Interesting facts and ideas for your own trip along the British coast
- Regular berth: Cruise Terminal 1
- Regular berth: Cruise Terminal 2
- Port shuttle: Paid from the cruise terminal into the city centre to King Street, with a stop at Dover Castle. There is also a free shuttle service to the harbour entrance.
- Taxis: Usually available on the quay.
- Buses: central bus station in the Pencester Road
- Car rental*: Europcar, 116 Snargate Street
- Car rental*: Avis, Eastern Docks
- Car rental*: Hertz, 173-177 Snargate Street (Railway Station)
- Post Office: 68-72 Pencester Road
- Tourist Information: Dover Museum, Market Square, Queen Street
- Banks and ATMs: Biggin Street and Market Sreet
- Entry Controls
As a rule, passport checks are carried out on the ships by the British authorities after docking. Participation is mandatory for all passengers, including those who wish to stay on board. Excursion groups (organized excursions by the shipping companies) are often given priority during the checks. This can cause delays to your own excursion on your own initiative.
- Berths of the Cruise Liners
The port city of Dover is located in the southeast of England and is part of the county of Kent. When approaching the important ferry port, the white chalk cliffs of the up to 106-metre-high cliffs are already visible from afar. In the port of Dover, two cruise terminals with a total of three berths for cruise ships are available on the Admiralty Pier. A stand of the local tourist information office and an exchange office are open in the respective cruise terminal after the arrival of a ship. There, one gets free city maps and information about the city.
- Blue Shuttle Busses
At the Cruise Terminal, blue double-decker busses are waiting for the cruise passengers, which arrive at a total of three stops according to the Hop On Hop Off principle. So, every 20 minutes from 08:00-18:00 o'clock every day, they take you comfortably to the city centre (Market Square), to Dover Castle and also back to the cruise ship's berth. From the Market Square, there is then a bus from 10:00-16:00 o'clock and every full hour up to the visitor centre of the White Cliffs. Departure back to the pier, is for the last bus at 18:00 clock from the marketplace. Tickets are valid for the entire day, and can be purchased from the driver for cash. Card payment is not possible. Payable in three currencies, tickets cost £5 - €7 - $8 per person. A sign is usually located behind the windscreen of the bus. Those who do not pay in pounds, should ideally hand over the money halfway suitable, as the drivers do not necessarily have enough change in foreign currency.
At the berths of cruise ships, there are usually enough taxi drivers waiting for potential customers. The costs for the usual transfer journeys from A to B are specified by the authorities and are calculated using taximeters. The basic price per trip is £3.30, the price per kilometre is £0.94 and the price per minute is £0.26. In contrast, night trips in the time between 00:00-06:00 are considerably more expensive at 4.95 £/1.40 £/0.38 £. For example, from the mooring you can expect to pay about £7 for a trip to the centre of Dover, £8 to Dover Castle, £10 to Priory Rail station and £35 to Canterbury. US dollars and Euros are usually accepted. If one wants to go on a round trip or excursion, it is absolutely necessary to discuss and clarify the expected costs with the driver before starting the trip. After finishing the trip, a tip of 5-10% of the fare is expected.
- Dover City Centre
The best way to get to the city centre is to take the nicely arranged boardwalk, where a small pebble beach invites to relax. From the port exit to the Market Square in the centre of Dover, you have to plan a walk of approximately 1,9 kilometres, respectively 25 to 30 minutes in each direction. There are some banks, a few small shops, the Dover Museum and a tourist information office. Over the Cannon Street, that leads away in north-western direction, one gets after a few metres to the main shopping street, Biggin Street, that later changes into the High Street, at which further shops, bars and restaurants are located.
- Dover Museum
Directly on the Market Square is a dominant three-storey building with a Victorian façade, the Dover Museum, founded in 1836. It has been housed in its present location since 1991, showing visitors the interesting history of the development of the city and its famous harbour, from the Stone Age to the present day. The exhibition rooms are spread over all three floors, supplemented by a souvenir shop and a small restaurant. One of the most important exhibits is a boat from the Bronze Age. It was discovered during construction work on a nearby road. It is open Monday to Saturday from 09:30-17:00 and in the summer months additionally on Sunday from 10:00-15:00. The entrance is free of charge.
