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Travel: Sizing up Brittany Ferries

DO we want jumbo ferries, was the question asked by readers in this column on 6 February. John Churchill of East Sussex said that he never seemed able to find a place to sit in the new Brittany Ferries super ships.

Brittany Ferries director David A Longden blames passengers who engage in a competition 'to see how many seats can be occupied by a party and their goods and chattels'.

He writes: 'On our services to France, however, we do have lounges where Pullman seats can be reserved, albeit with a small supplement. I would always recommend a day cabin which is less than half the overnight price and provides not just your own room but also an opportunity to have a nap, a shower and general freshen-up before driving.'

In response to the complaint from Peter Lever of Daventry that the introduction of a super ferry on the Portsmouth to St Malo route has led to a reduction of services from two to one a day, Mr Longden argues that the benefits of a bigger ship are considerable. 'More cabins, more shops, more cinemas and more space - and bigger ships are more comfortable in inclement weather.

'While a number of small ships can offer some flexibility, they are becoming more uneconomical by the day. If we are to continue to offer value for money then economies of scale are very important.'