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Just back from my first return trip with Transmanche ferries between Newhaven and Dieppe - these are my thoughts...

First, just a mention of Newhaven and Dieppe ports. The security at both locations was frighteningly poor. Some very serious changes are needed urgently.

Transmanche - I would give them 8 out of 10 and I will definitely use them again - having abandoned Speedferry (they've only got one) to find a more reliable service. (Fed up with it breaking down and leaving passengers in the lurch!)

The ships were excellent albeit a bit small, but adequate for what was needed. Clean and reasonably comfortable with excellent staff all very polite and helpful. My wife and I could not fault the food for the prices charged. A good choice, well-cooked and hot! (Fed up with warm food on many other ferries).

I have knocked two points off my score due to both trips ending with the worst disembarking process I have ever expereienced. Plus, whilst accepting this is a French company, with a massive amount of English passengers, it would be useful if the girl making the announcements in English could actually speak the language!

But, all in all, good trips which I enjoyed and will next be trying their Newhaven to Le Havre service provided by the link-up with LD Lines.

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provided by the link-up with LD Lines.

To be pedantic LD Lines now operate the Transmanche link on behalf of the Regional council of Normandy having won a tender process last year. they are using spare capacity on New- Dieppe to fit in a trip to Le Havre.

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Prasutagus - we are thinking of using the Dieppe-Newhaven crossing (out overnight via Portsmouth and back via a shorter day crossing) but are rather concerned at your description of the disembarkation process.

Would you explain what caused you to describe disembarkation as the worst you have ever experienced?

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Hi Thibault - nothing to worry about from a safety perspective, just disorganised.

On the trip out to France, passengers were called to assemble in the area of a particular staircase. It was amazing that any non French-speaking people on board ever got the message because the words were obviously being read from a card by somebody who could not really speak English, and made no sense.

Having arrived at the given staircase, the staff member on duty there told people they should actually go to another staircase. Some believed her and went, othere who had used the service before, stayed put and got it right. Unlike other ferries where you are given enough time to get to your vehicle before the doors open up, on Transmanche it seems they wait until everything is in place before you go to the car-deck. Thus, you get the situation where agile people get to their cars quickly and are ready to go, but cannot because other drivers are slower in getting there. In our case, three vehicles in front of us left instantly, but the one immediately in front blocked our exit because nobody had returned to it. This was being repeated in other lanes. A similar scenario occured on the return trip.

I really think this is just a matter of practice making perfect on the part of the crew and I am convinced it will improve. I have to say though, that everybody working on their two ships are some of the most polite ferry staff I have ever met - and I have travelled on a few!

 

 

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[quote user="Prasutagus"]

Hi Thibault - nothing to worry about from a safety perspective, just disorganised.

[/quote]

Under the old management there were some very serious safety issues but hopefully now that a proper shipping company is in charge, with two recently built ships, that is all sorted out. Pity they dont seem to have got the port side of things organised more slickly, the timetable used to be so relaxed that the ships spent more time tied up than at sea.

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