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Dover Passport Control


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A report on the situation at Dover this morning.

Our son & family arrived at 07.10 for a sailing at 09.20.  Very quiet and no delays whatsoever - straightforward transit through Border controls, but they had everything required.

They used Irish Ferries, because their thinking was that in the event of a need to cancel one or both crossings, they could use a credit note for their crossing to Ireland where DIL’s family ‘2nd home’ is.

Very quiet sailing - I think that the queue looked like 20 or so cars + some lorries (can’t tell how many from the pic they sent)

No French ‘Border Force’ whatsoever - they drove straight off with nobody checking anything.  However, it was just after midday, so lunchtime!!!

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I am thinking of using Dover Calais for the outbound on my next journey for a change as I am getting a little bored with BF and it will be nice to contrast it with another operator.  Useful comments re the Dover controls as that was my only concern

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  • 4 weeks later...

Went through Dover this morning and it wasn't much fun. 

 

We were on the 9.15am P&O sailing to Calais and got to the port at 8am. Queues for French immigration were very long and took half an hour after they belatedly opened two new windows. We then got a tug from port security for another lost few minutes. Arrived at P&O check in bang on the 45 minute last check in time to find one window open and a huge queue. Got through that in 20 minutes and drove on to the Spirit of France about 15 minutes before departure. A handful of cars behind us. 

 

It could have been worse, the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore got 50 yards off the berth before reversing back onto another berth and still seems to be there an hour after departure time. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 Brilliant crossing today.

Booked on 10:35 DFDS from Dover, however thought I would attempt the earlier one.

Left hotel at 8, docks at 8:05, 5 cars in the passport queue.

Passport stamped showing Dover as French port of entry and blank cardboard hanger handed over. Drove through  & security asked to see blank bit of cardboard as I hadn’t hung it. 
DFDS checkin a few minutes later where I had to handover bit of cardboard- apparently it shows that all the documents have been checked ( they hadn’t been).

As it was only 8:15, got moved to the 09:10 crossing, drove to lanes and 5 mins later started loading, about 20 cars in total plus loads of lorries. By 8:30 sitting  in restaurant eating our free English Breakfast.

Found a quiet seat and made use of the free wifi throughout the ship which had a speed of around 6Gb.  Arrived in Calais on time, drove off within a few minutes past the French Customs and out of the port.

A really excellent crossing. Cost was £74 which came with a free meal and a clear and helpful change policy which allows current bookings to be changed or moved to a voucher. The policy was clearly stated with validity dates, unlike the BF one !
 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Returned on Hurtigruten's Maud last Wednesday into the cruise terminal at Dover.  Only check was a lady asking to see my Passenger Locator Form on my laptop, not even a passport show.  BUT, Maud made a very brief call at Calais a few hours before arrival in Dover to satisfy Norwegian "international cruising" regulations and we all got woken at 6am to present our passports in person to unsmiling French flics in the auditorium despite not being allowed ashore.  And we weren't even asked to take our facemasks off for facial recognition, so it was all a bit pointless and I'm guessing that the show of force was political. Apart from that, a good trip, only 120 pax on board - 200 joined the 2nd cruise when we left, vessel capacity 500.

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29 minutes ago, Pegpilot said:

Returned on Hurtigruten's Maud last Wednesday into the cruise terminal at Dover.  Only check was a lady asking to see my Passenger Locator Form on my laptop, not even a passport show.  BUT, Maud made a very brief call at Calais a few hours before arrival in Dover to satisfy Norwegian "international cruising" regulations and we all got woken at 6am to present our passports in person to unsmiling French flics in the auditorium despite not being allowed ashore.  And we weren't even asked to take our facemasks off for facial recognition, so it was all a bit pointless and I'm guessing that the show of force was political. Apart from that, a good trip, only 120 pax on board - 200 joined the 2nd cruise when we left, vessel capacity 500.

Was the passenger locator form necessary due to your call in France? And did that also mean a day two test was required?

Ed

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Hi Ed.  No, I'm told that the locator form would have been a requirement in any case even if we'd only visited Norway.  And as for the Day 2 test, yes, that too would have been necessary without the Calais call. Happily I tested negative - on board protocols were pretty good. Boarding was a pain in the doodah though.  PCR Test, vaccination certificate (guess what - my hard copy had expired on 31 Aug so I had to generate a new one on my lappy at check-in).  And I stupidly declared a runny nose in previous 2 weeks (cause - hay fever) and  got the third degree as a consequence.  Any feeling of being hard-done-by was quelled by the sight of Hunter running in to Dover before we departed with 40 boat people on board......

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14 minutes ago, Pegpilot said:

Hi Ed.  No, I'm told that the locator form would have been a requirement in any case even if we'd only visited Norway.  And as for the Day 2 test, yes, that too would have been necessary without the Calais call. Happily I tested negative - on board protocols were pretty good. Boarding was a pain in the doodah though.  PCR Test, vaccination certificate (guess what - my hard copy had expired on 31 Aug so I had to generate a new one on my lappy at check-in).  And I stupidly declared a runny nose in previous 2 weeks (cause - hay fever) and  got the third degree as a consequence.  Any feeling of being hard-done-by was quelled by the sight of Hunter running in to Dover before we departed with 40 boat people on board......

Thanks. I hadn't realised the trip included a call in Norway. I assumed it was a UK coast tour only. I'm glad you had a good time and I know what you mean about the hay fever. I get it almost every morning due to the cold temperatures and spend an hour in misery before my symptoms magically disappear as the sun comes up.

Ed

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Yup, I was on Hurtigruten's maiden cruise from Dover to Norway and jolly splendid it was too.  They lost 4 out of 11 slots on the coastal ferry contract 2 years ago so they've retired the old Lofoten, converted two (including Midnatsol/Maud) for cruising and Trollfjord is currently laid up in Bergen.  Expect to see Maud in Dover every fortnight for the foreseeable.  Writing a piece for FCR mag - keep an eye out. 

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