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Cruises to Dover

Aerial view of the White Cliffs of Dover (Photo: Peter Smith)
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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DAY 1: Amsterdam

12 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Dover, Isle of Portland ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Stockholm

24 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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DAY 1: Dover

8 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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DAY 1: Miami

139 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama City ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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53 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Reykjavik
Visiting:
Skjoldungen Island, Tasiilaq ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Dover, Cobh ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Edinburgh, Greenock ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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123 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Edinburgh, Greenock ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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47 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Reykjavik
Visiting:
Isafjordur, Akureyri ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Alesund, Stavanger ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Oslo, Gothenburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Honfleur, Saint-Malo ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Kirkwall, Reykjavik ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Bergen
Visiting:
Shetland Islands, Invergordon ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Bristol, Fishguard ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Edinburgh, Invergordon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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58 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Invergordon, Lerwick ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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35 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Cowes, Belfast ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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108 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Bali ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Rotterdam ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
London
Visiting:
Dover, Dublin ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Greenock, Dublin ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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23 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Waterford, Dublin ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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29 Night
Cruise to Dover

Leaving:
Dover
Visiting:
Amsterdam, Rotterdam ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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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

DONALD SHEDD
Sail Date: May 2018
Went to Dover Castle on our own and had a very interesting day.... Read More
Pacific Princess
MostlyLegal
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Dover is an easy port to access and to sail from. And those white cliffs really are white.... Read More
Pacific Princess
travelrevealed
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Get a great view of the white cliffs of Dover from the ship port... Read More
tring
Sail Date: Apr 2019
We were in Dover for change over day. Not much there, but walked into the town and back. We also went to Portimao, which is an excellent, unspoilt port in The Algarve and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.... Read More
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