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Cheapest Channel Crossings by Car

12 replies

outofpractice · 24/11/2003 11:11

Does anyone know what the cheapest channel crossing are? There are so many different prices and companies. Is it better to book way in advance, or wait for a special deal? We are thinking of driving to France next June. I would rather spend more time driving in France and pay for an extra night's accommodation en route, than pay for a very expensive crossing. How does Eurotunnel with car compare with ferry crossings?

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hmb · 24/11/2003 11:17

Never booked the ferry on it's own, we tend to get a package with 'Canvas' or 'Keycamp'. With Canvas this year the tunnel carries a supliment of between £7- £40 each way. Ceepest out of season and midweek. That is for a car and 5 passingers.

I've done it both ways and my advice would be to talk the tunnel, unless you are dedicated seadogs! It is so easy, and onlt takes 35 minutes to do the crossing. We ate our sanwitches when we did it. Well worth the extra cash IMHO, as they have trains every 15 minutes at peak season.

We have done a more expensive overnight crossing, which added a lot to the cost of the holiday, and we still only got about 5 hours sleep. This year dh wants to do the short crossing and stop en-route. Formula 1 do some very good deals on Hotels, but each room only sleeps 3, which is a little odd!

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Crunchie · 24/11/2003 14:23

Outside of teh school holidays they seem to be much the same, I found that the Hovercraft was the cheapest in August. Since you are looking at June I would see what you can get. I think around £100 - £150 seemed to be the best price i found last year. Eurotunnel is excellent and I would choose it above a ferry anyday, the price is similar.

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GillW · 25/11/2003 10:03

We got a good deal this year from Ferry.co.uk - but I've just tried their site and can't get it to quote for 2004 at the moment.

We actually prefer the ferry as we're a fairly long drive from the coast anyway, and are usually going a fair distance on the other side too, so it does at least give ds a chance to get out of the car and explore, whereas the tunnel just means more sitting in the car, with no view.

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janinlondon · 25/11/2003 12:19

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outofpractice · 25/11/2003 12:53

Thanks janinlondon! Now I have to try and decide how long to go for and where before 7 January! Has anyone done a detour via Eurodisney? Where is the cheapest place to stay just outside the park? Presumably there is a big car park there? Does anyone know how long it would take to drive from Calais to eastern Paris?

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miggy · 25/11/2003 13:49

I think about 3-4 hrs depending on traffic. Car parking is fine-huge car parks etc. Parc asterix is great for stop over too, similar area and good family hotel with up to 5 in one room.

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outofpractice · 26/11/2003 17:22

Thinking of camping, but can only find one campsite near Paris, near Bois de Boulogne, which claims to be within easy commuting distance for Eurodisney, Versailles and central Paris. Has anyone got any campsite recommendations for Paris? Or cheap clean hotels with safe parking?

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hmb · 26/11/2003 17:36

W stayed in the Paris international with Keycamp.

It was an easy drive from Calais (about 4 hours). The caravan was fine, as was the site, basic, but OK. we were 10 mins walk from the train station, direct line to EuroDisney 40 minutes. The Kids loved the excitement of the train rides almost as much as Disney. I estimated that we saved about £200 over staying in the Disney site, you also get time away from Disney, and it would have been about 15 mins from the center of Paris by the same train.

Don't know if the site did camping.

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hmb · 26/11/2003 17:47

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Marina · 26/11/2003 19:28

Outofpractice, there is apparently a nice campsite called Berny Riviere which is outside Paris but runs a daily bus service to Paris itself and also to Eurodisney. It is to the E of the city and I think (did some preliminary research for a holiday but never actually went there...) there's lots of other nice stuff within easy distance like Chantilly, Provins, Amiens etc. I think Haven, Eurocamp, Keycamp etc all have a presence there.
All my useful cross-channel bookmarks are on my work PC... but from experience we have found Eurotunnel quicker and less hassle than the ferries, and usually favourably priced. We have also taken the Seacat between Calais and Dover more than once and that can be VERY cheap if you book early. Bit sickening in choppy seas though.
I can unrecommend a stopover near Calais. Do not under any circumstances use the Banniere et Lys de France hotel in Laon, it's northern France's answer to Fawlty Towers.
We have stayed in lots of nice places out of the Guide Routard all over N and NW France and that is now published in English by Rough Guides. Usually the hotels we have stayed in have been Logis de France and if you google their website you will see that they have a sub-group of extra-family-friendly hotels.
Mmm, have fun. Planning a holiday in France sounds much nicer than Christmas shopping!

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outofpractice · 27/11/2003 12:46

Nice to hear from you Marina - hope all is well with you and your little one, and your bigger little one. Really useful information, thanks. The tourist board is also sending me lots of information about campsites and attractions. How many of the campsites had good kitchen facilities, in your experience? I am wondering whether with just one adult it is actually going to be cheaper and better to revert to good old youth hostels, because we can definitely self cater then. Anyway, as you rightly say, planning all this is much more fun than working, but I had better go and earn some money to pay for holiday...

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Tortington · 27/11/2003 18:06

i have been to bernie riviery - it was ok - but definatley a BASE from which to start. we did the euro disney and parc astric from there - but there isnt much on site - however i find that a lot of the enjoyment comes from how arsed the Reps ( who are taking a year out from uni usually) want to be arsed or not.

it was mediocre

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