Montreuil: 21st Century Booze Cruise

The Booze Cruise, at its peak in the 1990s

The Booze Cruise, at its peak in the 1990s

The booze cruise of the nineties played out to a set rhythm: hire a white transit van, make a beeline to a greasy spoon, then a mad dash across The Channel to Calais warehouses where the booze was piled high and flogged cheap … and back in time for tea.

Hoards flocked across The Channel, fueled by 48p/litre petrol and £1 ferry crossings. They took advantage of the paltry amount that the French taxed wine and cheerfully crammed the boot full. Eight years ago, the enthusiasm for a ‘booze cruise’ started to waiver though. The pound began to slide. Petrol prices went up, and so did the cost of Channel crossings. A wider variety of cheap wine became available in British supermarkets, and lots of the Calais wine warehouses started to close…. 

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