One of the best things about living on the coast of south-east England is our proximity to continental Europe. The Eurotunnel departs down the road from our house and gets you to France in 30 minutes time. Unfortunately the train can be quite pricey, so we often take the ferry from Dover to Calais instead. Although the ferry takes closer to two hours, it is an experience in itself. I came across £1 tickets for a day trip to Calais and booked a Sunday outing straightaway.
We almost always book with P&O Ferries as our experience with the other ferry operators has not been as pleasant. I was excited to find out that P&O Ferries decided to upgrade our tickets to include the Club Lounge, so that we could experience a touch of luxury on our journey. We had such an incredible time that the other half has vowed to never ride the ferry again without his Club Lounge access.
When we arrived into the Club Lounge we were greeted with glasses of champagne, absolutely no crowd, and luxurious seating for the duration of the trip. The staff looked after our every need, offering complimentary newspapers, coffee, and tea. We ordered a continental bread selection (Pain au chocolate with champagne on a France trip- isn’t that mandatory?) and waffle with fresh fruit for the kid. The bathrooms were spotless, and if you have visited the public bathrooms on the ferry you know that this is not usually the case.
If you are travelling with children there are no facilities for them to play as there are in other areas on-board the ship. To be honest, this makes it much better… and quieter. The kids are expected to be on their best behavior and you avoid the screaming, out-of-control children that seem to have been abandoned by their parents in the communal lounges. There were some nice books available, and we spent a considerable amount of time reading through a coffee table book on the history of P&O Ferries.
By the time we reached France we were honestly sad to go. It was by far the most relaxing trip on the ferry we had ever taken. On our return trip we enjoyed the gorgeous weather out on the deck, with cold beer, ice cream and plenty of sunshine. We had a great time in Calais, more to come soon, but the ferry trip was definitely a highlight.
Access to the Club Lounge will cost you £14 per person (£12 if you pre-book), including children, each way. You won’t save much money, but it is definitely worth treating yourself every once in awhile. I know we will be!