Dover-Calais FAQs

Our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) should cover all of your queries. If you still can't find out what you wanted then please contact us  and we will endeavour to help.

  1. What are the sailing times and crossing duration?
  2. What is the Check-in time at Dover and Calais?
  3. How long is the crossing between Dover and Calais?
  4. How do passengers get to the port in Calais?
  5. Can passengers mix ports on return bookings, i.e. travel one way Dunkirk and the other way Calais?
  6. When will I receive my tickets?
  7. How can I change my booking prior to travel?
  8. I have lost my booking details - what should I do?
  9. Can foot passengers travel on DFDS Seaways Dover-Calais ferries?
  10. What is the procedure for travelling with pets?
  11. Can I have a roof box or bicycles attached to my car?
  12. Are there car parking facilities at the port?
  13. Do you have currency exchange facilities onboard the vessel?
  14. What documentation do I need to travel?
  15. Where can I obtain a visa?
  16. Is travel insurance recommended?
  17. Are there any legal requirements needed for my car to drive overseas?
  18. Do your ships accept vehicles which run on Liquified Petroleum Gas LPG?
  19. Which of your ships are suitable for disabled passengers of wheel chairs?
  20. What is a commercial vehicle?
  21. What if I have concerns regarding the service?
  22. What shall I do if the number of passengers is different between the two crossings of a return journey?
  23. Is there any surcharge on bookings made by phone?
  24. Can I take my shotgun, rifle or weapon with me in my car?
  25. What if I am traveling with Children who do not have their Parent or Legal Guardian traveling with me?
  26. Can I travel with medical oxygen?
  27. Can I amend my booking at the port?
  28. Can I transport my Hot Air Balloon?
  29. Where can I find out more about Premium and Economy ticket types?
  30. Can I buy a ticket on the day of departure at the port?

 

1. What are the sailing times?

There are currently 10 return sailings everyday from Dover to Calais. View the timetable  for the full sailing schedule. 

The duration of the crossing is approximately 1 and half hours.

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2. What is the Check-in time at Dover and Calais?

Passengers should check in at least 45 minutes before departure.

 

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3. How long is the crossing between Dover and Calais?

The crossing will take approximately 90 minutes.

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4. How do passengers get to the port in Calais?

Address:

DFDS
Car Ferry Terminal,
62100 Calais,
France

By car:

The Port of Calais is directly connected to the European motorway network via two auto routes:
The A26/E15 serves the centre of France and provides access to Paris, and Southern Europe.
The A16/E40 feeds into the Benelux and Northern Europe motorway systems and the A16/E402 to Boulogne and Normandy.

Car parking:

There is a free of charge public car park in front of the Terminal building. Please advise that this is an unsecured car park and owners leave their vehicles there at their own risk. Cars can be parked near ticket office as there are staff in this area 24 hours a day

 

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5. Can passengers mix ports on return bookings, i.e. travel one way Dunkirk and the other way Calais?

Yes, you can make a bookings for different routes online and via the contact centre .


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6. When will I receive my tickets?

DFDS Seaways Dover -Calais route operates as a ticketless company.

When you make an online reservation you will be sent an email confirmation containing the booking reference and travel details.

Alternatively, if you make a phone reservation, you will be asked to make a note of your booking reference number. On the day of travel you will need to quote your booking reference at the DFDS Seaways check-in booth.

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7. How can I change my booking prior to travel?

DFDS Seaways’ system does not at present allow changes to be made to your booking online.

All amendments to Dover-Calais bookings that have been made directly with DFDS Seaways (i.e. not through a third party) need to be made via our contact centres:

Telephone UK call centre: 0871 574 7223 (Calls may cost up to 10p per minute plus network extras)
Telephone

Outside the UK: +44 (0) 208 127 8303

An amendment fee of £10/€15 per crossing applies to any changes to your booking. You will also need to pay any difference in fare between what you have already paid and the price of the new sailing.

Our email facility is not designed to receive confidential information such as credit / debit cards and as such, payment must be finalised over the telephone. This procedure only applies to amendments made prior to arrival at the port.

Note: DFDS Seaways can only process amendments to bookings made directly with us. If you have made your booking with a travel agent, or online via another website, please contact the relevant agent/website to process any amendments required.

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8. I have lost my booking details - what should I do?

