On each of the four trips done (or planned) so far night 1 has always been spent on the overnight ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe. IT normally leaves between 22:30 and 23:00 and arrives around 05:00 (local times).
Why? Well, it saves money and it saves wasting valuable daylight hours on a ferry when you could be cycling. But if you’ve got all the time in the world maybe a more relaxing way is resting up in Newhaven, catching the morning ferry and maybe cycling to Neufchatel-en-Bray or Forges-les-Eaux.
In 2015, we tried to get a cabin but failed and tried to get some sleep on the ferry’s reclining chairs, we didn’t. We were knackered the next day but still managed to cycle to Lalandelle (100km) on next-to-no sleep.
In 2016, three of us (late entrants to the group of 17) struggled to get a cabin too, but I had the ingenious idea of taking some old airbeds with us, to use and throw away. It would have been brilliant IF I’d remembered the stopper for one and the other one didn’t leak and go flat. Still one of us (me) got a couple of hours sleep.
In 2018, we secured cabins for all and it makes all the difference: getting a few hours kip is enough to recharge your batteries, both personally and electronically.
In 2019, cabins are the order of the day again.