Ireland to Spain by ferry?

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by BeachGuy, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Has anybody recently taken a ferry from Ireland to Spain? Internet says its possible but I haven't found any current info. I know I can get to France, but would love to save a couple of days not having to ride from France to Spain. Time and convenience is important this time.
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  2. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I don't think there is one. The 2 main ferry companies are Irish and Brittany and they don't do that route.
    http://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/routes-and-times/dublin-holyhead/
    http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ferry-routes

    It's 255 miles from Fishguard to Portsmouth - https://goo.gl/maps/anP74oBCHCB2

    Or 257 miles to Plymouth - https://goo.gl/maps/bqth4F1Vh5n

    Edit: it looks like Brittany have a Roscoff-Bilbao route, so Ireland-France-Spain by ferry is possible.
    http://www.brittany-ferries.fr/traversees/lignes/Roscoff-Bilbao
    A bit sneaky that they don't mention that route on their English website, nor any info on their Spanish website - http://www.brittanyferries.es/rutas-y-horarios/rutas-desde-espana - I don't get it, you'll need to check that.
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  3. choutos

    choutos Adventurer

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  4. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Thanks for the information, it's the same that I came up with. With the total cost of two boat rides it looks as if I going to make that one trip by boat and ride the rest.
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  5. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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  6. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    France has some good high speed trains. Do they allow motorcycles on trains?
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  7. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    No, well not in that sense. The TGV\Thayls is passenger only. I'm not sure even bicycles are permitted.
    The once extensive Motorail service has been shrinking for years - as cars have picked up cruise, a\c and can cruise at an easy 80mph, people have found little need for being shipped to the south.
    It can also be frighteningly expensive.

    Last I heard there was a service from southern Netherlands down to Italy. Not much use to the OP.
    Have a look for the Motorail service, they may have changed.
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  8. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Using Motorail service, excellent suggestion I think I saw a video (Top Gear maybe) about England to France with a car. Maybe they go to Spain also. More internet time needed now.
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  9. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    There is a Brittany ferry from cork to France. This same ship goes back to the UK and then on to Spain.
    If you time it right, you can stay on the same ship all the way down.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  10. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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  11. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Now that sounds like a Cruise Vacation, I can only imagine the amount of time that would take. Maybe just ferry to the UK and then from there to Spain. Would that work? Never have done a trip like this before. All sound great until........
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  12. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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  13. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    The Plymouth-Santander crossing takes 20 hours and £250, plus the 5hrs/250miles from Fishguard to Plymouth, and is only once a week. Longer time and pricier(?) from Portsmouth (3x per week, but looking pretty booked at the moment).

    I think it's both cheaper and quicker(?) if you ride from Roscoff, including a nice hotel for the night. (Although I'm not taking the ferry from Ireland into account).
    €167 for Brittany Cork-Roscoff ferry, every Saturday. Only €89 Rosslare-Roscoff with Irish Ferries.

    It's quite frightening when you add it all up - sounds like about €300 total to get from Ireland to Spain.
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  14. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    This trip is a vacation for me, what I find funny is I can fly from Cork to Madrid for $114.00 . Do you or anybody else have a realistic time in hours or days it take to ride from a port in the UK to Madrid?
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  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I've known people do Calais to Barcelona in a day. Depends how desparate you are to arrive - they had a further ferry to catch to Majorca.

    My experience is that the shortest ferry and a ride will get you Normandy (St Nicolas de Bliqutuit) faster and cheaper than a Portsmouth - Caen\Ouistrem\Cherbourg\Le Harvre. The short ferries or even the tunnel if you can get a deal* run pretty often. Once an hour-ish - maybe faster in high season.
    If you really like 2nd class transportation and have time and money to spare, then the longer boat crossing is OK. But I am biased, I hate ferries.

    An additional point to bear in mind, is that UK roads are biased towards London. You could find although more miles, a route via London or rather the M25 at least, is actually quicker. Traffic permitting.

    *A French friend living here, always books the cheapest tunnel crossing, usually 1am or similar. She always turns up at 11am, she says she has never been questioned about it, and just gets shunted on the next available train. Every 20mins in summer I think.
    Bank Holidays and the busy weekend the trains can be booked solid, so best not try the scam then.

    Mostly, just turning up is the most expensive way to get a ticket. These days you can get online and book while having a rest stop. Busy times it may be the only way to guarantee a sailing, although they can usually fit a bike on somewhere.
    Some ferrylines are insistent on you booking in hours before. I always use DFDS and they are IMHO, the most customer friendly, shunting you on to an earlier boat, not getting het up about you being late and so on. Good boats, less crowding when I go - midweek, non holiday period.

