Author Topic: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back  (Read 4833 times)

FifeingEejit

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Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« on: November 08, 2018, 07:21:54 pm »
After hijacking Phil W's post I realize I should have posted separately.

I decided that the Portsmouth to Caen ferry suited me better as coming from the frozen north I've no way of avoiding that London place.
As the non-refundable deposit is a hefty lump (I'm a fifer that just means it's over £0) I'll be sailing regardless.

Outwards:
Thursday 15th August 2019
Ferry: Honfleur*
Route: Portsmouth-Caen/Ouistreham
Departure time: 22:45 (BST) Arrival time: 06:45 (CEST)

Return:
Sunday 25th August 2019
Ferry: Honfleur*
Route: Caen/Ouistreham-Portsmouth
Departure time: 23:00 (CEST) Arrival time: 06:45 (BST)

I've taken a 2 berth cabin for myself both directions as I'm a light sleeper and last time I sailed at night I woke up and had to go for a walk at the end of each sleep cycle.
Though if anyone's slumming it in a seat and my cabin's set up appropriately

* I do note that it is the same yard that is building Honfleur that managed an epic cock up with Irish Ferries "WB Yeats" which is still stuck in Flensburg.

bairn again

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 08:45:21 pm »
super organised you.   :thumbsup:

The train Edin - London - Paris was popular last time (there were even Fifers allowed in 1st class.   :hand:) and I'll do the same next time if I qualify etc etc.  bookings not open yet tho.

Ive never considered the ferry as the thought of riding from the coast to the start and vice versa has no appeal but courage to those that do. 

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 09:16:53 pm »
The thought of depending on the byzantine Eurostar bike carriage system for PBP. *brrrr*

Riding in Northern France is quite agreeable, and if not, local trains into Paris will be pretty bike-friendly.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 10:45:44 am »
The thought of depending on the byzantine Eurostar bike carriage system for PBP. *brrrr*

Riding in Northern France is quite agreeable, and if not, local trains into Paris will be pretty bike-friendly.

Aye I'd have used Eurostar in a blink of an eye if they let you roll bikes on, though I'm not sure if I could be bothered with taking a bike on the RER.

super organised you.   :thumbsup:

early booking = cheaper prices (Fife thinking!) but also locking myself into a holiday in the north of France in the summer isn't exactly disastrous!
but also extra encouragement to batter on through whatever the atlantic throws at us next year.

Ive never considered the ferry as the thought of riding from the coast to the start and vice versa has no appeal but courage to those that do.

I also need to practice being on the wrong side of the road as my riding on the right is limited to Dutch and Danish cycle paths.
Seems to be doable with a relatively gentle looking 200...

bairn again

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 02:52:59 pm »
The thought of depending on the byzantine Eurostar bike carriage system for PBP. *brrrr*

Riding in Northern France is quite agreeable, and if not, local trains into Paris will be pretty bike-friendly.
Of course, Id not mentioned that I can get my bike down to the 85cm carry on limit for Eurostar very simply (Ive timed it at around 6 minutes) and have a dedicated carrying bag that goes over my shoulder.

Ive taken this approach on Eurostar half a dozen times now.  Never had any hasle. 

Add in access to free left luggage at a friends place near Republique and its a no brainer for me. 

Ive taken my bike on the RER to / from Invalides and found it pretty easy though I believe some stations dont have access thats quite as straightforward. 

For the Rambouillet start I plan to take the RER C to Dourdan (or Dourdan la Foret) and ride the 20km from there.   

 

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 03:24:07 pm »
I decided that the Portsmouth to Caen ferry suited me better as coming from the frozen north I've no way of avoiding that London place.
As the non-refundable deposit is a hefty lump (I'm a fifer that just means it's over £0) I'll be sailing regardless.

Outwards:
Thursday 15th August 2019
Ferry: Honfleur*
Route: Portsmouth-Caen/Ouistreham
Departure time: 22:45 (BST) Arrival time: 06:45 (CEST)
Return:
Sunday 25th August 2019
Ferry: Honfleur*
Route: Caen/Ouistreham-Portsmouth
Departure time: 23:00 (CEST) Arrival time: 06:45 (BST)
I've never considered the ferry as the thought of riding from the coast to the start and vice versa has no appeal but courage to those that do. 
Getting there: Arrive by ferry at 0645. Ride to Caen (17km). Catch train to Mantes-la-Jolie (0742-0922, later train: 0854). Ride to Rambouillet (50km).
Getting back: Reverse or more riding if one wants.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 03:47:52 pm »
Been playing with the SNFC site with a train time of tomorrow
Direct Intercities with bikes space at 0742
Otherwise it's a 2 train solution with a wide mangle of options including a fair few via Paris but no bike spaces on trains to Ramboulliet from there (it's now possible to incldue the need for an assembled bike in your search)

€25 though...

