Dover - Calais - Ferry and Tunnel News.

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Singvogel, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I thought I'd start an info thread on cross-channel links.

    Have you crossed recently - or are you due to cross soon?

    Please feel free to post comments, recent observations, and/or experiences on the route.

    Situation as at 1st September.

    Above water:


    At long last the ex-MyFerryLink Calais ferry-workers dispute appears to be resolved.

    DFDS - the new owners of the MS Berlioz and the MS Rodin, have today agreed to employ approx half of the staff, with the other half going to Eurotunnel as 'additional security' personnel.

    So hopefully as of tomorrow the ferries will be back to full potential.

    Tonight there is room to spare on all sailings and delays are under 20 minutes.

    Below the waves:

    Not so good news tonight for those who prefer the tunnel.

    Yet again the EuroTunnel/Le Shuttle trains are queued up on the French side tonight due to 'pedestrian trespassers' on the track.

    They are only accepting vehicles with confirmed bookings - i.e. they are not selling tickets to anyone who just turns up.
     
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  2. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Thanks for the update, Bob.

    I used to be a regular Eurotunnel user and it was by far and away my preferred route. But until the trespassing situation is fully under control, I will not be risking my weekends away or short vacations on spending hours and days couped up in the Chunnel terminal buildings. Far rather take the ferry.

    That said, I'm not the best sailor in the world so I will always go Dover-Calais or at a push, Dover-Zeebrugge. Not one for doing the longer Cherbourg or Le Harve routes.
     
  3. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I think that last night the Eurotunnel passengers would have been happy to have been stuck in the terminal buildings.

    Approx 700 of them were stuck for several hours in the trains under the channel before they eventually gave up searching for the 'trespassers' and backed the trains out.

    Supposedly back to 'normal' today - but normal means a problematic service these days - they forecast that there only be a 3 hour queue to board the trains in Coquelles. :rolleyes:

    The ferries should be OK now but Dunkirk is the new traffic bottleneck.

    The French farmers are still revolting - (don't misinterpret my meaning;)) with yet another round of autoroute blockages planned for Normandy and Brittany now as well as around Paris.

    The tunnel is of little interest to us as having travelled down from Scotland we treat the ferry as an additional rest stop - saving a half an hour or so in a claustrophobic train carriage means little on a journey of several days. We did use it twice and were not overly impressed.

    We are regular users of the ferries and our preferred route to all points East is to head out of France towards Belgium.

    We always buy blocks of carnet tickets for a year at a time, and get reduced prices for frequent travellers.

    Been doing that for over 40 years - long before there was a tunnel - memories of Townsend-Thoresen, European Ferries, Sea-Link, and a few other companies that have long since disappeared/been taken over - SeaFrance did the best 'Steak and Frites'. :cool:
     
  4. Merc? No. BM!
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    Merc? No. BM! WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Will be travelling from Calais to Dover tomorrrow by dfds ferry. Hopefully without too much delay.

    The outward journey was fine albeit with some 45 minutes delay, mainly caused at berthing in Calais.

    Like Singvogel we have been crossing the channel for many a year with different companies and means.

    We fondly remember the Hovercraft :).
     
  5. neemz
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    neemz

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    I did the Eurotunnel Folkestone to Calais one way a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon.

    No delay at check-in or passport control. There was a 20-30 minute delay due to train fault but other than that no problems. Calais side straight out like usual. I noticed a slightly higher police presence but that was it.
     
  6. Phil
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    We used the Eurotunnel to Calais last Thursday morning (27/8) no problems at all (other than the rain). We return Saturday 12/9 - will post how we get on.
     
  7. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Passengers had to be 'rescued' by sending in another train for them after migrants were in the Tunnel [heard on train roof.......:eek: ]
     
  8. E39mad
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    E39mad

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    We did Dover Calais P & O ferry in late May returning one week later. It was the start/end of the kids half term so likely to have been busy.

    Coming down from Cheshire was no issue (4hrs 20 mins) apart from stupid M1 average speed cameras until we were 5 miles from Dover where because of "stacking the trucks" it took us two hours to get into the port. We were therefore an hour and half late on the other side meaning a spirited journey to the Vendee - 73mph average including stops for peage, fuel and tea!!

    Coming back was a little better although took an hour to check in through immigration.