DFDS Seaways Dover-Calais ferries do not issue tickets, but to travel you will need your booking reference number. If you have mislaid this or any other piece of information related to your booking (e.g. departure times and dates) please contact our call centre on 0871 574 7223 ( Calls may cost up to 10p per minute plus network extras).

Note: in order that we can trace your booking as quickly as possible please have as many relevant details as possible to hand - booking reference, vehicle registration, names of those travelling, dates, credit card etc.
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9. Can foot passengers travel on DFDS Seaways Dover - Calais ferries?

Our cross channel ferries are designed for passengers travelling with their own vehicles. As such foot passengers cannot travel on DFDS Seaways' Dover - Calais route.

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10. What is the procedure for travelling with pets?

DFDS Seaways Dover - Calais vessels are able to carry pets as long as your pet is part of the Pet Passport Scheme. Pet tickets are charged at £30 per animal from Calais.

If you need any assistance please call 0871 574 7223 (calls may cost up to 10p per minute plus network extras)and speak to one of our Customer Sales and Service Team.

In case of travelling with horses/ponies due to the nature of the vehicle type bookings must be created through our freight reservation's department dover.freightsales@dfds.com .

Note: All animals must remain in the vehicle during the crossing and are subject to the necessary documentation, vaccinations etc. For any more additional information we advise you to visit the DEFRA website.

When travelling with pets from Calais you are required to check-in 60 minutes prior to departure to allow time for the pet procedures to be carried out.

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11. Can I have a roof box or bicycles attached to my car?

We do not have any problems if the combined height of the vehicle does not exceed 2.35 meters and the length of 5 meters.

For vehicles over this height, please contact the call centre on 0871 574 7223 ( Calls may cost up to 10p per minute plus network extras).

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12. Are there car parking facilities at Dover port?

Yes. Dover Port offers short and long-stay parking in the main multi-storey car park located at the entrance to the Eastern Docks ferry terminal for prices please contact the Dover Harbour Board on 01304 240400 .

Free parking in front of the Travel Centre is restricted to 15 minutes.

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13. Do you have currency exchange facilites onboard the vessel?

Yes. You can purchase currency onboard. The shop, bars and restaurants accept both Pounds Sterling and Euros.

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14. What documentation do I need to travel?

All persons travelling need to have in their possession a valid passport. French Passport Control takes place prior to check-in. For more information on passports or travel documentation you can call the French Consulate on 020 7073 1200.

Note: Not all British passports are valid for travel to France.
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15. Where can I obtain a visa?

Visas for travel to France must be requested from the French Consulate in London or Edinburgh. For more information, please contact the Consulate visa line on 09065 540 700

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16. Is travel insurance recommended?

We recommend that all passengers travelling to France take out a travel insurance policy .

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17. Are there any legal requirements needed for my car to drive overseas?

Vehicles travelling in France are legally required to have certain breakdown and emergency equipment stored in the vehicle and a visible GB sticker.

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18. Do your ships accept vehicles which run on Liquified Petroleum Gas LPG?

Yes, vehicles converted to LPG or motor homes carrying LPG cylinders are accepted onboard our ferries. Please note however, vehicles are limited to carrying one LPG cylinder. We also ask that you advise the staff at the check in booth before you check in.

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19. Which of your ships are suitable for disabled passengers of wheel chairs?

All our vessels are equipped to carry disabled passengers however we need to be advised at the time of making a booking, the staff can allow for the car to be situated nearer to the lifts on the car deck.

Staff will also accommodate as much as they can.

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20. What is a commercial vehicle?

Any vehicle that is being used for or designed for the carrying of goods. This includes any vehicle towing another vehicle for commercial purposes.

Therefore commercial vehicles cannot travel on passenger tariffs, and must pay commercial freight rates. Freight rates are subject to VAT. To contact our freight department call +44 (0) 1304 874001 .

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21. What if I have concerns regarding the service?

If you have any concerns regarding the services provided by DFDS Seaways Dover-Calais Ferries, you should bring them to the immediate attention of one of our staff.

If your concerns remain unresolved, please contact us in writing by post or by email ( customerservices.dover@dfds.com ) within 28 days of your return, quoting the booking reference and giving details of how we may contact you.

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22. What shall I do if the number of passengers is different between the two crossings of a return journey?

