F is for overnight ferry to Spain

Entering the Pont Aven ferry – we’re off!

A great way to get from the UK to Northern Spain and a lovely start to our holiday.

We loved: The cabin, the buffet in the restaurant, the views, the manicure

Downsides: It’s not cheap, and you do need to book well in advance if you want a cabin with an outside facing window.  Apparently it can also be quite choppy so bring your Kwells!

A couple of years ago, in an attempt to avoid long drives in a van with no aircon, we put together a ferry trip across the Med, from Marseilles to Pisa via Corsica and Elba. It worked brilliantly and we were hoping to recreate this boating joy with our first ferry to Spain.

So, was the Plymouth to Santander ferry a perfect way to kick-start our break?

Running around the helipad while the sun sets = ferry fun


Things we loved about the Spain ferry

1. It had a POOL ON THE BOAT


We felt a little bit like we were on a cruise (in a good way)  — okay, so the pool was tiny and only two of us went in for about two minutes but still …

2. Our cabin


We liked having a view, but didn’t spot any dolphins this time 😦


This was cosy and we all slept soundly.  If you’re a slightly non standard family you may have negotiated the trials of sleeping more than four people in a compartment / cabin. We prefer to be in one space, so our current approach is to book something that sleeps 4 plus a chair (they make you do this) and then use the trusty sleeping bag and mat on the floor option.  Orla drew the short straw this time and was on the floor but slept fine.

Also, it had a big window for ocean watching, was quite high up and near the front (both felt like real positives) and the crossing was pretty smooth. Our Kwells were not required this time — apparently this isn’t always the case, so we considered ourselves lucky.

3. The restaurant

Be very poor or die young? Hmmm. Tiny scary Japanese fortune tellers

This served a fairly lavish and proper (silver salvers and all) food, including a mountainous buffet starter option and similar breakfast the following day.

4. Some of us got a manicure


On a boat 🙂 Need I say more?!

5. Arriving alongside the beaches near Santander and a wall of heat

Beaches of Spain ahoy!

The time whizzed past, and that’s without getting involved in any of the entertainment on offer. We were occupied enough pootling on the boat just didn’t feel the need to watch a film or show.

If further proof were needed of how pleased (pushing smug, even) we felt about this crossing, I can add that originally we’d only booked this crossing one way as we were a bit concerned about the Bay of Biscay’s rough reputation but within a week I was seeking (unsuccessfully, unfortunately) a return ticket.

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