daniels/Neo hybrid-magician.


Cheers for the advice gents, that's high-lighted a few other options/routes that I wasn't aware of, especially the St. Nazaire to Gijon route.
Like ATTMFKH says the cheapest option looks like catching the ferry to St. Malo, then driving down the coast, possibly getting the ferry from St. Nazaire, the scene of a legendary WW2 raid, btw!

DTP, I was thinking of it as a summer trip, as a cheaper (!!) alternative to travelling further afield. However, flights aside, it looks like a false economy as everything else is rather pricey. I take on-board your point about heading West as opposed to East. Doing a bit of reading and it looks like NW-facing coast-line picks up more swell as well.

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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby petegee56 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:55 pm

I have done that ferry to go to the South West of France, crossing is terrible and the cost is huge. having looked at the total time taken and the torture of being trapped on the boat I am trying the ferry from Portsmouth to Le Harve then driving the other 540 miles down to Capbreton in May.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Chris F » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:25 pm

briggfoot wrote:Still looking at an eye-watering £300+ EACH WAY - and that's before you add the cost of a sleeping place on the boat, which they insist you have..........You could fly out to Indo and back on that much money!


If you are on your tod it seems expensive, but if you could take a couple of mates it wouldn't cost that much more.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Poo Stance » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:45 pm

Mates in Wales took this over to get to France for a stag. Apparently if you get too drunk they'll quarantine you. Unfortunately my mates took it as a challenge. Don;t think it helped that there was another group of Taffies on the boat too. Think the trip was covered in Carve last year too.
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Leven » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:25 pm

^^ I heard about this....didn't one of them get sedated or something?!
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Poo Stance » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:39 pm

Yeah I think so. And locking in their cabin maybe. Crazy Taffies. You know any of that crew Leven?
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Re: Any experience of the car-ferry to Santander/Bilbao?

Postby Biarritz Taxi » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:53 am

Poo Stance wrote:Apparently if you get too drunk they'll quarantine you.


On my trip there were some blokes (not Welsh) who got incredibly drunk and where heckling the cabaret performers. I felt like I was watching an episode of The Office as the performers tried to carry on with their renditions.

Later on that night we were sitting in our cabin having a drink with the door open (to let some fresh air in) and one of the 'other' guys ran past the door and then jumped inside our cabin and tried to hide behind the door. He told us that they were going to quarantine him if he was caught. Opposite the entrance to the cabin was a mirror so a security guard appeared and took one look in the mirror and gripped him.

Next morning we were having breakfast in the canteen and the guy was there too. So if he had been quarantined then it was only for a few hours.
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