Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
thornie1543
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Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby thornie1543 » 20 Mar 2017, 4:54pm

Just browsing on Brittany ferries website for a ferry at the end of may and there is no bicycle option? there is the option when looking at Portsmouth -Santander ,I took my bike on the Santander-Portsmouth ferry when doing roscoff to Santander with no problems before ,so why isn't there the option for the bilbao route? .Only thinking things over at the moment so haven't phoned up to check,just thought i'd ask on here out of curiosity really.

hamster
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby hamster » 20 Mar 2017, 4:57pm

It looks to me like a coding error on the website as it doesn't allow foot passengers either. :?

RobinS
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby RobinS » 20 Mar 2017, 9:08pm

If you do a search on all routes to Spain, for Portsmouth - Bilbao it comes up with "Please Call"

AndyK
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby AndyK » 20 Mar 2017, 11:37pm

The ever-reliable Man In Seat 61 says:
Portsmouth-Bilbao sailings are operated by the smaller Cap Finistère which has fewer cabins relative to the vehicles it can carry. For this reason Brittany Ferries limit the number of foot passengers they accept on the Bilbao route, and do not allow foot passengers to book online, they must book by phone.

http://www.seat61.com/ferry-to-spain.htm

... not that that makes any rational sense at all, of course, but nobody ever accused Brittany Ferries of being rational.

climo
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby climo » 23 Mar 2017, 1:50pm

I spoke to them recently about just that. Yes bikes allowed but book early as you have to have a cabin. For us we couldn't get there early enough on the train so had to scrub the idea. tbh flying's about the same cost but less environmentally friendly of course.

brianleach
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby brianleach » 28 Mar 2017, 11:54am

That's interesting. I tried to book for a return journey from Bilbao in 2015. As you say found I couldn't book on line so rang and was refused as apparently the captain "doesn't like bicycles". My son and I therefore had to cycle back to Santander and sail back from there.

Pleased to see bikes now seem to be accepted again although why you should have to ring seems strange. Presumably the bike was accepted both ways not just outward?

brianleach
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby brianleach » 28 Mar 2017, 11:57am

Forgot to say in my previous post that I did sail back from Bilbao in 2011 after a serious crash and as far as I can remember I just booked on line as normal then so I was surprised with the response in 2015.

dodger
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby dodger » 28 Mar 2017, 3:28pm

Last time I checked there was no logic to Brittany Ferries' treatment of cyclists.
In fact it was cheaper to go by car from Plymouth to Santander than bike. (Based on 4 in a car with bikes on the roof)
Also no consistency with how they price for foot passenger versus passenger plus bike on peak or off-peak times.
They seem to think of a number and apply it. Basically, if you get a low fare at off-peak times they seem to simply increase the cost of the bike, so a foot passenger might go cheaply but a cyclist would pay even more for their bike. (Again this was last time I checked, so maybe they've become more logical) Hmmm!

mrjemm
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby mrjemm » 8 Apr 2017, 12:41pm

Posting this from Portsmouth to Santander ferry.

Getting on was not an easy process, and certainly not cheap- £580 for 2 return with a bike each, and cabin as is required (rules) being a long crossing. No foot pax on this route, and a very basic service on board, being the 'no frills' service (but 'free' WiFi).

Looked online and could only get a Plymouth crossing, but as live near by, went to terminal and got on a Portsmouth service both ways. One way not listed online when I looked, and the other I was told on phone was full for bikes, but got on when went in in person.

With regards to 'full for bikes'; was told they have limited space for bikes (yet still room for cars, remember, no foot pax), as they put them in a 'shed' on board. Turns out we put them against a railing at side of open topped car deck ('Pont de Seine'). And as far as am aware, are the only bikes aboard not strapped atop a car (sailing, but can see bikes through window in locked access door). Lady on phone said full, bizarre. But then entire policy comes across as odd.