While making the booking, please state the highest number of passengers travelling in either direction. While checking in, our staff will then update the system according to the effective number.

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23. Is there any surcharge on bookings made by phone?

Please note that bookings made by phone will be subject to GBP 5 / EUR 7.5 surcharge.

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24. Can I take my shotgun, rifle or weapon with me in the car?

Yes, provided you are fully licensed and can fulfil all the legal requirements.

You must declare this at the time of booking by phoning our Contact Centre at least 24 hours before you intend to travel:

Telephone

Call centre: 0871 574 7223, or

Call centre (outside UK): +44 (0) 208 127 8303

You can take ammunition, but this must be kept to a minimum and wherever possible, stored separately from any weapon, e.g. in another compartment.

The weapons(s) must remain inside the vehicle and wherever practicable, the bolt, magazine or other vital operating part should be separated from the gun and either carried on the person, secured or hidden in the vehicle, or kept in a locked container, ideally secured to the vehicle. Any weapon must also be obscured from view, under a cover or inside a container. Once onboard, the ships loading officer will be discretely aware of you and will ask you to surrender your car keys for the duration of the crossing. The vehicle must remain locked and alarmed, if fitted. On arrival, the keys will be given back to you.

Once you have informed us of all the details, we must pass the information to other interested parties. All vehicles are subject to searching at both ports and this will avoid any misunderstanding. However, you should still discretely confirm to the check in operator that you are carrying such.

Even if your gun is only for display, the requirements are exactly the same.

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25. What if I am travelling with Children who do not have their Parent or Legal Guardian traveling with me?

Children traveling abroad without their Parent or Legal Guardian but with another adult must have a letter of consent or permission to travel maybe refused.

It is the Passengers responsibility to ensure that they have all the documentation needed to comply with the requirements of immigration, customs, health and other relevant regulations.

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26. Can I travel with medical oxygen?

Medical oxygen - UN1072a

The carriage of medical oxygen in a private vehicle is permitted to travel without a DGN under the following circumstances:

  • Only 6 x 10 litre canisters can be carried in one vehicle and only if accompanied by a doctor’s letter confirming that the passenger must carry the oxygen at all times.
  • Passengers must inform DFDS Seaways at the time of booking that they will be carrying the oxygen so that a note can be made in the booking to this effect.
  • Passengers are prohibited from being in designated smoking areas.

Any further information can be found under MGN 340 on the MCA website .

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27. Can I amend my booking at the port?

DFDS Seaways do allow amendments to be made to the port subject to space availability. Amendments to your booking will be subject to the terms and conditions of the ticket purchased.


For the cheapest amendment please contact our Contact Centre as soon as your plans change. Bookings made within 24 hours of departure are subject to payment of a surcharge, therefore prices on the day of travel will be higher than if booked in advance, which may affect your amendment price.

Telephone

Call centre: 0871 574 7223 (Calls may cost up to 10p per minute plus network extras)

Call centre (outside UK): +44 (0) 208 127 8303

Please note: bookings cannot be amended if more than 24 hours have passed since your original crossing departed. A new booking must be made and the original booking is treated as a cancellation.

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28 . Can I transport my Hot Air Balloon with DFDS Seaways?

Vehicles carrying hot air balloon equipment (for private use)  are permitted to carry the following:

  • Up to 47kg of a class 2.1 flammable gas (usually propane or butane).
  • A small canister of class 2.2 non-flammable gas (usually helium – this is used for weather balloons so they can assess the wind conditions before launch).
  • A small jerrycan of fuel for the use in a fan to inflate the balloon envelope.
  • Fire extinguishers for use in the operation of the balloon.

You must inform us you are carrying these items at check-in.

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29. Where can I find out more about Premium and Economy ticket types?

Find out more about our diffeerent ticket types here .

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30. Can I buy a ticket on the day of departure at the port?

The Travel Centre at Dover port is now closed. This is due to the significant development work taking place to improve traffic management at port.

If you would like to purchase tickets at port, or if you have a ticket enquiry, please make your way to one of the DFDS Seaways check-in booths where we will be happy to help.

Alternatively pre-purchase your tickets online or telephone our contact centre on 0871 574 7235. Calls cost up to 10p a min plus network charges.

For further information on the work taking place and how this will benefit customers long term, visit the Port of Dover website.

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