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Brittany Ferries - Club Voyage?


Richard

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Hi All,

We hope to soon be property owners in France, and are wondering about Brittany Ferries Club Voyage....  Is it worth joining up for it?  Does it provide enough discounts on ferry crossings to justify the membership costs?

Cheers!

Richard

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It depends how often you use it, Richard.

I don't have the figures in front of me, but have a feeling that annual membership is about £60. [YES, just checked]

You stand to get 30% off your ferry bookings (but NB not on cabin costs); 20% off if your stay is 6-10 days; only 15% off for stays of 1-5 days. This can be worth c£80 off a booking, so you have probably saved the membership fee for one return crossing.

You also save 10% of your bill at on-board restaurants (over a certain spend);

and if you book an overnight cabin, you are allowed a free continental breakfast in the restaurant the next morning (worth £7.50 a head).

Good luck with your property purchase!

Angela
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After paying the joining and membership fee, you'll find yourself in pocket on making your first booking as members!

Edited to add the following from BF's site;

Save 30% - Stays of over 10 days
Save 20% - Stays of 6 - 10 days
Save 15% - Stays of up to 5 days

Save up to 10% on advertised promotional fares

Free day cabins*
Available on afternoon departures from the UK to France and morning departures from France to the UK. (One per crossing)

Half price day cabins*
Available on morning departures from the UK to France and afternoon departures from France to the UK.

Save up to 33% on Club Class day cabins*
Valid on all day sailings. (Where available)

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As previous, depends on how many times a year you'll travel and on which routes.  We use Portsmouth/Caen, always night crossings. We're travelling next week for a stay of 10 days and I've just booked 2 single crossings - out in May and back in September.   So far the savings are around £155.00 less £60 fee, over all £95.00 plus the free breakfasts.

As with everything - it's what suits best.

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[quote user="Théière"]Of all the criticisms of M O'leary etc at least they don't have the nerve to give you a bigger discount on the longer stays which are not after all on their vessel but on dry land.[/quote]

The shorter stay return trips are already discounted. It seems travel operators can't win; with one breath they are criticised because two day trips work out less than a 10-day-plus return and the terms and conditions won't allow you to use two day trips, and with the next they are being criticised for giving discount club members a higher percentage on longer stays. [:D]

Another highly useful benefit is this (pasted from the Club Voyage web page):
Get your friends and family to book with Brittany Ferries as a guest of your membership and for every booking made, we'll credit your Club Voyage account with £10 towards your own future travel. (Maximum credit accruable £150 per annum, allocated when you renew your membership)

And with Club Voyage you don't need to actually own a house in France or Spain, unlike the previous incarnation. All in all it's a pretty worthwhile deal if you travel more than a couple of times a year (or once in peak season).

Edit - RH posted while I was checking the above.

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You get the percentage off fares as a foot passenger, though it usually only amounts to a few pounds, but from my experience (mostly a couple of years back so it may have changed now) you miss out on the free day cabins. I always thought it a bit stiff that I had to pay the same for a reserved seat as anybody else [;-)]. You still get the discount in the restaurants though.
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[quote user="Will"]

[quote user="Théière"]Of all the criticisms of M O'leary etc at least they don't have the nerve to give you a bigger discount on the longer stays which are not after all on their vessel but on dry land.[/quote]

The shorter stay return trips are already discounted. It seems travel operators can't win; with one breath they are criticised because two day trips work out less than a 10-day-plus return and the terms and conditions won't allow you to use two day trips, and with the next they are being criticised for giving discount club members a higher percentage on longer stays. [:D]

[/quote]

People often bemoaned Ryaniar et al but they have only charged you for the transport which surely has to be correct, whereas ferry companies charge different rates depending on the length of time you stay, not on their vessels as in a cruise but on dry land. They are only a conveyance not a tour operator so how do they get away with that? I understand the day trip tickets as plugging the spaces they have on board but on a scheduled return they only transport you each way so why can they charge different amounts depending on whether it's 5 days (LD lines) or more than 10 days etc.

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  • 4 months later...

It's a while since my last site visit/post so I may well have missed out but while the "correct use" of day return tickets i.e. only as day return tickets rather than out on one, back on a second is covered in BF T&C's, has anyone ever actually been contacted about or charged for using a day return ticket (i.e. the current Bournemouth Daily Echo offer?) on the way out then a separate single ticket to return at a later date or even not returning with BF at all?

T&C's say if the day return ticket isn't used correctly both bays that the outward journey would retrospectively be treated as a single journey and the difference be charged to the CC or debit card that had been used to make day trip booking. While making the booking might per the T&C's give BF the right/authority to charge your C/card, if a pre loaded d/card was used to make the booking and subsequently didn't have funds to cover the extra charge I'm not sure what they can do?

Let’s be honest with each other, any BF pricing structure will be set up to maximize the revenue for BF and minimize any “way rounds” by the customers to obtain lowest prices!

Tieman
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In the Club Voyage July newsletter, BF announced that they are changing their pricing structure from the autumn to airline-type. I quote:

New Pricing Structure for Winter and Next Year

As loyal Club Voyage members we wanted to make sure that you are amongst the first to know that we are re-structuring our pricing for this winter and next year. We have received lots of feedback regarding our price structure and your comments have encouraged us to adopt a new, modern system. This will make it easier for customers to choose fares shown on the website, in much the same way that most airlines illustrate their prices. Previously fares have been based on length of stay, with reductions for stays of 5 or 10 days. The new system is more logical and it will make it easier for you to identify and book lower fares. This is because each sailing will show a fare on the website whereas previously this was not possible with fares based on length of stay.

