Seasoned traveller and editor of The Good Life France, Janine Marsh enjoys relaxing journeys between Dover and Calais with P and O Ferries Club Lounge service…
I have a foot on either side of the English Channel – not literally of course, but I have a home in the lovely Seven Valleys area of Pas de Calais and I spend a lot of time in the UK. I have family in Kent and London and my job as a journalist means I’m often in London for meetings.
I often use the foot passenger service on P&O Ferries from Calais or Dover – it’s easy, convenient and it offers me the time to relax on board and then again on the train into London or Kent.
How to go foot passenger to France from Dover with P&O Ferries
Usually, as a foot passenger, you can just turn up and buy a ticket (of course you must take your passport with you). However at peak travel times like the summer months, Christmas, Easter etc. you risk not being able to get on a boat when you want so I really recommend you book in advance if possible. And, book a return ticket at the same time if you can – it saves money doing it that way. Two singles either way will be more costly.
In the UK, you can take a train to Dover Priory from your starting point. From Dover station you’ll need to take a taxi or walk (it takes about 30 mins on foot) to Dover Port Travel Centre. On the Calais side there’s a shuttle bus which goes between the train station in the town and the port. It costs a couple of Euros (have change ready) and the journey is about 10 minutes.
You need to register at the P&O ticket desk as a foot passenger. If you booked online just give the helpful staff your booking reference and they’ll issue you a boarding ticket. They will call you when it’s time to embark and a bus will transfer you to the boat.
On board I always keep my luggage with me. If you have a lot of luggage you can have it put on board and held until you get off at the other end when it will be returned to you.
Usually I find a quiet place to read or work – after I’ve been to the onboard shop and stocked up on perfume and alcohol!
If you book the VIP loungs (extra cost) you’ll be welcomed with a glass of wine or tea and coffee, soft drinks, biscuits, little nibbles, newspapers, books and magazines. They’ll even collect your shopping from the onboard shop for you. The lounges have a look of the art deco to them, lots of dark wood, plush carpets, leather armchairs and smart lighting. You feel as though you are on a luxury yacht rather than a ferry on the English Channel. On the newer ferries like Spirit of Britain there’s a private outdoor deck with loungers. On a sunny day as you sip your wine, you can dream that you’re actually in the Med rather than the Channel off Dover!
Here’s what awaits on arrival in France…