I intend to get over to Europe a lot over the next 12 months so I started looking at how early you need to book the EuroTunnel to get the best prices and how much a Ferry is in comparison.
Checking on the EuroTunnel website I found the cheapest fare I could get was £61 if I booked now for the 1st March. Any Earlier than that and the prices started going up. I did however find a frequent traveller program that brings it down to £39 each way (Off Peak only).
Part of the Beauty of Fulltiming is the freedom to go where I want when I want and this helps a lot. However will I use 5 return trips in a year.
A quick excel spreadsheet check showed that I would have to use all 5 return trips for this to be cheaper. If I only did 4 it would be £2 more expensive. However the added convenience of being able to book these crossings closer to the time of departure makes it pretty good value even if I lose one.
Checking with http://www.ferrysavers.co.uk I found they don’t cater for Motorhomes over 6.5M. I know I can go on a ferry having done so last October. SeaFrance however gave me a booking for £25 on the 1st March. Checking dates that were closer gave me £28 for the 1st of February. This is extremely good value. Going back further I got to the 24th January and the price had risen to £39 the same as the Eurotunnel.
Now I am not sure that ferry prices will stay the same all year, I am also not sure how bad weather affects the Ferries and then there is the regular French blockades of the Ferry ports.
This is my conclusion and may not apply to you but, The Eurotunnel has more frequent crossings, the Frequent Traveller program garantees the price year round, however I don’t know how close you can book to the crossing time. Ferries are cheaper and can be booked closer but Bad weather, French Industrial action and not knowing what fares are like during the year gives me pause. I have posted to Motorhomefacts.com to find out if anyone has the EuroTunnel Frequent Traveller program and how close to crossing times they are able to book. I will update this as I find out more.
Update 20th Jan 10:53
Looks like SeaFrance is not an option anymore http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/7839180.stm From MotorhomeFacts.com I think I must be a jinx only made this post a couple of hours ago…
Update 20th Jan 13:34
Just found out that LD ferries has just started a service from Dover to Dieppe. This cuts my journey time by just over 100 Miles. However I suspect their website is a little bit out on travel times.
28 Hours for a crossing. The other 2 look ok however so I guess their server is running windows and occasionally forgets how to add up?