Taking a trip to France? Take a look to see whether you should choose Eurotunnel or stick with a ferry.
So, I generally focus on money saving, but I always like to share my (limited) knowledge when I get a chance. And I know that many people often wonder whether they should take a ferry or use Eurotunnel (also known as the Channel Tunnel) when
I have lived within 15 minutes of https://www.doverport.co.uk/Dover Western Docks all my life. My dad worked at the Hoverport and I remember taking a very bumpy ride on a hovercraft across to France in the mid-’80s A few years later, I made my first ferry crossing with
In the early 2000’s, work required me to travel a lot to France and Belgium. At the time, that meant I was travelling by ferry several times a week. At the end of the decade, this changed to the tunnel and I was making up to 5 return journeys every week!
One of the first considerations anybody thinks about is the price you pay. Many years ago, P&O used to offer some very cheap deals for tickets, but these are now very rare.
If you’re just
However, if you have some Tesco Clubcard points, you can exchange these for 3 x their value when booking Channel Tunnel tickets. This will beat any price the ferry companies can offer.
But before you book your ticket, use a comparison site to find the best deal.
If everything goes to plan, a ferry crossing from Dover to Calais will take around 90 minutes (Dover to Dunkirk takes around 2 hours). The Channel Tunnel crossing takes 35 minutes. On top of this, it will take another 5-10 minutes for the ferry and train to offload. The beauty of travelling by the Tunnel though is that you never have to leave the car if you don’t want to.
This really depends on your preference. As I said,
The ferries have shops and bar areas for you to relax and unwind in. Plus, it’s always nice to go and watch your journey out on the deck. Well, as long as the weather is nice. If the wind is blowing, you can expect a bumpy crossing. For many, this isn’t a problem, but I am still waiting for my sea legs.
Another issue for the ferry is during busy periods. During peak times, it can get pretty crowded onboard. That means you can struggle to get a seat and it gets very noisy with lots of school groups roaming around. P&O does offer a Club Lounge, which entitles you to free drinks and snacks. It is often quieter but can fill up quickly. Prices start from £12
I always assumed that because the ferries were susceptible to the weather, they wouldn’t be particularly reliable. However, it takes some fairly extreme weather before crossings are cancelled. On the other hand, I have seen far more delays when travelling by the Channel Tunnel. If one train should have issues once in the tunnel, it can bring the whole system to a grinding halt. Plus, the trains are all over 25 years old now, which means they have seen better days.
Channel Tunnel or Ferry?
So which is best… the Channel Tunnel or the Ferry?
Personally, I will always opt for the Tunnel. I’m more than happy to sit in my car and I hate the idea that I might be seasick. And I always save up