Why waste time booking a ferry that costs barely £100 when you can dynamically package a hotel or self-catering accommodation around that crossing and see the booking value double or treble?

As our examples below show, agents can go online to price a crossing, add meals where they are available, add or upgrade cabins and finally round off the booking with somewhere to stay. It’s easily done and suddenly the booking becomes financially worthwhile, especially as most ferry operators still pay good commission.

Each of our examples is based on one ferry operator’s crossing, with three suggested holidays pulled from the same operator’s holiday programme so there are no bonding issues, but alternatively you could use the internet to dynamically package a ferry crossing with another firm’s accommodation.

SeaFrance

Route: Dover-Calais

Package one: Paris city break in March. A return ferry crossing for two adults and a car costs from £72. Add to this two pre-booked meals in La Brasserie and the bill increases by £31.80, while three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Hotel Majestic, in Paris, with return ferry crossing takes the booking to £565.

Package two:Disneyland Paris Resort in March. Return ferry crossing for two adults, two children under 12 and a car costs from £62.50, with four pre-booked meals in La Brasserie each way adding £43.78. Four nights bed and breakfast in a Club Castle room at Disneyland Hotel including entrance to the theme parks and a return ferry crossing costs £2,208. A Half-board Plus option per person (dinner at a choice of 14 resort restaurants) takes the cost of the booking to £2,448, and a Buffalo Bill Wild West show takes it to £2,562.

Package three: Chateau break in Champagne in March. A return ferry crossing for two adults and a car costs from £62.50. Two pre-booked meals in Le Brasserie each way adds £31.80. Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the 17th-century Chateau d’Etoges including return ferry crossing takes the booking value to £402.

DFDS Seaways

Route: Newcastle-Amsterdam

Amsterdam | Photo: iStockPackage one: Amsterdam city break in March. A return crossing for two adults including inside cabins in each direction costs £156. Upgrading to Commodore deluxe cabins each way adds £236 and a three-course meal in Explorers each way adds £101.60. Two nights at the three-star Ibis Amsterdam Centre Hotel increases the total by £152. For return transfers between the ship and city add £20. Total cost of booking now £665.60.

Package two: seven nights at Center Parcs Park Zandvoort in April for two adults and two children. Return crossing with a car and inside cabins in each direction costs £289. Upgrading to outside cabins each way adds £48. Four breakfasts and four dinners adds £159. Seven nights’ at Park Zandvoort in an economy villa adds £504. Total cost of booking now £1,000.

Package three: one week in a country cottage in Holland in June for two adults and two children. Return crossing with a car and seaview cabins in each direction cost £382. Four breakfasts and dinners each way adds £159. Total cost of ferry booking £581. Cottages have to be booked via a link to Novasol. Prices from £295 for one week in June. Total cost of holiday from £796.

Brittany Ferries

Route: Portsmouth-St Malo

Package one: a one-week river cruise in Brittany, starting and ending in Glénac on the Nantes-Brest canal in March. Return crossing for four adults and a car costs £350. Outside cabins in both directions add a total of £99. Seven nights on a river boat sleeping up to four people cost £1,182 including return ferry crossing with a car. Adding return outside cabins takes the total cost to £1,275.

Hotel Central, St MaloPackage two: weekend break in St Malo in March. Return crossing for two adults costs £222. For Commodore-class cabins in both directions add a total of £198. Three nights at the three-star Hotel Central (right) costs from £328, including return ferry crossings. Adding return Commodore cabins takes the booking total to £476.

Package three: one-week beach holiday at Port Bourgenay, a Pierre et Vacances village in the Western Loire in March. A return ferry crossing with a car for two adults and two children costs £322. Outside cabins in both directions add a total of £99. Seven nights at Port Bourgenay costs from £527 including return ferry crossing with a car. Adding return outside cabins takes the booking total to £620.

Brittany Ferries offers different rates for cabins if clients are booking a ferry and accommodation.