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Cruises to Dover

54 Reviews
1 Award
Aerial view of the White Cliffs of Dover (Photo: Peter Smith)

About Dover

Located 76 miles (122 kilometers) to the east of London, Dover is a major passenger cruise port (as much for cruise ferries as it is for conventional ships) that's considered England's gateway to Europe.

Dover is best known for its stunning white cliffs (remember the World War II song "White Cliffs of Dover"?) that perch over the English Channel. It's also got a quite-spectacular castle. Once, in the mid-19th century, it was a popular seaside resort, though it was repeatedly bombed during World War II. Dover's city center hasn't yet fully regained its footing.

Dover is most commonly a port of embarkation and/or debarkation (itineraries can vary, from those that head to the Baltics and Northern Europe to those cruising south, to the Mediterranean), and most cruise passengers who want extra time in England will use London as their base instead. London is about a 1 1/2-hour train ride or two-hour drive away. Dover's proximity to some major southeast England towns and villages means there are alternatives to big city touring as well: Rye, a 1 1/4-hour drive south, is a charming medieval village and the city of Canterbury is noted for its awesome cathedral, among other sites. For day trips, Sissinghurst, Vita Sackville-West's famous gardens, are near enough to tuck into an "on the way to the port" sightseeing jaunt, as is Leeds Castle.

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  • Why go to Dover?

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Holland America Rotterdam
Holland America Line's Rotterdam at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

18 Night
150th Anniversary Transatlantic & North Sea Explor...Details

64 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Holland America Rotterdam
Holland America Line's Rotterdam at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

21 Night
150th Anniversary Transatlantic & North Sea Explor...Details

64 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Holland America Rotterdam
Holland America Line's Rotterdam at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

13 Night
150th Anniversary TransatlanticDetails

64 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Sky
Viking Sky

120 Night
120 Night Viking World JourneysDetails

1,110 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Jan 6, 2024
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120 Night
120 Night Viking World JourneysDetails

1,110 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Jan 5, 2025
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14 Night
Atlantic Sunsets And Exotic IslesDetails

64 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 13, 2024
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12 Night
Transatlantic CruiseDetails

1,619 Reviews
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Apr 22, 2023
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14 Night
North Cape & Norwegian FjordsDetails

148 Reviews
Leaving:Dover
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
Aug 10, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
British Isles ExplorerDetails

117 Reviews
Leaving:London
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Apr 19, 2024
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12 Night
British Isles CruiseDetails

1,619 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
May 24, 2023
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12 Night
British Isles CruiseDetails

1,619 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Jul 23, 2023
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11 Night
British Isles CruiseDetails

110 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
May 14, 2023
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12 Night
Western Europe's Historic & Cultural IconsDetails

61 Reviews
Leaving:Dover
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
Apr 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
Spitsbergen & Icelandic Fjords ExplorerDetails

1,011 Reviews
Leaving:Rotterdam
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jun 11, 2023
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12 Night
British Isles CruiseDetails

1,619 Reviews
Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Jun 11, 2024
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More about Dover

Why go to Dover?

Pros:

Famed for its white cliffs and medieval castle, which are well worth a visit if you're game for a coastal walk

Cons:

There's little to do in the immediate port area other than take a seafront stroll

Bottom Line:

Perfect for a low-key port call and tucking into authentic British fish and chips

Dover Cruise Port Facilities?

Dover's city center is a brisk 30-minute walk from the port terminal (ten-minute ride) and it offers basic services -- drugstore, cybercafe, grocery store. But otherwise, most of the city's major attractions require auto transportation.

Getting Around?

In Dover, cabs are relatively easy to hail. Major car rental agencies like Hertz and National have outposts here.

From London's Airports to Dover: Your best bet is to arrive at Gatwick (a 45-minute drive) or Heathrow (1 3/4-hour drive). Trains from both airports are frequent and both connect through central London. Or opt for renting a car with one-way drop-off from the aforementioned rental car agencies. Taxis are pretty expensive -- from Heathrow, you'll pay about 125 pounds (nearly $250 dollars), and that's one-way.

From London to Dover: Options for traveling to/from London include the new high-speed (1 hour 20 minutes) Javelin train, which runs throughout the day to/from St. Pancras Station ($37.50 day return; $74.60 open return) to/from Dover Priory Station via www.nationalrail.com. Frequent daily buses to/from Victoria Coach Station to/from Dover's Pencester Road ($19.50, 2 1/2 hours) via www.nationalexpress.com. For both local and expanded taxi service, try Central Executive Taxi (44 (0)1304 ($175, 2 hours). Car rental agencies are plentiful, including Avis, Hertz, Budget, National, and Europcar.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The national currency is the sterling pound (quid in slang). Currency exchange can be made in most banks, post offices and train stations (for current currency exchange, go to www.oanda.com). Traveler's checks should be exchanged at banks or exchange offices since very few businesses will accept them (ATMs and credit cards make them nearly obsolete). For the best exchange rate, use ATMs found almost everywhere.

If you are visiting from outside the European Union, you can get back some of the 17.5 percent VAT (Value Added Tax) you pay on certain goods. Not all shops participate, and stores that do, set a minimum purchase level. You will need to carry your passport with you and fill in a form at the time of purchase. Present the forms to Customs at the final departure from the European Union, but keep in mind the agents most likely will ask to see the goods

Note: Some ATMs in England require a PIN to be only four digits long, so plan ahead. Also, many display only numerals on the keypad. For pin codes that include letters, commit them to memory or jot down the translation to numbers.

Language?

English is understood and spoken everywhere.

Where You're Docked?

The Port of Dover is a one-mile/20-minute walk (or quick cab ride) to the town center, Priory Station and Pencester Road. A shuttle bus is available to/from the town center. The Tourist Information Centre is on Old Town Gaol Street and is open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. In July and August, it's open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.


Dover Cruise Reviews
Easy to access and good facilities. Read More
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AdeAfloat
A quick and painless embarkation despite COVID-19. Only downside was the traffic personnel on the gate who were difficult and made the taxi drop us at the gate as we were a few minutes early. Read More
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Escapehelpme
A much more accessible port by road than Southampton. We were off the ship at 0800 and on the A20 at 0812. In Southampton's Ocean Terminal we were 45 minutes trying to get out of the car park! Bigger ships will only Read More
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AdeAfloat
Went to Dover Castle on our own and had a very interesting day. Read More
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CruiseC5449

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