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Old 20 Mar 2009
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Dover to Calais - book or turn up?

I usually book, but equally as often, end up changing the time etc. of my ferry as I arrive early. Which involves an amendment fee.

I'm hoping to head over to the continent at the end of May/beginning of June and am looking at costs of about 60-70 pounds return for me and my bike.

I'm wondering if it might be better to just turn up at the ferry terminal and buy a ticket.

Any thoughts?



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Old 20 Mar 2009
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I always find it cheaper to book in advance, can usually get an earlier ferry, without excess if you seem non fussed about waiting for your correct sailing, I have even turned up very late for a return with no excess, just smile at check-in booth and hope shes a cute chick, often depends on how busy they are.
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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last year I booked my outward journey and just turned up for the return and it cost me 108 euro (RETURN ONLY)
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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On my way home last year in September, I just turned up at Calais with no booking and found it was 112Euro for the train and 65Euro for the ferry.

I got the ferry.

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Old 20 Mar 2009
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Definately pre book.My girlfriend works for Seafrance and people really get stung just turning up.
They are getting stricter on not letting people off the surcharge even if you are polite and smile.They look at it now as an airport in that you wouldn't turn up 10 minutes before the plane was due to fly.Some tourists tend to get angry and rude complaining that they can still see the boat and it hasn't left yet and that it wasnt their fault the M25 was at a standstill.

I just booked a return recently for early May cost me £30 return with a non flexible,non refundable ticket.(Only get free crossings when she is with me.)

Best thing is to leave in plenty of time as if you were going to Airport and if early pop down seafront and have a shandy outside premier lodge place and give your map the last once over.Time will soon fly !

PS. Sorry, Just noticed where you are coming from.It must be harder to judge timing from there so best to buy ammendable ticket to avoid having to hang round Dover all day.
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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Book in advance

The last time i travelled Dover - Calais i just turned up and was charged the full return fare of £85. If you book online you will pay a lot less. On the plus side I have arrived early for a couple of sailings and been put on an earlier sailing at no extra cost.
Cheers Ade.
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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Especially on a motorcycle tour, I hate being tied to a schedule. So I didn't book. I just turned up. I can't remember what I had to pay, but it was two or three times the pre-booked fare.

I'd also say, book at least a couple of days in advance. I watched the prices and they got higher as my departure time drew near. Maybe this isn't always the case, I don't know.

Edit: Just noticed, you've asked about ferries. My comments (and maybe some others?) are about Eurotunnel.

Last edited by SpitfireTriple; 20 Mar 2009 at 19:48.
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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i turn up

to me, travelling by motorbike is freedom, no watch, no rush, no schedule, no sat-nav, etc...

turning up at whatever time at the port and boarding the first ferry available is a pleasure which obviously has a price.
i normally pay between 50 and 60 pounds for a single journey.

it depends on how you travel, what budget, what spirit, etc.
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Old 21 Mar 2009
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i'm sure i've seen comments on here before about ferry prices that suggested if you turn up & phone the booking line its still cheaper than walking into the booking office.
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Old 21 Mar 2009
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Personally I am a "pre-book" person our ticket in August is £59 rtn going on the 8th returning on 30th. That is 2 Adults 1 child and a land rover 110

I have seen last minute fares as high as several hundred £££

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Old 21 Mar 2009
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we always prebook,if we need to sail earlier just ask,no surcharge.[if they have available room].this is a camper with four persons on board sailing dover to dunquerk with stenaline and costing generally under £100 rtn.they usually work out cheapest too,a few years ago returning from an enduro we were 3 days early no probs,we book through nutt travel. seeing as we are travelling from n.ireland it's always an estimate as to how long it will take so we err on the side of caution,if early game on lets get an earlier sailing! never been late though!

just my experiance stoic
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Old 22 Mar 2009
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P&O's policy means a pre-booked ticket is valid at no extra charge on ferries within 2 hours either side of your booking. I bought a single for me and my bike £25, cheapest they had was £22.50, so I'm guessing if you just turn up you'll be unlikely to manage within your budget for a return.

Hope that helps!

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Old 25 Mar 2009
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If you just "turn up", you will pay top dollar. On the occasions when I just 'turned up' at the ferry dock or the tunnel entrance over the past year and paid for a one way fare, the fare averaged about £85 one way.

By all means book, even if you just book a day ahead, it will be less expensive than just turning up. When you just turn up, they have you by the short hairs and they know it.

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Old 25 Mar 2009
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Old 25 Mar 2009
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On the longer crossings the best discounts are by phone a day or so before you are due to sail. I've had the sailing bit basically free Rotterdam-Hull because they'd rather fill a cabin and sell you some food than have you sleep in France. If they are full already you get online and do the slog from Dover.

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