It’s National Ferry Fortnight and for UK-based timeshare owners who’d much rather sail than fly, we’ve rounded up some of the top destinations in Europe reachable by boat for a spring break.
St Malo, France
Historic St Malo has plenty to offer culture vultures, including a castle and cathedral, while sunseekers will also enjoy the vast stretches of beach. Brittany Ferries has 8 ¾ hour sailings into St Malo from Portsmouth, with prices starting at £263 return for a car with two occupants. Brittany Ferries is also offering a “Kids Go Free To France This Summer” promotion, for more details visit www.brittany-ferries.co.uk
Santander makes for the perfect relaxing break, thanks to its sheltered bays and pristine beaches. Take a stroll along the famous El Sardinero beach, then dive into the historic quarter to discover all that the city has to offer. Brittany Ferries sets sail from Plymouth to Santander in 20 hours, with costs starting at £648 return for a car with two occupants.
Art addicts will love the chance to explore Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, but Bilbao really does have something for everyone. Be sure to relax and unwind over exotic tapas in the Historic Quarter, then enjoy an afternoon at The Bay of Biscay by exploring the area’s nature reserves, forests and mountains. Brittany Ferries offers 24-hour sailings from Portsmouth to Bilbao from £598 return for a car with two passengers.
Guernsey and Jersey, the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are a nature lover’s paradise – set sail to Guernsey to spot puffins and get to grips with coast climbing, or take a stroll and enjoy the watersports on offer. Meanwhile, neighbouring Jersey is known for its powdery beaches and Mont Orgueil and Elizabeth Castle. Condor Ferries sail to Guernsey and Jersey from Poole and Weymouth from £240 return for a car plus two passengers. They are offering half-price day trips to the Channel Islands for bookings made during NFF. From £15 per person. http://www.condorferries.co.uk
Rotterdam often has to be seen to be believed, thanks to its wacky architecture and cube-shaped houses, the Kijk Kubus. Explore the city on water by booking a Spido tour, or take the children to Blijdorp Zoo, which has two polar bears and an oceanarium. P&O Ferries is offering two-night mini-cruises with overnight sailing from Hull, as well as a coach transfer and overnight return. Costs start at £75 return for two people sharing a cabin. http://www.poferries.com