we're off to duinrell in couple of weeks and are taking ferry from harwich to the hook of holland, as we've not done this before what time before ypu sail do you board the ferry/check in etc we're sailing 9am help
Went over recently, aim to be there at least an hour beforehand, but beware the last bit of the journey (down the A120 from the A12) is single carriage way and can get clogged up. Depending on which way you are travelling on the A12 it can also get busy during rush hour. And if you are coming round the M25 during rush hour, well good luck.
I've only taken the overnight ferry, but we've aimed to get there 90 minutes before departure. Have you booked a cabin? A cabin with 2 beds is £17 pounds extra, and a cabin with 4 beds is £54 pounds extra. Not much difference in size between the 2 rooms, so if you don't need 4 beds, only pay for the £17 pound cabin. It really does make the jouney so much more pleasant having a little room to lay down in and your own private toilet and shower. Much nicer way to travel.
We went to Duinrell in the summer holidays and arrived 1hr 15m early as it was hard to judge the traffic. Glad we did as the ferry was packed and it meant we could bag a table and chairs - hopefully it won't be when you travel. The seating is not very comfortable so if you have a young dc consider getting the pram out and definitely have something for them play with. Sea was a bit turbulent but just about ok for the length of journey.
As we were early for the return journey, the port officials asked if we wanted to take the slower ferry back which left earlier but arrived later iyswim & it was so worth it. We were given a 4 birth cabin with shower/bathroom and a travel cot for dc, free meals although had to pay for drinks. We all slept like babes & dh was refreshed for the drive.