Calais Ville to Boulogne 22nd Oct.

Argyle 1980

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Am looking at doing a foot pax day trip on ferry on Friday 22nd leaving Dover on 0915 sailing and returning from Calais on 1830 sailing. I had a quick look on SNCF and trainline sites and found times that work for a quick two hour visit to Boulogne and still get back within P&Os ridiculous 90 minutes check in time.
I was quoted £16ish on the Trainline, which for an advance ticket for a 25 minute E/W return journey seems very excessive. I'm still undecided on whether to do the Boulogne trip so can anyone tell me if that or a similar fare is still obtainable on the day from the ticket office at Calais please? Also does anyone know if there's any reservation restrictions etc or if you can just board the trains unbooked?

Thanks.
 
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TER trains aren't normally reservable, so you could just buy on the day. The journeys are €8.80 each way (Calais Ville - Boulogne Ville), this seems in line with what you were quoted.
 

Alfonso

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I don't think there are any cheap advance fares for this journey, but more importantly are you sure that foot passengers are being carried on the ferries again yet, and whether reasonably priced day trips are available? If you want to see Boulogne proper rather than railway stuff, then get off a Boulogne tinteleries, which is near the old walled town and not far from the modern town, and pretty much nearer everything non-railway/port/industrial heritage in Boulogne
 
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I don't think there are any cheap advance fares for this journey
In theory there are occasional Prix Cassés, this seems to be a new thing, there were no cheap fares on local trains before. Calais - Boulogne could be as low as €2, but just try finding one!

but more importantly are you sure that foot passengers are being carried on the ferries again yet
From October, says P&O.

If you want to see Boulogne proper rather than railway stuff, then get off a Boulogne tinteleries,
That's a very good point. Everything good is near Tintelleries, and it's slightly cheaper.

Do not underestimate the walking distance between the port and Calais-Ville station.
Since I was last there, a new, free bus has started, the Balad'in. That page says it's 20 minutes on foot, which feels a bit optimistic to me.
 

Ediswan

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Since I was last there, a new, free bus has started, the Balad'in. That page says it's 20 minutes on foot, which feels a bit optimistic to me.
There is a new (additional) ferry terminal at Calais, further from the city entre. I can't find a date for when passenger ferries will start to use it, nor which ferries will do so. Nor can I find details of what pedestrian access will be. Hopefully the free bus will oblige.

https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/newly-revamped-port-of-calais-opens-in-france/
 

Argyle 1980

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Do not underestimate the walking distance between the port and Calais-Ville station.
Use to regularly walk to and from terminal to Place D'Armes in about 20/25 mins so station is only 5 mins further on.
I don't think there are any cheap advance fares for this journey, but more importantly are you sure that foot passengers are being carried on the ferries again yet, and whether reasonably priced day trips are available? If you want to see Boulogne proper rather than railway stuff, then get off a Boulogne tinteleries, which is near the old walled town and not far from the modern town, and pretty much nearer everything non-railway/port/industrial heritage in Boulogne
They definitely sold me a foot passenger ticket. Think it was £9 each way. Just curious to see how much Boulogne has changed from my days working for Hoverspeed.

Thanks for the ticketing heads up. I'll probably just make a spare of moment decision after I arrive if it's worth going down to Boulogne for a couple hours.
 

Alfonso

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Use to regularly walk to and from terminal to Place D'Armes in about 20/25 mins so station is only 5 mins further on.

They definitely sold me a foot passenger ticket. Think it was £9 each way. Just curious to see how much Boulogne has changed from my days working for Hoverspeed.

Thanks for the ticketing heads up. I'll probably just make a spare of moment decision after I arrive if it's worth going down to Boulogne for a couple hours.
Great to hear foot passengers are back!
 
