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Motor Rail - Best Time To Book (Calais To Narbonne one way)


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Hi All

I am sure that this question has been asked before (I have searched but can't find it).

We are travelling down to the South on FRi 26th June and have priced the motor rail from Calais to Narbonne at £470 (I am sure it was more expensive when I looked last year). Does anyone know if they get booked up quick at that time as it is out of school holidays, or are there any web sites with special offers or do the prices come down closer to the departure date?

At present I have a hotel booked in Orley (FOC frequent user reward night) but by the time we cost the fuel at £90, the tolls at £60ish plus a meal and drinks for 3 at £80 there is only £240 difference between the two excluding the 11 hours driving time.

Any advice will be greatly recieved, many thanks in advance

 

Marc

 

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We did that journey in reverse two years ago.

Almost the same date - mid june anyway.

We paid over £400 for our ticket - 2 adults and a car.

I stupidly looked at the website the week before we set off and the price was massively reduced. - something like £199.

We booked ages in advance as OH was panicking and sure that they would be full.

If I were you, I'd wait a little while and keep checking the prices.

By the way it was a ropey old train and not an easy trip.

It was a very hot day/night and the electricity failed in our compartment which made things very uncomfortable.

I think I posted about it somewhere on this forum at the time.
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I have traveled to and from Narbonne by motor rail in the past and even 1st class (not certain whether that is available today)  it is not a journey I would ever consider again. It was not very comfortable, compartment was hot, no evening meal supplied so you had to take your own and 13 hours on a train IMO is not too pleasant in cramped surroundings. With auto routes from Calais to Narbonne get in the car and drive, I stop at a very comfortable hotel in Langres and have down the journey dozens of times.

Baz
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Bit late into this one but I too would not repeat the exercise.  Travelled both ways and its a hot unpleasant journey and as in most Motor Rail the cars go to a differing place and then back to the station.  Also you have to keep your wits about you in Narbonne Station for the signs for the trains change |(well at least they did when I used them) and I was on the wrong platform.

Nothing on the train save for warm beers and poor quality red wine (from the guard who tend to be university students making money in the summer)

No sorry would prefer to break the journey with a good hotel.

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Marc62

Just to give another point of view; we've used the Motorail service with a car and with a motorbike. With the car to Bologna from Calais, and with the motorbike from Belgium to Tarbes. Both journeys were excellent and the vehicles well looked after. We took something to eat and drink and we used a T2 cabin for privacy and comfort. The only downside is the cost, but given the chance we'd repeat the experience, except that we now live in France and we're already halfway there! [:D] There are thousands of satisfied cutomers out there otherwise the service wouldn't still be running after all these years.

Sid 

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Sid just thought I would clarify what I was trying to say. I believe the quality of the rolling stock going from Calais say to Italy or from say Brussels is different to those used in France. I have travelled so called first class from Calais to Nice to Avignon to Brive to Narbonne and we have had the compartment to ourselves. Privacy is one thing but the facilities are basic Hidi Hi in my opinion. Used the routes many times when I was younger and it was good but now would not touch it. Fine going through Lyon down the Rhone arriving at Avignon breakfast outside but seriously a huge amount of £ is needed to upgrade the rolling stock.
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Hello dr

I understand what you're saying, I thought I should point out that not everyone finds it a bad experience. We were warned about temperatures, noise, being jolted awake, lack of restaurant car etc but found it was brilliant. Maybe if you go expecting the worst then the reality is better!

I would always pay the extra for a private cabin (T2 ... there a two types, "upper" and "lower", we preferred the "upper"). There is a washbasin in the cabin, but the toilet is at the end of the corridor. On our train there was breakfast served in the restaurant car. I can't tell you how magnificent it was to see the mountain streams of the Alps as we emerged from the tunnel at 7am in the morning!

We used Railsavers for the motorbike trip; I don't know if Alison is still with the company but she is a biker and was able to give us loads of relevant tips.

Bon voyage

Sid

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