Day out from Ashford to Boulogne

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by TheJRB, 31 Mar 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TheJRB

    TheJRB Established Member

    Messages:
    1,135
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Hi,


    I've just received my passport after a long winded process including an interview! :lol:

    Now I'm keen to make use of it. My grandfather and I have talked about taking a day out to Boulogne by train, ferry and train. I understand the fares going this way are much more reasonable (appears to be £14.70 Ashford to Calais return with a railcard) than trying to go via Eurostar when heading to Calais and Boulogne. I do realise the problem with lengthy waits owing to the ferries though!

    My rough plan is as follows and would probably be on a Saturday:

    Code:
    Ashford International		07:15
    Dover Priory		07:41	07:50
    Port of Dover		07:55	09:25
    Port of Calais		11:55	12:20
    Calais-Ville		12:30	13:09
    Boulogne-Tintelleries	13:44	
    		
    Boulogne-Tintelleries		16:53
    Calais-Ville		17:24	17:55
    Port of Calais		18:05	19:55
    Port of Dover		20:25	20:35
    Dover Priory		20:40	20:49
    Ashford International	21:14	
    
    I do however have a couple of questions and worries that I'm hoping those with more experience will be able to address.

    1. Are P&O very strict about foot passengers checking in 45 minutes before sailing? Would turning up any later result in having to wait for the next sailing?
    2. Are there still buses from the port at Calais to Calais Ville station? Is the timetable still as it was last year?
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

    Messages:
    2,294
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2015
    I do not want to get too personal, but an interview. Were they afraid that you were going to the Middle East. Hope for you that there is still bustransportation in France, because the harbo(u)r in Calais is large.
     
  4. steevp

    steevp Member

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2012
    An interview is common these days for a first passport - my son also had one last year.

    I can't see a bus service shown on the plan that serves the port itself

    http://www.calais.fr/bus/index_std.htm

    though there are plenty of other sites that suggest that there is a bus shuttle. A taxi shouldn't cost the earth if all else fails.
     
    Last edited: 31 Mar 2015
  5. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    22 Feb 2014
    Passengers are conveyed by bus from terminal to boat at both Dover and Calais, and vice versa. Miss the bus and you wait for the next ferry (or the next day if it is the last ferry that conveys foot passengers). You may get away with less than 45 mins. (as usually foot passenger traffic is very light), but I wouldn't bank on it! The reason for not carrying foot passengers at night is to save having to crew the buses and the foot passenger terminal, for what has become a trickle of passengers.
     
    Last edited: 31 Mar 2015
  6. Groningen

    Groningen Established Member

    Messages:
    2,294
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2015
    10 years ago i decided to go walking from the harbor of Dover to the railwaystation. Apparently i went to South Military Road, Centre Road and North Military Road. Brrrrrr! Horrible mistake!
     
  7. Mike395

    Mike395 Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    23 May 2009
    Location:
    Bedford
    If you did want to walk from the port to Calais Ville station, it's a brisk 40minute walk into, then through, the town centre. There are buses, but they are infrequent and won't wait if the ferry's late for any reason.

    Have fun though - I did this last year and had an enjoyable day out :D
     
  8. TheJRB

    TheJRB Established Member

    Messages:
    1,135
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Indeed. I wasn't aware until I applied that it was commonplace but it is. Quite a laid back affair taken out at my nearest passport office in Maidstone by video link to Birmingham!

    Yes. I'll certainly be considering taxis if the bus isn't apparent.

    All makes sense I suppose. Just a shame it isn't as "turn up and go" as the train is from Ashford.

    Dover never seems to be particularly warm or welcoming! :lol:

    I don't think my grandad could walk it. I think it'll either be the bus or taxi.

    Thanks. I'm looking forward to it even if it is a bit slow!
     
  9. Sir Felix Pole

    Sir Felix Pole Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    21 Oct 2012
    Location:
    Wilmslow
    The dedicated P&O shuttle bus was between Dover Priory and the Eastern Docks was discontinued at the end of August last year - it is a taxi or miserable walk I'm afraid. They are quite strict with the check-in times as a bus is used to convey foot passengers from the ferry terminal through immigration along the quays to the ship - it departs promptly once everybody has loaded.
    The bus from Calais Maritime to Ville still operates as per the times you have according to the latest 'European Rail Timetable' (former 'Thomas Cook TT').

    Some more info:-

    http://www.seat61.com/London-Paris-ferry.htm#.VRuy0PnF-So
     
  10. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

    Messages:
    8,831
    Joined:
    12 Sep 2013
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    As has been said elsewhere, there is no longer a bus from Priory to the port. It'll be a walk or a taxi- the taxi will cost about a fiver, and I'd highly recommend it over walking. P&O are strict about check-in times and will make you wait.

    At Calais, there is a shuttle bus, it stops right outside the doors to the ferry terminal, the fare is EUR2 IIRC. It's about a 30-40 minute walk to Calais Ville station, about 50 minutes to the main part of the town centre.

    I did it last summer, you'll enjoy it. If you can, try and get sailings with either of the Pride class ferries, they're lovely.
     
  11. PhilipF

    PhilipF Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    22 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Bradford-on-Avon
    We traveled by rail from Bradford-on-Avon to Dover last year. We walked from the station to the Port. We'd booked a hotel in Calais, but there was no bus, so a fellow passenger got us a Taxi.

    Easy to book in for the crossing, no fuss at all.

