We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

Worcester
Level Contributor
59 posts
28 reviews
Save Topic
How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

I’m travelling back to England from France on the 5.50pm sailing P&O ferry Calais > Dover on Wednesday 25th June. On our last day we’re planning to visit a couple of WW1 memorials on the way from Reims to Calais. I like to maximise the amount of time we spend at these sites, but don’t want to cut it too fine arriving at Calais.

The P&O booking info says we have to book in at least 30 minutes before the sailing time. However they don’t give any indication of the likely time we need to leave between arriving at the terminal and getting booked in.

What is the latest we should be able to sensibly leave it before we need to get to the Calais ferry terminal?

England, United...
Level Contributor
3,780 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

The frontier controls at Calais tend to take an inordinate amount of time - much longer IME than at Dover. I recommend you allow at least half an hour for this, so plan to be at Calais ferry docks an hour before latest check-in time, ie about an hour and a half before sailing time.

If you are late, P&O may let you take the next ferry at no charge, but they seem to be getting stricter about this and could ask for an extra fee.

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
Level Contributor
27,371 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

As Celestina has said, you will need to be there at least an hour before the ferry is due to depart.

I've noticed over the last few years that the queues at frontier controls are getting much worse. It can get quite frustrating at times.

And remember it will take you about 10 minutes to get from Calais to the terminal. So you need to factor that in as well.

West Yorkshire...
Destination Expert
for Family Travel
Level Contributor
1,873 posts
167 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

I would aim to be there an hour prior to departure.

You might not be too bad- a Wednesday in June isn't peak period but you don't want to get stuck.

Last summer we should have missed our ferry - as the queues at border control were so long. I was getting very antsy. the ferry departed late due to most of the passengers being in this queue. However this was a Saturday in August.

Rye, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye
Level Contributor
6,173 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

I also aim for an hour before departure due to the reasons mentioned above. Better to er on the side of caution with time. I agree with the frontier queues and you may get pulled to one side too (I have - showed he back up and on my way).

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
Level Contributor
27,371 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

Also one final thing - I particularly notice it in Calais - that the other queues ALWAYS move faster.

And if you change queues, you will end up behind the person who has dodgy documentation or none.

:o)

Rye, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye
Level Contributor
6,173 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

That's so true! I think that's always the way.

When I went to book in one day to p&o ferries after going through frontier, I was lucky as started queuing in one queue, and was beckoned over to a new queue, and was first through.

But yes, I know what you mean about those who dodgy documentation or something, or hasn't booked in advance or something.

I think that's also when you are in a supermarket queue though Bean, everyone always gets served quicker than you do ;)

Clackmannanshire
Level Contributor
12 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

When checking in at the terminal at calais, are all the lanes etc pretty clear and easy to follow or is it a bit of a maize?

Apart from arriving early is there any other tips people have from experience?

Thanks

England, United...
Level Contributor
3,780 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

You're asking a different question, clackmannanshire.

But yes, the lanes are quite clearly marked. You arrive at the ferry docks and first go through the frontier control lanes if you have a ticket. (If you have no ticket, you take a right turn first just by the frontier control lanes).

After frontier control you go to the lanes for the particular ferry company with which you have booked who will have several booths. They will check your ticket and tell you which lane number to go to for parking before embarkation, and they will give you a little card printed with your essential booking details (eg number of passengers) to hang on your inside rear mirror.

Clackmannanshire
Level Contributor
12 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

Thanks for that Celestina

Rye, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye
Level Contributor
6,173 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: How long to book in to Calais Ferry terminal?

I'm the navigator as I'm the passenger in the car when I use a ferry terminals and the lanes are clearly marked, you just have to follow the signage. Whom I am travelling with gets confused (whom is driving), so I shout out instructions....lane 106 kind of thing, once we have passed frontier control.

Once I broke the hanger you stick on your inside mirror, good job I have sellotape.

Get answers to your questions about Calais
Recent Conversations