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Friday 12 April 2024

Want to buy some booze? How about a free mini break thrown in?

Imagine being offered a free day trip mini cruise, or three-day break, so you can buy cheap booze.

That's the deal being offered by French wine shops Calais Vins (above) and Olivier Vins in partnership with P&O Ferries.

The promotion sees British citizens being offered free ferry trips across the English Channel from Dover to Calais to buy tax free wine, leading industry website the drinks business ( reports.

There is, however, a catch. 

Isn't there always?

British travellers hoping to take advantage of the offer are being asked to make a minimum pre-order of €300 ($492) to buy wine from Calais Vins and Olivier Vins.

And a pre-order of €700 comes with a three-day getaway, the companies have said.

Calais Vins has reported a significant uptick in British customers, despite changes to alcohol allowance brought on by Brexit (the gift that never stops taking).

UK residents were previously able to transport any amount of alcohol for personal consumption across the channel.

Post-Brexit, each adult can bring a maximum of 18 litres of still wine into the UK.

Also permitted are an allowance of either four litres of spirits or nine litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or alcoholic drinks up to 22% ABV, although this allowance can be split. The allowance for beer is 42 litres.

Despite Brexit challenges, Calais Vins says it saw a 57% increase in British customers from 2022 to 2023. The retailer attributed the surge to a different factor - a 9.6% rise in alcohol prices in the UK.

Jérôme Pont of Calais Vins said: “Our British clientele understands the value of purchasing wine from us. They seek more than just cheap booze; they recognise that, by coming here, they can find top-quality wines ranging from €10 to €25.”

Free wine tastings are also on offer. 

But P&O Ferries, regular readers may remember, dismissed 784 of its crew in 2022 and replaced them with cheaper agency staff, some of which are being paid less than minimum wage.

Should you be in the UK and are tempted, here's the link:   

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