Mummy, can we got to the cinema???
Daddy, can we find the soft play??
We had arrived onboard Armorique, travelling to France with Brittany Ferries, and the kids were so excited to learn that there was a cinema, soft play, and a cabin with bunk beds onboard.
Since we first had our campervan, I have always wanted to travel to France with the kids…I kind of had this romantic idea of a super chilled ferry trip, hopping off the other side in search of blue skies, beautiful beaches, roads with a view, outstanding pools and freshly baked croissants. I wont lie – I was super excited to have finally planned a short road trip around Brittany this year.
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Travelling to France with Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries offer a wide choice of ferry crossings to France and Spain. Departures from Portsmouth, Plymouth or Poole to travel to Cherbourg, St Malo, Caen, Le Havre and Roscoff in France, or to Santander and Bilbao in Spain from Portsmouth and Plymouth. There are daily sailings on most routes and a choice of departure times to suit your travel requirements. Choose from fast-craft crossings, relaxing daytime or overnight cruises and you can also mix and match Brittany Ferries services to suit your individual needs. We travelled out on the Armorique from Plymouth to Roscoff and returned on the Bretagne from St Malo to Portsmouth.
On arrival to the ferry port
If this is your first time travelling by ferry, check out Brittany ferries for information and tips for first time ferry travel. Check in time is usually around 45 minutes prior to your sailing. On arrival to Plymouth the port is well signposted. We had a really stressful journey and got stuck on a gridlocked motorway and I honestly thought we would miss our ferry. There were many people in the same situation as us and Brittany Ferries were amazing – we checked in with just minutes to spare – it was definitely hairy. I found it really useful to check the live sailing updates and travel information online whilst we were travelling down to Plymouth. So as I mentioned, after much stress – we made the crossing (and I am pleased to say we weren’t the last ones to check in either!!). The check in process was quick and simple and we were directed to our lane where we parked the camper bumper to bumper before walking up some narrow steps, or taking the lift to the deck.
Tip – Have passports open and ready along with your ticket to help to speed up the check in process.
Tip – Don’t forget to make a note of where you have parked as you will need to find the right staircase to take you back to your vehicle.
The Brittany Ferries website has information online for each ferry and the planned entertainment which is really useful to check out beforehand. Copies of the day’s entertainment programme are also available from our information desks on board. We popped over to the Brittany ferries website and downloaded a few free printable colouring sheets before our trip to keep the kids occupied although with the entertainment onboard, we didn’t need to worry. The cinema was a real treat, and we enjoyed The Incredibles 2 * on our outbound crossing, and Sherlock Gnomes* on our return crossing. *payable.
The kids also loved the soft play and the pantomime Aladdin on our return crossing was absolutely wonderful….it had all three of our children mesmerised throughout the show! We purchased a little bit of Lego, some travel games from the onboard shop, and packed a few books and the trusty tablets with us to keep the kids entertained throughout the crossing.
Tip – The cinema showings do get booked up and the kids play area can be busy on some crossings so do check the kids entertainment online and book cinema tickets at the help desk at the beginning of your journey.
It was our first time travelling to France with Brittany Ferries and I can honestly say they had everything covered for family travel. Kids’ meals were available with a great choice to suit all needs and requirements including battered fish, chicken nuggets and pizza and an option of a drink and desert. High chairs were readily available, there was a microwave in the restaurant and plenty of baby changing facilities around the ferry. Lifts and ramps allow for ease when travelling with a stroller. As previously mentioned there were designated kids’ play areas and the shops stocked magazines, stationary and toys available to purchase to keep the little ones entertained. On busier crossings there are planned entertainment including pantomimes, musicians and magic shows – as mentioned, we experienced the pantomime Aladdin on our return crossing and it was outstanding. Just to add, there is even a swimming pool on Pont-Aven and Cap Finistère.
We had a cabin for both of our crossings and it was great – we had a base to leave some of our belongings for the sailing, meaning we didn’t have to carry everything around with us for the entire journey. The cabin also provided an area to take some time out to snooze, or relax with books, TV or the tablets. Cabins vary from ship to ship, although all cabins are en suite and air-conditioned with linen, towels and soap provided. We had a four birth cabin on the Armorique with bunk style beds, tea and coffee-making facilities, a TV, and port-hole style window which the toddler particularly loved. Our crossing was 3pm – 9.30pm and we had been up since 6am, having left our house by 7.30am…so it was great to have a base to relax, sleep and to generally prepare for the journey to our campsite.
Food and Drink
There was a great choice of food, drink and snacks onboard in the cafe, self-service restaurant and a la carte restaurant. Food was reasonably priced in the self-service restaurant and cost us around 45 Euros for a family of five for dinner. The kids chose from the children’s menus which included ham, pasta, battered fish and chicken nuggets. The children’s menu cost £5.65 for a main meal, choice of drink, a Pierre Le Bear goody bag comprising two gifts, jellybeans and an apple compote. The surprise toys in our goody bags included a game, colour-in jigsaw, Brittany Ferries travel journal, crayons, magnet or binoculars. There was also a great selection of salads, cheeses, hot meals, pizzas and sandwiches.
Why we loved travelling with Brittany Ferries
Having experienced the airport juggle with car seats, Trunkies, suitcases, hand luggage, strollers and three kids, I have to say the travelling by ferry was wonderful. The kids were not tied to their seats for the journey and there was so much onboard to keep kids of all ages entertained. Sitting out on the deck in the sunshine and admiring the sea views was a favourite moment of mine (even if I only got to sit down for five minutes!), as was the pantomime. I also loved the complimentary wifi in certain areas of the ship. As first time travellers with Brittany Ferries, the process was simple and straightforward. The staff were friendly and helpful and the crossing was smooth, relaxing and, dare I say it, completely enjoyable.
Hello from France 👋 I finally have a little 3G to document and share our road trip 🙂 We started off with a very stressful journey to Plymouth. We totally got stuck on the M5, despite allowing hours for us to get there… I had flashbacks of the time we missed the flight to South Africa (but we won’t go into that 🙈) Brittany Ferries were amazing as I know there were lots in the same situation as us. We ACTUALLY made it (only just!) and we may have had a coffee,(or ten!) and a snooze in the cabin. The kids loved the soft play and we even got to watch The Incredibles 2. – smiles all round 🙌🏻 . . @brittanyferries #hosted #roadtrip #france #travelwithme #travelbug #campervanlife #homeiswhereyouparkit #ferry #ferrytravel #otisandusdoBrittany #brittany #traveldiaries #travel #travelwithkids #takeyourkidseverywhere #camping #seaview #brittanyferries #traveldeeper #beautifuldestinations #childfriendly #myhappyviews #snaphappybritmums #trips100 #borntovoyage #travelmadfam #fearlessfamtrav
We are already looking at booking for a French road trip next Summer and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Brittany Ferries.
For more information and to book pop over to Brittany Ferries online
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**Disclosure – Were were provided with complimentary travel for the purpose of the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own**