getting to France/Holland

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
mercalia
Posts: 14578
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

getting to France/Holland

Postby mercalia » 8 Mar 2016, 10:08pm

Every one now seems use the channel tunnel or flies with the hassle of packing your bike. do any here still use the ferry and I assume u dont need to undo any bit of the bike?

ChrisF
Posts: 475
Joined: 22 Mar 2014, 7:34pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby ChrisF » 8 Mar 2016, 10:42pm

I used the ferry from Dover to Dunkerque last year, very easy and no dismantling. There were other bikes including one with a trailer. Also there's a good fast train (that takes bikes) to Dover from St Pancras.
Chris F, Cornwall

MrsHJ
Posts: 773
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby MrsHJ » 8 Mar 2016, 10:49pm

Yep, I use the ferry. Last used in 2014. Blissfully low key, cycle on, cycle off (although it's less fun than it used to be as you have to dismount and walk the last bit on due to the risk of slipping on the metal loading ramp). There is a boat and some rope and that's about it. They were starting to get a bit tetchy about the sheer volume of bikes using the crossing ( well get more bits of rope I say) and I have to admit there were many more bikes than when I toured pre kids. Admittedly 4 of the bikes were our family but there must have been twenty plus.

andymiller
Posts: 1716
Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby andymiller » 9 Mar 2016, 7:47am

A lot depends on where you live, but if you live in say Southern England and you want to tour in Britanny and Normandy then the ferry is hard to beat. The ferry from Harwich looks like a decent bet - although the sailing times aren't particularly convenient.

The Mediterranean ferries are also worth thinking about for longer tours eg mainland to Corsica, then Sardegna, and on to Sicilia (and you could go on to Tangiers or Malta).

FarOeuf
Posts: 441
Joined: 14 Jan 2014, 9:31pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby FarOeuf » 9 Mar 2016, 7:52am

I mostly use the ferries (Newcastle/Amsterdam). your bike is simply lashed (just to stop it falling over) to a railing on the side of the deck, so if you want to protect your paintwork wrap your jacket or something around the strap/frame.
Last edited by FarOeuf on 9 Mar 2016, 7:56am, edited 1 time in total.

FarOeuf
Posts: 441
Joined: 14 Jan 2014, 9:31pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby FarOeuf » 9 Mar 2016, 7:54am

andymiller wrote:The Mediterranean ferries are also worth thinking about for longer tours eg mainland to Corsica, then Sardegna, and on to Sicilia (and you could go on to Tangiers or Malta).


In addition, you can't take the bike on the Almeria/Nador ferry but you can on the Motril/Nador. I used that one (and the Tangiers catamaran coming home) and both were excellent.

iviehoff
Posts: 2411
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby iviehoff » 9 Mar 2016, 9:19am

quilkin wrote:I used the ferry from Dover to Dunkerque last year, very easy and no dismantling. There were other bikes including one with a trailer. Also there's a good fast train (that takes bikes) to Dover from St Pancras.

But you'll have to cycle from Folkestone to Dover if you want to go there in the short term. The sea wall the railway is built on between F & D collapsed in heavy seas over Christmas. I think they said it would take about 6 months to rebuild it.

All 3 ferry services to the Netherlands (from Newcastle, Hull and Harwich) are fine with a bike, ride on service. There's one or two of the ferries to France which aren't, but I forget which ones.

Silverdorking
Posts: 61
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 8:04pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby Silverdorking » 9 Mar 2016, 9:25am

Any experience of Brittany Ferries to St Malo? Also wondered whether there is cost benefit to early booking or should one retain flexibility and pay at travel time. (Never very confident that I'm going to retain by schedule when touring!)

beardy
Posts: 3382
Joined: 23 Feb 2010, 4:10pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby beardy » 9 Mar 2016, 9:31am

or should one retain flexibility and pay at travel time


I made that mistake last year on Dover-Calais (DFDS) £19 booked on line, £29 buying a ticket at the terminal.
I guess that if I had smartphone I could have booked the ticket in the reception and then collected it at the counter?

andymiller
Posts: 1716
Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby andymiller » 9 Mar 2016, 10:45am

FarOeuf wrote:
andymiller wrote:The Mediterranean ferries are also worth thinking about for longer tours eg mainland to Corsica, then Sardegna, and on to Sicilia (and you could go on to Tangiers or Malta).


In addition, you can't take the bike on the Almeria/Nador ferry but you can on the Motril/Nador. I used that one (and the Tangiers catamaran coming home) and both were excellent.


Yes the possibilities are endless (eg Italy to Croatia, Spain to Italy etc etc).

And so far no one has mentioned the ferry to Santander.

MartinBrice
Posts: 454
Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 9:57am

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby MartinBrice » 9 Mar 2016, 11:10am

iviehoff wrote:
quilkin wrote:I used the ferry from Dover to Dunkerque last year, very easy and no dismantling. There were other bikes including one with a trailer. Also there's a good fast train (that takes bikes) to Dover from St Pancras.

But you'll have to cycle from Folkestone to Dover if you want to go there in the short term

you can go via Canterbury - but you need to ride from Canterbury East to Canterbury West - but there is a line to Dover from Canterbury so you needn'y ride over the White Cliffs of Dover.

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 6903
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby Sweep » 9 Mar 2016, 12:20pm

andymiller wrote:
The Mediterranean ferries are also worth thinking about for longer tours eg mainland to Corsica, then Sardegna, and on to Sicilia (and you could go on to Tangiers or Malta).


Have seen touring cyclists getting on to the ferry in Cagliari for Trapani or Palermo. You can fly. In no time. But why would you want to? Threre were also regular weekly sailings to Tunisia but not sure if there still are. There were also summer sailings between Spain and Sardinia. Again, haven't checked lately. Fond memories of taking the ferry out of Genova - I'd recommend it to anyone with the city and the howling cars on the flyover rising up from the docks.
Sweep

PH
Posts: 9973
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby PH » 9 Mar 2016, 2:06pm

I like the ferry, but if you're looking for a fast, cheap way of getting to France without dismantling your bike, there's also a Eurotunnel option
http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller- ... /bicycles/

ossie
Posts: 1168
Joined: 15 Apr 2011, 7:52pm

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby ossie » 9 Mar 2016, 5:59pm

Ive done Stena Line from Harwich to The Hook of Holland and it was very good...£60 for a cabin(which is compulsory) overnight and it drops you straight onto the Eurovelo 15. I cycled to Harwich but the station is next to the port.

Also done Condor Ferries from Poole / St Malo / Jersey / Guernsey...fast / quick and efficient and bikes are free.

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 2161
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: getting to France/Holland

Postby Tigerbiten » 9 Mar 2016, 6:50pm

I have to get a ferry as my bent trike-trailer combo is to big/heavy/expensive to go on a plane/train/bus.
I normally book online a couple of days before I turn up a the port for the continent and back. Otherwise I just turn up.
Even though my combo is twice the length and twice the width of a DF bike, I'm still charged the same rate as a standard bike ....... :D