Maritime Dover

Belgian Marine ferry "Konigen Elizabeth" leaving Dover for Oostende at sunset

The Port of Dover, just 22 miles from the French coast, has long been claimed to be the busiest ferry port in the world.  At peak times, vessels enter and leave the port every few seconds.  In 1997, after major damage was done by a fire in the Channel Tunnel, the ferry companies carried 21,322,945 passengers, 3,58,355 cars and 1,603,440 trucks, plus coaches and motor-cycles (no figures to hand).

The freight lorries using the port on a single day, if parked bumper to bumper, would, according to a recent Harbour Board bulletin, stretch for 90 miles, or the distance from Dover to Guildford!

The record for the number of coaches passing through the port on a single day is 1,514, set on 7th December 1996.  On 12 August that year, 17,553 cars passed through the port in a 24-hour period - another record. 

In addition to lorry traffic, 200,000 tonnes of fruit were landed here in 2006, along with nearly 200,000 tones of aggregate dredged from the sea bed.  The port of Dover also handled 63 per cent of all cross-Channel road freight passing through Kent in 2006 and nearly 60,000 tonnes of Kent grain were exported from the port in the same period.  As many as 340 trucks an hour are weighed in at the port for embarkation to the Continent.

The cruise terminals handled over 200,000 passengers in 2006.  In the same period there were over 45,000 ferry movements in and out of the port.

Some of these pages have been updated with information and pictures from Bavington Jones (1907).

Admiralty Harbour The Admiralty Harbour - no longer used by the Navy 19/03/08
Admiralty Pier Admiralty Pier - memories of youth 24/03/08
British Railways SS Isle of Thanet and SS Dinard c.1935 05/02/08
Coastguard The Langdon Battery Coastguard Station watches over one of the world's busiest waterways 23/03/07
Commercial Harbour The Commercial Harbour 24/03/08
Cross Channel Crossing the Channel - 1930s style 22/03/07
Cross Channel Crossing the Channel - 1960s style 22/03/07
Cross Channel Crossing the Channel - 1990s style  
Cross Channel Crossing the Channel - alternative ways  
Cross Channel Crossing the Channel - 1000 B.C. 26/03/07
Dover Marine Dover Marine Station - then and now  
France Views of the French coast from the White Cliffs of Dover  
Harbour Lights Lighthouses and light buoys in the Harbour 22/03/07
Hovercraft Hovercraft across the Straits of Dover  
Leaving Home Leaving harbour en route to Europe 22/03/07
Ocean Glory Impounded cruise liner awaits its fate 22/03/07
Prince of Wales Pier The Prince of Wales Pier - then and now (with a brief memory of the Promenade Pier) 19/03/08
Promenade Along the Promenade - then and now 24/03/08
Pruessen Wreck of the Pruessen in Fan Bay, 1910 22/03/07
Shipping Shipping in Dover Harbour - then and now 22/03/07
Shakespeare Cliff Shakespeare Cliff and the Beach 24/03/08
The Basin Wellington and Granville Docks 24/03/08
The Port of Dover A (very) brief history of Dover Harbour 16/03/08
Tugs Dover Harbour Board Tugs - the way they were 28/08/06

Dover Index