Best route to Ireland from Frankfurt with dogs

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My wife and I are considering driving to Galway from Frankfurt round trip later in the spring with our two small poodle-mix dogs. I am aware of the RHD vs LHD issue and have looked at some prices. But I still cannot decide which route is best. Should we take a single ferry straight from France or take the Channel Tunnel to the UK, drive across England to Holyhead instead. Does anyone have any information that might be helpful?

 

Thanks

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I'm off later to London although from Berlin (3rd time this year)

 

I have booked the Ferry going as we mostly drive straight through so I like the break and the cost is always much cheaper.

 

When coming back we always book the tunnel and stay at Premier Inn in Ashford then get a train around 08.00 which starts us off in France at 09.30-10.00. Never book the ferry coming back mainly cause of the hour difference and the ferry time of 90 minutes.

 

Just bear in mind that Eurotunnel has no special offers so you'll be looking at paying anything from €140.00 upwards. Booking ferries in advance can cost as little as €60.00 return.

 

Regards going over UK or direct with Ferry I would go over UK but that's personal and 30 minutes driving in France is more than enough for me.

 

Just remember if you get stopped in France you're supposed to have breathalyser kit which can be bought in Petrol Stations in Belgium, I've never bothered.

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the tunnel is really pricey.

definitely ferry it.

Cherbourg to Dublin?

how about Rotterdam Hull, then Liverpool Dublin if you wanna break it up?

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I am aware that it's cheaper to buy ferry/tunnel tickets in advance. So we want to get them soon but not sure what the best option might be. Our trip will be at the end of April and we are not sure of the return yet - most likely 5 or 6 weeks. We also have dogs with us which is also a concern.

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probably best to sort out the dog concerns first then book some ferries.

some info is here, and perhaps someone on the board can advise first hand.

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Rotterdam - Hull likewise with Hook of Holland to Harwich are extremely expensive and long crossings. With 2 dogs in tow that would definitely be a no no in my opinion and not forgetting they will be held in a separate area from you so not much fun for them.

 

Best for the dogs if you want them with you at all times is the tunnel or ferry for 90 minutes but they would again be held in a holding area.

 

I have no idea why as the dogs remain in the car on the tunnel but you have to pay extra.

 

Crossing times direct to Ireland vary from 14-22 hours so a long time for dogs.

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Check carefully regarding how the dogs travel. We have taken channel ferry crossings (France-UK) where the dog was NOT held in a holding area - but stayed in the car. We were the last people off the car deck and the first back down and the dog got to stay in a relatively familiar environment. Looking at the ferry company websites, dogs stay in cars on some of the short Irish sea crossings too.

 

The Channel tunnel is, of course, better for pets. You stay in the car with the animal(s) and the journey is over more quickly.

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We also have dogs with us which is also a concern

It used to be a lot stricter, but you can find further details from the department of agriculture for bringing a dog from another EU country into Ireland.

 

Haven't done it in years but the Irish Ferries Cherbourg to Rosslare crossing was about 22 hours iirc, so to Dublin would roughly be a day. They don't require you to keep your dogs in the car, offering some sort of on-board kennel service, if I've read their pet policy on their site correctly.

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ive done spins from Munich to Ireland via the direct ferry, on both Irish Ferries and Celtic Link, and via England using tunnel/ Dover-Calais/ Dover-Dunkirk and both Irish sea crossings i.e. Dublin + Rosslare.

No matter what you do its a long old spin.

If you take the direct ferry the dog will be locked up for between 20 and 22 hours in a small kennel. Is this something youre happy to do? You can visit the dog aparantly at designated times, but for the most of the time he/ she will be on their own in a small kennel.

The alternative to go "landbridge" via England means you have the dog locked up in the back of the car but being able to give it regular walks when necessary and on demand and you are near the dog for far longer.

Driving wise the spin to Cherbourg is dead easy, especially if you go via LeHavre and avoid the craziness of Paris roads. You pay a toll but that puts off any local drivers from clogging up the roads. Personally I'd do it every time if the direct ferry was at a reasonable price (which it is 10 months of the year aside from July/ August when prices quadruple).

The alternative is to drive through the 3 most densly populated areas in Europe, i.e. NRW, Belgium/ Flanders in particular(higher than Netherlands!) and South East England. Theres so many chances of getting stuck somewhere in a bad traffic jam that you need to plan fairly well in advance. i.e. dont hit Cologne during rush hour, nor Brussels, nor London, nor Birmingham. And thats avoiding morning and evening rush hour in all places. A GPS system with the TMS (automatic traffic information) is very useful and can help you avoid driving unnecessarily into a bad jam. For overnight stops, places like the Premier inn are magnificient, but dogs arent allowed so will need to stay in the car (which still is more spacious than a small kennel to be honest).

Stena and Irish ferries do a combi "landbridge" ticket for very reasonable price, especially if you can travel away from the weekends, which you really should do anyhow to avoid the worst of traffic.

For example, Stena is €140 for channel crossing Dunkirk/Calais-Dover + Irish sea crossing to Rosslare or Dublin for car and driver + 1 passenger till end of march and a tenner more till June.

http://www.stenaline.ie/ferries-to-britain/europe-by-car

Irish ferries is similar. http://www.irishferries.com/de/offers/landbridge/

 

So really, what is "best" is difficult so say. I'd normally be prepared to pay a little more for the direct ferry (also bearing in mind petrol and tolls as a factor on both routes) in order to avoid traffic and have a handy drive on the continent and avoid the hasssle of England. You can relax with a pint after getting on the ferry, get breakfast at your leisure the next morning and theres only a few hours drive till your destination.

But going via England has its advantages as you can visit friends/ relatives or make a diversion to a museum or nice area like the Cotswolds which is not even taking you much out of your way. Its also not too bad if you have your homework done and avoid the worst of rush hour. And landing to Dublin means a handy drive to Galway via port tunnel and motorway, rather than 4hours cross country from Rosslare behind old grannies out doing their shopping. And you are with your dog for more of the time so your stress at the wheel might mean less strss for the dog as they arent alone for the guts of 24hours.

Anyhow, best figure the prices of both on paper, including petrol and tolls and possible overnights and should the prices be similar then work out which suits you more.

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