Checking-in & Boarding information: Dover-France

If you’re taking one of our sailings from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais, then you’ll have to check-in and board the ship at the Port of Dover.

It is a busy port and at the moment there are improvement works taking place, but the port is well sign-posted and the procedure for checking-in and boarding is simple and straightforward. This guide provides details on what you should expect and information when checking-in and boarding with different vehicle types.

Getting there

The address of the port in Dover is:

Dover Eastern Docks
CT16 1JA

More information about the facilities and directions to the port is available here.

On arrival

Upon arrival at the Port of Dover, you will be required to show your passports at immigration before driving on to check-in. Please note that immigration staff do sometimes perform spot vehicle checks, so they may wave you into a separate checking area to carry this out. These checks usually take just a few minutes.

Once you have passed through immigration and had your vehicle checked, simply follow the DFDS signs to our check-in booths.

If you have already purchased your ticket, you will simply need to hand your passports and booking confirmation to the staff at check-in. If you haven’t purchased a ticket, you can do this at check-in.

If you are travelling with pets then please make sure they comply with the conditions of our pet travel procedure. You can find out more information on this page below, or on our pet travel page.​


Cars, caravans and motorhomes

If you are travelling in a car, caravan or motorhome you should follow the signs to check-in and arrive no later than 45 minutes before departure, ideally earlier. You will have to show your passports also at check-in, so please have them to hand. Please remove passports from covers.

At check-in you will receive a paper hanger to hang from your rear view mirror. This hanger also details your boarding lane. You will also receive any vouchers for the Premium Lounge if you have booked this at check-in. Follow the signs to your boarding lane and when you have parked up please switch off your engine.

When it is time to board the ship please ensure your hanger is visible on your rear view mirror. Staff will direct you onboard and instruct you where to park. Once you have parked, turn off the engine, put it into first gear, engage the hand brake and turn off the alarm.

Please take note of which deck you are on (each deck is numbered), so it will be easier to find your vehicle when you have to disembark. At the time of disembarkation, simply get into your vehicle and drive off the ship when instructed.



There is a dedicated cycle lane which you need to follow when you arrive at Dover Port, this runs alongside the vehicle lanes. Follow this red cycle lane through the port until you reach immigration. Once you have passed through immigration you will need to continue to follow the red line all the way to the security check-in, from here you will be referred to the drivers reception building where you will be checked-in. 

At check-in you will receive your boarding documentation which details your vehicle lane number.

When it is time to board, you will be directed onto the ship, where you can board ahead of other vehicles. Before boarding we recommend you dismount your bike and walk onboard for safety reasons. Once you are onboard you will have your choice of bike racks where you can secure your bike.

Once the ship has arrived in France, you can exit the ship down the disembarkation ramp. Once again we recommend you walk with your bike. The process will be the same in France on your return crossing too.



The procedure for motorbikes is the same as cars, caravans and motorhomes. 

At check-in you will receive your boarding documentation which details your vehicle lane number.

Once you board, staff will show you where to park and arrange for your bike to be strapped and secured for the crossing.

Pet travel

Travelling with pets

You can take pets onboard our routes from Dover to France, provided that your pets comply with the conditions of our pet travel procedure. 

Your pets will need to remain in your car for the short journey. For more information, head to our pet travel page​.


We are Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2012-2019 & the World’s Leading Ferry Operator 2011-2018!​​