Cheapest way to book channel crossing

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Sid52, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    I haven't traveled on the Dover route for some years, and the last time was with a folding camper. Then we tended to book early to get the best deals, usually travelling late May early June.
    This year will be the first with a motorhome, so my questions are when is the best time to book, tunnel or ferry, and what would be a realistic price to aim for.
    Cheers
    Sid
     
  2. Hydrocell

    Hydrocell Funster

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    We have sailed with them all, but for some reason we always end up with DFDS direct.
    More often than not they have the cheapest crossings but it dose pay to book early if possible. One of the main reasons is they is no hassle and everything is straightforward.
    Some like the ferries and some like the tunnel, it just depends weather or not you are time limited or just want the cheapest crossing.
    Normally at the spring motorhome show at the NEC there is a stand for Norfolk line DFDS and they give out discount codes some end up on this site so keep an eye on the forum after the show.
    Booked my crossing in november for 13th Jan 14 £88 return.

    Hope this helps
    Regards
     
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  3. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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  4. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Shop at tesco and save the club card points for treble value for up to free tunnel crossings
     
  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    You can book all the routes online and therefore see what the cost is going to be and compare them. However, some, if not possibly all of them, may have some clever tricks up their sleeve.

    For example, look at routes on Brittany Ferries to see prices then try again a little later and you might find the prices are higher. The explanation I was told was the site puts a cookie on your PC/laptop and if it thinks you are interested, because you have visited their site more than once, it tries to get you to pay more.

    Is this true? I'm not one hundred per cent sure, could be an urban myth like gas attacks but certainly you can see price differences appearing over a very short space of time and I know of people who clear all cookies after visiting a ferry website.
     
  6. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    Book early for cheaper prices. I usually book direct with the operator web site. Dover Straight crossings are currently very cheap, even for summer holiday periods. I'm also thinking of going over in June. Currently the cost for my 5 tonne Winnebago with 3 children, comes in at £98 return.

    Tunnel is quick and easy, but more expensive and boring. Remember that there are LPG limits which will affect you if you have an LPG engine conversion or a large fixed tank.
     
  7. SC 05 OUT

    SC 05 OUT Funster

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    Ive just been looking for late july out return early aug, (same unit/people/ time as last year) and prices seem to be 20/30% higher than last year?

    I'll wait for show promotions and check again
     
  8. keith

    keith Funster

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    The way with the least amount of hassle (the smoothest & quickest) has definitely got to be the Tunnel.

    1. Collect Tesco vouchers (get enough and your crossing will be paid for by the vouchers multiplied by 3)

    2. Decide when you want to go and start looking at their prices 3 months before your trip

    3. Check which day is the lowest price, it always seems to be Tuesday when I have looked, but stay away from B Hols

    4. Go to the Tesco points web site to check your vouchers, choose the ones to use and they will give you a reference you use to book.

    The cost will be more than the ferry but if you shop at Tesco does it matter. If you have a Tesco credit card you can shop where you like and still get points, so shop at Aldi if you prefer.



    We will now get a load of posts attacking Tesco, which I will ignore because it works for me
     
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  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    You can use Tesco vouchers for the Harwich to Hook of Holland crossing too!:thumb:
     
  10. jb0371

    jb0371 Read Only Funster

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    cheaper duty free on harwich crossing as well. Used them a lot for work then a week later had to use the dover ferry and fags where significantly more expensive. Not that I smoke, just had a good thing going if you get my drift:Wink:
     
  11. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    Agree 99.9% with your post. However - and at risk of being totally pedantic - you can't actually pay for anything at Aldi with a Tesco credit card; or indeed any other sort of credit card! Debit cards and cash only. :Wink:

    Mike
     
  12. TheTwoOfUs

    TheTwoOfUs Funster

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    Try the CC if you're a member. I've found them cheaper than going direct on many occasions.
     
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  13. Ivory55

    Ivory55 Funster

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    That was interesting that you have found Tuesday to be the cheapest day, have often wondered what the best day was to cross on ferry for price. I guess Sunday night Monday morning is full of trucks as they can not drive in France during the day on Sunday.
     
  14. keith

    keith Funster

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    Trucks go on separate trains so I wouldn't think that was the reason.

    It may be commuters going across or weekenders returning but I have done the research over many years and it seems to be Tuesday, but not every Tuesday that's why I said research your crossing times to make sure

    Mike your wrong about credit cards at Aldi, I used mine twice just before we left last November. Although like you I thought they didn't do credit cards, maybe a change has happened, about time anyway as they are doing more business.
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Cookies...yes, true.

    always clear cookies before checking the same site again.

    I reckon their logic is you see a higher price the second search and think the prices are increasing so book at the second price to ensure no further increases.
     
  16. keith

    keith Funster

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    Rather be bored for 20 mins. than over an hour. :RollEyes:
     
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  17. keith

    keith Funster

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    Done it many times John but never seen that happen.

    Yes they do change their prices but if you are booking early enough the prices stay the same. I normally check the prices weekly because to book our return we have to wait until the following years prices are published as it always turns out cheaper if you book your return at the same time as you outward journey.
     
  18. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    Ferry

    My advice is to choose your dates, then compare all operators on similar routes. Book the cheapest.

    Sometimes though, just a day or so either side of your intended travel day can make a big difference, so if you are flexible, you might save a bob or two.

    I book in advance, albeit with Eurotunnel, using the logic of once its booked, its booked. Yes it might come down a pound, but it might go up a pound too!

    Russell
     
  19. Sid52

    Sid52 Funster

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    Thanks all for your replies, I've just done a comparison - DFDS, P&O, and Tunnel. Dfds is clearly the cheapest, and much easier to get a quote than P&O as they display all the daily sailings and prices on one page.
    The tunnel is about twice the price, but quicker, and I would think easie to ammend travel times. The ferries seem to make it quite expensive now to change a booked sailing, unlike in the past when you could turn up and get on any sailing if there was space.
     
  20. busby

    busby Funster

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    My favourite is Newhaven Dieppe with L D lines. Hate the trip to Dover (Dartford Crossing cannot be avoided) Its 35 mins into Rouen at the side of 2hrs 30 from Calais. Saves you about 90 miles and you get a 20% discount if over 60. Decent cafe in terminal too. BUSBY:BigGrin:
     
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