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Travelling from France to UK

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Travelling from France to UK

We are in Spain and will be travelling back to UK at the end of the month. We are thinking of taking the Ferry from Le Havre to Portsmouth. DFDS ferry company. Our dog is only 6 mnths old so. The crossing is about 5/5.5 hours I think. Does anyone know if there is somewhere to let the dog out before embarkation and how long we can expect the dog to be in the car overall? Thank you.

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1. Re: Travelling from France to UK

I cannot comment on that specific Ferry, but we have been to France from the UK twice with our dog recently.

The first time was Dover to Dunkirk and the dog was left in the car for the duration of the crossing. We were not allowed to go to the car deck at all for safety reasons during the crossing. We just let the dog out in the car park whilst waiting to board the ferry.

The car deck will be noisy with and car alarms may be going off with the motion.

A better option would be the channel tunnel. You stay in the car with the dog the entire journey. Our dog much preferred this and it only takes about an hour IIRC.

I also understand that there is a ferry from Santander to Plymouth or Portsmouth that has dog friendly cabins, although when I looked into this the price was expensive.

Don't forget the visit to the vet to stamp the dogs passport.

If you still do choose to take the ferry the folk on www.ukcampsite.co.uk forum / caravanning and camping abroad will know. Most of us campers / motor homers have a dog that we take abroad.

Cork, Ireland
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2. Re: Travelling from France to UK

I would agree with the other comment and try to travel on the channel Tunnel. I have done the trip from Ireland to the South of Spain in both 2013 and again in 2013/2014. My dog stays in the car on the Irish leg of the journey which is a little over 3 hours and then travels in the car with us in the Tunnel crossing. I would think a 5 1/2 hour crossing is quite long for a young dog. You could add at least an hour to the time with loading and waiting to get off etc. Having said that if the crossing was at night it mightn't be too bad as the dog would be used to sleeping at that time. At the end of the day I would always go by the Channel Tunnel if I had the choice - it is fantastic and so comfortable. Once you leave the car park at the terminal building, to getting off the train on arrival the trip takes at the very most 1 hour.

Chichester, United...
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3. Re: Travelling from France to UK

I know that this is now well out of date but I thought it may be of use to dog owners who wish to travel between Le Havre and Portsmouth ( and vice versa) in the future.

Brittany ferries have recently established a dog friendly service for dogs and their owners. They have a number of dog friendly cabins where your dog(s) can share the cabin during the crossing. They also have a limiited dog exercising area.

The outward journey from Portsmouth leaves at noon and the return journey from Le Havre is over night (? 10.30pm)

As dog owners ourselves we think this is a great step forward for the western channel as it is normally a long crossing once you pass newhaven where it is 4 hours. A dog in a car for six and a half hours !!!

London, United...
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4. Re: Travelling from France to UK

hi. there should be pet friendly cabins that you can book so you can have him with you all of the time. x

London, United...
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5. Re: Travelling from France to UK

I travel regularly by ferry between Dover and Calais. There is always time for you to walk your dog among the cars awaiting the signal to board, so give yourself an extra 15 minutes and walk the dog on a lead around the bollards etc, so that he/she can have a good sniff and deliver the odd message before being put back in the car.

Once you are on board, the dog should remain in the vehicle for the duration of the crossing, but as this is only 90 minutes they should not become too distressed. I have trained my dog to remain in the car overnight in Spain as only a very few hotels will allow dogs in their rooms, so 90 minutes is nothing. I place his blanket on the back seat next to a waterproof sheet on which I put a bowl of water and some dry dog food. As everything is familiar, I have never had a problem.

Unless the car deck is very warm, I tend to leave the windows shut as, particularly in winter, the car deck can get very cold. When I return, the dog is normally dozing on the front seat, presumably because it smells of me. As soon as I get out of the ferry port, I stop in a lay-by and encourage the dog to sniff around, but as the roads are full of rapidly moving vehicles, I keep him on a lead.

I use the same system when travelling by boat or fast ferry from Holyhead or Fishguard to Ireland and though these crossings are longer, I have never had a problem.

6. Re: Travelling from France to UK

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