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Channel Crossings for Motorhomes
 
 
 

Due to their size motorhomes are often charged quite a substantial premium over cars on ferries and through the 'Chunnel'.  All those tempting special offers widely advertised at anything from 19 upwards will say 'cars only' somewhere in the small print but some do offer good motorhome deals albeit more like 40-50 each way at the time of writing. Typical list price ferry fares for high season are 3-400 return for a short crossing and maybe 7-800 for a return to Spain with a reasonable cabin.  Eurotunnel have been very expensive until recently with peak fares in the 5-600+ range but the recession seems to have changed all that!  The fierce competition since 2004 plus the ongoing results of the 2008 financial crisis seem to have brought fares down considerably. We've paid under 100 for return ferries and under 150 for the tunnel of late - and these are for summertime daytime crossings.The Camping & Caravanning Club Ad (CCC)

Other than the ferry companies' own websites - obvious or concealed - the cheapest deals can be from the Caravan Club, the Camping and Caravanning Club and the Motorhome Ticket Club.  The best deals vary from club to club depending on the routes chosen.  Shareholder deals can be attractive too but often pale into insignificance compared with the highly competitive short crossing discounts as above.  The longer crossings are not subject to the same fierce competition and are not usually discounted by much, so shareholder discounts can be significant here.

This whole topic is a bit of a thorny one since fares can vary enormously with the booking method and can also be very high compared not only with cars but also against caravans.  Even worse the fares have been impossible to fathom in recent years as the ferry companies play strange marketing games with each other sometimes under somewhat concealed identities on the web. Speaking of the web did you know that prices are often dynamic and go up and down with the rate of booking as well as the booked capacity - so it can be well worth checking at very-off peak times!

Let me give you an odd example of varying fares; we wanted to book a short crossing in July and the price given by 'phone by quoting a "special offer code" was nearly 300 but after much searching and playing the internet at varying times I got a return crossing on exactly the same boat, on the same day and at the same time for less than 100.  Amazed? Well yes maybe you are but what if I tell you that the call centre and the website were owned by exactly the same company?

Norfolkline, now owned by DFDS Seaways, are slightly different, they concentrate mainly on commercial traffic and seem often to charge less for motorhomes - maybe they're babies compared with the trucks they mostly carry!  They operate the Dover to Dunkerque/Dunkirk route rather than Dover to Calais.  On-board there's no McDonalds, no ball pit, no video wall and very little in the way of shopping but there is an excellent quiet lounge if you want it. Of course if the big boys on the Dover Calais route choose to be aggressive they are unbeatable on price. Eg. P&O of course but also DFDS and Sea France now reborn as MyFerryLink.

Many of the old companies have gone but others like LD Lines have taken up old routes to Boulogne and Dieppe, elsewhere look also at Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries.

 

 
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