Bianchi Boy

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2018, 08:47:23 pm »
I decided that the Portsmouth to Caen ferry suited me better as coming from the frozen north I've no way of avoiding that London place.
As the non-refundable deposit is a hefty lump (I'm a fifer that just means it's over £0) I'll be sailing regardless.

Outwards:
Thursday 15th August 2019
Ferry: Honfleur*
Route: Portsmouth-Caen/Ouistreham
Departure time: 22:45 (BST) Arrival time: 06:45 (CEST)
Return:
Sunday 25th August 2019
Ferry: Honfleur*
Route: Caen/Ouistreham-Portsmouth
Departure time: 23:00 (CEST) Arrival time: 06:45 (BST)
I've never considered the ferry as the thought of riding from the coast to the start and vice versa has no appeal but courage to those that do. 
Getting there: Arrive by ferry at 0645. Ride to Caen (17km). Catch train to Mantes-la-Jolie (0742-0922, later train: 0854). Ride to Rambouillet (50km).
Getting back: Reverse or more riding if one wants.
I am on the ferry out on Thursday and will be returning on Friday. It would be good to travel down with others.

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 01:32:52 pm »

I am on the ferry out on Thursday and will be returning on Friday. It would be good to travel down with others.

BB

Me too (Booked on the Thursday night ferry). Thinking of then riding to the eastern side of the Perche to camp Friday night leaving 40-50 miles on Saturday morning to get to the start in good time for registration, bike check and whatever else is needed.
Not yet booked a return ferry as still to decide whether to do 80, 84 or 90h and how much recovery time I want/need before riding back to Caen.
First PBP for me so a lot of unknowns to be sorted out.

Bianchi Boy

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 04:37:51 pm »

I am on the ferry out on Thursday and will be returning on Friday. It would be good to travel down with others.

BB

Me too (Booked on the Thursday night ferry). Thinking of then riding to the eastern side of the Perche to camp Friday night leaving 40-50 miles on Saturday morning to get to the start in good time for registration, bike check and whatever else is needed.
Not yet booked a return ferry as still to decide whether to do 80, 84 or 90h and how much recovery time I want/need before riding back to Caen.
First PBP for me so a lot of unknowns to be sorted out.
I am booked on the Thursday and Friday night just because of this. If I get fit it could be all over mid day Tuesday.

Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk

Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 10:29:24 pm »
I am on the ferry out on Thursday and will be returning on Friday. It would be good to travel down with others.
BB
Me too (Booked on the Thursday night ferry). Thinking of then riding to the eastern side of the Perche to camp Friday night leaving 40-50 miles on Saturday morning to get to the start in good time for registration, bike check and whatever else is needed.
Not yet booked a return ferry as still to decide whether to do 80, 84 or 90h and how much recovery time I want/need before riding back to Caen.
First PBP for me so a lot of unknowns to be sorted out.
I am booked on the Thursday and Friday night just because of this. If I get fit it could be all over mid day Tuesday.
Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk

I'm also now booked Portsmouth-Caen-Portsmouth as follows:

Out - Thursday 15th August 2019 / 2245 Dep
Return - Friday 23rd August 2019 / 2300 Dep

Lounge seat booked both ways but any spare cabin bunks would be gratefully received & paid for.  The previously mentioned train options all sound good and I'll check further, but as a PBP newbie following the lead of the more experienced seems sensible.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2018, 10:23:39 am »
I'm another on Portsmouth-Caen-Portsmouth as follows:

Out - Thursday 15th August 2019 / 2245 Dep
Return - Friday 23rd August 2019 / 2300 Dep

Reserved seat for me option of cycle or train to Portsmouth, yet to decide what to do from Caen.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2019, 05:44:39 pm »
I'm on the Thursday 15th late ferry too.
But I'm planning on taking the TER to Paris and booked a hotel.
The TER is direct and was only €21 when I did the reverse as a trial last summer.
Plenty of room for bikes on the old TER carriages.
:)

Bianchi Boy

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2019, 09:21:23 am »
I'm another on Portsmouth-Caen-Portsmouth as follows:

Out - Thursday 15th August 2019 / 2245 Dep
Return - Friday 23rd August 2019 / 2300 Dep

Reserved seat for me option of cycle or train to Portsmouth, yet to decide what to do from Caen.
Snap.

I have done some initial looking at French trains and there are options for getting the train most of the way.

BB

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Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

frankly frankie

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2019, 11:41:25 am »
Getting there: Arrive by ferry at 0645. Ride to Caen (17km).

