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Europe's busiest ferry port takes airline chaos in its stride

16 April 2010

Issued at 0700hrs

The Port of Dover has helped masses of displaced airline passengers on their way as calm seas across the English Channel offered a safe alternative to the volcanic storm, providing a vital route in and out of the UK.


Handling over 13 million passengers a year, numbers that are equivalent to those of major airports, the Port and its ferry operators have been ensuring a smooth operation that can confidently cater for an increase in passenger numbers.


The Port of Dover made special arrangements overnight to keep the Travel Centre open and to provide a warm, welcoming and efficient service to those caught up in the airport chaos.  The ferry operators made arrangements during the night to take additional foot passengers on sailings to keep people moving.  Many passengers will have been new customers to the Port, experiencing ferry travel for the first time.


However, this is the second such occasion in recent times when passengers using other forms of transport have turned to the reliable ferry services from Dover in order to get them to their destination when others could not.  Looking back to the Eurostar breakdown last Winter when thousands had their holiday plans almost ruined, the Port is again stepping up to the mark and welcoming passengers whose travel plans have been severely disrupted by major air travel problems.


Bob Goldfield, Port of Dover Chief Executive said “we were delighted to help passengers who would otherwise have been stranded continue their journey.  Our contingency plans were swiftly implemented in order to provide the best service we can to them.”


The Port expects another busy day as flight restrictions continue and will be doing all it can to look after affected passengers trying to find a reliable alternative way to travel.


Customers are strongly advised to contact the ferry operators before travelling:


Tourist passengers information


P&0                  08716 646464

SeaFrance         0871 22 22 500

Norfolkline         0844 847 5007

LD Lines            0844 576 88 36