As for the Bilbao crossing... Would have chosen (like Bilbao a lot, disliked Santander on previous visits) if possible at time, but no luck. Will ride straight onwards...

Currently happy to use service when ignoring price paid: comfortable on board, BF staff friendly and helpful, is not a plane, beer cheaper than in local pubs, bikes visible. But now to test the food.

mercalia
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby mercalia » 8 Apr 2017, 6:36pm

:shock: " £580 for 2 return with a bike each" thats a lot of money for a ferry :shock:

brianleach
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby brianleach » 9 Apr 2017, 9:12am

I presume you mean the booking process not being easy as boarding is usually very straightforward and cycles often board before cars (as an aside I will always remember cycling up the ferry ramp in spendid isolation on a beautiful afternoon in Ouistreham). I would only travel on the economy service again if there was not alternative. The food is pretty basic and it is a very small ferry to be on for about 24 hours hence the high cost. In fact as you have to have a cabin this is usually more that the actual ferry fare!! It is certainly different to a short cross channel hop.

brynpoeth
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Apr 2017, 9:15am

I used Poole-Cherbourg many years ago, we had to cycle onto the deck where trucks were manoeuvring in the half-darkness. Bloody dangerous
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MartinBrice
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby MartinBrice » 9 Apr 2017, 5:51pm

mercalia wrote::shock: " £580 for 2 return with a bike each" thats a lot of money for a ferry :shock:
No it isn't. It's £290 return each, which is £145 for 24 hours on board including cabin for you and the bike. It's not cheap, but I found it very comfortable and an ideal way to start the trip. You can't compare this to a 90 minute cross-Channel trip out of Dover, it's more of a cruise. I recall a lady singer at the small theatre it was very pleasant having a beer listening to that. I've looked at the cost of driving down: by the time you've paid for petrol, hotel overnight, wear and tear on you and the car, food etc, Brittany Ferries have obviously priced it very carefully. You could probably fly more cheaply. If you lived near the airport. If you wanted to go to an airport in Spain.If you were happy with baggage handlers and the bike in the aircraft.

brynpoeth
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Apr 2017, 6:05pm

MartinBrice wrote:
mercalia wrote::shock: " £580 for 2 return with a bike each" thats a lot of money for a ferry :shock:
No it isn't. It's £290 return each, which is £145 for 24 hours on board including cabin for you and the bike. It's not cheap, but I found it very comfortable and an ideal way to start the trip. You can't compare this to a 90 minute cross-Channel trip out of Dover, it's more of a cruise. I recall a lady singer at the small theatre it was very pleasant having a beer listening to that. I've looked at the cost of driving down: by the time you've paid for petrol, hotel overnight, wear and tear on you and the car, food etc, Brittany Ferries have obviously priced it very carefully. You could probably fly more cheaply. If you lived near the airport. If you wanted to go to an airport in Spain.If you were happy with baggage handlers and the bike in the aircraft.


+1

More like a cruise

Rotterdam to Hull is the same, the boat has two cinemas, live music (+/-!) etc
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

mercalia
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Re: Anyone taken their bicycle on the portsmouth-bilbao ferry?

Postby mercalia » 9 Apr 2017, 8:09pm

MartinBrice wrote:
mercalia wrote::shock: " £580 for 2 return with a bike each" thats a lot of money for a ferry :shock:
No it isn't. It's £290 return each, which is £145 for 24 hours on board including cabin for you and the bike. It's not cheap, but I found it very comfortable and an ideal way to start the trip. You can't compare this to a 90 minute cross-Channel trip out of Dover, it's more of a cruise. I recall a lady singer at the small theatre it was very pleasant having a beer listening to that. I've looked at the cost of driving down: by the time you've paid for petrol, hotel overnight, wear and tear on you and the car, food etc, Brittany Ferries have obviously priced it very carefully. You could probably fly more cheaply. If you lived near the airport. If you wanted to go to an airport in Spain.If you were happy with baggage handlers and the bike in the aircraft.


well more than I could ever afford