Crisis at Calais… your need-to-know guide
All the contacts you need to help cut delays
Travellers heading to the Continent via Dover and Folkestone face the risk of ongoing disruption to travel plans due to migrant activity along with protests by French farmers and ferry workers. Forward planning or changing your travel plans can help beat delays and ensure your trip’s not hit. Here’s the information you need to help keep up to date with what’s going on…
General travel advice
Passengers sailing from Dover and Folkestone to Calais should check with their operator before departing to help avoid disruption and delays to their trip. Here’s our at-a-glance guide to keeping up to date with the latest news from Calais, Dover and Folkestone.
Get the latest UK Government news for travel in France here
Use these contacts to help warn of problems at Dover and Calais for ferry and tunnel terminals: Be prepared for long delays: image credit
Along with all the information you’ll need to plan your journey, we’ve also got this at-a-glance guide to how your trip could be affected by the problems in Calais and Dover.
What happens if I miss my ferry or train:
Delays are likely and many will develop at short notice due to the fluid situation with migrants and wildcat strikes. Here’s what could happen if you miss you sailing or train.
Eurotunnel: In ‘normal’ circumstances you’d be forced to buy a new ticket, but the current situation means it’s likely you’ll be put on the next available service.
P&O and DFDS Seaways: Both these ferry operators currently have a policy of putting travellers who’ve missed their sailing on the next service that has space. There is no extra cost.
Can you claim compensation:
Should you be expecting compo for losses incurred? Find out here…
Ferry travellers: Read full information here. However, it is likely that the events surrounding the events at Calais would mean that compensation is not due – as the action is beyond the control of ferry operators. Check with your travel insurance provider to see if you are covered for losses caused by the delays.
Tunnel travellers: Once again, it is highly unlikely that travellers would receive compensation for losses incurred due to delays beyond the operator’s control. Once again, check with your travel insurance provider at time of purchase.
Is Calais dangerous to drive through: The Foreign Office has warned travellers “to be alert to the large numbers of illegal migrants who may be seeking to enter the UK”. Official advice says motorists should keep vehicle doors locked at the port and in nearby service stations.
Stay informed with the latest info
Prepare for delays and disruption
Here are the contacts you’ll need…
Emergency services in France:
If the need arises, Brits can call the French emergency services on 112 – this is the equivalent of our own 999 service and should be used in the same way.
Anyone who requires assistance from the British Embassy in France, should call on 00 33 (0)144 51 31 00.
Click here for the British Embassy in Paris
Ferry, Tunnel and road contacts:
Contact or stay up to date with news from operators here…
DFDS Seaways Amsterdam, Dieppe and Dunkirk:
DFDS Seaways also operates out of Amsterdam, Dieppe and Dunkirk:
Calais, Dunkirk and Amsterdam +44 (0) 344 902 0265
+44 (0) 871 882 1777 for sailing information
Dieppe +44 (0) 844 576 8836, INT 0800 650 100
+44 (0) 844 576 8836 for sailing information
P&O Ferries also operates out of Rotterdam and Zeebrugge:
P&O Ferries also operates out of Rotterdam and Zeebrugge:
Twitter @POferries for ferry updates
Telephone: +44 (0) 800 13 0030
Eurotunnel operates from Coquelles:
Telephone: +44 (0) 8444 63 0000 (24 hour pre-recorded travel information)
+44 (0) 8443 35 35 35
+33 (0) 810 63 03 04
Alternative routes across the Channel
If disruption at Calais looks likely, here’s an interactive map giving information on alternative routes to sea-routes to the Continent. Click for crossing times and other information.
Click below for interactive information on all Channel crossing options
Alternative ferry crossings: Click here for info on how to avoid Calais
Emergency packing list for your car…
Pack an emergency pack just in case you hit delays
Here are the essentials you’ll need in the event of a long delay as you head to the Continent.
Water: It sound’s obvious, but heading into a long hold-up without any of this will leave you in an even bigger jam.
Phone charger: You’ll need to stay in touch with the latest developments as you approach the port, so enusre your phone’s fully loaded at all times.
Data bundle for your phone: Your smartphone will make an essential weapon when it comes to dodging queues, but munching data on the Continent will still prove expensive despite new curbs on charges. Make sure you buy a data bundle from your operator to slash costs.
Food: Carry plenty of food to help keep you nourished in delays. Avoid salty snacks as they’ll make you thirsty and deplete your water supplies. This will also ensure you need to wee more – which isn’t great when stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway.
Games for kids: Got kids – keep them happy with games to play in the car.
Navigation app: Download a navigation app that works offline and lets you choose routes that avoid motorways and toll roads. This might help you find routes to dodge the jams.
Make sure you’ve brimmed your fuel tank: Constant use of air-con as yo-u wait in jams will see your fuel tank empty a lot faster than you’d expect. Never set out on your trip without a near-full tank of fuel.
Painkillers: Be sure to pack painkillers for all the family… a traffic jam could soon become a real headache.
Loo roll: Roads might be at a stand-still but it doesn’t mean your digestive tract will be… enough said.
Swap to air travel
Swap to the air and leave your car with us – safely on dry land
This might not work with your plans, but if you do choose to swap ships for planes, we can help you out with your parking needs at some of the best prices available – with a package to suit your needs.
If you’ve never used airport parking before, here is how it works and the options available.
Secured off-airport parking: Fully manned car parks located at secure sites near the airport. Drive to the facility, leave your keys at reception and jump on a free shuttle bus to the terminal. Transfer times are typically no more than 20 minutes. Your car will remain in a secure compound with 24-hour security patrols. Look for holders of the police-approved Park Mark® Safer Parking Award.
Best for: Price. These car parks mostly operate 24 hours a day, so make a great solution for all types of trips.
Get a quote for off-airport parking here
On-airport parking: These facilities are usually located within the airport complex, with transfers typically taking less than five minutes. Some are even within walking distance of the terminal. Along with the handy location, most offer the ease of self-park operation.
Best for: Convenience. Users benefit from minimal transfer times to the terminal. Great for trips where you’re running to a tight schedule and want to save as much times as possible. Will cost more than off-airport sites.
Get a quote for on-airport parking here
Meet and greet (valet airport car parking): The ultimate airport parking service. Drive to the terminal where you’ll be met by a chauffeur who’ll transfer your car to a secure compound – while you head to the check-in desk. On your return to the airport, your car will be ready and waiting for you to drive it away.
Best for: From travellers on a strict timetable, to anyone who simply wants to enjoy the luxury of arrive-and-go air travel – meet and greet is the service to choose.
Get a quote for meet and greet parking here