Found 25th Feb 2011
Friends will drive from france in summer to visit..anyone know whats the best time to book for the best price? fery or hover or chunnel?
and can it be changed easily say if one of the kids was ill?
thanks anyone who can help..virtual rep given xx
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Cheapest is usual off peak times. We normally stay overnight near the ferry and catch the ferry about 6am.
thanks, do you book in advance or go on spec?
driving from where & where in france as may be better to go from portsmouth etc?
oh theyre driving from hungary and coming to the route planner says dover-calais but i guess other routes like dunkirk would be as good.
They dont eally want to book in advance but are worried at the last the price will hike up..its going to be august prob.
Thanks if you can help.
where in france?
they will travel through france but the nearest connection will be calais
try using Northfork line- from Dunkirk to dover, there so much nicer than p&o and normally around 1/2 the price, its not that far from calais either and takes around the same amount of time. I would only use eurotunnel if your in a rush or have a discount as its soo over priced for what it is. The only problem with the boat is if the weather is bad this can cause long delays and not a very pleasent trip (they may be looking a dovert harbour from the boat for a few hours ).
thanks for that.
Any other questions just ask, i go to france alot since i live in kent its not to far!
the main thing is does she need to book in advance? ideally she would like to just show up or book 2 days before.
If they had a flat tyre or kids were ill on the way and they were say 4hours late.(they booked 12 and arived 4pm) would that be ok?
i have used the chunnel once only and we booked in advance..and arived an hour early and got the next i cant help her.
Maybe you can advise? xx

Q. What if I miss my sailing, can I take the next ferry?
If you arrive at the port early or late for your booked sailing, we will endeavour to load you on the next available departure subject to availability.

If you can sail within 2 hours of your original departure time there will be no additional charge. Outside this window, there will be a charge based on the difference in fare plus an amendment fee, to a maximum of £60 each way.
On the boat you will normally need to book a few days in advance to get it cheaper it all depends what deals they are running at the time. Weve turned up early before coming back from france and had to wait awhile to see if they had any spare places on the boat but then they let us on the boat before the one we were planning on getting.

Not sure if you turn up late on a cheap ticket they will let you on but im sure it happens all the time, your best bet is phoning them or using there online help.

also northfolks offers are here and there online help is to the side:…rs/

P&O is here:…htm

Im sure if you miss a euro tunnel time they only make you pay the difference if its a more expensive time as well.
thanks, both of you! omg £60 amendment?

ill have a good look at the links thanks too xx

thanks, both of you! omg £60 amendment? ill have a good look at the links … thanks, both of you! omg £60 amendment? ill have a good look at the links thanks too xx

It does say up to £60 which I would imagine is full boats in peak time, FIL used to go to Ireland frequently ad was always catching different times to the one he'd boooked with no charges.
so would it be silly fo them to plan to leave say two days ahead knowing they have a full days drive and book then? i mean book on friday for monday sail?
or do they need to book say 3 weeks ahead?
If you are using DFDS Norfokline, there is no problems with space! These are big ro-pax (combine freight and passenger ferries) which sail almost every two hours. Freight is the main stay of business so passengers are usually an after thought and utilised to generate income on un-used freight space.
Booking a few days in advance is normally fine, also remember that they usually are quite flexible on the sailings. For example if you book on a 16h00 sailing but arrive at 11h30, usually if they have space they will put you on the next available sailing.

Other options to look at are overnight sailings from Rotterdam to Hull, depart Rotterdam 21h00 and arrive in Hull 07h00 following morning. Quite a bit more expensive but saves a long drive from Dover to Warrington, a journey I know very well having worked in Dover for many years!

Not convinced about DFDS Norfolkline being better boats that P&O, at the end of the day the Norfolkline boats are freight ferries with a passenger deck bolted on. The new P&O Spirit of Britain is spectacular, much better than the vessels I work on.

However if cost is your thing then DFDS Norfolkline can't be beaten!
I tell you what though Norfolkline breakfasts are far better than P&O and 1/2 the price!, also you'll get much less people on norfolk, as the lorry drivers have there own lounge, also you will get on and off quicker as there are less cars! But yeah if P&O has an offer on go with them.
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