Will it make the prices cheaper? For some yes, but not necessarily for every booking. However, the earlier you book the cheaper the crossing is likely to be. You will also still be able to reserve your crossing for just a £25 deposit and we remain one of the few transport companies not to take full payment at the time of booking. We aim to go live with this development in the coming weeks, but these changes will only be presented on the website for sailings from mid-November onwards. Club Voyage members will continue to receive excellent value and the top level of discount will remain unchanged at 30% with onboard benefits continuing without change.

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[quote user="Théière"] I understand the day trip tickets as plugging the spaces they have on board but on a scheduled return they only transport you each way so why can they charge different amounts depending on whether it's 5 days (LD lines) or more than 10 days etc.[/quote]

 

The simple answer is because they can.  They and other ferry companies look to maximise their profit and if offering lower prices for short breaks means they capture punters who would otherwise not have travelled with them (or perhaps at all) and helps fill ships, then why should they not do it?

 

In some respects it is no different to RA offering the first 10 tickets at 10€, the next at 30€, the next 20 at 40€ and so on.

 

It is in the end about filling capacity.  There is no logic in it for you, but for the ferry company there is a clear logic and strategy. 

 

It is a long time since I used a ferry from the UK but I do remember using what were then weekend or short stay returns to go to various exhibitions in France, that, had I had to pay a "full fare", would have meant that I would have stayed at home.  Mostly these were out of season so the benefit to the ferry company was obvious.

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[quote user="KathyF"]In the Club Voyage July newsletter, BF announced that they are changing their pricing structure from the autumn to airline-type. I quote:

New Pricing Structure for Winter and Next Year

As loyal Club Voyage members we wanted to make sure that you are amongst the first to know that we are re-structuring our pricing for this winter and next year. We have received lots of feedback regarding our price structure and your comments have encouraged us to adopt a new, modern system. This will make it easier for customers to choose fares shown on the website, in much the same way that most airlines illustrate their prices. Previously fares have been based on length of stay, with reductions for stays of 5 or 10 days. The new system is more logical and it will make it easier for you to identify and book lower fares. This is because each sailing will show a fare on the website whereas previously this was not possible with fares based on length of stay.

Will it make the prices cheaper? For some yes, but not necessarily for every booking. However, the earlier you book the cheaper the crossing is likely to be. You will also still be able to reserve your crossing for just a £25 deposit and we remain one of the few transport companies not to take full payment at the time of booking. We aim to go live with this development in the coming weeks, but these changes will only be presented on the website for sailings from mid-November onwards. Club Voyage members will continue to receive excellent value and the top level of discount will remain unchanged at 30% with onboard benefits continuing without change.[/quote]

Will it make the prices cheaper? For some yes, but not necessarily for every booking......... I suspect a jack up of prices coming with this statement as the "some " is likely to be quite small

We shall just have to look very closely at how this new pricing structure will work out . I suspect the French restaurant mentality of fewer bums on seats means  put the price up and  wonder why  fewer people  come through the door  may kick in here .

LD Lines were cheaper even with the Club Voyager discount out of Portsmouth when I used their fast cat which  I am sad to say no longer runs.

Even with the Voyager Club discount a lot of fares are now pushing the £300 return mark for a car and two persons .Take a cabin and it is likely to be over that.

BF  could find themselves if they do jack up the prices again with more  retired passengers  deciding to take a steady run to our French homes crossing out of Dover  And having a nice meal and a night in a hotel on the way.  Now the Euro is 78p and the diesel in France cheaper.... BF must be aware of this .............or are they ?

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  • 4 months later...
I am new to this wonderful looking forum, and have an interest in Club Voyage.

We live 25 mins from the BF terminal in Plymouth, so it makes total sense to use it. OK I know BF are not the cheapest but when it is so close and convenient it cuts down on travel time and fuel cost etc so it suites us down to the ground. We are taking our caravan down to Finistere again in March but this time it will stay for a while, therefore I anticipate a minimum four trips across possibly six this coming year, long weekends and a longer 15 days stay, plus our annual extended trip to stock up on wine near Xmas etc.

So all in all Club Voyage does seem a good deal for us, any other opinions/ideas from anyone before I part with the initial 130 quid.

Cheers

Mike
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Hi Mike,

We bit the bullet and joined Club Voyage immediately after we completed on the purchase of our home in Brittany. Yes, I agree the initial £130 to join was nearly a show-stopper (£70 Admin Fee??? ) However, we are VERY glad we did.

In the two trips we have already taken we have saved nearly all of that cost just in the tickets alone; plus you get free breakfasts, discounts on other goodies on-board. They even let us watch a movie in the cinema for free.

Year on year, it costs £60 to renew. That cost is immediately recovered on the first trip after that is paid. From then on, we're quids-in...

Now, keep in mind that our circumstances are a bit different from yours, in that we travel from Portsmouth to St. Malo (or Caen if the ferry is not running on that route due to winter schedules).

Hope that helps...

Cheers!

Richard
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  • 1 month later...
I need to get to the house  to open up and air it  about lunch time as we put the mattresses outside in the (hopefully ) warm  air . The house is usually  like a fridge having had no heating through the winter

I have noticed DFDS  2300 ex Portsmouth gets in La Havre 0800  and will take us with a 4 berth cabin for £95.88  so have booked a date in March 

I am yet  to decide when I will come back but if I decide to return  up to the end of  April on the evening crossing its £39 for 2 with car  if I book before 16th March ... I have never used the DFDS  ship   B F could not get me anywhere near that price even with the club membership  for this trip    What's the DFDS ship like ?   

For those who have not seen it ....here is the offer

 http://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/ferry-offers-and-deals/ferry-to-france-offers/western-channel-offer/?src=hp

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