Brittany Ferries, one of the leading cross-Channel operators, is to go “euro-only” on board its vessels from the start of March.
At present, there is dual pricing. But from next month, all prices for on-board purchases, from a cup of coffee to duty-free drink, will be in the European currency.
Sterling will be accepted at what the company says will be “the daily rate quoted by the Banque de France”. But travellers who use credit and debit cards face the possibility of extra fees being applied by their bank.
The French shipping company sails from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth to a range of French and Spanish ports.
The firm says: “The euro will become our permanent reference on board from 1 March 2023. Travelling with Brittany Ferries should be an enjoyable European experience from the moment we say bienvenue to the moment we say au revoir.
“From 1 March 2023, the prices for all products and services sold on board all our ships will be displayed in euros only.
“It will be no different to already being at your destination where you would be using the euro during your trip.”
The move appears to be a cost-saving initiative. During the coronavirus pandemic, Brittany Ferries was kept financially afloat by loans totalling €117m (£103m), and is due to start paying down the debt this year.
Operating with dual currencies using a static rate is costly and unpredictable, and changing prices when sterling drifts significantly is cumbersome.
Officially, though, Brittany Ferries claims it is helping UK travellers feel they are abroad already.
The stated reason for the change is: “Your next adventure into Europe starts and ends with our ferries. As you enter into holiday mode, Brittany Ferries wants its customers to feel as if they were in Cork, Paris or Madrid as soon as they step aboard our fleet.”
Passengers paying with UK credit cards are warned: “If you choose to pay in pound sterling, bank charges may apply depending on the conditions of your bank. Brittany Ferries is not responsible for any such charges.”
About 85 per cent of passengers on Brittany Ferries are British, with 10 per cent French and the remainder mainly Irish.
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