<p>All at sea: a DFDS ferry arriving in Dover, carrying some passengers who were booked on P&O Ferries</p>

All at sea: a DFDS ferry arriving in Dover, carrying some passengers who were booked on P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries passengers told that DFDS can’t take them from Dover to France at the weekend

‘Please do not proceed to port without a confirmed reservation, contact P&O Ferries for alternative travel arrangements,’ says rival ferry firm

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 06 April 2022 09:23
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Ahead of one of the busiest weekends of the year, DFDS Ferries has warned thousands of passengers booked with P&O Ferries that it will have no space for them on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

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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