    I said I would not do that route again as for only a week away it puts added pressure on the journey route and stress. We did the route because it was £120 return against £500 Portsmouth - Caen for a day crossing. Might even do Hull - Zeebrugge as driving South is a nightmare at the best of times.
     
  9. Zed
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    Zed

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    We're using the Eurotunnel for our October half term holiday. Please, please, please let it be back to some sort of normality by then. May have to consider ferries for future trips though October isn't the best time weather wise. Damned if you do, damned if you don't me thinks. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Merc? No. BM!
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    Merc? No. BM! WARLORD Site Supporter

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    If you're worried about rough seas, the ships are now equipped with stabilisers that are used during heavy weather and in my experience they do a very good job.

    Not sure if every Ferry Company or ship uses them though.
     
  11. Cooky
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    Cooky Site Supporter

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    I use the Hull - Zeebrugge crossing a couple of times a year and the two ships P and O use both have stabilisers, and as you said they do a very good job.
     
  12. bishbosh
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    bishbosh WARLORD Site Supporter

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    We did Dover to Calais as part of our German roadtrip in late July early August. Aside from a 2 hour delay queuing to get into the port we were lucky. Only a day after we sailed, French militants burned tyres on the main road out of the Calais port!
     
  13. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Situation as at 08.00 on Friday 4th September:

    The first day for quite a while that all carriers (including Eurotunnel) report "All services running on time and with space available."

    I hope it continues like this.

    Lots of people apparently wary of delays on the Do-Ca and Ca-Do route have booked via Dunkirk instead.

    This has resulted in Dunkirk being over-subscribed with a check-in delay of 2 hours.
     
  14. Olli
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    Olli

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    Went from Dover to Calais on P&O during the night from 28th to 29th August without trouble. Booked to return next Saturday night 12th and have got my fixed P&O booking but also a flexi DFDS from Dunkirk which is fully refundable up to 48 hours before. I just keep having a look, but not overly worried
     
  15. verysideways
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    verysideways

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    I did FO(lkestone)CA(lais) on the Eurotunnel on August 21st, no issues.
    Returned CAFO on bank holiday Monday, 31st August, no issues.

    I'm off again tomorrow morning FOCA, hoping to have a clear run. Coming back Santander-Portsmouth in a week, so hoping for calm Bay of Biscay too!
     
  16. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Tuesday 8th September.

    Now we have good news and bad news.

    Everything seems to be running fine - at the moment.

    P&O are operating as normal with 23 sailings a day (each way)

    DFDS Dover/Calais, Dover/Dunkirk and also Newhaven/Dieppe are also running as normal - approx 50 sailings a day in total on those three routes.

    The two ex-Sea France/ex-MyFerryLink ships - the Berlioz and the Rodin now belong to DFDS but have not yet been put into service. I reckon they will simply be getting rid of the graffiti and painting on new logos.

    The Tunnel too is running to schedule with 2 departures an hour.

    So what's the bad news?

    More trouble lies ahead if the former MyFerryLink workers don't get their back-pay (from July 1st to September 30th) plus redundancy payments.

    Their union (Syndicat Maritime Nord) is threatening renewed disruption starting 1st October if their demands (which they say are legal entitlements) are not forthcoming.

    Mrs S and I are heading out in exactly two weeks so should have no problems on the outbound journey.

    Fingers are crossed for the return leg mid to late October.
     
  17. Spuffington
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    Spuffington Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    They should be lucky they still have jobs! :mad:
     
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  18. bishbosh
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    bishbosh WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I agree!
     
  19. Singvogel
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    Singvogel Moderator WARLORD Site Supporter

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    I forgot to mention the other problematic group(s) - not just the militant French and Belge farmers - but all EU farmers.

    Spurred on by the French farmers tractor joy-ride to Paris last week and the resulting chaos, the Belgium dairy farmers have visited Brussels. They had farmer support from all over the EU, but I don't think there were actually any tractors that had travelled from the likes if Finland or Greece.

    There they set fire to bales of straw and hosed down several EU admin and Belgium government building with milk.

    The Belgian riot police - that's the guys with their trousers tucked in their boots (always a dead give-away) responded with water cannons.

    You couldn't make this up could you?
     
  20. Olli
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    Olli

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    Starting from Germany Saturday afternoon. I am lucky with my route that I don't have to pass anywhere where those happenings take place. (says he with his fingers crossed)
     

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