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Rosslare to Bilbao _ New Ferry

  • 02-08-2022 11:27am
    Registered Users Posts: 7,721 ✭✭✭

    Is there any news on the new ferry service between Rosslare and Bilbao? I've had a look at booking on the current ferry, travelling by motorcycle, but it's very limited availability and seems pricey...

    Hoping the new ferry will bring a bit of value and flexibility. Hoping to make a trip next summer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,223 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm

    It’s on from November, the Salamanca which is currently being used on a U.K.-Spain route. Not sure what you mean by value or flexibility. I can’t see the fares reducing although the quality of the ship is undoubtedly higher. The route will still take just as long so not much more flexible. The Connemara was awful for that length of journey. Will a more plush cabin (generally not larger), better food and entertainment really make a big differentlcw on. 27-33 hour journey. I think it will but it’s still a very long one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,721 ✭✭✭Bluefoam

    The alternative is to go to Charbourg, and there's just not as much of interest... You'll end up on motorways anyway...

    I have tried to book the ferry for Bilboa a couple of times, but the dates I selected were booked out. There's no options available for seats, you have to select a premium cabin... In some instances a return was over €700... That should change with the improved capacity and the ability to get bookings... The flexibility is the ability to book dates you want, rather than what's available.

    The Charbourg ferry can be booked for about €350, so €750 for Bilboa seems expensive... The extra distance doesn't account for the uplift of €400... Flexibility of cabin choice should help, at the moment a single bike passenger has to pay for a 4 bed cabin... A passenger ferry should have more options for smaller less costly cabins...

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,854 ✭✭✭munchkin_utd

    A passenger ferry should have more options for smaller less costly cabins...

    I agree , and also would be great on the Cherbourg route with the smaller (bed capacity) ferries and it would free up rooms then for families/ couples.

    Stena has sleeping pods on some scandanavian routes which are what you are probably looking for - and personally something like that would be all I would need when travelling alone between Ireland and France.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,721 ✭✭✭Bluefoam

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,854 ✭✭✭munchkin_utd

    Slight tangent, but fitting with the idea of accomodating the solo traveller rather than bunking everyone into essentially a moving hostel (or in the ferry's case, leaving 3/4 of a cabin empty) , just this week Austrian rail unveiled a sleeper train version of those mini cabins which will be introduced on routes from Austria/ Germany to Italy next year.

    Very similar idea to that on the ferry, you have your bed with a sliding door rather than curtain with direct access to the corridor, and a locker then to store bulkier luggage outside of it.

    Pics are here

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭p_haugh

    And along the corridor, there's fold out bench seating outside each group of "mini cabins"

  • Registered Users Posts: 465 ✭✭mvt

    Hi, would anyone know if the new ferry will accept foot passengers with a bicycle- I know the old one did not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,721 ✭✭✭Bluefoam

    I'm going to presume it's similar to motorbikes... You'll need to book on with your bike and also book a cabin or a seat... Best thing is to go through the booking system to see what it offers you. Anything after November this year is on the new boat as far as I know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,223 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm

    Not sure why you think it will substantially reduce the price. Rosslare-Bilbao is a 28 or 33 hour ferry which ultimately is twice the distance of Rosslare-Cherbourg essentially meaning twice the cost per passenger (depreciation/lease for ship, fuel, crew costs etc). I would not expect to see it falling substantially.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,721 ✭✭✭Bluefoam

    The expense lies in the fact that a single passenger needs to book a cabin for 4... Plus there are limited motorcycle spaces on the current boat.

    The new boat is working out €250 cheaper for me by booking a seat rather than a cabin.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,223 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm

    Both Connemara and Salamanca had reservable seats - I’ve been in the Connemara and I saw them but they were completely empty. I wonder if they chose not to sell them for the long route and whether the same might apply to Salamanca.

  • Registered Users Posts: 430 ✭✭lil5

    As per their website, they're welcoming foot passengers and bicycles on their services to/from Rosslare from 1 Nov. -

    When selecting travel dates in November on the ferry to Bilboa, the options 'with bicycle' and 'on foot' are displayed.

    Price for a reserved seat is 12 Euro one way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,932 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Last time I got the ferry I'd say nearly everyone with reserved seats slept in the bar or other public areas, all the sofas where full of families sleeping. I'd reserved a seat but was travelling with someone who'd booked a cabin so got keys for that when we boarded, can't remember if I'd to pay or they just gave us 2 keys.