Ferries is increasing the number of sailings during 2014 on its popular route from
Portsmouth to Caen in the heart of Normandy. The year-round service will now offer
3 sailings a day in each direction on most days of the week. In the winter
months these journeys are carried out by the two cruise ferries, the Mont St Michel
and the Normandie. The ferries take around 6 hours to make the daytime crossing
and about 7 hours at night.
The Mont St Michel is a fine modern vessel, truly deserving of the title Cruise
Ferry. There is a
real feeling of spaciousness throughout the ship, and the car decks themselves cover
a total length of 2 kilometres. On board are all the facilities expected of a modern
ferry, with a table service restaurant where you can dine while the sea slips by,
a self-service restaurant, a coffee shop and a bar. With over 200 cabins and over
400 reclining seats there is plenty of space for rest and relaxation, as well as
2 cinemas, a games room, programmed entertainment for children, and onboard shopping
to keep you occupied.
Normandie is the sister ship to Brittany Ferries' Bretagne, and although slightly
smaller than the Mont St Michel it offers pretty much identical facilities. Both
ships have WiFi access available, and both offer a full range of cabin types from
two berth up to the luxurious Commodore Class, and both ships have cabins suitable
for disabled passengers.
Portsmouth is a bustling maritime city with a recently redeveloped waterfont,
so if you're early for the ferry you can take advantage of its many
restaurants and bars. The ferry terminal is right at the end of the M275,
making it one of the easiest of all ferry terminals to access. The M275
links directly to the M27 which in turn links into the rest of the UK motorway
network, so wherever you're coming from, Portsmouth is very convenient.
The ferries actually dock in France at Ouistreham, which is about 15 km
from Caen and the A13 Autoroute. Caen is an old city with commercial and
industrial surroundings. The old town retains a large part of its ancient
walls, and is worth a few hours of exploration.
Paris is about 2 and a half hours away, or you can head west towards Brittany,
reaching Rennes in less than 2 hours. The N158 heading south has recently been upgraded
and is now dual carriageway until it joins the A28. It takes about 2 hours to reach