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Boarding on your ferry: information

Booking a departure with a ferry is sometimes a bit tricky. you need to be well aware of all those boarding procedures, in order to avoid problems such as wasting time. The best is to enquire in advance about the rules and regulations to follow.

What are the questions that must be asked in these cases? The first is the time at which you must get to the boarding. Each shipping company has its own standards, but there are some common rules that must be respected. Although that might sound like a boarding procedure simple and straightforward, so it is not! We must, first of all, to make a distinction: it is carrying a vehicle to be loaded? In this case, you will have to follow a precise procedure, while in the contrary case they will have to follow another. However, it is good to show up well in advance to allow the normal procedures. We have to remember, in fact, that after September 11, the procedures for security checks have become more rigid and they are also joined by a number of rules imposed by individual shipping companies.

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Photo CC-BY-SA K. Weise

But when and how do you check in to board the ferry?

To board the ferry you should get hold of the boarding pass which is the pass for boarding.

Be careful, though, not to be confused it with the pass ticket that was purchased at the agency, online or at the ticket office. The latter is needed to confirm whether the booking has been made or not and must be presented at the ticket office in order to receive the other pass. When boarding, it will be checked by the crew. The staff will keep a half of the ticket, while the other part will be returned to the passengers.

The boarding pass is the only “tool” that allows you to access the ship, since aoon after it has been released, it implies that the ticket have been checked, the documents have been controlled and you got everything you need to be on board. The pass is a real document where it is recorded the first and last name of the passenger, the vessel’s name and the destination(s). Also it will be reported on it the code of the operator who performed the check and therefore issued the pass, and also it is listed the time and the date of travel.

Finally, again on the boarding pass you can read the information regarding the accommodation which has been reserved for the passenger and the ticket number that it had purchased. All this procedure will identify the passenger in a safe manner and it is necessary to control the situation.

As regards the necessary time for boarding, it is to highlight that the span of time will vary greatly depending on the shipping companies and, especially, according to the presence or not of a vehicle to be loaded.

Some companies allow about 20 minutes before boarding, although it is usual to ask two hours in advance, in order to facilitate the check in, especially if you have a car with you. There are fairly restrictive rules, however, which are necessary for a smooth procedure of all the operations of embarking. Of course, if you are without a vehicle you can be accepted on board even just before departure if the crew ensures that all practices have been carried out with precision and the check in was completed without problems. Despite this, however, the best advice is to always present within the time limits, in order to avoid problems that could ban the right to boarding.

What happens when you have to park a vehicle?

This is a very difficult situation, because you have to try to calculate what is the best load distribution. Precisely for this reason, we must adapt to the directives of the assigned officer to this operation. Usually it must be done without replying or complaining, even when they let the machines or of vehicles arrived at a later time get into before you. Once the vehicle is boarded and parked, it will be forbidden to access the garage and, therefore, it is important to get from the car everything you will need for the trip.

It is necessary, therefore, to remember to take your mobile phone charger with you but also medicines and money for the crossing. You can re-enter the vehicle only and exclusively when you arrive at the port of destination and after the starting of the landing procedures.

Although  boarding may seem a rather hectic stage when travelling on the ferry, especially for those who are “rookies”, it is important to understand that you need to follow all the rules, without panicking. However, fears could only be detrimental to the situation. Finally, you may want to consult all the indications that have been given by the company in order to clarify what to do and when to do it.