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Travel in France

France Ferries Slash Prices

Tuesday 08 October 2013

Ferry companies seem to be tripping over themselves with cheap cross-channel fares for this autumn and winter.

Despite the growth in low-cost airlines, travel to France by car continues to remain a popular choice, if only because it can still make more economic sense for a family or a group.

However, where once the ferry companies had a monopoly of the route, they now compete with the Channel Tunnel.

Latest figures indicate that they are neck and neck on passenger numbers, with each carrying around 20 million passengers each year.

Dover-Calais continues to remain the most popular ferry route, with around 10 million passengers who use it, still a far cry from the halcyon days of the 1990s when around 21 million made the trip on a ferry from the port.

The increased competition at Dover/Folkestone has resulted in ferry companies diversifying their offers further down the South Coast of England. There are now no less than 13 different ferry routes from the UK to France

Matt Davies, Managing Director of the leading on-line ferry ticket agency Direct Ferries says, “There are a lot of short break offers out at the moment and it appears each of the short sea operators are following each other with fares, durations of trips and offer expiry etc”.

Those who choose to depart from any of the routes in South-East England have a particularly strong choice.

The ferry companies P&O and My Ferry Link have gone head to head with a three day return package by car on the Dover-Calais route from just £38 return. The offer includes up to 4 passengers.

That compares with at least around £100 short-stay return by using Eurotunnel.

DFDS Seaways are also running a similar offer on their Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais crossings. A three day excursion trip costs from £39 return, travelling by car and with up to 4 passengers.

A day-trip on either route costs from £29 return.

It is pretty much the same at LD Lines who are offering a return trip Newhaven-Dieppe or Portsmouth-Le Havre for a car and up to 2 passengers for £39. There is also a family offer for 4 passengers for £47 return. Dates vary on these routes.

Brittany Ferries run more routes to France than any other company, but it is less a giveaway on their generally longer routes, although you have a greater degree of luxury and comfort.

For those leaving from Plymouth-Roscoff, Poole and Portsmouth to Cherbourg or Portsmouth Caen or Le Havre, Brittany Ferries offers travel return for £160 with car and up to 4 passengers, with 4 days away.

Term and conditions apply to all these offers so you need to read the details with care as peak holiday dates are normally not available at these prices.

You can find out more about these deals at Ferry Deals to France

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