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24 hour 2 man visit

So we’ve got ourselves a brand new client. Brittany Ferries, in fact. So naturally the first thing we’ve done is get to know them, their service and their product a bit better. And what does that involve? An epic day trip round France, that’s what.

We crammed maximum ferry into minimum time. And that meant a crack of dawn start for Jason and myself in order to make the 8.15am check in at Portsmouth for our journey to Cherbourg. But we made it easily (just an hour’s drive from Brighton) and after a hassle-free arrival we were on board.

And our first impressions were…impressed. We were taking the Express service over and it lived up to its name. Once outside the Solent, the throttles opened and the Isle of Wight soon became a distant glimpse on the horizon.

On board we relaxed, sat back and did what other holidaymakers weren’t doing – reading and responding to emails and phoning the office. 

A mere 2 1/2 hours later we’d arrived in Cherbourg. And what greeted us was not the flat, grey unwelcoming industrial landscape of Calais, but the rolling green coastscape of Normandy. Bathed in glorious sunshine, it was straight off the ferry and off to explore. First stop, the picturesque village of Barfleur – one of the prettiest in all of France according to the sign on the outskirts. They weren’t fibbing either. Lunch by the harbour ensued, just half an hour after disembarkation.

Next stop, history and culture. Although we kept meeting D-Day era vehicles on the road, we opted for a journey further back in time as we checked out the medieval town of Bayeux. And it was one in the eye for my history teacher as we willingly checked out the tapestry (it’s 68 metres long!) and stunning cathedral.

At Designate, we’re all about efficiency and planning. We worked out that we could squeeze in another destination and perhaps more crucially, dinner. So Caen it was. A quick spin round and we saw the castle and town centre as well as a place to eat. There was even time to stock up on a decent supply of wine and cheese for the folks back in Brighton to enjoy. Although their enjoyment was slightly tempered by the whiff of ripe Camembert in the office the next day.

And then back on board for the Caen-Portsmouth leg of the journey. Again, impressive. Billed as ‘cruise-style’, it was. Lovely restaurants and on board cafes, good shops to stock up on holiday essentials (and sweets) and a nice bar too. The lure of the disco was something that sadly passed us by though. Instead, a genteel retirement to our cabins was in order. It’d been a busy day.

And we are going to be extra busy in the coming months helping Brittany Ferries persuade British holidaymakers to look West both in terms of setting off from Blighty and arriving in the best bits of France, Spain and beyond.

After all, it makes a nice change from Dover…

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