My husband had been hinting for years about visiting Normandy and the D-Day beaches that he is fascinated by, so for his birthday last year I booked a family holiday to see them.
With money fairly tight I booked to go in February half term as the prices were very reasonable and we are a family that will enjoy activities in pretty much any weather. What I hadn’t considered was the weather for the ferry crossing and the night before we set off I was convinced it would be cancelled thanks to driving rain and howling winds.
We set off from home at 5.30am in torrential rain for the short drive to Poole to get on what is affectionately known locally as the “Vomit Comet”. The weather was so bad that we could barely see the car i front of us and when we went to check-in, the rain had got into the check-in desk and broken the computer and all the paperwork was blowing off the desk, making it almost impossible to write our boarding passes.
Thankfully getting onboard the Condor Liberation was much easier and we were soon seated ready to set off. Coming out of Poole Harbour and Bournemouth bay was fairly calm, however once we hit open water the ferry started dipping and rolling fairly severely and Kian, Isaac and I was soon being ill – very ill! I cannot fault the staff who were busy handing out sick bags to everyone in the lounge as they all suffered the same fate. One member of staff admitted that the weather “wasn’t the worst he had seen, but was almost there”.
We were so relieved when we reached our half way destination, Jersey, and got to step foot on dry land, if only for an hour. We drove round to queue to board the next ferry only to find that it was delayed by six hours and we would not be sailing until early evening. It did mean that we got to explore some of Jersey (and buy some seabands) and were all feeling much better by the time of our second sailing of the day and we were slightly more prepared to survive the ferry journey with the kids.
Thankfully our holiday in France was amazing and we got to visit everything that was on Hubby’s wishlist as well as some of mine, including all the D-Day Beaches, Le Mont St Michel and the Bayeux Tapestry. Our ferry problems had not ended there though, as the night before we were due to sail home we got a phone call to say our ferry had been cancelled.
I spent the next half an hour on the phone trying to organise our journey to Guernsey and finally managed to get a place on traditional ferry that was able to sail in the bad weather. The ferry was delayed but we were going to make our stay in Guernsey, albeit much later than planned.
If we thought the Liberation crossing was bad, this was worse………..and a lot slower. Poor Sebby and Eliza succumbed to sickness this time and we could not wait to get off. Thankfully our Guest House in Guernsey was a 5 minute drive from the port and we were all soon tucked up in bed, exhausted from a day of travelling but looking forward to exploring the island the next day.
Sadly for us, things were not much better on the island, as unbeknown to us, Guernsey closes for the winter months and there was literally nothing for us to do or see. We attempted a walk along the beach but it was cold, wet and windy and we only lasted an hour. Even the main town of St Peter Port was a ghost town with no shops open to browse so we ended up sitting in our car, watching and waiting for our ferry to arrive.
Thankfully the crossing home was much better and Isaac and I even got to meet the captain and sit up on the bridge where he explained why the water was so rough in places.
Our experience has certainly made me question whether we will travel by ferry again or choose something more luxurious instead. Travelex has just launched Luxury for Less – a one-stop-shop for luxurious holiday planning on a budget and a holiday in warm sunshine with not a ferry in sight sounds a lot more tempting.
Luxury for Less combines flights and hotels pricing powered by leading global travel search engine Skyscanner, together with Travelex exchange rate figures and the average spend of past holiday goers to help users create a luxury holiday to suit their budget. It’s the single source of information which does all the hard work for the holiday planner.
By factoring in the cost of everyday holiday spending items, such as wine, taxis and food, the travel inspiration search engine creates peace of mind by helping people to pre-plan their spending money requirements. Luxury for Less works by letting the holiday planner plug in their budget along with a few other essential factors to help them discover luxurious places to travel around the world without breaking the bank – perfect for the many suffering price-tag terror. Once holiday planners choose their dream holiday, they can then book their flights, hotel and get their spending money all through Luxury for Less.
Disclaimer: Post written in collaboration with Travelex