Calais, France – The Booze Cruise


Notre Dame Eglise, Calais via

Are you thinking of making a wine trip to Calais, France? Then, don’t let anything hold you back! Don’t know what the heck I’m talking about? Then you are probably not from the UK. I heard about this several years ago from my friend who lives in Hastings. The French liquor and wine selection is much greater and much cheaper bought in the homeland. If you live in London or further south in England, making a trip across to France particularly right now, pre-party season is a smart move. Read on to experience this day or weekend trip that not only saves money but can be loads of fun!

Calais, via flckr

The Dover to Calais ferry crossing is a short hop indeed, and there are plenty more reasons to visit than the splendid, affordable wine itself. Our ultimate guide to the perfect cross Channel jaunt will help you find the best bargains, enjoy the finest foods, take in the sights and avoid any problems at customs when you dock back in Blighty.First a little mathematics: don’t worry it won’t be taxing. (no pun intended)

  1. The average ferry crossing costs around £30. ($47, 37€)
  2. Savings on quality French wines, compared to buying back home, are widely available at around £3 a bottle. ($4.7, 3.8€)
  3. You only need to actually buy 10 bottles of wine (10 x £3 = £30) to give yourself a day to really remember at no cost at all. ($47, 37€)

The reason wines are so cheap in France is taxes. The UK government puts at least £2 tax ($3.13, 2.5€) on every bottle of wine. This means you automatically save this amount, as well as benefitting from the volume savings the wine specialists can offer because they purchase in bulk.

So which wines should you look out for, and where are the best places to do your sampling and shopping? It’s all here for you in our guide. There is one top tip for a top trip that that’s worth spelling out for you right now, however. Think ahead and you could save even more.


Rodin’s great Burgers at Calais

Many Calais wine merchants offer discounts if you order your wine in advance online. Some offer travel discounts, others offer savings on your wine and, with a quick search, you can find those who offer both. Of course, with less time needed to select your future tipples, you’ll also have more time to explore Calais and relax over a meal.

So let’s get going. The coastal town of Calais is dominated by the UNESCO World Heritage town hall and in front of this is Rodin’s famous life-size bronze sculpture.


Audreselles via

Those who venture outside of the centre are rewarded by the delightful sandy beach and, a few minutes’ drive along the rugged headlands of the coast, the charming fishing villages of Audresselles and Wissant.

If all that sea air is making you peckish there are plenty of suggestions for the best places to dine, and you won’t find it hard to find a restaurant to unwind in. (see links below) After that, should the fine food, sightseeing and wine take its toll, you can always grab forty winks on the ferry journey home.
Bon voyage!


My Ferry
Calais Tripism
Calais Town Hall
Michelin Guide Restos Calais