Travelling to Jersey from Normandy is a really easy trip to make. I travelled there recently courtesy of Manche Isles Express so I could experience what it’s like.
You can make your reservation and pay either by internet, or the phone or at one of ticket offices. Their website is here. Prices start from 34 euros for an adult return ticket.
Select your departure town from Normandy; ferries leave from Granville, Carteret and Dielette. Depending on your departure point, you’ll arrive in either St Helier or Gorey. The Granville to Jersey route runs from April through to December whereas the other two routes finish in October.
I booked to visit Jersey on a Sunday in September and opted to go there and back in a day. It is quite a long day but you can decide how much or how little you do once you’re on the island. I travelled from Granville to St Helier.
Practical Information For Your Outward Journey
- There’s free parking at Granville. The departure point is accessed via rue des Iles and head towards the Gare Maritime.
- There are toilets inside the Gare Maritime – both in the ticket hall area and also in the waiting room.
- You need to check in an hour before departure time.
- Departure time will be noted on your email confirmation and travel times are local time.
- Jersey is on UK time (that means one hour behind French time) so you need to remember this for the return trip.
- Hand in your email confirmation at the ticket office. They speak French and English and will issue you with your ticket.
- Go through ticket control where your hand luggage may be checked.
- Proceed to passport control and here they may also scan large items of luggage. Check you have the necessary documents to travel when you book. What this usually means a passport but could also be a national identity card.
- Wait in the waiting room until you’re allowed to board the ferry.
- There are two ferries that sail to Jersey from Normandy; The Granville and The Victor Hugo.
- There’s no allocated seating other than by prior arrangement for passengers with reduced mobility.
- The upper deck is out of bounds at the start and end of the crossing.
- The duty free kiosk will open during the crossing and you can also buy snacks and coffee.
- Maps of Jersey are available on board. If you pick one up you can then plan what you want to do.
- There are toilets on board.
I left Normandy on a misty morning to the sound of French voices everywhere. I arrived in Jersey in brilliant sunshine to the smell of bacon and the chatter of English voices. It really is quite strange how everything is so different.
The ferry docks in Albert Pier and it’s just a few minutes walk to the shops and attractions that will take you past a couple of kiosks selling the obligatory bacon butty.
So, what’s Jersey like? The short answer is that it feels very British and it’s very much like being in the UK. It does have a certain charm though and on Sundays not all the shops are open. However, there are certainly more open than in Normandy. English is spoken widely, sterling is used (although they do have paper £1 notes which are no longer legal tender in the UK. Road signs are in English, the cars are right hand drive and they drive on the left. You’ll find typically British shops such as Marks & Spencer, Boots the Chemist and Tesco. And all this is less than 90 minutes from Normandy.
Travelling to Jersey from Normandy is like stepping into a time machine. Everything is so completely different to France yet you’re there in such a short space of time. You can find out more information about Jersey on the Tourist Office website www.jersey.com
My thanks to Manche Iles Express for giving me the opportunity to explore Jersey.