drive alive holidays
Driving holidays in Europe - Plan your self-drive motoring holiday

Ferry Crossing Questions

Self-Drive Holidays in Europe: Frequently Asked Questions about Ferries and Eurotunnel to Mainland Europe and Scandinavia.

Can I book a ferry on its own? Can I go out with one carrier and return with another?
Can my holiday start and end in Europe? Is it cheaper to travel at certain times of the day?
  When do the off-peak rates apply?
What happens if I miss the crossing? How flexible is the ticket? What happens if I change my vehicle after I've booked?
Does Drive-Alive accept pets onboard?

Can I book a ferry on its own?
Yes you do not need to add anything else that Drive-Alive offers, such as hotel accommodation or self-catering holiday homes.

Is it cheaper to travel at certain times of the day?
It depends on the carrier and the time of year. As a general guide the Western Channel crossings are less expensive during the day than at night. Dover Calais crossings are the same price for most of the year no matter what time you travel, but during high summer it is generally cheaper to travel Dover Calais after 2pm and Calais Dover before 2pm. More details can be found on the websites for the different carriers, accessed from the main carrier page.

What happens if I change my vehicle after I've booked?
Normally no problem. Just send an email or phone with details of the new vehicle to the carrier. But if the dimensions of the vehicle change significantly, particularly if it changes from a standard car to a 4 x 4 or people carrier, there may be a problem as high vehicles are allocated special places on boats and the shuttle. There may well be a surcharge if this is the case, as well as possible problems with availability. Should this be the case you will be advised immediately and every effort will be made to find a solution.

Can I go out with one carrier and return with another?
In most cases you can mix carriers by booking single journeys rather than returns. But be aware that this will almost certainly be a considerably more expensive option.

Can my holiday start and end in Europe?
Yes, simply ensure you choose the departure port for your first journey correctly.

What happens if I miss the crossing? How flexible is the ticket?
Obviously if you miss a crossing on a route where there are only one or two sailings daily (or less) you've got a problem! You will be placed on the next available sailing, but there may well be a surcharge to pay, certainly if you end up on a more expensive sailing. This would be paid direct to the carrier at the port. Eurotunnel state that they reserve the right to impose a surcharge if you travel at a different time to the one ticketed, and there can often be a problem in terms of getting on the shuttle, especially at peak holiday weekends, when you might have a long wait. Sea France and P&O Dover Calais are the most flexible, and the only problem might arise if you cross during a different price band time, when you will be charged the difference at full published prices. In all cases, we recommend phoning if you are not going on your ticketed crossing. The phone number of the carrier will be on their website.