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Ferry Crossings at Christmas


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Just trying to decide whether to use the Tunnel or BF at Christmas this year.

In the past we have used the Tunnel for fear of bad weather.

Can any of you regular travelers advise me on the reliability and travel conditions on the Portsmouth Caen route around Xmas time. Does the weather tend to mean a bad crossing?

Obviously no one can guarantee the weather but hopefully enough of you have travelled many years on the trot to give a rough idea of it is usually like.


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I've been on rough crossings in the summer and really calm ones in the middle of winter so I think a lot of it has to do with luck. Personally, I would worry more about the driving conditions around Christmas time, with snow and ice not being uncommon. Last year, the snow and freezing temperatures were so bad between Christmas and New Year that the A84 motorway was closed for a couple of days and people had to be rescued from their cars. We sailed on the ferry from Caen at that time (having missed the morning crossing due to the atrocious driving conditions) and it was as calm as any crossing I have ever made.

You'll only suffer a rough crossing if there are of have been strong winds. If your destination is nearer to Caen than Calais then I would say that is the safest bet.

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Thanks for that. It was due to the bad drive from Calais to Domfront last year that we were considering other crossings.

The point about getting a cabin is certainly very sound advice that we will certainly take on board (parden the pun).

Given that the ferry is only £40 dearer than tunnel at that time of year I think we'll go for that and save ourselves a 4 hour drive!

Thanks again!

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I tend to visit the UK for Christmas and in the past have always used BF Caen-Portsmouth. Normally the ferry arriving Christmas Eve morning and it's generally pretty empty and civilised. As others have said, the drive to Caen is normally worse - driving rain one year, thick fog the next and both times a calm crossing.

Might try Transmanche this year as the trip this summer was OK and much much cheaper than BF (plus not a lot further to drive)

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