    Don't intend to use this crossing ever again though. Far too expensive for us foot passengers. Will have to investigate other crossings. Pretty certain Poole/Cherbourg would be cheaper, main problem only one early crossing which would mean sleeping in Poole.
    Should be cheaper options than Dover/Calais route, just requires handy rail terminals either side :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Apr 2015
  12. 47513 Severn

    47513 Severn Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    25 Oct 2012
    How much did you pay? I don't think I've ever paid more than £10 which seems reasonable. That was booking in advance though, paying at the port can be expensive. It can't compare with Stena Hoek to Harwich where I once had to pay a 35 euro surcharge to book in person at the port following a weather related change of plan!

    47513
     
  13. Nicholas43

    Nicholas43 Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    16 Jun 2011
    Boulogne Tintelleries is an excellent choice: sweet little station. It's a short, but uphill, walk to a stop on the (free, I think) circular town navette.
    https://www.marineo.fr/navette-centre-ville
    I suggest arriving at Dover passenger terminal a good hour before your intended ferry departure. The shuttle bus to the boat is now rather annoying: you have to get out at a dismal shed to have your luggage and passport checked.
    There's often a 10-minute wait after docking before they connect the gangway to let foot passengers off. At Dover, then allow another 10 minutes for the shuttle bus back to the passenger terminal. Might be an idea to book a taxi from the terminal to Priory, as you are entering the harbour.
    Your grandad gets 25% off his Calais-Boulogne ticket.
    http://www.sncf.com/en/reductions/seniors
    Bon voyage, and do please post a trip report!
     
  14. PhilipF

    PhilipF Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    22 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Bradford-on-Avon
    Think it was £70 for the two of us return.
    Philip.
     
  15. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,727
    Joined:
    13 May 2008
    Did Boulogne ever get its shiny new ferry terminal? I know it was being talked about when Speed Ferries were running Dover-Boulogne (catamaran, no foot passengers or freight). Has it instead gone the same way as Folkestone ferry terminal?
     
  16. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

    Messages:
    7,400
    Joined:
    29 Oct 2009
    One alternative is to take your bike with you. Then you don't need to walk to/from the port and you are also able to use any sailing, including those unavailable to foot passengers, because you ride your bike straight onto the ferry. You could park the bike at Calais Ville until you go home.

    Also, bike fares are often cheaper than foot passenger fares. However, are you able to use combined train/ferry fares with a bike on the Dover/Calais route?
     
  17. eisenach

    eisenach Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    6 Feb 2014
    Location:
    Leominster
    Oh, yes, when Louis Dreyfus Lines started a service from Dover to Boulogne a few years ago. LDL abandoned the route (and us and a load of other booked passengers) at the end of August a few years ago (can't remember the year). We got there just in time to see the last ferry leave. Anyone booked on a later ferry had to drive to Calais to be put on another operator's service; not easy at the busy end of August peak.

    LDL later got into bed with DFDS who had bought out Maersk's Norfolk Lines operation; they run the DFDS liveried Dover-Calais boats. The spanking new Boulogne facility has been empty ever since, I believe.
     
  18. TheJRB

    TheJRB Established Member

    Messages:
    1,135
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Thanks to everyone for the advice. :)

    The trip is now planned for Saturday and my gran is coming along too!
    Thanks for this. Is there anyway of finding out what the SNCF fare will be on the day from the station? Do they offer return fares?
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2015
  19. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,458
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Airedale
    Look on the sncf website already linked for a specific train on the route and it will give you fares including discounts. Return is twice single.
     
  20. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

    Messages:
    7,400
    Joined:
    29 Oct 2009
    Seat 61 explains the various options. I prefer the Capitaine site and app:

    http://www.seat61.com/France-trains.htm

    That is giving a normal fare of 8.80 each way between Calais Ville and Boulogne-sur-Mer Ville. To make a return trip you get a single each way. You can, however, ask for a return at the machine at Calais Ville and you get both tickets at the same time. Don't forget to stamp your ticket before getting on the train.
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2015
  21. TheJRB

    TheJRB Established Member

    Messages:
    1,135
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Thanks to both of you. It also seems that découverte fares are available for the return journey only as a little research shows that 08:00 to 14:00 is considered peak time on Saturday 25th April. So € 8.50 going and € 6.40 return making the total price for the return trip from Calais to Boulogne € 14.90.
     
  22. steevp

    steevp Member

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2012
    So now both of you will have to be on your best behaviour!;)
     
  23. Nicholas43

    Nicholas43 Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    16 Jun 2011
    For the tarif découverte senior
    In [the region] Nord - Pas de Calais, it's 25% [discount] every day all year and on board every TER [regional express train].
    (The blue period stuff only applies to TGVs and Intercity trains; the algorithms which calculate the fares on websites are badly programmed.)
    https://www.ter.sncf.com/nord-pas-de-calais/offres/produits/billets-decouverte
    In my experience, the contrôleuses/contrôleurs on the Calais - Boulogne trains are particularly friendly. They won't ask for them, but will be dead impressed if your grandparents offer their passports to prove their age, and will love to hear where you've come from, what you think of the train, what you plan to do in Boulogne, etc! Do remember to stamp your tickets before you get on. (But if you forget, just find the contrôleuse/contrôleur and confess. Then it will again be all smiles.)
     
  24. TheJRB

    TheJRB Established Member

    Messages:
    1,135
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Yep! :lol:

    Ah that makes sense then. Good so we're all valid for a discount then (I'm 19). Nice to hear that they're a friendly bunch. It will be interesting in many ways for me in that it will be my first time abroad and therefore also my first international train journey.

    All set for tomorrow morning now! :D
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    My trip report is over here for those interested: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=115123
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page