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Help going to France, 3 dc ferry or tunnel ???

(31 Posts)
Lilyloo Mon 02-Feb-09 21:51:14

We can do 5 hours to ferry at 6am so travel through night set off at 11 pm 3 dc 7,4,1. Will this break up journey ?? 4 hours other side

or tunnel leave at 8 pm tuunel at 1am but don't have to wake dc ?? wake at other side for breakfast ?

Anyone done this?

LuckySalem Mon 02-Feb-09 21:55:05

Ferry is SOO much fun - I used to facepaint on the ferry crossing to Ireland.
The ferry will be fun and depending on when you do it there is normally some sort of entertainment on board.
The ireland ferry had a magician's show and facepainting grin

Hulababy Mon 02-Feb-09 21:59:01


I hate the ferry. Have had way too many bad crossings. DD was fine. But I just felt so sick the last couple fo times.

Done the tunnel the last few times and it is so much better.

WilfSell Mon 02-Feb-09 21:59:50

we're doing tunnel. Ferries: never again. Rather drive for longer.

Hulababy Mon 02-Feb-09 21:59:58

From what I remember there was NO entertainment on a simple Dover Calais ferry, bar a very small rather tatty soft play area/

AngeChica Mon 02-Feb-09 22:00:39

i'd be erring on the tunnel option ... at least you can all get a bit of rest.

Could you do the journey through the day for the ferry? or will that waste a day of your holiday?

simpson Mon 02-Feb-09 22:02:12

Have done both and would deffo go for the tunnel option.

Lilyloo Mon 02-Feb-09 22:03:44

No i think we have to travel through night
just wondering whether dc will sleep the whole time ??
Vaguely remembering a really nice ferry crossing to France as a kid with lot's to do. Although will they really want to do soft play in the early hours of the morning ??

Jas Mon 02-Feb-09 22:04:16

We've done both.
Ferry has no entertainment, but there is stuff to see and you can get out of the car, look at the sea, go for a meal etc
Tunnel is quicker (I think) but very boring.

My children tend to wake up when the car stops whatever the time, so I'd probably do ferry....except that you can pay for the tunnel with Tesco vouchersgrin

Last time we left at 3am thinking they would sleep most of the way....ds who was just 2 did not go back to sleep for 8 hoursshock

duckyfuzz Mon 02-Feb-09 22:05:03

I hate the ferry and love the tunnel...despite this last summer we went by ferry, thinking that it woudl be nice to have a break, some food, leg stretch time we will use the tunnel again

Lilyloo Mon 02-Feb-09 22:12:20

JAS shock that's my worry can't bear ds and dd1 arguing for hours on end!!!

simpson Mon 02-Feb-09 22:13:18

Can you book a cabin on ferry?

Lilyloo Mon 02-Feb-09 22:16:39

Think we only on ferry for hour or so so not really worth booking a cabin iyswim!

madmouse Mon 02-Feb-09 22:17:11

Lily i lurrve the tunnel. It is quick safe and does not make you sea sick, best of all if you miss your booked crossing, even on the cheapest tickets they put you on the next available shuttle as long as you arrive within two hours of your crossing time. Takes some stress out of it I find.

simpson Mon 02-Feb-09 22:20:12

Also what happened to us.

We turned up for the tunnel and got on an earlier one grin

catweazle Mon 02-Feb-09 22:26:49

We took DD on the tunnel at 6 mo; the ferry at 15 mo; and the tunnel at 19 mo.

The ferry out was OK but coming back was packed. People were nipping in other people's seats if they moved for any reason. There were several school partied raising about (one got coralled into a bar after a number of announcements asking the teachers to control them).

DD wanted to run about and screamed when thwarted. In the tunnel she was strapped into her car seat and didn't drip

Lilyloo Mon 02-Feb-09 22:40:11

the tunnel looking good then grin

madmouse Mon 02-Feb-09 23:04:34

true simpson, you can get an earlier one too. and you do not have to take the kids out of their familiar environment.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 02-Feb-09 23:07:00

Definitely tunnel - you don't have the pain in the arse of having to cart everything you might need upstairs with you - and not being allowed back down to your car until the ferry lands on the other side.

JustKeepSwimming Tue 03-Feb-09 06:24:00

Another vote for tunnel here.
Do you have those dvd players for cars if they do wake up?
(we don't but have heard they are good)

With your timings, a good chance they will fall asleep on the way to the tunnel, may wake at queues for tunnel but may fall asleep again in the tunnel as not too much going on.
And waking properly the other side for breakfast sounds lovely

pinkkoala Tue 03-Feb-09 08:07:45

we took our daughter when she was almost 3yrs to disney paris via the tunnel, definately a better and easier way as she didn't have to get out of car and was asleep for some of the journey.

also reccomend the dvd players that you have on the seats.

waspriceyp Tue 03-Feb-09 08:12:29

Depends on the driver I think. Are you planning on sharing the driving? If so Tunnel is fine, but if not ferry is better for the driver to get a rest, some food and a break from the wheel.

Having done both options, I agree that portable DVD player is essential for either ferry or tunnel grin

But on the short ferry crossing I totally recommend going to the posh restaurant (Langans I think) for breakfast. Loads of food, papers, plenty of coffee, no rushing around and very comfortable.

Lilyloo Tue 03-Feb-09 10:57:41

We can share this side i am fine with that.#
We have a portable dvd player so will be taking that.

DadInsteadofMum Tue 03-Feb-09 13:46:38

Or as I have posted before - send DH by car at whatever time he wants, he gets there unloads car. You and DCs take cheap flight and he picks you up at the airport.

DH does have to do drive worrying about when DCs will wake up, feeds, toilets, nappy changes etc (except for himself obviously)
DCs will have a relatively short stress free journey that is very endurable (and within the battery life of a portable DVD player.
You can pack even more as there is now so much more room in the car.

Depends on location of airport at either end.

Leslaki Wed 04-Feb-09 19:04:38

I personally hate the tunnel and love the ferry . It breaks up the journey and I hate the 'trapped' feeling I get in the tunnel. I'm not claustrophobic in any way (or at least never have been anywhere else) but really didn't like it. DCs both woke up and wanted to run about but were far more restricted in tunnel. Where in France are you going? If western France you could get one of the overnight ferrieds and have a loveley relaxing crossing with a cabin and a full nights sleep!!! French wine in the bar while kids dance to the live band before ettling down for the night of course!

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