We don’t sail with Sea France!

We no longer use this grossly incompetant and always unreliable ferry crossing company for our regular Dover-Calais crossings..

On a recent ‘Pals’ Pilgrimage to the Somme, we made the unfortunate error of booking with ‘Sea France’ Dover- Calais and reverse, for the second time in one month.

On the outward journey, we were delayed by 1. hour 30 minutes, the ‘predictable’ excuse being given as ‘gales in the channel.’ On the return leg on Thursday 23 October we duly arrived at Calais Docks at 4pm to catch the 5pm ferry and were told that ‘Due to gales in the channel’ the crossing would be delayed until 6.30pm. We were then kept waiting on the Quayside at Calais, when the Sea France reps told us we were delayed until 7.30pm. Then 8.30pm. We eventually sailed at 9pm. A delay of five hours. This is unacceptable and is the second time in one month this has happened. We noticed that P & O Ferries sailed as normal. There were no gales in the channel.

The short of all this is, that Sea France will not sail until there is enough cars to go on the Ferry and then it is packed. They cancel the previous sailings until it is financially viable to sail with a full load. Not only is this a shabby trick from a shabby company, they are totally incompetent and are sublime liars, as only the French can be. We will never use them again. Not only are they dishonest, the Ferries are filthy and the service extremely poor. The crews are surly and lazy and give appalling service. The whole useless lot should be sacked from the lousy management down and the company rolled up. The Channel would be a better place without this lot!

Learn from our mistakes! Do not use Sea France. Sail with P&O!!

13 comments… add one
  • Barry Brown

    Hello Jon,
    I understand that SeaFrance are upset by your comments about the dreadful service on their dowdy boats.
    I can only comment on my own experiences of them, when I would MUCH rather sail P&O (or anyone else!) than endure the bleak experience of SeaFrance’s rather grubby offerings. They have hardly moved with the times, and seem still stuck in the old BritishRail mentality (I believe they were once owned by BritishRail). The contrast with the bright, clean service offered by P&O is remarkable, considering that they are competing with P&O.
    Me? I’d rather travel P&O any day.
    Anyone who’d like a cowboy outfit for Christmas could settle for SeaFrance…

  • Teddy Noyes

    I sailed with P & O in mid September and had a 150 minute wait on the Calais quayside. The reason (not excuse) given was that the Channel Tunnel fire had increased ferry traffic to such a degree that it had caught them unawares. Thus delaying incoming ferries and the obvious knock-on that creates. They have subsequently adjusted their timetable to accommodate this increase in business.
    Although I was annoyed at the delay, the ferry and staff were their usual helpful, happy self and very apologetic for the delays.
    The last time I sailed with Sea France (Oct 2006) will be the last time. The crew were sullen and unhelpful and the food in the restaurant was not of the standard I get when on P & O.
    Perhaps Sea France were not as quick to respond to the fire situation – which doesn’t surprise me.

  • admin

    I live in The French Alps but I am from the UK and my mum and dad are still alive and well in Stoke-on-Trent. So we have to go backwards and forwards a few times a year so they can see us and their grandaughter.

    Our main focus is ‘convenient times’ v ‘price’. This DID used to be Sea France, but they lost all credibility when I turned up at Calais one night and asked to buy a ticket and they wanted to charge 350€ for a single trip. We drove up to the tunnel and they wanted 550€!

    Ever since this episode we have referred to Sea France as ‘Turpin’s Ferrys’.

    We haven’t used P&O, but we LOVE SpeedFerries and Norfolk Line. The compromise here is SpeedFerries are cheap and fast, Norfolk Line have much more sociable sailing times, still at the sub-twenty quid level!

  • terry wilson

    will never use them again.the only good thing is that if you have any drink on your coach you will drink it all befor you get on the ferry. use p&o. Terry Wilson.

  • Mick How

    Dont use any ferry! The future is the tunnel – we have been using it for the past four years ona regular basis, and it is definately the way ahead!

  • Mark Jones

    we have sailed with both SeaFrance & P&O ferries and found SeaFrance to be by far the best. I fail too see how they would delay a boat until it is full, i have travelled with them during the day when there has been only a dozen cars on board. The 3 tourism boats the Rodin, Berlioz and Moliere are far better than anything P&O have to offer being the latest state of the art ferries. If you do experience departure delays you can expect the boats to make up up to 15mins on its crossing time. Overall i would recommend travelling with SeaFrance, with my past negatives only being the state of the SeaFrance Cezanne, which has now been replaced with the excellent Moliere

  • I just came back from the UK with Norfolk Line who are by far the cheapest, sail at sociable times of the day for good prices and don’t mind if you turn up for the wrong ferry! Also – I went there in a Renault Traffic Minibus and wasn’t sure what to book it in as – so I called them, they said book it in as a car. £17! You can’t moan at that. from my dealings with the Motorhome Freedom motorhome hire site, I believe they do almost as good deals if you are taking a low profile motorhome too.
    Highly recommended.

  • Mick How, after the recent incident in the Channel Tunnel – who is going to take the tunnel? Most of my customers fly from the UK to either Turin Airport in Italy or Grenoble Isere Airport in France, to get to Serre Chevalier, Alpe d’Huez or Grenoble. However i do talk to a lot of people and I hear for the ‘non flying’ people, Norfolkline is the the most positively discussed ferry company.

  • Jamie

    Just decided not to go with Sea France after reading this.

  • nicolas

    on est improductif, pas sympa et fière de l’être
    mais je crois que je vais choisir P&O!!!

  • anais jepson

    i travelled with seafrance the manners was apauling everything was the food was horrible so now i travel with p&o there cheaper and get you there faster

  • anais jepson

    Do not travel with them there manners are so apauling.

  • C Smith

    Seafrance are a dirty lot. Boats filthy and rusted beyond belief makes you wonder are they seaworthy. Any wonder they have gone into liquidation.

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