It’s a pity taking the ferry isn’t more like taking a cruise. It has the potential – glamorous destinations (well, except Calais, obviously), open-top sports cars, linen suits… In fact, it has almost all the trappings of an Agatha Christie novel.
Hopefully, without a murder, though. Death on the Channel has no ring to it.
Sadly, there’s nothing remotely cruise-like about the ferry between Newhaven and Dieppe, which I’ll be taking on Friday.
French-owned LD Lines used to operate the service, but in 2012 it formed a partnership with Denmark’s DFDS. This partnership takes some 500,000 people across the Channel each year, from Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Havre.
I wonder if any of those passengers rate the experience highly. I doubt it.
Instead of making the journey part of the holiday, DFDS has left it as something to be endured at either end of a break. So, for example, in lieu of a restaurant offering fine dining, there is a 1950s-style cafeteria offering mediocre food – served with a generous helping of indifference.
It’s all pitched at the lowest-common-denominator audience.
Sad to say, but if ever there were a murder on the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry, it would be because the kitchen had run out of chips.