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No it can be like a duckpond. I have been accross it lots of times up to forece 11 and other times where it is very calm. The secret is go on a large ship over 50,000 tons, preferabbly over 70,000 tond and you will not notice it as much. I once did it on the Black Prince and it was a terrifying experience like being on a fair ground ride that never stopped. Many of the passengers got of in the canaries and flew home rather than take a chance on the weather on the way back. As it hapens it was really calm. If you are going on a large ship get a cabin centre of the ship as low as possible and you will not have too much of a problem.
We have crossed the Bay of Biscay twice a year for the past 6 years and so far always been blessed with a calm crossing, thankfully!
Ships cannot avod Biscay in either direction but you might be lucky next time.
Went across Biscay on Boudicca
The ship did not handle it very well
Did not bother me but it clearly bothered quite a few passengers.
Bay of Biscay was like a millpond last Wednesday on Independence - you never can tell.
If you want to steer clear of the Bay of Biscay you can fly to Barcelona and sail west med inclunding Madeira and Gran Canaria at the moment NCL Jade is sailing this area but there will be others plus you might find one from Palma.
Hadn't thought about that, thanks for the suggestion.
Thank you very much for that well informed suggestion!!! Unfortunately my experiences of the Bay have been very poor, even in a fairly large ship (Legend of the Seas) and quite grim in smaller ships! A little investigation required now, but thank you!
I know of no ships that do not take the direct route to Madeira and the Canaries. You take pot luck crossing Biscay, some you win some you lose but the bigger the ship the less the action. I would also suggest that you look at an atlas sometime "straight down the Atlantic to avoid it" doesn't compute. Regards... Neil.
Crossed Biscay March 07 on Black Prince.Bumpy. Just one freak wave stove in forward windows of lounge on deck 4 , or 5. No one hurt, but carpet spoiled ! Its a tiny ship, by modern standards, c. 11,000 tons & c. 450 pax., but lovely atmosphere. Wll be v. sad to see it go.
Arrived back at Southampton to-day from a Canaries cruise on Arcadia. The Bay was flat calm both ways! The roughest bit, force 5, was between Lanzarote and Lisbon on the way back. My previous trip, QE2 was force 9 southbound ans force 1 return. The sea is unpredictable.