Departure to Oostende
Checked in at 06.00 at terminal for the 0700 larkspur (ex sally sky).
Had a chat with the girls at the terminal and chatted also with
Mr Nigel castle md of tef uk , a very pleasant and approachable man.
My car was security checked very thoroughly throughout before
boarding. We left on time and arrived to schedule too.
This is the first time I have been on this since sally direct ,
and wow the standard of décor , furnishing , furniture on board I
would liken to travelling on a first class liner in the past.
Antique and repro designs everywhere , leather sofas , marble floors,
The ship internally is well worth a visit.
As soon as you boarded every crew member acknowledged you.
Real plants everywhere ,it felt like you were in someones home.
It all reminded me of when the fins arrived at the start of sally the
Viking line all those years ago. We had a continental breakfast on board , which was fresh hot rolls, ham ,cheese,croissants, expresso coffee etc again of a very good standard.
Arrived in oostende and spent 5 hours shopping got desiel ,cigarettes etc
Departure to Ramsgate
Checked in at 1700 for the 1800 oleander (ex pride of free enterprise / pride of bruges /posl picardy). We boarded 30 minutes before departure again on time , the ship was
packed with freight.
Again the personnel on board were really friendly and
helpful ,whatever we wanted Was`nt a problem.
With this ship the upper passenger deck is for freight drivers only
and the deck below for cars drivers so you only have the one deck
for roaming about , also there is only a small outside area at the
stern for siting outside , unlike the larkspur where you can roam
over the whole exterior.
There is a duty paid shop on this ship unlike the larkspur (closed at
present) , but I understand from the crew they are waiting for their
licence to sell cigs / alcohol etc which is expected next week.
There wasn’t so much to do on the oleander ie walkaround etc ,
take in the sea air etc.
The ship has loads of reminders of its possible life , ie signage around
the ship especially in the restaurant (world food court !!)
It also felt very dated in its décor / furniture etc except for
the main bars that were well appointed , one with sony vega plasma tv dvd.
We arrived late in Ramsgate at 2125 , once we were all-fast alongside
embarkation was quick and we were at the customs / immigration boths
in no time.
A quick check of our passports ans look in the boot and we were on
our way back to broadstairs via the military road which is now open
to the town oneway.
Me and chris had a great day out , I personally preferred the sailing
out on the larkspur best. It is a long day we were up at 0430 and got home 2140 but we did get 5.5 hours clear in oostende which is ample.
The sailing cost of £50 for a car plus five is not expensive for a friend a few days before went Dover-Calais and paid
£41.00 !!!! (compare a 22 mile crossing of 1 hour to a 60+ mile
crossing of 4 hours and tef is much better value) Oh by the way , I was very impressed with the water tight doors on the car deck of both ships , I hadn’t seen these since the Prince Filip and they give you a sense of real vessel safety.
Well I hope I haven’t bored you too much , I have a love of ferry
travel (am I so sad!) My advice take the plunge and have a day trip with tef, if we don’t use it we may lose it , and nobody except maybe another operator would want that.