- Dover Castle
High up on the nearby chalk cliffs is Dover's greatest attraction. Also known as the "Key to England", Dover Castle is one of the largest castle complexes in the country. The first fortifications were already built here in the Iron Age, the old lighthouse in Roman times in 43, and in the 12th century work began the construction of the still very well preserved complex with its underground passages. The mighty masonry is up to 6 metres thick in places. Particularly worth seeing are the extensive tunnel systems, which were also subject to intensive use during the 2nd World War. There are also some great buildings, a museum about the local history, a souvenir shop and a café/restaurant. Just the view of the city, the countryside, the harbour and the English Channel alone makes the partly steep ascent worthwhile, which of course can be mastered much more comfortably by the blue shuttle buses, by the city buses of line 15 (one ride costs 1.30 GBP), by taxi or rental car*. On a clear day, you have a good chance of seeing the French mainland. Dover Castle is accessible daily from 10:00-17:00 and the number of visitors in the tunnels is limited to 1,000 per day. Therefore, it makes sense to book the required tickets in advance. Children up to the age of 4 years are admitted free of charge. Children from 5 to 17 years have to pay GBP 11.30 each and adults from the age of 18 GBP 18.70 each per person. Families with two adults and up to three children can use a family ticket for £48.70. At the castle itself, there is a free car park with a capacity of about 200 vehicles.
- White Cliffs Visitor Centre
The impressive coastal landscape with its white chalk cliffs rises up to a height of 106 metres, inviting you to take long walks on the hiking trails. A good starting point is the National Trust Visitor Centre The White Cliffs of Dover. Here, you can get off one of the blue shuttle buses or park your rental car* in the paid car park for 5 GBP. There is space for a total of 300 vehicles. The visitor centre is open daily from 09:00-18:00. Here you can obtain an overview map and a wealth of information about the region worth seeing. There is also a souvenir shop, a café/bistro and toilets. On the way to the Fan Bay Deep Shelter or South Foreland Lighthouse, one experiences in pure nature far-reaching views of the English Channel and, with a little luck, also of the French coast.
- Fan Bay Deep Shelter
From the White Cliffs Visitor Centre towards the lighthouse, after about 40 to 45 minutes you will come to Fan Bay Deep Shelter, a tunnel system dating back to World War II. The system was part of the Fan Bay gun battery and was built between November 1940 and February 1941. Lined with corrugated iron, the tunnels are about 23 metres below the surface and can only be reached via a staircase consisting of 125 steps. Here were accommodations, storage rooms, a sick bay, toilets and washrooms. In the 1950s, the use of the tunnels was terminated, and about 20 years later the shafts were closed. It was not until 2012 that initial interest was awakened, which initiated an 18-month restoration phase and produced over 100 tons of rubble. Since 20.07.2015, the site can be visited as part of a guided tour with helmet and flashlight. Thereby it is important to wear sturdy shoes. Access may be denied if these are not worn. The tunnel tours start every 30 minutes throughout the day, with a maximum of 12 people. Information on the current occupancy rate can be obtained from the visitor centre. The cost is £10 for adults and £5 for children, payable on site and cash only. A minimum age of 8 years is required. There are no usable toilets available.
- South Foreland Lighthouse
Only a 10 to 15 minute walk from Fan Bay Deep Shelter, you will come across the 21 metre high Victorian Lighthouse, South Foreland Lighthouse. A little closer to the cliffs, there is also a second and smaller lighthouse. The so-called South Foreland Low Lighthouse is in private hands and cannot be visited. The first warning lights were already installed here in the 14th century on the imposing chalk cliffs, which were turned into iron fire bowls in 1635. Since this year, the second beacon is also in operation. The coal fires became lanterns, and in the middle of the 19th century they became the two massive lighthouses, which together with other light installations, were very important for shipping traffic for a long time. The sandbanks of the Goodwin Sands extend for more than 19 kilometres off the coast. Around 2000 ships have fallen victim to these sandbanks, which are among the largest ship graveyards in the world. Today, the three lightships North Goodwin, East Goodwin and South Goodwin, as well as several illuminated buoys are used to secure the sandbanks. The South Foreland Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in the world, which ever worked with electric light and was finally taken out of service in September 1988, almost exactly 78 years later than the Low Lighthouse. The former lighthouse keeper's cottage does not seem to have changed much since the 1950s. Mrs. Knott's Tearoom invites you here for a typical English hot drink and delicious cake. From mid-March to October, the lighthouse can be visited from the inside during a half-hourly guided tour. Up to the top, 76 steps have to be climbed. Once at the top, one gets from the landmark of the White Cliffs an excellent view to the English Channel.
- Canterbury and Transfers
One of the most popular excursion destinations in Great Britain is the small town of Canterbury, which is well worth seeing, with its impressive cathedral. The city centre is about 34 kilometres away from the moorings of the cruise ships in Dover. For this purpose, 35 to 40 minutes of travel time in each direction by rental car* must be planned. Alternatively, you can also use one of the buses of line 15, which depart from Pencester Road in the centre of Dover, and run at least every half hour. The journey time is also around 35 minutes each way. Tickets are available on the bus from the driver and cost GBP 5.70 each (single ticket). For roundtrip tickets, choose the Return Ticket for 7.30 GBP. The South East Dayrider Ticket costs the same, with which you can make as many trips as you like in the South East Region during the day. Also interesting for cruisers is the Discovery Ticket, a day ticket for 9 GBP, valid in Kent, Sussex, Surrey & East Hampshire. Apart from the public buses, the British train also arrives at Canterbury every half hour. On Sundays only every hour. Dover Priory station is approximately 2.1 kilometers from the cruise port. It takes about 30 minutes on foot and about 5 minutes by taxi (about 12 GBP). Trains stop at Canterbury East station after a 30 minute journey. The fare is GBP 8.90. A return ticket for there and back is hardly more expensive at GBP 9.50.
- Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury is world-famous for its imposing church building. The mighty Cathedral of Canterbury (Christ Church Cathedral or also The Cathedral of Christ Church) is located in the center of the city and impresses by its size alone. The 160 meter long building was founded in 597 and the bell tower, called Bell Harry, reaches a height of 72 meters. Extensive work began in 1067, after serious damage was caused mainly by raging fires. The reconstruction was followed by a steady expansion of the cathedral until the 15th century. Due to the long period of time, various architectural styles, such as Romanesque, early and late Gothic, were incorporated. The seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988, and has always been the destination of numerous pilgrims and admirers. Access is through the old Christ Church Gate for an entrance fee of 12 GBP. Children up to 17 years of age, accompanied by a paying adult, are admitted free of charge. Visitors are welcome Monday through Saturday from 09:00-17:00 and Sundays from 12:30-14:30.
- Canterbury Roman Museum
A few meters south of the famous cathedral is the Canterbury Roman Museum. It informs about the history of the city in Roman times and shows besides coins, ceramics and jewelry, also some other interesting findings. The most important exhibit is a very well preserved Roman floor mosaic, discovered during construction work. It adorns the floor of a former large town house, which was built around 70 AD. The museum is open daily from 10:00-17:00 o'clock. The last admission is possible until 45 minutes before closing. The entrance fee for adults is GBP 9 each. Children under 17 years of age are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult.
An excursion to London is not recommended due to the transfer time. With the buses of National Express (every 8 hours) or Flixbus (every hour), one reaches the British capital after about 2-2.5 hours driving time. The costs are 15-20 GBP per person. The trains of the British railroads are a bit faster, but still need at least 70 minutes (express trains) per direction. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the internet or directly at Dover Priory station. It is advisable to choose the cheaper off-peak tickets, if possible. These are offered for the off-peak periods. Outside the rush hours, you also have a free choice of train. If you want to travel a lot in London by public transport, the London One-Day-Travelcard, for the use of bus and metro, is the best choice. It gives you a discount on some boat trips on the Thames. The costs for the One-Day Off-Peak-Variant, Zone 1-6, for adults are about 15 Euro. Children are charged half. Off-Peak, i.e. off-peak time, is valid in London from Monday to Friday from 09:30 a.m. and all day on weekends. One-way tickets for the red London buses must be purchased in advance in newsagents or from ticket machines. These can be found at the most important bus stops, among others. Cash payment on the bus is not possible. Dover Priory station is about 2.1 kilometers from the cruise ship berth. This distance takes about 30 minutes on foot. A cab costs about 12 GBP and takes about 5 minutes. From London to Dover some trains are split and usually the front part continues to the port city on the English Channel. For safety reasons it is better to ask the train staff directly.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets in Dover, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. So if you book early enough you can realize a variety of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent tour operators
for, in and around Dover,
we have compiled for you here.
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you have not yet booked a cruise in Western Europe, but would like to get to know Dover personally and make excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book the next dream vacation directly with your favorite shipping company at fair conditions.
Any deep-sea and river cruises are also with the sea-journey specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria* comfortably and favorably on-line bookable. Thus, one has the choice from a variety of daily updated offers of different shipping companies. Also thereby are among other things AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel particularly inexpensively and possibly also get a great bargain.
Opening hours of the museums: Monday-Saturday from 09:30-17:00
Opening hours of the post office: Monday-Saturday from 07:00-22:00, Sunday from 08:00-20:00
Opening hours of the banks: Monday-Friday from 09:30-15:30
Opening hours of the tourist information office: Monday-Saturday from 09:30-17:00
Country code: +44
Taxi: Tel. 01304 211111 / 01304 228822 (Star Taxi)
Taxi: Tel. 01304 727272 (Dover Taxis)
Taxi: Tel. 01304 204040 / 01304 240441 (Central Taxis)
Taxi: Tel. 0800 5244 305 / 01304 210210 (Dover Royal Cars)
Taxi: Tel. 01304 208208 / 01304 202027 (County Cars & Taxis)
General emergency call: Tel. 112
Police: Tel. 999
Emergency doctor: Tel. 999
Fire Department: Tel. 999
Immunization recommendation: Tropical Institute Great Britain
Bus timetables: Dover bus connections
Train timetables: National Rail
Train timetables: South Eastern Railway
Climate table: Dover climate
Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Dover
National currency: British Pound Sterling, GBP (Great Britain Pound), 1 GBP = 100 Pence
More port information of popular cruise destinations in Western Europe