Ferry Companies Operating to Spain
Currently, the only ferry company operating between the UK and Spain is Brittany Ferries. This might seem surprising, as Brittany Ferries is a French company which specialised in routes from Plymouth, Poole and Portsmouth to North Western France. Brittany Ferries run both their standard ferry service between the UK and Spain and a budget service on Brittany Ferries Économie between Portsmouth and Santander.
Brittany Ferries to Spain
The main Brittany Ferries service between Portsmouth and Santander departs late afternoons on Tuesday and Fridays from Portsmouth. Two ships operate on the route, the Cap Finistère and the Pont Aven. Both offer a luxurious cruise ship style experience with swimming pool, cinema, children’s entertainment, video games, sun decks, shops and lounges. Several restaurants cater to all tastes, plus snacks and light meals can be purchased from cafes and bars on board. A self-service restaurant also serves the budget conscious, while a fine dining restaurant is available for foodies and those wanting that little bit of extra luxury.
Cabins are available in various formats with two berth cabins offering options of double bed, twin beds or bunk beds. Four berth cabins, suited for families, are also available. Pet friendly cabins are available for those taking their pooch, kitten or the animal with them, while there’s also cabins with disabled access and cabins with cots. All cabins are ensuite and come with air conditioning.
The Pont Aven ship also serves the Plymouth to Santander route, meaning those travelling from the South West can enjoy the same luxury as those departing from Portsmouth. Similarly, the trip from Portsmouth to Bilbao Port uses the luxurious Cap Finistère ship, ensuring that your crossing happens in the height of luxury. The Portsmouth to Bilbao service departs at midday Wednesday and 10.30pm Sunday, although the Sunday service is not direct with a stop at Roscoff, meaning the service is two nights.
Taking a trip with Brittany Ferries is a luxurious alternative to flying or taking a standard car ferry. It’s best compared to taking a mini cruise, and is as much part of your holiday as your final destination. This added luxury does come with a price tag which is slightly higher than some car ferry services on different routes, and if you are on a budget you might want to consider taking the Brittany Ferries Économie service instead.
The Brittany Ferries Economie service, which operates between Santander in Spain and Portsmouth in England, uses the ship Etretat, which was formerly known as the Norman Voyager. The service is designed to be cheaper than the regular Brittany Ferries service, but still offers the comfort of cabins for passengers. The main difference between the Brittany Ferries Économie service and the main services is the lack of cruise ship offerings. Rather than multiple restaurants, cinema and entertainment, you’ll be limited to a self-serve restaurant, simple movie lounge, small bar and lounge. Seats in the lounge can be reserved, and cabins are available – thirteen of which are pet friendly. Cabins are more basic, without carpets, but are still all offered ensuite, and air conditioned. The service departs Portsmouth on Saturday morning, and the Santander to Portsmouth service departs early Sunday Afternoon.