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Property Owners Schemes : P & O vs Brittany Ferries

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At the risk of upsetting all those who have previously offered help on what must be one of the most common questions - can anyone help please with advice and any information about the most economic way of getting from the South of England (near Reading) to and from Calvados? In particular, comments about the advantages/drawbacks between the P&O and Brittany Ferries Property Owner Schemes would be much appreciated.
I intend to make regular and quite frequent visits to our house in France; I am sure there are many others who have been doing this for some time and will have a wealth of information and experience to share. Thanks,
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It depends on whether or not you are trying to do it as cheaply as possible. We did that at first, and then found that it was compromising the time we spent in France, as we were doing a long drive from the tunnel to Manche and were quite tired by the time we arrived.

Now we are members of the Brittany Ferries French Property Owners' Club and travel Portsmouth-Caen. That costs 40 a year, and I get a discount of 30% off crossings, complimentary cabins and 10% off some purchases on board etc. I also get 3 vouchers for friends and family to cross with a 15% discount, and I can get a second member (ie No1 son) for 10 (I think - didn't do that this year).

The boats are clean and comfortable, and I try to cross on less popular sailings as they can get crowded. The 'proper' restaurant is good for dinner and breakfast, the cabins are reasonable, although now my rheumatoid arthritis (and overweight) makes the top bunk more of a character-building challenge than I would prefer. Having your own shower and toilet makes up for it, though.

I have just booked for our summer stay (essentially the whole of August), 2 people in a normal car, 332, with cabins both ways. This was the cheapest option for the days I wanted to travel (they are quite happy to discuss this with you over the phone). It was actually a lot more for the last half-term, but I am terrible at booking in advance.

I have always found BF's people (both sides) to be helpful and polite, especially when booking by phone.

So really, you pays your money and you takes your choice!


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Keep an eye on www.ferrysale.com for Newhaven to Dieppe.

I do Newbury to Newhaven in a touch over 2 hours and at 29 each way for car and passengers and a 2 hour crossing. However, in line with another thread, I try to book at short notice with an eye on the weather. Touch wood, it's been a mild pond crossing each time this year.
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I can't think of any particular draw backs. My impression is that P&O is the better scheme, but I haven't studied it in detail as we are stuck with Brittany Ferries down here. So I suggest a careful study of the small print. Either of these schemes is worth having if you intend to come frequently, you can get your money back more or less on the first trip, the cost of joining has gone up a little in recent years but the cost of travelling, particularly if you want to come in peak times has skyrocketed.

One thing that is worth considering if you have a partner, and there is a possiblity of travelling at different times, is to take out a joint membership for a little extra so that you both get the benefits.

Also look carefully of travelling mid week. I priced a journey recently for the end of July which was half price travelling in the week rather than at weekends.

Liz (29)
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