Ferry From Southhampton, England to Saint Malo, France

Getting here from there

A little background on the logistics of how we planned our travel from home back to ICE FLOE deux in Port Napoléon, France.  I have already described why we chose to take the Queen Mary 2 across the Atlantic – no luggage restrictions.

The Queen Mary docked in Southampton, England at 6:30am.  Our luggage had been stacked in the corridor outside our stateroom the evening before.  It was picked up some time during the evening and was waiting for us when we disembarked at 10:00am.  
We had completed a customs check in while on the Queen Mary so all that was required was that we show our passports, collect our luggage, and go.  We were lucky and found a taxi van that was large enough.  The taxi deposited us at the Brittany Ferry Terminal in Portsmouth around noon.  When we booked out passage on the ferry there was little information available on luggage handling or restrictions so we inquired about this as soon as we arrived.  We were informed that, just as had been the case aboard the Queen Mary, there were no restrictions other than that the luggage fit in our stateroom.  How relieved we were to find our luggage would not be a problem.

Unlike the Queen Mary, we were told we would be responsible for getting the luggage to and from our stateroom.  We knew this was not an insurmountable problem, although it certainly would be exhausting.  We were pleased to learn that there was not only food aboard the ferry, there was a restaurant – we were all set.  We grabbed a small lunch in the Ferry Terminal and sat down for a very long wait – the ferry would not board until 7:30pm for the overnight trip across the English Chanel.

Guardian angels were looking out for us as we sat blissfully in the terminal reading and knitting.  As it turns out, carrying the luggage to our stateroom would involve:

  1. carrying it down a hallway from the ferry terminal waiting area
  2. loading it onto a bus
  3. getting it off the bus
  4. carrying it up a series of 6 long, steep, switchback, ramps to board the ferry on the 6th floor
  5. carrying it up two narrow flights of stairs up to our tiny cabin

Had we needed to negotiate this entirely ourselves, we might still be at it – AND if the luggage actually fit in our cabin, we would have needed to sleep on top of it!!

Our sleeping cabin aboard the Brittany Ferry
Our guardian angels came in the form of ferry personnel who knew all this, and had a MUCH, MUCH, better plan.
After all other passengers had boarded the ferry, these men and women helped us push our luggage carts and load the luggage into a bus (just for us).  They accompanied us to the Ferry dock, reloaded everything onto new luggage carts and assisted in pushing them up the 6 steep ramps where the ferry personnel transported it directly into a luggage storage area.  We only needed to bring our overnight necessities to our cabin and begin exploring the ferry.  First stop, a bar with some nice, cold, beer on tap.

One of several eating areas aboard the Britania

I am not sure what experience you may have with ferries, but ours has been limited.  In addition to a bar, multiple eating areas (restaurant, cafeteria, snacks), the ferry had a small arcade, jungle gym, and entertainment including live music, a movie, and a very talented showman and magician, Alexander Wells.  It was such a lovely conclusion to a day full of half-baked plans that had worked out better than we could have hoped for.

Mr. Wells, demonstrated his sword-swallowing skills with a long balloon (so as not to frighten the many children), made bottles of wine appear out of thin air, astonished us with card tricks and other slight of hand magic, all with a theatrical flair, that brought to mind our dear friend Dobbs.  What a way to cap off an “adventurous” day.

Alexander Wells – check him out on You-tube

In the morning, our guardian angels were every bit as helpful and to our added delight, our luggage fit in the car George rented for the trip from Saint Malo to Port Napoléon.

Now you see it
Nothing Short of Magic

And now you don’t

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