Channel ferry passing the white Cliffs of Dover

Crossing the Channel in a motorhome

Posted on: Wednesday 24th of February 2016



Motorhomes are a great way to travel across Europe. Here at LandCruise Motorhome Hire we are ideally situated in Chichester on the South Coast for you to continue your adventure, whether you’re travelling by ferry or the Eurotunnel.

Distance from
LandCruise
Port Routes to
22 miles Portsmouth Le Havre, Caen, Cherbourg, and St Malo
43 miles Newhaven Dieppe
105 miles Eurotunnel
(Folkstone)
Calais
122 miles Dover Calais and Dunkirk

Ferry crossings from UK to France

By Eurotunnel:

If you decide to travel via the tunnel, then you will be allocated a space in one of the single deck carriages. They’re twice as high as the double deck carriages and the entrances much wider so you can easily manoeuvre.

Whether you’re taking a small campervan or large motorhome the price is the same. That includes having a bike rack on the back. You just need to inform them upon booking.

During the crossing you must stay with your vehicle, but you will not be able to use the gas (for safety reasons) so make any drinks before you get on the train.

Eurotunnel is probably the easiest way to cross the channel in a motorhome, and at just 35 minutes from platform to platform, by far the quickest. It also has the added benefit of no delays due to bad weather!

By Ferry:

There are a number of crossing options with varying journey times (from 90mins to 11hrs) and on-board facilities. Your decision about which route to take will depend on a couple of things:

  • where your eventual destination will be
  • whether or not you see the crossing as part of the fun & adventure or just a time delaying inconvenience

You will need to work out which method is most cost and time effective for you.

When you make your ferry booking you will need to provide the exact measurements of the motorhome you are taking. Don’t forget to include any extra fittings you may have, such as bike racks. If you get these measurements wrong you will likely be charged extra upon arrival, usually for each additional metre. You can find the dimensions for each of our vehicles on our website.

It’s worth remembering that you don’t have to make the same journey on your way home. One way tickets are available from most operators, which gives you the opportunity to explore a little bit more of France.

Water out the back of a ferry

Ferry operators

From Portsmouth – Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries also offer a cheaper, no frills, economie service from Portsmouth to Le Havre

From Newhaven and Dover – DFDS

From Dover – P&O

There are a number of websites offering ferry crossings to France (aferry.co.uk and directferries.co.uk) but we found the cheapest and easiest option was to book direct with the ferry company.

Quick Price comparison:

To give you some idea of the price for each service/route, we’ve found out the cost for a return trip for a family (2 adults and 2 children) travelling for 1 week in April in a 6 berth Chausson Flash 626 motorhome.

Operator Route Price (£)
Brittany

Portsmouth to Caen

Portsmouth to St Malo

Portsmouth to Cherbourg

Portsmouth to Le Havre (economie)

454.00

645.00

478.00

444.00

DFDS

Newhaven to Dieppe

Dover to Calais

Dover to Dunkirk

236.00

94.00

109.00

P&O Dover to Calais 158.80
Eurotunnel Folkestone to Calais 205.00

*These prices don’t include the cost of any reserved seating or cabins
**Prices correct at time of writing (Feb 2016)

Whichever route you decide to take you will be asked to submit the vehicle registration at the time of booking to allow immediate identification at check-in by automatic number plate detectors.

If you like you can give us a call and ask for the registration number of your particular motorhome. However, please bear in mind, sometimes we may have to switch your vehicle for various reasons.

More often than not, you can just state that you are in a Hire Vehicle and this information will be obtained when you arrive.

Taking your petsDog sitting in drivers seat of motorhome

Assuming you have all the appropriate paperwork for your pets, then all ferry operators and the Eurotunnel allow pets to travel, though they will have to remain in your vehicle during the crossing. They vary in price, but it’s around the £15-20 mark each way.

The Eurotunnel is therefore by far the better option for dog owners as it allows you to all stay together.

 

Bon voyage!