BRITTANY FERRY EMBARKATION AT PORTSMOUTH

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smiffy462

BRITTANY FERRY EMBARKATION AT PORTSMOUTH

Post by smiffy462 »

I have just been informed by the ferry booking company that, as foot passengers with a tandem boarding a Brittany Ferry at Portsmouth, we must use the vehicle lane and not the passenger terminal. This sounds a little daunting, in particular when boarding at approximately 10.15pm. Does anyone have any experience of this and can you offer any advice. Thanks. Ian
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Si
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Post by Si »

When we last used them they seperated the large vehicles (lorries, caravans, etc) from the smaller (cars, motorbikes, etc) so hopefully you should be thrown in with the truck at least. Apart from that I can't offer any further info.
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Graham
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Post by Graham »

Smiffy,
This is standard procedure and should present no difficulties. However, do be very careful of any metal ramps ( especially when wet ).

I actually enjoy this procedure as I can usually jump the queue by waiting in front of all the other vehicles ( ah, so satisfying ). Be ready for the loading to commence.

If you don't feel safe or comfortable, you can just stop and wait for a gap. The marshals are there to help you.
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andrew_s
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Post by andrew_s »

Cycles board most ferries with the vehicles.
It's best to arrive before boarding has actually started, and ride to the front of the car queue and wait there for instructions from the staff. Bikes have usually been sent on first when I've used ferries.
Watch out for the condition of the boarding ramps. Painted steel is slippery, and there are also often wheel-trapping gaps between the finger plates at the ends.
Oracle
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Post by Oracle »

Ian

Already been said, but standard practice for any cycle, particularly as foot passengers may have to negotiate steps and you wouldn’t want that with a tandem! The plus side is that while you are often first on as you cycle to the front, and they don’t want to risk a bike squeezing past cars, you are also often first off which is a bonus! Careful of the ramps etc.

I will be using the Portsmouth terminal with tandem and trailer and had to pay for 2 bikes!
PW
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Post by PW »

A few years back when Brittany Ferries were still cycle friendly, being first on meant that the cyclists picked up all the freebies such as unsold cabins. :wink:
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!
mw3230
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Post by mw3230 »

We have used the DFDS ferry from North Shields to Holland on a number of occasions and have always complained to the loading staff because of the (in our view) inordinate wait on the dock before we were loaded. It would seem to be so easy for the few cyclists to slip on rather have to wait for lorries, excavators, buses and other assorted motorised vehicles to load first. Hope you have better luck!!!!
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horizon
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Post by horizon »

smiffy, it's the best bit! :D
Tony
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Post by Tony »

They are now making you walk from the top of the ramp. It's not a problem.
lisap
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Post by lisap »

I have just been out to Bilbao and back from Portsmouth and all the cyclist loaded with the motorbikes. No problems, the ramps were easy to negotiate but it was dry.

Coming back there were 186 Harley Davisons and me!!!!
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horizon
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Post by horizon »

Tony wrote:They are now making you walk from the top of the ramp. It's not a problem.


The last time I went on Brittany Ferries, all the car drivers were asked to get out and push their cars onto the ferry. Many of the drivers complained, but they were told it was for safety reasons. I personally thought it was unreasonable that someone who had just driven perhaps hundreds of miles to the terminal on busy roads couldn't be trusted to drive the last bit onto the ferry, but that's health and safety for you.
nigel_s
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Re: BRITTANY FERRY EMBARKATION AT PORTSMOUTH

Post by nigel_s »

smiffy462 wrote:I have just been informed by the ferry booking company that, as foot passengers with a tandem boarding a Brittany Ferry at Portsmouth, we must use the vehicle lane and not the passenger terminal. This sounds a little daunting, in particular when boarding at approximately 10.15pm. Does anyone have any experience of this and can you offer any advice. Thanks. Ian

Been there. Done that. We were a family group of two tandems with two child stokers. And it was a night sailing. We queued in the car lanes but the marshals moved us out to one side to await our turn to be called forward. It's all very efficient and the staff are well used to handling cyclists. The loading crew will help secure the bikes when on board. Be assured - nothing to worry about.
lisap
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Post by lisap »

The crew will provide rope to secure your bike to the side of the vessel. I put a piece of pipe lagging on the side of the toptube that rested against the metal pillar to stop any movement scratching the bike. Kept it in place with quick release zip ties.
smiffy462

Post by smiffy462 »

Thank you to everyone for alleviating my concerns of boarding via the vehicle lane. Just got to worry about waiting in the rain now!!!!!!!
Oh just one other point, is it best to take the panniers off the bike and keep them with you in a cabin on a night crossing?
Cheers. Smiffy
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horizon
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Post by horizon »

Yes. You won't be able to get to them during the crossing.
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