The Booze Cruise


Peter Moore urges us good Britons to get in hunter gatherer mode and race off to Calais.

Booze cruises are one of those glorious inventions. The mere mention of them is enough to get the old blood pumping a little more fiercely through our veins. The reason for this, one would suppose, is really quite straightforward. Humans, as we all are, are primed to hunt and to gather, and prefer being part of a tribe. Can you think of an activity that better satisfies these primeval impulses than the old booze cruise?

If you allow me to be silly for a moment, then I’d suggest that it is quite conceivable to think that William the Conqueror promised his mates in the summer of 1066 that he’d be back by Christmas, and ‘would anyone fancy a few vats of mead?’ Then there is good old Henry V. It’s hard to imagine that he didn’t promise some of the Welsh longbowmen a couple of crates of cheap red wine for their trouble.

The mere mention of a booze cruise is enough to get anyone excited.

Anyhow, enough of my silly pontificating. Suffice to say that if you fancy a seasonal stock up, then Calais is as much a duty free Mecca as exists, and there is no better way to reach the French port than by dashing down to Dover in a van of ample proportions, and driving over a rickety ramp into the belly of a P&O ferry.

Even before you reach the soaring supermarkets of Calais you can indulge yourself in a spot of shopping onboard your vessel. The P&O website announces that you can save up to 30% on beers, wines and spirits; that you can find fragrances and skincare products at a fraction of high street prices, and that even the kids are well provided for, with a host of books, games and travel entertainment accessories on offer.

So, what better times exists than now. Prices are cheap, the festive season looms large and there is a credit crunch that needs escaping. Bon voyage!

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