Seafrance Ferry

Posted on 14/08/2012 by John Morley

If you’re planning on a ferry crossing The Channel soon hopefully you haven’t booked your ferry with SeaFrance. Last week the ferry company had suspended all operations as the French government continues to look for a suitable buyer.

On 16th November, SeaFrance announced that it would resume ferry crossing operations following a ruling by a French tribunal. The ruling gives SeaFrance until 28thJanuary 2012 to find a suitable buyer.

The demise of Sea France seems to have been caused by a number of factors, one of which is the huge amount of competition on the cross-channel route. This is great for customers as it has driven down fares. Competitor operators include P&O Ferries, Norfolk Line, Stena Line and DFDS Seaways. There is an alternative to Ferry crossings and that is the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. The Eurotunnel is quicker than the ferry, but is often more expensive.

This may not be the end of Sea France as a number of potential buyers have shown interest. In perhaps the biggest test for any potential buyer will be persuading the French authorities that their bid is in everyone’s interests. LD Lines and Brittany Ferries are both known to be interested in taking over the ailing company. However, with union strikes having plagued Sea France over the years it may be best to have a look at some of the other operators.