Dover cruise port
The cruise port at Dover, England
Where is Dover?
The famed, gleaming white cliffs of Dover tower over the southeasternmost tip of England's southern coast, 125 km (78 miles) southeast of London.
What cruise itineraries use Dover?
Dover is the classic port for trips to other England Channel ports of call (think: France, Belgium, and the Netherlands), as well as Scandinavia, Baltic and North Sea cruises, as well as a few Mediterranean departures.
Which cruise lines use Dover?
Major cruise lines that use Dover include Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Hurtigruten, Princess Cruises, Saga Cruises, Seabourn, and Windstar Cruises.
How can I get from Dover to London?
Most cruise lines will sell you a port transfer for anywhere from $50 to $100 per person. This is undoubtedly the easiest option—though you usually have to go to the London Victoria Coach Station to board the chartered bus. What they won't tell you is that you can usually get a private transfer—door to door from your hotel—for the same price or even less.
The easiest way to get to the Dover cruise terminals is a private transfer direct to or from your hotel or Heathrow Airport. It costs roughly the same as the train and takes roughly the same amount of total time—yet you get door-to-door service without having to spend the time (and haul the luggage) to get between your hotel and the train station and then the station and the port (nor do you have to transfer to a taxi or shuttle).
BEST: Private transfer: 105–125 min; £35–£50
Since you are splitting the price of the full vehicle, the more people in your party the cheaper the per-person rate is, from as much as £50 ($71) per person for just a couple to as low as £35 ($50) per person if 8 are traveling together. (Slightly higher—like $3 to $6—for Heathrow transfers.)
CHEAPEST: Bus: 2–2.5 hrs; £15–£17
National Express runs coaches (buses) every two hours or so from London Victoria Coach Station to the Cover Ferry Station.
The ride takes between 2 and 2.5 hours and costs £15–£17.
(Be sure you go to the Victoria Coach Station, which is across the street from Victoria Rail Station.)
Train: 80–130 min; £22–£65
Ironically, the ride from London St. Pancras station to Dover is the fastest (70–100 min), even though it requries a change at Rochester. It costs £14–£43.
The direct train from London Victoria station to Dover takes around two hours, but only costs £11–£37.
(Yes, the time and cost totals in the heading above are higher than that suggests, but that's because they also add in the time and expense to get a taxi or Tube between your hotel and the train station—plus the taxi on the Dover end.)
Dover Priory train station is a good mile (25 minute walk) from the cruise and ferry terminal.
A taxi between the station and the port is your best bet—it only takes about 10 minutes, and should cost around £8.
Drive: 105–125 min
If you have a car, Southampton is a straight shot from London down the M20 to the A20.