Dover, Lock and Key of England
Dover is a medium-sized town located on the southern coast of Britain around 65 miles south east of the capital London. The town is only 34km from Calais in France, between the two lies the Strait of Dover. Because of its commanding position on the English Channel coast, Dover has the nickname the Lock and Key of England. On each side of Dover stand the impressive White Cliffs, which are composed of chalk. The Latin word for white is albus - in olden times England was named Albion.
From long ago in Anglo-Saxon times Dover was an important center, carefully laid-out with a fort, a dock, a large church, a mint and a metalworks. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Dover turned into a garrison town heavily defended to ward off any French attack. Gun batteries were built on the sea front and across the Western Heights of the town. In the Second World War Dover earned the name Hellfire Corner as it came under a barrage of enemy shelling and bombing.
Today Dover can boast a lively town community, the busiest ferry port in the UK, an imposing Norman castle, and the stunning White Cliffs. The town’s cruise port is now the 2nd largest UK cruise port and the 8th largest North European cruise port greeting over 190000 cruise passengers annually. The number of cruises from Dover on offer each year is well over a hundred.
Cruise Ship Terminals
Dover possesses 2 well-equipped cruise terminals, each with its own quayside and passenger loading bridge. There is also a 3rd quayside for cruise ships making port calls.
Cruise Terminal 1
In 1994-96 the former Marine Railway Station at Dover’s Western docks was transformed into cruise terminal 1. Many of the original features were kept and they give a unique atmosphere of an earlier era. Facilities include telephone booths, snackbar, toilets, waiting area, luggage handling and check-in desk.
Cruise Terminal 2
Cruise Terminal 2 was built In 1999, a project that necessitated the infill of a part of the port’s Admiralty pier. The terminal building offers all the necessary services including snack machines, pay phones, an information kiosk and restrooms.
Secure car parking is conveniently available right at the cruise port. Porters will help you carry your luggage from your car to the cruise terminal. Providing extra piece of mind whilst you're on your cruise, Dover Harbour Police carry out regular patrols of the car park.
Cruises From Dover
Cruise lines offer a terrific range of cruises from Dover. These include regular sailings to the Baltic and Norway. Other itineraries offered include around Britain, continental Europe, the Canary Islands, Iceland and the Mediterranean. You can pick from cruises of 4, 7, 14 or even longer days in duration.
Things To Do Near Dover Cruise Port
Defending the closest English sea port to France, Dover Castle has had a central part in English history since the Roman era. On your visit you'll see the King’s Chamber, the Outer Bailey, the King’s Hall, the Guest Chamber, the King’s Brewery, the Guest Hall, the medieval tunnels and the castle walls. It’s a steep ascent up to the castle from town center but you can catch a bus instead of walk.
Roman Painted House
Originally dating from around AD 200 the Roman Painted house formed part of a sprawling mansio or hotel for travelers arriving from across the Channel. The house boasts extensive mostly undamaged wall frescoes and an intricate hypocaust system. From June to September the house is open daily except Mondays.
White Cliffs Of Dover
Over 320ft high in sections, the White Cliffs of Dover give a magnificent view over the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel. You can stroll along the tops of Langdon cliffs, the cliffs closest Dover, and visit South Foreland Lighthouse. The lighthouse is open to visitors in the summer months. The cliffs inspired the popular Vera Lynn World War II song, There’ll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover.
The centerpiece at Dover Museum is a Bronze Age Boat, which is about 3500 years old. The boat was originally constructed with oak planks held together by yew lashings. The museum contains a number of other collections, which account the history of this wealthy and important region.
St. Margaret’s Bay
4 miles along the shoreline east of Dover, you’ll find charming St Margaret’s Bay, fronted by a delightful shingle beach. There’s ample parking, an ice cream kiosk, and some benches to sit on. One option for traveling to St Margaret’s from Dover is the number 15 bus, which offers an hourly service.
Traveling to the Cruise Port
From the M2/A2
Simply head along the M2/A2 route to Dover then follow the signs for the Cruise Terminals.
From the M20/A20
Shortly before Dover town there’s a roundabout with one of the exits signed for Western Docks and Cruise Terminals. Take this.
There is an excellent train service between London and Dover for passengers on cruises from Dover. Two high speed trains each hour leave London St Pancras mainline station reaching Dover Priory railway station in little over an hour. From Dover’s railway station, it’s a short 10 minute ride by taxi to the cruise port.Cruise Port Map
(click on image for larger image)
Cruise Port Location(s)
@ googlemaps.com Port of Dover
Port Of Dover
Port Of Dover
Current Marine Traffic
@ marinetraffic.com Dover Marine Traffic
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