Ferries without pre booking

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
roberts8
Posts: 423
Joined: 20 May 2011, 9:14pm
Location: Surrey

Ferries without pre booking

Postby roberts8 » 28 Jun 2020, 7:44am

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?

chesterpete
Posts: 133
Joined: 9 Mar 2010, 3:43pm

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby chesterpete » 28 Jun 2020, 8:00am

Given the current climate you would be well advised to check with operators before turning up.

nirakaro
Posts: 1226
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby nirakaro » 28 Jun 2020, 8:19am

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.

simonhill
Posts: 3339
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby simonhill » 28 Jun 2020, 10:12am

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.

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14917
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby Cyril Haearn » 28 Jun 2020, 10:16am

Could be exciting, you might not get on at all, or you might get a very good price
Best to have a Plan B
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roberts8
Posts: 423
Joined: 20 May 2011, 9:14pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby roberts8 » 28 Jun 2020, 11:02am

Thanks for the input. I was thinking September as I hope by then BF are back to taking bikes and foot passengers.

bikepacker
Posts: 2094
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:08pm
Location: Worcestershire
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Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby bikepacker » 28 Jun 2020, 11:09am

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.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

mercalia
Posts: 14578
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby mercalia » 28 Jun 2020, 12:03pm

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:

RobinS
Posts: 162
Joined: 9 Apr 2015, 10:01am

Re: Ferries without pre booking

Postby RobinS » 28 Jun 2020, 12:11pm

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.