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Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 7:44am
by roberts8
Years ago when wandering around in Europe I used to just turn up without booking. I am looking at a non planned wander so could use any of the French ports. Is it still easy to just turn up and pay or am I getting nervous in old age?

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 8:00am
by chesterpete
Given the current climate you would be well advised to check with operators before turning up.

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 8:19am
by nirakaro
Pre-Covid, I've taken a bike by ferry from Dover, Portsmouth, Newhaven, Calais, Dieppe, Ouistreham, Hull, Patras. Plus a few river crossings of the Seine, Rhine, Danube. Never booked, never had a problem.

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 10:12am
by simonhill
The ones I've been to in last few years, Dunkirk and Caen have offices at the terminal where you can buy a ticket. I think it may be cheaper to buy in advance , which I did on my phone a couple of hours before getting to the port at Caen. Year before bought ticket at Dunkirk port office.

As I posted on another thread, it's sometimes cheaper to book one of the company's national website rather than another (French v British).

As said before, all bets are off in the current situation so you need to check. Also see post on Brittany Ferries not (??) allowing bikes.

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 10:16am
by Cyril Haearn
Could be exciting, you might not get on at all, or you might get a very good price
Best to have a Plan B

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 11:02am
by roberts8
Thanks for the input. I was thinking September as I hope by then BF are back to taking bikes and foot passengers.

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 11:09am
by bikepacker
The only one I ever pre-booked on was Plymouth to Santander, this was only because I wanted a cabin. All the others I have just turned up and brought a ticket at the port.

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 12:03pm
by mercalia
Cyril Haearn wrote:Could be exciting, you might not get on at all, or you might get a very good price
Best to have a Plan B


ie the phone numbers of the migrant traffickers with their rubber dinghys :wink:

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 12:11pm
by RobinS
An alternative to just turning up we have used is to book by smartphone a short while before wanting to travel - usually from 2 days down to 2 hours in advance. Pre-booked crossings even if booked 2 hours in advance are normally cheaper than just turning up.