Ways to Cross the English Channel

You may not realize that there are only 21 miles between the towns of Dover, England and Calais, France. The two countries are separated by a part of the English Channel known as the Strait of Dover. Because of this handy location, many travelers use this point to begin and end vacations.

There are several ways to get across the Strait of Dover. If you’re in top physical shape and train for months, you can attempt to swim across. I must immediately state that I do not recommend this at all. It was first officially done in 1875 by Captain Matthew Webb. Since then, thousands of people have successfully completed the daunting swim. Nowadays, there several groups that exist for the purpose of verifying and supervising people who wish to attempt the swim. The fastest verified swim was done in 2007 by Petar Stoychev. He managed to swim the entire distance in just under seven hours.

For people who would like to cross in a more conventional method there are a couple of options. You can opt to take a ride on a Eurostar train in the Chunnel. The Chunnel is an underwater tunnel set up for this purpose. At it’s deepest point, passengers ride about 250 ft below the sea level. The Chunnel is actually buried under the ocean bed. Around 16 million people per year use this method to cross.

The other common approach to crossing is by taking one of the many ferries that are available. The Dover-Calais ferry is pretty popular. The ride usually takes just over an hour and it is relaxing and beautiful, unless you get seasick . This method of crossing is great if you want to take your time, read a book, and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the ocean.

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