P&O Ferries, Dover to Calais
Value for money - crossing for a nine meter motorhome
Self service food - hot and tasty, a good portion with a real character serving on!
Adds to the holiday experience
Some great value crossings available without having to go at silly o’clock! Enjoy!
( votes)Regular readers will know that we usually use the Channel Tunnel for our European trips, but the tunnel seems to be costing more each trip, albeit with payment in Tesco coupons. There comes a point when the Tesco vouchers are better used elsewhere. For example, vouchers are worth four times face value in certain restaurants. P&O Ferries have some excellent fares available, from £42 single for a Kon-tiki sized ‘van. As a result, this trip was “over the top” rather than “underneath!”
For this particular comparison, based on the same days, dates and approximate time of travel (to within one hour), the return tunnel fare was almost £200, whilst the return crossing with P&O Ferries came in at £90. So, we saved the Tesco vouchers for use elsewhere and travelled with P&O Ferries for this trip.
Once the motor home was safely on board, we headed straight to the self-service restaurant. There was a good selection of hot meals available. We had been on the road almost nine hours, with delays on the M25 and also a queue of sorts on the M2. Consequently, we were more than ready for steak and ale pie, chips, veg and gravy! Try to get that at the Channel Tunnel!
After eating, we enjoyed a glass of complimentary bubbly in the Club Lounge. Noting that I was the driver, I was offered a soft drink, but opted for a half shot of champagne. As part of the Club Lounge upgrade, we enjoyed complimentary biscuits and nibbles, served with a rather nice, good quality hot coffee.
After unwinding and taking a read of the ‘paper, it was time to go shop, shop, shopping! There were some very good wine deals on board, we bought a selection of boxed wines, the equivalent of eight bottles for just £18.
It’s fair to say I’m a fan of ferry travel. Let’s look at the pros and cons when comparing the ferry to the tunnel. By way of pros…
Space to stretch out and relax
Time for a meal
Enjoy some shopping opportunities
Plenty of toilet facilities
Take in a stroll on the deck for some fresh air
Crossing time of ninety minutes
Foreign exchange on board
WiFi on board (charge paid)
As for the cons, I can’t think of one. In addition to this sailing, we have bookings later in the year, again with P&O Ferries. We were overseas at the time of making those bookings, and we paid in euro. Each crossing was 60.60 euro each way, which was about £44 at the exchange rate at the time. They were all booked well in advance to attract these fares, but even though we don’t always know where we are going, we do know when we are going!
It could be argued that the tunnel is quicker. Yes, it is quicker from stop to start, but, when we use the tunnel, we then have to stop to purchase wine, stop for a meal etc where as on the ship, all these activities are going on whilst on the move, so in a strange way, I think the ship is quicker overall than the tunnel.
P&O Ferries video
The video above shows some footage of the Club Lounge and also the large shopping area.
We sailed on the Pride of Canterbury, one of five ships operating on the Dover – Calais route. Two of these ships are new, the Spirit of Britain and the Spirit of France, which we might encounter on our return leg. You can check prices and timetables, and book on-line HERE!!
Last year, we had breakfast on board the “Pride of Kent” in the waiter service restaurant, the Brasserie – pics of the lovely fry up are here