    Have a good time.
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  16. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I think this is the quickest way via England (but realistic?):

    20:45 Irish ferry (€65) from Rosslare (Ireland) to Pembroke (Wales), ride 200miles/5hrs to Poole (England), catch 08:30 Brittany ferry (£99) to Cherbourg (France) arriving 13:45, and then 1400km/2days to Madrid (€200 in tolls and fuel - http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/routes.htm?itiFrom=50100+Cherbourg-en-Cotentin,+France&itiTo=Madrid,+Spain ). I would be impressed if you could do that in 48 hours.

    I still think your best option is the Ireland-France ferry and then ride.
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  17. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    OK guys, I am becoming brain dead on looking up all this information. Maybe I can make a set of pontoons to attach to the bike and float over...

    Doing my research as we type. Still have 4 weeks to get a game plan together. Hard riding is not my thing. Too Damned Old for that young mans game. Learned many years ago "there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots". I'm the first one.
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  18. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    You spend lots of money or take lots of time. Your choice.

    I ride across France several times a year. Not much in the direction you need, although I have been right doen to the Spanish border.
    If you choose the back roads, not necessarily the slowest roads, then you will get there and have a great time doing it. Sure it will be several days, cost about the same as a ferry. Cooped up on a ferry for a day or enjoying yourself on a bike for several days... Relaxing in a decent restaurant or suffering the Bay of Biscay...

    The French govt has a system of trying to persuade its citizens to avoid the main routes down to the south. They have an organisation called Bison Fute - Crazy Bison. They marked a whole range of much more scenic routes to various places. Large yellow signs saying BIS then where ever it heads off to. Takes yo through great countryside, through quaint and cute little towns and villages, but mostly the roads are open and easy to ride at a decent pace, largely empty because so many believe the fasted way is a straight line, even if they know they will be stationary several times.

    At least part of a route I can recommend is the A75 autoroute, from Clermont Ferand to Beziers, 340 kms. Yes I know, its a motorway, but it crosses the Massif Central, several passes at the 1200\1300m range. Fantastic views, virtually empty when ever I have used it. And the big bonus, it takes you to the Millau Viaduc. This is the only toll section €4.80 for a bike - the rest being free.

    http://about-france.com/millau-viaduct.htm
    If you notice the little map in the sidebar, I have used the Calais\Rouen\Chartres (you should be able to make this easily in a day and there are a cluster of cheap motels by the ring road, recommend the Ibis Styles for the great breakfast included - a steak house opposite the front door\Verzion(or similar spelling)\Riom\Clermont. Lots of this is free autoroute, not very busy other than round the cities.
    Talking of cities, unless you have a pash to see the place (and it has places worth the looking), avoid Paris as a transit point. The Peripherique is totally manic most of the time and the outer ring, the Francillienne is just crap, desperately awful signage, the original long way round.
    I don't go there much (from here the train is better) but there should be a Bison Fute around it.

    If you don't know, then there are several chain hotels, from cheap to not so much. Stating at F1, no facilities in room. Ibis Budget, a double and 1\2 bunk over, shower and bog. Prices depend on where it is, from €35 to €50. All rooms tiny by US standards - that will apply to most hotels, even at higher prices, but hey, you only need it to sleep in 1 night, not set up a meth lab.
    I mentioned the Ibis Styles, big thumb up from me, but not so extensive. The full fat Ibis is rather expensive for what you get, better value in some alternatives, found on Booking.com.
    Most Campanile seem a bit faded and in need of a refurb - but port in a storm and all that.
    There are similar, regional copies of the main brands.
    Outside of resorts and times when something big is happening, rooms can be found. Any tourist info place will sort you out somewhere - it is their job, not just handing out leaflets, and they will speak English if you can't manage French. They are not generally late night openers.
    Anyway, if you want to enjoy the trip and your holiday, then here's a way.

    Should the boat not work out...
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  19. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Choosing the most economical route from Roscoff to Madrid on that French autoroutes website gives:

    Distance: 1341.67km, 795.92 km on motorways
    Time: 18H04
    Cost: 144.22 EUR

    Toll 5.35 EUR | Fuel 138.87 EUR

    You wouldn't want to do that in 2 days. I'm with you on no longer doing the crazy stints. I did Portugal to northern France once in 2 days - https://goo.gl/maps/TgMRP7ECJR82 - but would need a very good reason to do those 10hrs days in the saddle again (or get a more comfortable seat).
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  20. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    The spending lots of money option sounds good too. Bike + cabin on the Plymouth-Santander crossing costs £306.
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