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Aylesbury
Am looking at doing a foot pax day trip on ferry on Friday 22nd leaving Dover on 0915 sailing and returning from Calais on 1830 sailing. I had a quick look on SNCF and trainline sites and found times that work for a quick two hour visit to Boulogne and still get back within P&Os ridiculous 90 minutes check in time.
I was quoted £16ish on the Trainline, which for an advance ticket for a 25 minute E/W return journey seems very excessive. I'm still undecided on whether to do the Boulogne trip so can anyone tell me if that or a similar fare is still obtainable on the day from the ticket office at Calais please? Also does anyone know if there's any reservation restrictions etc or if you can just board the trains unbooked?

Thanks.
Remember that foot passengers are only able to travel on a very limited number of journeys. It is only about four journeys a day in each direction and nothing in the evenings and nights and early mornings. Even during the middle of the day only certain journeys are taking foot passengers. Also only P&O take foot passengers with DFDS and Irish Ferries not taking them at all.

So it is still pretty useless and you will have to plan your journey very carefully and only get a very limited time in France before going back. I really think P&O are making travelling as a foot passenger as difficult as possible on purpose so that hardly any foot passengers will use it and then they can withdraw the foot passenger service entirely as they can say hardly anyone used it.

One way to get around the foot passenger restrictions is to bring a bicycle with you and then you can travel on any ferry you want at any time of the day and can use whatever ferry company you want.

As for the TER train i would recommend just buying your ticket on the day at the station as there is no discount for booking online. Plus using the Trainline site that you mentioned charges booking fees. SNCF do not seem to do Return tickets so you just have to buy two EUR8.80 Single tickets. There are no reservations on any TER trains luckily.

As for other places to visit there is also Dunkirk which is a similar price of EUR9.50 Single or you could also visit Lille but that is EUR19.90 Single so it is quite a bit more expensive. Boulogne is a nice place to visit though so your original idea sounds good.
 

Argyle 1980

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Remember that foot passengers are only able to travel on a very limited number of journeys. It is only about four journeys a day in each direction and nothing in the evenings and nights and early mornings. Even during the middle of the day only certain journeys are taking foot passengers. Also only P&O take foot passengers with DFDS and Irish Ferries not taking them at all.

So it is still pretty useless and you will have to plan your journey very carefully and only get a very limited time in France before going back. I really think P&O are making travelling as a foot passenger as difficult as possible on purpose so that hardly any foot passengers will use it and then they can withdraw the foot passenger service entirely as they can say hardly anyone used it.

One way to get around the foot passenger restrictions is to bring a bicycle with you and then you can travel on any ferry you want at any time of the day and can use whatever ferry company you want.

As for the TER train i would recommend just buying your ticket on the day at the station as there is no discount for booking online. Plus using the Trainline site that you mentioned charges booking fees. SNCF do not seem to do Return tickets so you just have to buy two EUR8.80 Single tickets. There are no reservations on any TER trains luckily.

As for other places to visit there is also Dunkirk which is a similar price of EUR9.50 Single or you could also visit Lille but that is EUR19.90 Single so it is quite a bit more expensive. Boulogne is a nice place to visit though so your original idea sounds good.
Yes the 0915 morning sailing is earliest out and 1830 latest return crossing back. The stumbling block is the excessive 90 minute check-in I've just learned about which will deter anyone any further afield from East Kent. Am staying in Folkestone Hotel for Thursday to Monday so times work OK for me, even with the 90 minute check in.
I think the return of duty free was probably a driving factor in P&Os rationale to resume the foot pax service. Note all the foot pax services are limited to the Spirit of Britain/France so this is also a good indicator of that rationale.
I did actually wany to head up to Dunkirk but the train times were less favourable. Going to save that for an over night stay there, hopefully before Christmas.
 
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kieron

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There's a place in Maine called Calais which has a harbour. The headline tells you that they're not talking about that.
 

smsm1

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There is a new (additional) ferry terminal at Calais, further from the city entre. I can't find a date for when passenger ferries will start to use it, nor which ferries will do so. Nor can I find details of what pedestrian access will be. Hopefully the free bus will oblige.

https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/newly-revamped-port-of-calais-opens-in-france/

Seems the extension is further away so will be further to walk of there are any walking facilities.

I wonder what the cycling in and out of the new pet will be like?
 