It's a slow 17k (assuming you use the canal path - recommended, it's direct and paved, but shared use of course), and the last bit (approaching the station) is fiddly.  I would expect at least 1h15 from the border control to the station.  The night ferry often docks early but getting through the border is a huge unknown unknown at the best of times, usually quick enough on a bike but well worth being at the front of the queue to roll off the ferry. 

The station itself is not very bike-friendly - you may get less than 10 minutes' notice of which island platform the train will depart from, then you have to negotiate small crowded elevators down to the underpass and back up at the right platform all in that short time.  Last time I was there one lift we needed was out of service and of course bikes not permitted on escalators.

Getting back I'm not a blagger by nature but I must say I've never had any trouble just turning up and getting on the next ferry, with a bike, at Ouistreham.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2019, 01:57:04 pm »
Thanks for the Caen station info.
I missed the beginning of the Oustreme-Cean voie verte last time I tried to use it. Here is my track from last year.
There were some road works around Cean, in case you wonder why my route was circuitous
www.strava.com/activities/1800446051.
The route takes you to Pegasus Bridge.

Bianchi Boy

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2019, 09:47:14 am »
Done some browsing of the French train options from and to Caen. There are direct trains to Evreux and then an 80km cycle to Rambouillet, or change at Argentan for the Dreux and then follow the last leg of PBP for about 40km.

I have not travelled on French trains with a bike before and http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/planning-a-trip/bikes-and-french-trains.html mentions that bike reservations should not be needed.

Outline of a plan?

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2019, 10:33:28 am »
(Cherbourg to) Evreux to Rambouillet via Dreux and a preview of the final 44k of PBP:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29265763?beta=false
We are taking the Poole-Cherbourg ferry, riding to Valognes, taking the train to Evreux (overnighting there) and then riding to Rambouillet (85km). Reverse on the following Friday.
http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2.php?lang=en&cat=randonnee&page=Etape15
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Dreux+Control/@48.729814,1.364382,18z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xf33781073d3d9481!8m2!3d48.7298562!4d1.364054?hl=en-US
(as an aside, some of the controls seem to have been 'lodged' on Google Maps)

FifeingEejit

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 11:59:29 am »
Perhaps unsurprisingly Honfleur has been delayed by Flensburger (who state the delay is caused by another ship being delayed...), so Brittany Ferries are rebooking for Normandie carrying out the sailings

They appear to have finally delivered WB Yeats into service, but must be a knock on of that shambles.
Or they've once again told their pre-fab yard in Poland the wrong details for the habitation units.

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 05:40:11 pm »
Looking at booking Pompy Le Harve? Slightly shorter ride!
Any reason others are choosing Caen?....somthing I am missing?

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2019, 05:53:51 pm »
The late Oustreme ferry allows a nice sleep .. if you can find a cabin. And a reasonable arrival time. Breakfast at cafe le phare and a bimble to Cean Station in the Voi vert. 
I'd go for similar at le Havre if possible.
Unless I've missed something;-)



FifeingEejit

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2019, 05:57:31 pm »
As ridiculous as it may seem; the Economie sailing on Bail De Seine to Le Havre is more expensive once you've added cabins (which are compulsory) than the Cruise to Ouistream on Normandie at the current time (you can even chose to take a seat on that).

Bail De Seine is basically a freight ferry certified for passenger usage.




Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2019, 10:23:20 am »
I've just booked onto the Thursday 15th overnight Portsmouth-Caen. Happy with a seat for £5 rather than the £79 cabin on the Le Havre crossing. Is anyone else planning to ride down to Ramouillet, or has done so in the past and can offer route suggestions?

FifeingEejit

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Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2019, 01:28:53 pm »
I've just booked onto the Thursday 15th overnight Portsmouth-Caen. Happy with a seat for £5 rather than the £79 cabin on the Le Havre crossing. Is anyone else planning to ride down to Ramouillet, or has done so in the past and can offer route suggestions?

I'm tempted to ride down, looks like could get AUK 2 points in the process; I'm contemplating options for return, I fancy riding up to Honfleur for a night stop on the Saturday and then an easy day along the coast on the way back to Ouistream for the Sunday ferry, but my total mood and condition may only allow for the TER option...

For getting down looks like it could be a mid-afternoon train out of Waterloo unless I'm willing to shell out megabucks for the sleeper (I'm not)

Re: Brittany Ferries - Pompey to Caen and back
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2019, 02:55:14 pm »
I've just booked onto the Thursday 15th overnight Portsmouth-Caen. Happy with a seat for £5 rather than the £79 cabin on the Le Havre crossing. Is anyone else planning to ride down to Ramouillet, or has done so in the past and can offer route suggestions?

The cabins are often for up to four people. So if you fill it up it's not that much more and you get a decent nights sleep rather than starting PBP sleep deprived.