BLOG: Brit's Francophile Factor & Euro-Ferry-Road-Trip Love Affair Reignites

As lovers of both road trips and old fashioned values/gentler, less frenetic low attention span times, we were chuffed to see a press release from Brittany Ferries this morning – reporting that the English love affair with French road trips and sailing with all the romance of an overnight ferry is back! 
Ca c'est bon! 
Apparently, the lure of empty and perfectly surfaced French roads, increase in companies specialising in tailor-made get-aways, loathe of airports/fear of flying in this terrorist-laden age and good exchange rates have really served two boost the numbers travelling across the pond to France and Spain for a good old fashioned family driving holiday or romantic getaway. 
This fact alone almost restores our faith in humanity! 
The travel habit research by Brittany Ferries suggests 41% of drivers cite congestion as reason for falling out of love with driving in Britain and that their Brittany drive tour taking in St Malo, Dinan and the standing stones of Carnac is up 30% this year as a direct result.
And with the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) saying around a third of motorists claim they don’t enjoy driving anymore – thanks to the misery-inducing effects of effects of congestion (cited by 41% of respondents) and not being excited by the driving experience (28%) – it's no wonder people are heading south to enjoy life on the open roads of France and Spain, and enjoy driving again.
Car ownership in France is broadly similar to the UK, as are the two populations. However France is roughly three times the size of Britain and is snaked by a network of around a million miles of roads, compared with our 400,000. Brittany Ferries’ figures suggest the lure of quiet French roads - particularly in Brittany and Normandy - is increasingly attractive for those seeking to re-ignite their love affair with motoring.
“We developed car and motorcycle tours to complement our range of existing holiday products as a direct response to demand, particularly from the classic car community,” said Christiane Barker, general manager Brittany Ferries Holidays. “We have seen a sharp increase in demand for driving tours in the holiday regions of France. As a consequence we’ve added new tours for 2016. In addition, our award-winning contact team is also available to guide those who’d prefer us to map out a truly bespoke driving itinerary on their behalf.”
One of Brittany Ferries’ most popular driving tours in 2015 is a six night experience called Châteaux & Paris. The drive covers around 500 miles through the Western Loire, Loire Valley to the Château de Versailles, south west of Paris. As well as the Loire’s historic towns, drivers have the chance to take in the evocative D-Day landing beaches in Normandy and to sample the delights of Brittany’s famous walled city at St Malo. Regular crossings take place from Portsmouth, just over an hour from West London, to either St Malo, Cherbourg or Caen.
Next year, prices for this tour will start from just £437 per person. That’s in the July and August peak season. The price includes return cruise-ferry crossings to France and bed and breakfast accommodation in carefully selected hotels. The tour programme includes one night in St Malo, two in Chinon, two in Versailles and one in Caen. Those who book before 15 December enjoy an additional 25% discount on brochure prices.
Two new half-board tours have also been added for 2016 to meet growing demand, for those seeking a little less distance and a little more French cuisine from their drive experience. The Gourmet Brittany experience is a half board tour of 235 miles taking in the history and landscape of France’s most westerly point, with guests dining at carefully selected hotel-restaurants. Each restaurant boasts at least one star in the Michelin Red Guide or three Toques in the prestigious Gault & Millau guide and is part of the respected Tables et Saveurs de Bretagne label. Prices for this three-night drive start at £398 per person including cruise-ferry crossing and half board accommodation. The 25% early discount booking takes this to under £300 per person.
For more Brittany Ferries driving tours in France and Northern Spain, visit their website.
Three night tours start from £214 pp including hotels in France and cruise-ferry crossing from Portsmouth: plus 25% discount for bookings made before 15 December 2015.
Or, why not book old school as well as holiday old school – pick up the phone and talk to the Brittany Ferries holiday team on: 0330 159 4500!
Team Road might just do that for 2016... 


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