Brittany Ferries Dispute Update
Sailings are set to resume from Tuesday 2nd October (the 15.30 Poole – Cherbourg sailing being the first one).
A new deal, with concessions on both sides, was agreed by 59% of the CGT union who voted on the deal.
A series of wildcat strikes has prompted Brittany Ferries to cancel all services between the UK, France and Spain (with the exception of the crossing between Cherbourg and Poole, which is operated by Condor Ferries).
This cross channel service cancellation began on Friday 21st September. Although talks are continuing throughout the weekend and the company expects a resolution to be quick, they have cancelled all services until further notice.
Brittany Ferries are advising people with tickets to travel to Dover and Calais, where their bookings will be honoured by P&O and MyFerryLink. In fact, according to Brittany Ferries, you won’t need to contact these companies – you just need to turn up at the port and show your tickets and you will travel for free (provided you have a valid Brittany Ferries ticket, of course). Brittany Ferries also says that unused tickets will be refunded.
I hope they resolve this situation quickly as Brittany Ferries operate a monopoly on the Western Channel crossings, making it pretty well impossible to cross the channel west of Le Havre without using them. The ferry ports of Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo and Roscoff are large enough to accommodate other ferry companies operating between the UK and France, so where are they? Brittany Ferries are expensive because of this monopoly, and their ferries are generally pretty busy, so surely there is a decent market available for somebody else. It’s a shame that P&O ceased operating these routes some years ago.
Travelling from Brittany to Calais is not a practical solution for most people – it’s 3 hours from Caen in Normandy (and most holidaymakers will already have had at least 2-3 hours of driving just to get to Caen).
Are you stuck in France at the moment? What are your plans – will you wait for the problem to get resolved or drive to Calais? If you have a solution please let us know.