‘Please do not proceed to port without a confirmed reservation, contact P&O Ferries for alternative travel arrangements,’ says rival ferry firm
P&O Ferries suspended its Dover-Calais sailings on 17 March, after telling nearly 800 crew they had been made redundant immediately. P&O has been telling passengers they can be carried on the services of DFDS – which sails from the Kent port to Calais and Dunkirk in northern France.
But DFDS has tweeted: “DFDS has no availability for P&O customers between 08 April 00.01 and 10 April 23.59.
“Please do not proceed to port without a confirmed reservation, contact P&O Ferries for alternative travel arrangements.”
Three large P&O Ferries vessels are tied up at Dover’s cruise terminal, when normally they would be running a busy shuttle service to Calais and back.
Under passenger rights’ rules, ferry travellers whose sailings are cancelled are entitled to a new journey.
The Department for Transport says: “If your ship is cancelled, or if it is more than 90 minutes late to leave, you can choose between:
- a new ticket to the place you were going. This will leave as soon as possible. It will be a similar type of travel and will not cost extra.
- or to get your money back for your ticket. If you were on your way back you will also be taken back to where you started.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, 5 April, P&O Ferries is continuing to advise travellers to travel on DFDS. It has previously said: “Please arrive as booked, we will get you away on an alternative carrier asap.”
Last weekend – the start of the Easter getaway for many British families – roads in east Kent were gridlocked as traffic queued to access the port of Dover. The coming weekend is expected to be even busier.
There is no indication of when P&O Ferries might start up again on the short Channel crossing.
The company tweeted: “All P&O Ferries Passenger Services are suspended this weekend.
“For travel 8/9/10 April please re-book directly with another operator before arriving at the port. DFDS will not be able to transfer P&O customers onto their services.”
Meanwhile traffic in Kent is becoming more congested as the number of trucks seeking to cross the Channel increases.
Overnight National Highways tweeted: “Call out to all HGV drivers – as congestion continues tonight on the M20 please be prepared for delays and be sure to use truck stop facilities ahead of joining the queues for Dover .”
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