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Eurotunnel - can someone please tell me what it's like?

(15 Posts)
WetAugust Sat 09-May-09 21:25:18

Considering travelling to France by Eurotunnel, either taking the family car or a coach from London to Paris.

Have never used Eurotunnel and am --scared stiff-- apprehensive about it. Do you stay in your car throughout? If we took the coach option would we stay in the coach or is there somewhere else on the train for coach passengers?

How long does it take to travel through the tunnel?

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
babyOcho Sat 09-May-09 23:38:21

DP and I have used the tunnel loads by car.

You drive onto the train, which is very well lit. There is staff there to make sure that you are all loaded on correctly. I cannot remember how many cars are approx on each carriage, so not even going to guess here.
There are a few windows so you can look at when you are not in the actual tunnel.

You turn off your engine and I think you leave you car in gear. It's sealed, so it's not an open roof or anything like that.

You can get out of your car if you want to and go for a walk - to the loo, or stand outside of your car and read the ads that are posted on the interior walls.
Each carriage is closed, but you can walk between each one.

It takes around 20/30mins in the tunnel itself.

We've never been on it on a coach. But I do know that you can get off the coach... we have a very unique and brightly coloured convertible sports car, and whilst sleeping in it with the roof down at 2am there were a LOT of French children peering in and taking photos!

WetAugust Sun 10-May-09 19:05:50

Thanks very much BabyOcho for your description. Think I'll have to give it a go (can always take the ferry back if I have to) grin

OP’s posts: |
hf128219 Sun 10-May-09 19:17:06

We use it all the time too - it's brilliant. Just as (perfectly) described above.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 10-May-09 19:21:02

I much prefer it to the ferry.

Much less waiting around, smoother journey, not affected by weather.

sachertorte Sun 10-May-09 21:10:13

BabyOcho summed it up well. It is so fast and efficient I prefer it to the romanticism of the slow boat over the channel though I like that too.

Re safety concerns, as far as I know the few incidents there have been were resolved very successfully and incidents are well contained. There are extra safety tunnels you escape into in the event of an emergency.

weblette Sun 10-May-09 21:13:33

Oh I'd never travel any other way now and we go over at least four times a year.

Another huuuge advantage is that if you check in late but are within two hours of your scheduled departure time, they'll get you on to the next available train for no extra cost. Takes a lot of the worry and pressure away if the traffic's bad.

ellingwoman Sun 10-May-09 21:18:42

I was really apprehensive about using it but it was painless. We just sat in the car and the time went by really quick. I didn't even have time to fret about being in a tunnel etc. I wasn't nervous about the return journey so it must have been ok!

Haven't had any reason to use it again but would consider it the first option if we were going to Paris area mainly because you are not waiting around like you are at ferry ports.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 10-May-09 21:22:28

agree - much prefer it to the ferry.
But do feel slightly odd driving onto it, like being loaded up...

sachertorte Sun 10-May-09 21:30:58

Weblette makes good point re timing. Also note that you can arrive EARLY and be put on the first available train. I´ve saved A LOT of time through Eurotunnel´s flexibility. There might be shunnel every 15 minutes, but the ferry only leaves ever hour or so, or less..

WetAugust Mon 11-May-09 23:59:25

Thnaks to everyone who responded. I'm sold on the idea now.

OP’s posts: |
Snuffles1 Sat 25-Jul-20 21:34:12

Do you think it’s safe to breathe the air outside of your car on Eurotunnel at the moment? Perhaps it’s best to stay in the car with windows shut with social distancing in place.
Thought please?
Many thanks

vezden87 Sun 26-Jul-20 10:59:36

You have to stay in your car at the moment on the tunnel.

Awning10 Sun 26-Jul-20 19:00:49

Agree with the others. Way better than the ferry. Keep an eye on the departures board and then be in the car and ready to go, go, go as soon as your letter is called. Try and go at an off peak time as we have experienced massive queues. The train departs pretty quickly and then voila before you know it, you are through and then straight out onto the motorway without any further checks or delay.

CaurnieBred Fri 07-Aug-20 22:07:23

Currently you have to stay in your car and toilets are closed. You have to have windows open though.

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