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French Ferries

At the Ferry Terminal Travel Advice

With recent terrorist threats security measures have increased the time needed at ferry terminals and the variety of security measures you may encounter. You will need to allow enough time to clear security and arrive at your departure gate on time.

Allow for Extra Time

Ferry Crossing Europe recommend that you arrive at the ferry terminal in plenty of time to catch your ferry especially at peak travelling times, such as school and national holidays. You will also need to allow extra time if you have young children, infants, or persons with disabilities.

Pack Carefully

Avoid packing your carry-on bags tightly so that it is easier for the security personnel to check them may usually bring one carry-on and one personal item (such as a handbag or briefcase) on most flights.

Preparing a Car for a Journey into to Continental Europe

Legal requirements vary from country to country and Ferry Crossing Europe advise you to check with a motoring organisation before setting out. You need to be able to show evidence that you own your vehicle and have current insurance cover. You will need to alter your headlights, display a GB sticker and carry a first aid kit, spare light bulbs and a warning triangle.

Visas, Passports & ID’s

A valid Passport or ID card for some nationals, is required for entry into France. Some non-EU nationals may also need a Visa. Ensure that Passports and Visas are valid for travel.

  • Passport Advice line: 08750 521 0410
  • Website: www.passport.gov.uk
  • Email: info@passport.gov.uk
  • French Embassy 24hr Visa recorded information line:0906 550 3513

Ferry Check-in

Usually there is a “close down time” of about 30 minutes on each ferry departure, after which no more passengers can be accepted for travel. Make sure that you allow a little extra time, especially for
parking, so that you do not miss your check-in. Check-in times given by ferry operators are the absolute latest times, so allow for other factors such as road works, security checks and punctures in your journey planning.

Ferry Terminal Security

Security systems and measures have been implemented throughout the ports and security officers are trained to national maritime standards. You may be asked to show your passport/visa to an officer of the French Police to validate your permission to enter France or another country. After that, you may be stopped and questioned or your car and baggage may be searched by an officer from one of the United Kingdom’s agencies: HM Customs or Kent Police Special Branch. United Kingdom agency checks may also take place after you have disembarked from a ferry. It is best to comply with any instructions you are given.

To avoid security alerts, ensure that your baggage is not left unattended at any time.

Ports handle a huge number of vehicles and for safety reasons, passengers must use the footpaths and
walkways when walking to and from the various port facilities.

More information is available on the Customs website at: www.hmce.gov.uk.

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