Ferries

OK. This is going to seem like a totally mad question, but here goes.
Next week I am going on my first cycle tour overseas.

I have the bikes booked onto the ferry, but what I don't know is how do you get onto the actual ferry with a bike?

  • Do you go into the car lanes and queue up there or book in as a pedestrian?
  • Do you cycle through the customs area & passport control etc?
I have seen bikes on the car decks before, so I am guessing through the cars, but I'm not certain.
 

Domestique

Über Member
Car lane normally. Take what you need/valuable off the bike for the crossing.
Bon voyage :o)
 
Others will be best placed to tell you of your actual ferry's policy, I've done the trip to Jersey and back and there you went on as a vehicle. It sucks a bit if you have to wait about outside in the cold/wet with the cars while you're all waiting in the queue to drive up (car drivers being safely warm and so on in their cars; and also they can lock them up in the queue and go indoors to find a snack - harder to lock a bike when there's nothing about to lock it to!).
 

andym

Über Member
I wouldn't worry there will be plenty of staff to direct you. You cycle through prettyuch everything, but expect to push/walk up the actual ramp onto the boat. With luck you'll be first on and first off.
 

jags

Guru
we cycled right to head of queue ,but fear not there's plenty of yellow coats to direct your every move.have a good one.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
Dover has painted lines to take cyclists on a different route to the ferry than the cars take, and different lines for different directions.
Most other places are go in with the cars, ride to the head of the queue (after the ticket check), and wait until the man tells you to board.
You usually board first, but will generally get held until last if the cars have started boarding when you get there (and occasionally even if not). I've disembarked last more often than I have first. This at least has the advantage that you don't spend the first few miles being overtaken by everyone else.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
SavageHoutkop said:
harder to lock a bike when there's nothing about to lock it to!).
Recumbent trikes are the way to go....:biggrin:

We just did Portsmouth-Le Havre, and St Malo-Portsmouth, and each time we were directed to the head of the queue and went on in the earliest stages of loading. On the outward trip we just locked the trikes to each other and left them in the lane while we went for a coffee. Coming back we only had 15 mins or so to wait, so just sat there.

I've never ridden a two wheeler up the ramp and wouldn't fancy it - it's slippy and cross-hatched with ridges, so get off and push - the trikes are easy, if a little bumpy.

Once on, you'll either be left to tie your bike to a rail yourself, or a ferry crewman will do it - if you're precious about it, you may want to supervise, but a standard upright is something they are used to. It'll need to be tied up, in case of rolling about at sea.
 
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