Know before you go: Travelling by ferry

The countdown to holidays are well and truly on! And whether you’re a seasoned pro, or first time ferry traveller, we’ve put together this handy check-list for the all-important channel crossing.

ferry sunset

Your holiday starts as soon as you leave home!

#1 Space for cars is limited on ferries. It’s really important to tell us if you are adding anything which makes your car higher or longer – bike racks or a roof box for example

#2 Arrive at the port around 60 minutes before departure (there will be a check in time printed on your tickets). If you arrive before this time, you’ll probably end up queueing for ages, which can lead to disgruntled children (trust me – I know!)

#3 There can sometimes be a bit of a wait between checking in and boarding, so be prepared for this. Usually you can get out and walk around, but be warned – ferry terminals aren’t hugely exciting!

#4 Pack a bag containing all the things you need for your ferry crossing and make sure it’s easily accessible. (Nothing worse than unloading your entire bag on the car deck… ) You won’t be able to return to your car during the crossing, so do make sure you take everything you’ll need.

#5 Pay attention to the deck and door number as they all look the same and you’ll need to remember this to get back to your car.

#6 Boats are quite large and it’s easy to get lost. Make sure everyone knows their cabin number or a suitable meeting place.

#7 Get some fresh air! Take a walk on deck – its great fun watching the land get further and further away.

#8 Check if meals are available to pre-book, as it usually works out a bit cheaper to do it before you travel. Also be aware you may need to book a table at the restaurant – or be prepared for a bit of a wait if the ship is busy.

#9 Listen carefully for announcements when it’s time to disembark. You should only return to your car when your deck number is announced. You may have a bit of a wait once you’re back in the car – please don’t start your engine until you are told to!

#10 You’ll have to pass through passport control before you can leave the port, so have them ready!

And finally – don’t forget to drive on the right! Have a fantastic holiday…

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