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I have looked at P&O's website (www.poferries.com), and a pedestrian day trip return costs €8 each way whereas a single without a return costs €35.50.

Are there cheaper options?

I assume that buying the return and then failing to do the return journey will result in a charge to my credit card?

I need to travel from roughly Calais/Dunkerque to roughly Dover/Folkestone, and don't want to take a car.

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I doubt they'd charge your card for missing the return trip. It would be an unapproved charge, which you could dispute with your bank and get a chargeback -- no companies want that. –  dbkk May 20 '12 at 20:24
    
I have a feeling it's in the terms and conditions. I've definitely seen it before when taking a car across - basically they do the day trips at a loss knowing people will stock up on alcohol on the boat. People who buy a single tend to have a real reason for crossing and therefore will pay more. –  Rich May 20 '12 at 20:31
    
On foot, or in a car? –  Gagravarr May 20 '12 at 22:26
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Can't resist. People have been known to swim the channel so I guess you could do this for free. :) –  Karlson May 21 '12 at 13:47
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Can't resist replying :) this won't work - the French authorities don't allow people to swim the channel whereas the Brits do, so all cross channel swimmers start in Dover. Wrong direction for me! :) –  Rich May 22 '12 at 17:03
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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Transeuropaferries often offers very interesting offers from Ostend to Ramsgate. Unfortunately they don't allow boarding on foot.

A different solution would be to use Eurolines, you only need to board further away from Calais or Dover I just checked, a one way ticket from Brussels to London on June 20th is as cheap as 4 Eur one way. Don't board the bus in Calais or Dover, because then they seem to charge similar prices as boarding the ferry on foot.

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Depending where you're going from/to, Eurostar tickets start at €50, which may work out cheaper than the ferry, plus travel to the port, plus travel from the port at the other end.

The cheapest way of all is to hitch-hike on a car going through EuroTunnel. There's no charge to take an extra passenger.

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It's been a while since I used a cross-channel ferry service, but my memory is that they don't keep track of who boards when it comes to foot passengers. So they essentially have no way of telling whether you used the return part of your journey or not. Of course they may be a little more technologically advanced now. Even if they did they have no way of knowing whether you legitimately changed your plans or missed the boat back. If you paid cash for the ticket there really isn't much they can do.

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