It appears that the traditional cross-Channel booze cruise to Calais is making a come back.
The popularity of booze cruises grew steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s. A perfect storm of cut-price ferry tickets, the opening of the Channel Tunnel, a strong pound, low duty and the removal of limits on the amount of alcohol that could be purchased fueled the rush to Calais. Many of the major supermarkets and wine sellers even had their own bases in Calais to meet demand.
Following on from the global financial crisis, the slump in the exchange rate combined with the increasing competitivity of supermarkets in the UK, meant that the day trips waned in popularity. Even if the ticket price for alcohol was still cheaper across the water, it was no longer economical to make the trip.
However, the recent weakening of the euro against the pound and lower taxes in France mean that filling up your car in France may now be more profitable. The exchange rate is currently around £1 to €1.40. So currently a €5 bottle of wine would cost £3.55. The same €5 bottle would have cost £4.27 in May 2013.
According to Caxton FX there has been a 56% increase over the last two years of Britons buying goods in French Carrefour Supermarkets. The Calais Wine Superstore has reported a 15-20% year-on-year rise in sales which the owner puts down to dedicated shopping trips.
However, if it seems like too much hard work to trek over to France to find good quality wine, please check out our selection of fine wines, which will be delivered direct to your door!