London to Calais day tripper ticket -whether includes bike on ferry.

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Jonathan75, 19 May 2015.

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  1. Jonathan75

    Jonathan75 New Member

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    Hi,

    I've discovered the day tripper ticket sold by Southeastern, which looks very good indeed, and I'm wanting to take my bike. Obviously a train journey away from London in the morning falls within what the policy permits. The ferry section I'm not so sure about.

    Is there a way of getting my bike across the channel without paying extra, or indeed at all?

    Could that way be - that whoever issues the control tickets somehow issue bicycle reservations too? I dimly remember there being such a thing as a bike reservation for trains although whether that was in the UK I'm less sure still.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  2. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Interesting question. On use UK side I remember taking a bus as a foot passenger so wonder if this precludes taking a bike
     
  3. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    You can ride a bike directly onto the boat. You can queue up in the traffic lanes without using the foot passenger terminal. The single fares are cheaper than regular foot passenger fares and you can use sailings that are not available to foot passengers. However, I don't know if you are allowed to travel as a foot passenger with a bike.
     
  4. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Last time I went through Dover Eastern Docks by bike, there's a slightly convoluted route you have to take, to avoid the massive flyover. You follow a pedestrian walkway from the terminal building, buzz yourself through a gate, and that leads you through to a couple of portacabins. You then get your boarding pass there (you may have to wait for a bit - the 'difficult' cases, usually freight, get sent heer) and are directed to a boarding queue. They occasionally make you walk the bike over the loading bridge for H&S purposes.

    (This is in contrast to Harwich, where you do have to ride over the narrow flyover over the railway line, traffic waiting with varying degrees of patience behind you as you climb up the ramp!)

    I'd contact P&O directly. It may be the case that you have to pay a bike supplement (which may be nominal) at Dover, directly to them. This is what I had to do on a Rail+Sail ticket from the Netherlands when I bought a bike over there and wanted to bring it back on the return half...
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    As an alternative, are you aware of the EuroTunnel bike minibus?
     
  5. Shimbleshanks

    Shimbleshanks Member

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    Check that the ferry company you use allows pushbikes. As far as I know, P&O does, but don't take my word for it. (I have a contact at P&O Ferries and will ask them.)

    I have a feeling that neither DFDS or MyFerryLink carry foot passengers, which might also preclude cycles as well. No information on either foot or cycle passengers is available on any of the operators' websites as far as I can see.
     
  6. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    From http://www.myferrylink.com/Footer_Navigation/PA_FAQ?packedargs=site=SF_TT_Uk

    They don't allow foot passengers.

    On the DFDS site, there is an option for a bike in the drop down for vehicle too.
     
  7. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I've taken my bike on DFDS to Dunkerque and ridden the bike onto the ferry. They don't do foot passengers so riding the bike onto the ferry is the only option.
     
  8. stut

    stut Established Member

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    The ride from the port in Dunkerque is grim, though - unless you take the coast road, and then you risk being stuck for an hour behind the swing bridge!
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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  10. stut

    stut Established Member

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    As an aside, though, I don't quite get why it's such a hassle to process foot passengers. When I've taken foot journeys around the Baltic, occasionally the only foot passenger on board, I've just been picked up in a standard harbour minibus, whenever the guy gets round to it, and dropped on the car deck next to a lift.

    Mind you, Schengen probably helps matters.
     
  11. Jonathan75

    Jonathan75 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your advice. I rang Southeastern who were very friendly, and they asked some very experienced ticket office staff, and nobody had encountered this query before unfortunately, so the thought was it would be best if I checked with P&O, which I did, and unfortunately despite also being very friendly, they thought that it was the rail company who would need to book a bike at the time of ticket purchase. So I rang Southeastern again who were again very friendly, and said they didn't have a facility to book a bike specifically, but that if I encountered any problems on the day, I could ask P&O to call the Southeastern customer services who would confirm that Southeastern were authorising/booking a bike to be taken on the ferry journey. Which is both sensible and kind of them.

    So I'm just going to give it a whirl and see how I get on.

    Thanks again, Jonathan
     
  12. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Great - do come back and let us know, as it's something I'd quite like to do too!
     
  13. Hophead

    Hophead Member

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    I commend you on your detective skills as I can find no reference to this ticket either on Southeastern's recently updated website, nor on National Rail.

    I wonder if Southeastern manage to sell many of these tickets?

    Enjoy your trip.
     
  14. Medicy

    Medicy Member

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    Unfortunately the shuttle bus from Dover Priory to the docks stopped running last year (though if you mean the bus from the foot passenger terminal to the ferry itself that still operates in the same way). Doing a Sail Rail earlier this year it's about a 30 minute walk from the station, though poorly signposted - so a bike might help!
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  15. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Yeah, just the shuttle bus at the port. When I arrived at Priory I was lucky enough to have 3 like minded souls share a taxi with me. I imagine the walk would be tough!
     
  16. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I'll be amazed if they allow you to take the bike in the main cabin. My best guess is that they will sell you a regular bike ticket and tell you to ride the bike onto the boat. Although in theory you should get some money back as a bike ticket is cheaper than the full price foot passenger fare.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Bikes go on the car deck, you ride it to the ferry and up the ramp (or possibly push it up the ramp).

    I have a feeling this may go wrong, but I would expect the worst case to be that they flog you a bike ticket separately, as I doubt the bike capacity of something as big as a cross-Channel ferry is often full.
     
  18. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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  19. stut

    stut Established Member

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    As the bike capacity of a cross channel ferry tends to consist of whatever railings you can just about tie something to, I suspect you're right...
     
  20. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    the bike capacity is, however, likely to be defined- I know it is on Brittany Ferries as a couple of years ago I got chatting to guys in the departure lounge at Portsmouth. One of them was taking his bike on in a bike bag as luggage as all the ride-on spaces had sold out in November- for a ferry in July! The Tour was going to be in St Malo two days later was the reason...
     
  21. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Ah, the Tour would do it :) I'm used to taking the Harwich to Hoek van Holland ferry, which does have a couple of decent sized bike racks, but being that it goes to/from the Netherlands, they're generally pretty obliging at overbooking if there's somewhere they can be accommodated.
     
  22. Ediswan

    Ediswan Member

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    When you arrive at Calais by ferry with a bike, wait at the bottom of the ramp for a "Follow Me" van. This will lead you to the exit on the flat. Don't try to follow the motor vehicles up onto the elevated exit roads. That gets the port staff very agitated. Dover has marked cycle routes on arrival which serve the same purpose.
     
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