Fast Train To Dover

During the last two weeks, I’ve had to travel from London to Dover twice. So I’ve conducted a little experiment, as getting to Dover to join a ship has always been a pain, unless you happen to live in Kent.

Last time I did the journey by train, it was a two-hour trek across country from London Victoria with multiple stops. But everything’s changed now. You can still choose the scenic route from Victoria but I tried the new, high speed service from St Pancras International. I can’t believe Dover port or the local tourist board hasn’t made a bigger fuss about this, as it makes a huge difference to getting to the port and would completely change the experience of a day trip to London for visiting cruise passengers.

The new, super-speedy trains use the same fast track as the Eurostar trains and make the journey in just an hour and a quarter. No changes, no fuss, and just four stops. It cost me £35 return (£5 more than the slow train), plus a fixed £8 each way for a cab in Dover from the station to the cruise terminal. The trains are air conditioned, spotlessly clean and spacious – and travelling that fast felt like flying.

In contrast, I took Crystal Cruises’ courtesy coach from central London to Dover yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the idea of a courtesy coach, but it took two and a half hours, the first hour of which was spent sitting, frustrated and bored, in snarled-up London traffic.

So if your ship is calling at Dover and you want to visit London independently, or if you’re travelling from beyond the capital to join a cruise at the port, do yourself a favour and try the train. It’s what I’ll be doing in future.

SJB

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1 Comment

Filed under Advice, Luxury Cruises

One response to “Fast Train To Dover

  1. This week we took the motorcoach transfer down to Dover, and the scenery was okay, but this is excellent advice! Next time we’ll try out the train to save us some time. Thanks so much!

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