U.K. ferry travel offers ideal alternative

Story and photos by Luz Medeiros
Special to the Herald Union


There are many ways to travel to the United Kingdom. Options include heading underground to traveling by train through the Chunnel, flying and taking the ferry.  For those who dislike traveling underground or flying, consider taking the ferry. Travelers can make the trip from Calais, France, to Dover, England.While traveling on a ferry may take longer, there are definite advantages in crossing the channel by boat. During the trip people can take a walk on the deck and enjoy the beautiful sea views and also the amazing White Cliffs of Dover. Also, the ferry has restaurants, a gift shop and provides passengers with a bracing walk or the opportunity to choose their own seats. Sometimes vacation travel can be a challenge, especially when going by air. Nowadays, the airport security is stricter than ever before. Passengers who are flying are required to arrive between three and four hours before the flight, then go through long security checks which can make travel complicated and difficult. If the travel destination is England, taking the ferry may be a more relaxing journey for many people.Traveling by ferry, like by train through the Chunnel, also allows people to take their own car so they don’t have to rely on public transportation or a rental car once in Great Britain. But keep in mind that driving in the United Kingdom offers its own challenges as one must quickly adjust to driving in the left lane with oncoming traffic in the right lane.

While airlines establish luggage weight limits and passengers may end up paying extra charges, traveling by ferry allow them to take as much as they want. For example, they can bring all the children’s toys, extra clothing for any weather, golf gear and even cases of wine which are not allowed in the airplane. With today’s security at airports you can’t bring anything on a plane that may even remotely resemble a beverage, but ferries offer more flexibility. “My family and I took the ferry to Dover for my niece’s wedding,” said one traveler. “And for three round-trip tickets including taking our car we paid 110 pounds ��-> this was a good deal.
“Traveling by ferry is an adventure, you have the whole ship to explore, and you are not confined to your seat the whole journey,” he continued. “It was our first time driving in England and we did not have any problems. Taking our own vehicle to England allowed us to be more adventurous and to see more. It also gave us the opportunity to better explore the beautiful city of Dover which is only five minutes away from the port. We also visited the city of London. It is only two hours away.”
The ferry crossing time is 90 minutes. The vehicle check-in closes 30 minutes before departure and it is recommended to arrive at the port even earlier.  Prices are in pounds and you can book the tickets online.

Passengers are not allowed to stay in their vehicles during the journey. For additional information and prices visit the website www.aferry.co.uk. (Luz Medeiros works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District)