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Looking for an alternative to Dover/Calais - would anyone recommend Newhaven/Dieppe?

(11 Posts)
ZedWoman Wed 27-Jan-16 19:06:03

We're off to France this year (near Poitiers). In previous years we've used the shuttle and Dover/Calais ferries. Last year we had a hideous return crossing on the shuttle and were stuck in a queue of cars between check-in and border control for eternity. I can see this summer being a bit 'volatile' in the Calais area.

So, I'm looking for an alternative way of crossing the channel. Portsmouth/Caen looks like a reasonable alternative but is very pricey. The DFDS service between Newhaven and Dieppe is looking quite reasonable. Has anyone used it and would they recommend it or not? Are there any ohter services worth considering?

We live in the Thames Valley and I really don't fancy driving all the way to Plymouth.

3catsandcounting Wed 27-Jan-16 22:14:00

Last summer we went Folkestone to Calais on the Shuttle (travelling on to Paris) - was a nightmare. 3+ hours waiting to enter the tunnel as they were 'investigating an incident' at the Calais end.
Luckily, we'd already booked a return from Dieppe to Newhaven, after staying in Normandy; it was no problem. Cheap prices, maybe a little slow checking-in, but the sailing was very pleasant, comfortable and spacious with decent enough food.

3catsandcounting Wed 27-Jan-16 22:24:19

...and it's a shorter sailing time than Portsmouth-Caen. smile

Radiatorvalves Wed 27-Jan-16 22:34:42

We have sailed from newhaven numerous times. DH loves it as it saves about 100km on the French side. We used to do the 11pm crossing so you get a bit if kip, then can drive down to the south, past Paris before breakfast. I found that quite painful, however do recommend the crossing. Dieppe is a lot nicer than Calais as well. Good choice for Poitiers.

ZedWoman Thu 28-Jan-16 20:47:26

Thanks for the advice! We've booked the Newhaven to Dieppe crossing at 10am. We were planning to do an overnight stay somewhere on the way down and again on the way back. I think we've settled on Alencon on the way down and Rouen on the way back.

3catsandcounting Fri 29-Jan-16 09:03:39

Oh good! It's such a quick & easy crossing.
I absolutely loved Rouen; we went for the day whilst staying in Honfleur - spent a lot of my time just looking up at all the quirky buildings. The new Joan of Arc museum is worth a visit - more of a 'story experience' - even my teens enjoyed it!

PolovesTubbyCustard Sun 31-Jan-16 23:11:00

Good choice.

I found that the ports at both sides were more basic, but did the job.

We used this crossing last April. Booked a night crossing and had a cabin. Managed to get enough sleep to enable us to drive down to La Rochelle the following day.

Have a nice trip.

ZedWoman Mon 01-Feb-16 18:24:54

Thanks all.

I am a bit nervous as I have suffered from seasickness ever since a fateful school trip crossing from Portsmouth to Cherbourg when I was 16. My hatred of getting stuck in traffic queues trumped my hatred of boats this year though.

I'll be praying for calm sees come August!

PolovesTubbyCustard Mon 01-Feb-16 18:59:05

Ah it'll be fine.

Only about 4 hours or so, isn't it?

Just plonk yourself in the bar with a book and before you know it you will be in France.

I don't think the food on board was up to much, maybe take some sandwiches and snacks from home?

3catsandcounting Thu 04-Feb-16 16:33:39

I had dreadful seasickness sailing through the Bay of Biscay years ago. I was slightly nervous of the Dieppe- Newhaven trip, but it was fine!
Got myself a cosy corner with a book and a bowl of surprisingly good boeuf bourginion (sp), a wander round the duty free shop, coffee & cake - the time flew! You'll be fine!

ZedWoman Thu 04-Feb-16 19:25:00

I'm sure I'll be ok, thatnks. It can't be worse than morning sickness - and that lasted for 11 weeks (both times)!

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