The Jumbulance travels to Lourdes overland from the UK crossing the channel by the most convenient method - either ferry or more commonly by Eurotunnel. If travelling by ferry the Jumbulance has been granted special status as the only vehicle which is allowed to make the cross channel crossing with passengers remaining on the car deck.
Having said that it will be the aim of the group leader to try to get as many VIPs as possible to enjoy the crossing from within the confines of the upper decks, where they can relax in the lounges or perhaps engage in a little retail therapy in the ship's extensively stocked shop.
Any VIPs remaining on the car deck will be accompanied by sufficient carers for their needs.
A Jumbulance leaves the UK each Thursday between Easter and October. Departures in the north of the country are early in the morning with most channel crossings being in the early evening. Thereafter, the Jumbulance travels southwards through France during the night usually arriving in Lourdes ready for lunch on Friday afternoon.
Whilst the journey may sound long, it is very unlike a normal coach and there is always plenty of activity to ensure it passes smoothly.
Towards the rear of the vehicle there is a very well equipped but compact kitchen from which an almost endless supply of teas, coffees and soft drinks are provided. Breakfasts, lunches and hot evening meals are supplied as required.
The three forward fully adjustable beds on the JPII Jumbulance makes it easy for a VIP to relax in comfort and watch the countryside speeding past, while at the same time are set at a height that makes in convenient for the medical team to attend to nursing. The double bank of bunk beds towards the rear of the vehicle, which are also fully adjustable, have been designed to provide bed rest especially during the night for other VIPs who do not require such intensive nursing.
Along the other side of the vehicle are 18 fully reclining seats with leg supports which provide a much higher degree of space and comfort than generally offered on standard coaches. The seating allows those VIPs who feel more comfortable in an upright position and the carers to curl up and relax in order to pass the night away.
Also towards the rear of the vehicle is a fully accessible toilet with a wide opening door. A wheeled commode is provided to take VIPs from their seat or bed into the toilet.
The Jumbulance is a non smoking vehicle.
Local groups start at the location choice of the group organiser. National groups start in the north of the country and generally travel southwards on the M74, M6, M1, and clockwise on M25 joining the M20 towards the channel ports. Occasionally when required, the Jumbulance will cross to the east coast and travel down the MI. Click this link to see detailed information on popular pick up points and this link to see their map location.
Jumbulance pick up points are at motorway service stations en-route and as the drivers are driving to a tight schedule, generally these are collated in order to minimise the number of stops. It is the travellers' own responsibility to make arrangements to and from the Jumbulance.
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