AndrewE

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Seems the extension is further away so will be further to walk of there are any walking facilities.

I wonder what the cycling in and out of the new port will be like?
Go for it! If only for the extra flexibility in crossings it gives you. The easier/quicker exit from the port will be welcome, and you will be making the point that cycle tourists need to be accommodated. (Plus you can get a lot more duty-free in panniers than carrying it on your back.)
I have gone through Harwich, Weymouth, Fishguard and Holyhead ports with a bike and it is much more interesting than driving...
 

Ediswan

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I wonder what the cycling in and out of the new pet will be like?
No idea, but don't expect anybody to tell you in advance what it will be. When I did Dover-Calais by bike, on arrival, there was a 'follow me' van to the exit, avoiding the elevated roads and all the motor vehicles. Excellent. The problem was that the van was a bit late arriving, and there had been no mention that it existed, nor any effort get cyclists to stop and wait for it. A larger group had headed straight for the ramp and had to be shouted at to come back.

I have gone through Harwich, Weymouth, Fishguard and Holyhead ports with a bike and it is much more interesting than driving...
Agreed. For one thing, the ferry crews, who have to make sure the bikes are secure, seem to treat you as a human being rather than cargo.
 

AndrewE

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Agreed. For one thing, the ferry crews, who have to make sure the bikes are secure, seem to treat you as a human being rather than cargo.
I got the impression that you were so vulnerable that they were watching out to make sure you didn't get squashed by the other traffic! Anyway it was good fun, a bit like using the passenger coaches on the mail trains of old, something totally out of the ordinary and memorable for that reason alone. Also like using a train ferry, where once on the ship you get down off the rail coach, traipse across the deck and tracks to the saloon, restaurant or bar - and then vv before being shunted off onto dry land again.

One of my jobs involved work on some special freight trains (which meant having brake van and some front- and then rear-cab rides) from about 35 to 20 years ago. What a privilege!
 

BayPaul

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I got the impression that you were so vulnerable that they were watching out to make sure you didn't get squashed by the other traffic! Anyway it was good fun, a bit like using the passenger coaches on the mail trains of old, something totally out of the ordinary and memorable for that reason alone. Also like using a train ferry, where once on the ship you get down off the rail coach, traipse across the deck and tracks to the saloon, restaurant or bar - and then vv before being shunted off onto dry land again.

One of my jobs involved work on some special freight trains (which meant having brake van and some front- and then rear-cab rides) from about 35 to 20 years ago. What a privilege!
As a former loading officer on a ferry, I can absolutely confirm that cyclists are watched carefully solely to make sure they go where they are supposed to, and don't get near the important traffic which might squish them!
 

AndrewE

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As a former loading officer on a ferry, I can absolutely confirm that cyclists are watched carefully solely to make sure they go where they are supposed to, and don't get near the important traffic which might squish them!
I think I was aware that we weren't important commercially, but it was nice to have special access and insight into what would usually only be motor vehicle areas (especially when we only had a free pass and a port tax ticket!)
It was "fun" trying to find our routes at classic rail (and then combined rail and car-ferry) ports while riding heavily-loaded bikes from the station platform back to the car ramps to get on board - and before the ferry departed. One time at Holyhead our bikes were just craned with hooks under the cross-bars from the dockside/platform up onto the ship's deck! I don't remember how we got off at Dun Laoighire...
 

BayPaul

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I think I was aware that we weren't important commercially, but it was nice to have special access and insight into what would usually only be motor vehicle areas (especially when we only had a free pass and a port tax ticket!)
It was "fun" trying to find our routes at classic rail (and then combined rail and car-ferry) ports while riding heavily-loaded bikes from the station platform back to the car ramps to get on board - and before the ferry departed. One time at Holyhead our bikes were just craned with hooks under the cross-bars from the dockside/platform up onto the ship's deck! I don't remember how we got off at Dun Laoighire...
I don't blame you for enjoying it - cyclists probably get the best insight into how the ferry operates, as you are seeing the car decks at slower speed and with better all round visibility than those in motor vehicles!
 

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