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Information about Brittany Ferries cross channel ferries to Spain – Day-tripper.net the internet magazine – for holiday makers to Bilbao and Santander.
2012/2013 sailings to Spain summary
Portsmouth to Bilbao (Basque Country) – Regular services throughout the winter and 2 sailings a week during the summer.
Portsmouth to Santander (Cantabria, Northern Spain) – Regular services throughout the winter and 2 sailings a week during the summer.
Plymouth to Santander – No winter service. From 1st April 2012 1 sailing a week to and from Santander.
The Bilbao route, which use to be operated by PO Ferries (until 27th September 2010), is now operated by Brittany Ferries out of Portsmouth (started 27th March 2011). The service is twice weekly. This route is served by the 33,000 tonne Cap Finistère.
Brittany Ferries already sail to Santander (this service started in 1978) from Plymouth and Portsmouth.
Brittany Ferries now provide up to five return U.K. to Spain crossings each week: two from Portsmouth to Bilbao, two from Portsmouth to Santander and one from Plymouth to Santander.
Sailings from Portsmouth to Bilbao take from 24 to 32 hours and arrive at a brand new terminal in the port of Bilbao with fast and easy access to Spain's A8 motorway. From here there are excellent road connections to Madrid and the Costa Brava, as well as Spain's far south. Bilbao is also well positioned for reaching south-west France: Biarritz for example is less than two hours' drive east.
July 2011 – Which? readers have voted Brittany Ferries the best ferry company in the magazine's customer satisfaction survey. The French company scored 74%, topping the customer approval table which looked at nine major ferry companies operating from the U.K. As well as receiving the highest score from readers based on their overall levels of satisfaction and the likelihood to recommend, Brittany Ferries also received four stars for its ease of booking and onboard facilities, as well as the comfort and cleanliness of its ships.
Reservations; 0871 244 0744 / 0871 244 1400.
Open; Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 7.30pm, Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm, Sunday 9.00am to 4.30pm.
Holiday France Direct (Brittany Ferries holiday company). www.holidayfrancedirect.co.uk or telephone 0871 244 1245.
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Ships used on the Spanish routes
mv Pont-Aven – The Pont-Aven is Brittany Ferries luxurious £100m flagship ferry, launched in March 2004, and set new standards in passenger ferry travel.
Cruising on the Pont-Aven is like taking a holiday in itself, and it has dramatically improved sailing times to Spain and France. Crossing time from Plymouth to Santander is 20 hours while Portsmouth to Santander is 24 hours and sailing times between Plymouth, Roscoff and Cork have also been reduced.
mv Cap Finistère Overview – Used on the Friday and Tuesday return sailings from Portsmouth to Santander, as well as three return sailings from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, the Cap Finistère began sailing under Brittany Ferries colours in March 2010.
– Port of Poole. Poole Terminal. New Harbour Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 4AJ. Tel: 0871 244 1403. www.phc.co.uk
– Portsmouth Port Authority. Portsmouth Terminal. Wharf Road, Portsmouth, Hants, PO2 8RU. Tel: 0871 244 1402. www.portsmouth-port.co.uk
– Santander Terminal; Estacion Maritime, Santander, 39002. Tel: 0942 36 06 11. www.puertosantander.es
– Port of Bilbao. Puerto de Bilbao (Santurtzi), Muelle Vizcaya. Espigón, 3. 48980 Santurtzi.
The Bilbao ferry terminal is located in a fishing village called Santurtzi, accessible from both the west (Santander) and the east (Madrid and Barcelona) via the A8. Take the N644 turn off and follow this road to the ferry port. There are no car parking facilities in the village, however you can leave their vehicles at the port at no cost.
Terminal de Brittany Ferries, Puerto de Bilbao, Muelle A3, Zierbena 48508. Tel: 094 487 12 00. www.bilbaoport.es
Shipping Forecast – Met Office. www.metoffice.gov.uk
Weather in Bilbao. www.bbc.co.uk
Tourist Offices. www.tourspain.es
Brittany Ferries have been sailing to Santander for many years. PO Ferries use to operate on the Bilbao route, but this service ended in September 2010.
Brittany Ferries have taken over this route and the new service started operating from 27th March 2011.
If you are travelling to Spain, Southern France or Portugal, Bilbao is an excellent place to start your journey. It cuts out the long drive through France for a start.
Excellent motorway connections from Bilbao mean that you can be in Madrid in around three hours, and close by are the beautiful villages of the Basque region.
Bilbao offers arguably Europe's best surfing, and the ski resorts of the Pyrenees are well within reach.
Bilbao Tourist Office. www.bilbao.net
Underground / Metro – There is a station in Santurtzi, approximately 3kms from the Brittany Ferries terminal (a 5 minute taxi ride away). Santurtzi is the last stop on Line 2 and provides direct access into the city centre of Bilbao. www.metrobilbao.net
Buses operate to and from the city's TermiBus Bus Terminal with routes to many Spanish cities. In the city itself, more than 100 BizkaiBus bus lines link Bilbao and other areas of the region with nearly every location in the Bay of Biscay. Tel: 0034 902 222265. www.bizkaia.net
Taking the train? There are direct rail connections with major Spanish cities and the entire Iberian Peninsula.
– RENFE, Spanish railways. www.renfe.es
The coach station in Santander is 10 minutes from the terminal and there are Regular services to and from Madrid and Bilbao. www.transportedecantabria.es
The train station is 10 minutes away from the terminal with services to Bilbao and Oviedo. www.renfe.es