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Dover - Dunkirk (DFDS) - Quick Review

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Oldie
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Joined: 05 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: 15:58 - 12 Aug 2017    Post subject: Dover - Dunkirk (DFDS) - Quick Review Reply with quote

Just back from a trip over to the Nurburgring in the car to watch a pal drive his Shelby Cobra round the GP circuit. Last minute sort of thing so the prices on the Newcastle – Holland ferry were pretty expensive so we thought that we'd try DFDS, Dover – Dunkirk (£59 for a 3 day return).

Apart from the drag down to Dover, the crossing itself is so well managed that I can't believe all these stories about French customs delays. We arrived at Dover and drove straight up to the border check point where the customs guy shouted “English?” and waved us through. The DFDS people put us straight onto the first ferry and we were sailing within 45 mins of arrival. Coming back, the UK customs were under-staffed so that took a bit longer but we were still sailing within 45 mins of arriving at the port. The great thing is that you just drive off the ferry straight onto the motorway system (at both ends) so no delays there either. All in all, fantastic. In comparison, the Holland ferry has loads of hanging around at both ends so this is so much slicker, and vastly cheaper.

Having said all that, the amount of traffic delays on both sides of the channel was the worst I've experienced. Both the Brussels and Antwerp ring roads were a nightmare and we had several major hold-ups in the UK too although, surprisingly, not at the Dartford crossing.

Anyway, it's a great way to cross the Channel and I can only assume that it's less popular than either Calais or the Chunnel and that's why it's so straightforward.

The weather in Germany was crap, by the way.
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almostthere
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: 20:01 - 12 Aug 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

just done the same trip in the car had a week in the hague, its a lot easier both ends there was a slight delay on the way out a couple of fuckwits ignored tannoy messages to return to their cars apart from that I was impressed with the service.
would definitely do it again and its a lot cheaper than Calais, We parked next to some 2 stroke Audi cars on the way out the smell when they started up brought back memorys Thumbs Up
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1198
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Joined: 24 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: 08:50 - 23 Aug 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arrived a couple of hours early, but couldn't get on the next Dover Dunkirk ferry as it was full. Fair enough. Would Dover Calais suit instead instead, leaving in 30 minutes? Yes please....
Arrived at Dunkirk early after a 'spirited' early morning drive (left the Ring at 5), drove straight onto the next available ferry two hours earlier than programmed. Win!
DFDS have impressed me so far. Booked onto another mid to late Sept to take the Panigale round the Ring. DFDS seem to have purpose built bike parking in a stand, rather than P and O where it's less confidence inspiring especially as they insist you strap your own bikes down and refuse any responsibility in this....
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ocatoro
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Joined: 06 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: 19:28 - 23 Aug 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

the dunkirk crossing is always like that. we travel about the alps and italy quite a bit and have only used calais for one return trip once. it was as bad as they say and more. literally people climbing over the barriers trying to get into cars at the checkpoint, lorry drivers hitting them, minibus of immigration folks arrived and chased them into a field... took hours to clear that checkpoint and that was before the actual terminal bit.

at dunkirk you drive up, some chap checks your passport vaguely and waves you onboard. and if you've been a cheeky chap and booked the cheap night time boat and then turned up at 2pm, they'll wave you onto that without a fuss too, just to get you through and out the way.
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