Why go to Dover?
Famed for its white cliffs and medieval castle, which are well worth a visit if you're game for a coastal walk
There's little to do in the immediate port area other than take a seafront stroll
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.
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.
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.