Regardless of whether this is your first trip by ferry, or you are an experienced campaigner then I'm confident you will find some useful information in this section of the website.
Make sure you have the documentation you need for all passengers such as passport or ID card and of course if you are driving in France you will need the vehicle documents, such as Log Book (V5), MOT, and Insurance documents.
See our driving in France checklist
for more details.
Each ferry company has its own rules for boarding, but typically its three quarters of an hour to an hour as an absolute minimum for check-in prior to the ferry departing. I like to be there two hours before the ferry is due to leave just to avoid the queues.*
When you book you will get check-in details via email from the ferry company so read them carefully and let them know if you have any special travel needs that they should be aware of.
*I never go during peak periods, like school holidays, but if you must then please allow extra time. Post Brexit the queues at passport control have increased dramatically. So allow as much as 4 hours during the main summer holidays.