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The Ultimate Guide To Cruising From Dover

The Ultimate Guide To Cruising From Dover

As one of the busiest cruise ports in Britain and Northern Europe, Dover is the port of choice for numerous cruise lines. Positioned on the South East coast of England, it offers passengers travelling from England access to Europe and the rest of the world. But with so much activity, what do you need to know to ensure your cruise holiday embarkation goes as smoothly as possible?

Interesting to know

  • The Port of Dover welcomes 25 individual cruise lines and 250,000 cruise passengers every year.
  • With two state-of-the-art terminals, it can accommodate three ships at once.
  • Cruise Terminal 1 operates within a 100-year-old former railway station.
  • Nearby place of interest, Dover Castle, perched upon the White Cliffs, hides a maze of secret war tunnels dating back to the Napoleonic era and used during World War II.

Getting to the Port of Dover

Dover is well-connected by rail, road and air. The nearest rail station to the cruise terminals is Dover Priory, just one mile away and walkable within 25 minutes. Passengers travelling by train can reach Dover from London in just over one hour.

If you’re driving to the terminal, use the postcode CT17 9DQ. Most traffic from the west will use the M20, which merges into the A20 at Folkestone. The cruise terminals are then clearly signposted when you reach the Limekiln roundabout. You can also travel via the M2 and A2, joining the A20 when close to Dover.

There is secure onsite parking at the Port of Dover, which offers meet-and-greet valet parking services and 24-hour security surveillance cameras. Contact the Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) for further information. 

The nearest international airport is Gatwick, just a 76-minute drive away.  

Inside Dover Cruise Terminals

With so many passengers travelling through Dover cruise terminals, operations are well-established, with fully trained staff managing your check-ins, baggage handling and transit. Within both terminals, you will find comfortable departure lounges, cafes serving drinks and snacks, public toilets with disabled facilities, Bureau de Change and free Wi-Fi. Wheelchair-friendly ramps and walkways ensure the services are accessible, while a shuttle service operates between the terminals and the onsite car park. 

Cruise Lines departing from Dover

Many leading cruise lines sail from Dover, including Princess Cruises, Fred. Olsen and Saga Cruises, Carnival Cruises and Disney Cruise Line.

Where can you sail to from Dover?

There is an exciting range of cruise holidays sailing from Dover this year. Enjoy some sunshine in the Western Mediterranean, the Canary Islands or the Caribbean, discover the incredible scenery and captivating culture of Northern Europe and Scandinavia or opt for a short break around the UK.  

ships that star in movies mediterranean

Visiting Dover

There are plenty of fantastic experiences to be enjoyed in and around Dover. Soak up the area’s history at Dover Castle, looking out to sea from the infamous White Cliffs, or at Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat exhibition. Kent is also renowned for its beautiful gardens, perfectly manicured for their royal or noble owners. Or for more natural beauty, the Kent Downs are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and make for a glorious day of walking. You’ll also find a good selection of restaurants and bars in the nearby town centre.

Future plans

Much is in store for the Dover Western Docks. With a £250 million investment, there are plans to create a vibrant new waterfront, offering restaurants, bars and facilities while keeping a green sustainable vision at its heart. 

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