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No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

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Colorado
posts: 2
No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

Looks like directferries.co.uk website has been updated but just to save anyone else the hassle....

The DFDS ferry that goes from Dunkirk to Dover does NOT take foot passengers.

We had busted our butts to get from Dunkirk to the Dunkirk ferry terminal which, despite its name, is not close to Dunkirk. Not close if you are on foot anyway. We got bad information at the train station and the tourist information in Dunkirk and took the A bus to Loon Plage. A nice old guy on the bus directed us to hop off at Maison Blanche, though he shook his head and said "C'est impossible" about the walk to the ferry terminal. We hoofed it to the terminal in an hour with no luck hitching a ride. When we arrived, we were told that they do not take foot passengers. They would take us if we had bicycles, but not without. Even though the website at the time offered the option of "No vehicle" when getting a quote, it never said "No vehicle" meant you have to have a bicycle. (When I mentioned that to one of the employees, she disinterestedly said she'd heard that before from other people... merci beaucoup). We tried unsuccessfully to hitch a ride in some other people's cars but there weren't many around as the one ferry had just left. We gave up and took a cab to Calais where P&O Ferries does take foot passengers. This series of missteps ended up being a significant pain in the butt, not to mention wallet. So, just a heads up to anyone traveling without a car or bicycle, take the bus in Dunkirk that goes to Calais and catch a ferry from there. Happy sailing!

8 replies to this topic
England
posts: 2,676
reviews: 20
1. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

You've clearly had a terrible time getting across the Channel, and I'm glad you got there in the end. I've heard of people offering money to passing cyclists to buy their bicycles, so that they could get on the DFDS ferry from Dunkerque to Calais ...

I've not said this before on the Dunkerque forum but on several other forums: P&O Ferries is the only ferry company into/from Dover that allows foot passengers, and they operate between Calais and Dover (not between Dunkerque and Dover).

Also, to add to your advice for the benefit of future travellers and readers of this thread, even on P&O foot passengers are accepted only during daylight hours.

poferries.com/tourist/content/pages/template…

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
posts: 8,528
reviews: 21
2. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

We travelled back on the Dunkerque-Dover ferry last weekend in our own car. We had prebooked to include 2 passengers & were asked at check in to confirm there were two of us in the car. We saw a few cars (not UK plates) being pulled aside for checks on "contents" (may have been goods or people). I am not sure what would have happened had we picked up a couple of people who had arrived at the terminal hoping to cross on foot. Perhaps we would have been denied boarding, or would we have just had to tell our itinerant passengers "sorry" & leave them behind? Would be worth knowing the answer to this in case a driver does offer a lift, or a potential foot passenger sees it as a possible route. Of course they could not be included on a pre-booking, but if a car is just turning up on spec then as long as everyone is in the car before purchasing tickets I suppose it would not matter.

Personally I would be very averse to carrying strangers across borders - while I am sure most are perfectly honest travellers there is always the chance you end up with a drug smuggler or whatever in your car which could land you in trouble also!

What a horrible journey for the OP!

Edited: 6:10 am, September 24, 2013
Canterbury, United...
posts: 3
reviews: 24
3. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

So DFDS should highlight the fact that they don' t take Foot Passengers on all advertising AND Booking Forms. Simples.

Rye, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye
posts: 4,243
reviews: 44
4. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

I thought they did? When I looked ages ago you couldn't book as one.

London
posts: 11,093
reviews: 37
5. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

I get the impression the OP didn't check the detail but merely assumed they could just arrive in Dunkerque and hop on a ferry.

El Paso, Texas
posts: 114
reviews: 458
6. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

This is great information, thank you all. I've desperately been trying to work out an itinerary for myself & my 83-year old mother 11-14JUN2014, with the focus being Normandy/American Cemetary. We'll see the White Cliffs of Dover from Calais, NOT Dunkirk!

Incidentally, early JUNE 2004, my family (wife, daughter, son) & I flew overseas from LAX to DUB. I had planned for us to catch a quick ferry over to Liverpool--some of us are still caught in Beatlemania!--but I hadn't figured on the Bank Holiday. We walked a LONG way until finding a ferry that would take us foot passengers over. Then, one of the engines of the ferry went bad, we ended up at Holyhead, missing the last train...! We finally arrived at the hostel by midnight. All the same, it was great! TA has helped me along the way, past, present, and future. Thanks to all TA contributors.

Rye, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Dover, Rye
posts: 4,243
reviews: 44
7. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

Sounds a bit of a nightmare you had in regards to coming from Ireland. I think when I came back from Ireland last time apparently one of the engines wasn't working fully, or so I read on the internet when I came back.

There is a bank holiday this weekend too.

What about starting your question on a new thread? :)

8. Re: No foot passengers on Dunkirk/Dunkerque-Dover ferry

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