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The Bay of Biscay


ALGOR

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I went through it many years ago in a small naval vessel at about this time, and it was rough beyond belief; a cruise ship will probably be much calmer, and the weather could be very different and it could be like glass. I'm not sure there's any way to tell in advance.

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I went through it many years ago in a small naval vessel at about this time, and it was rough beyond belief; a cruise ship will probably be much calmer, and the weather could be very different and it could be like glass. I'm not sure there's any way to tell in advance.

 

I'm hoping for glass:D

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Several times, to and fro Southampton....it can be a bit bumpy, but I've never been affected, on these modern ships....indeed, I'm usually high up, outside, enjoying the ride!

OH was nauseous once, returning on Aurora....the waves were bashing the side of the ship from the west, as she was sailing north...as soon as she turned into the Channel, he felt fine immediately, and ate a vast dinner!

Now he takes a pill if the captain gives a warning, and never feels a thing.

We had a short cruise last June- 7 nights fully in the BOB. Never heard or saw anyone ill.

Jo.

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ALGOR fancy asking for bad experiences but being as you have I will give you two.

Firstly, May 09 P&O Oceana to the Med first time we encountered Rough.

Secondly, Independance of the Seas to the Canaries 29/10/11, missed Maderia due to 45ft Waves.

Will we do it again YES, if you are unsure if it will affect you or not, Pot luck, Just enjoy

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I have cruised through the Bay twice. Once from Southampton the other to Southampton. The cruise from Southampton was OK. However the cruise yo Southampton was awful. I had to lie down throughout the crossing.

 

I think the trip through the Bay is pot luck on how the weather and tides are at the time.

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We sailed through Bay of Biscay on the QE2 in May 2006, on the way to Lisbon the sea was very calm, but on the way back it was quite a bit rougher. My mother was sailing with us and she always said that she was seasick on a ferry, but she felt absolutely fine..... We didn't have a problem at all and are sailing through it again next year....No worries. ;)

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Been through the Bay a few times, first was on P & O Oceana in a force 10, going south was really bumpy lots of roll and pitch, went across on QM2, really nice weather, just a 7m swell from an Atlantic storm, QM2 coped superbly with it. Last time across was on the QE maiden cruise, like a mill pond, two other crossings in between on QV and QM2 and the seas were slight. It is the luck of the draw I guess.

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Done this a few times. So far, only one rough crossing on Oriana in Jan '07 on the way back from the Caribbean. Did it last year on Ventura in April and it was very smooth both ways.

 

I'm doing it in March, April and May, so as you can see, the crossing hasn't put me off.

 

Jon

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How long does it take to cross the BOB?

Agree with Deedia. If it is rough, then it is more the length of time that it is rough, not just the BOB part. When I was on Oriana, it was from just leaving Maderia until we arrived in the channel - around 2 days. During that time, you were not allowed on deck or on balconies.

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We sailed last October to the Canaries, first stop should have been Maderia. But due to Hurricane Force Winds and 13 meter waves unfortunatly we did not make it. Luckily we where on the Independance and sailed out to Sea, the size of the Ship helps. 13 meter waves hit the Deck the Life Boats were on and Damaged No 13, (unlucky), Think it does a top speed of 24knot and to reach Maderia from Southampton it has to 23knot, so with sailing out to sea we ran out of time

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In the twelve or so times I have crossed it I can only remember one or at the most two rough crossings, and I tend to cruise late in the year - October - November. Yes - it has a bad reputation but modern cruise ships usually take it in their stride, although I have heard that is why P&O's new Adonia will be based for fly-cruising in the the Med in winter - because she will not be good in the BOB in winter !

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  • 2 weeks later...
Sailing through it next month, has anyone had any good or bad experiences?

 

You have failed to mention what ship you will be on but might I suggest that very large cruise ships are really quite stable and although they will very gently go up and down, the rolling movement is minimal thanks to the excellent stabilisation and of course all captains will try their hardest to avoid the eye of a storm.

 

Unfortunately the fear of sea sickness is a major cause of inducing this horrible ailment and once it is in the mind, it is terrible to shake it off.

 

Having spent a number of years travelling the World on ships under two thousand tons gross weight I now tend to watch video footage of these amazing modern cruise ships cutting their way through heavy seas and I find it amazing just how stable they are.

 

If your cruise ship is over 70,000 tons then it is definitely not going to be thrown about like a cork in a washing machine, but it would be great if you could somehow occupy your mind and not even think about 'crossing the Bay' or even being sea sick.

 

A nice answer would be to take a remedy that someone swears by and believe in it.... Believe the item will prevent sea sickness and not even think about being sick. Don't be afraid of trying bracelets, pins, or even medication but never write anything off before hand.

 

This would be the perfect answer but sadly some folks will never overcome this awful ailment and that even includes my good friend Able Seaman Horatio Nelson who subsequently got promoted to be an admiral. This iconic figure never overcame seasickness although in fairness to him he did spend his whole career on ships far, far, far smaller than a cruise ship (between 1700 - 3000 tons) and none of them had gyroscopely controlled stabilisation, but he never let it effect him and he was always up for a good cruise or two especially across the Bay and of course its very close sea area called Trafalgar . ;)

 

Good luck with the cruise and enjoy yourself

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I have crossed back and forth across the Bay of Biscay 19 times at varying times of the year and on only two occasions was it rough. The roughest being the two days we spent in a Force 11. Yes, two days because it was all that the master could do was hold the ship head into the wind. We were making virtually no headway. Thankfully, we were on an old ship! A ship that had been built in 1966 as an Atlantic liner, so she was well able to cope with the rough sea - while she pitched as any ship would have done, she did not roll. I regret to tell you that the high-sided, rather more shallow-draught modern cruise ships would not have been as well able to cope with such seas. I was not sea-sick and yet a few years before that I had crossed the Atlantic to New York on the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the sea was quite rough but nowhere near a Force 11 and yet I felt ill........ As the Americans say "Go figure!"

Fortunately, even though encountering rough seas since I have never felt sea sick again. So, don't just assume that crossing the Bay of Biscay means rough seas and sea sickness. Most times it is calm. Of course, it just depends upon what ship you might be sailing on!

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Agree with Deedia. If it is rough, then it is more the length of time that it is rough, not just the BOB part. When I was on Oriana, it was from just leaving Maderia until we arrived in the channel - around 2 days. During that time, you were not allowed on deck or on balconies.

 

The worst crossing we've had was also on Oriana and like cruiser 1955 we weren't alllowed on deck through the BoB. It was actually bad both ways (to and from the Canaries, Easter 2009). It wasn't much better once we were down there either but that's another story!

 

I have to say we coped fine with the rough seas but we always take Sea Legs (active ingredient= meclozine) at bedtime and that seems to combat any potential motion sickness we might suffer from. However, we've crossed the Bay several times since and each time the weather has been fairly calm.

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If it's good weather, enjoy being on deck, watching the waves and enjoying the movement of the ship...I saw my first ever orca in the bay, when most people were playing games inside.

Jo.

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