Being the closest harbour to the continent, Dover claims to be the busiest port in the UK - perhaps even the world - and the strategic and historical importance of Dover is unquestionable. Thankfully the marina is tucked away at the opposite end of the harbour and quite a distance from the commercial port, but the entrance to the marina is shared by cruise ships and fast ferries. There are three marinas to choose from when visiting Dover. Wellington Dock offers 160 berths, accessed by a lock/swing bridge, ±1.5hrsHW, and the Tidal Harbour with 110 berths and 24 hr access to a depth of 2.5m. Most visitors go to Granville Dock which offers 130 berths accessible for about 60% of the tidal cycle via a lock gate, ±3.5hrs HW. The High standards and quality of its services and facilities have won the marina a 5 gold anchor rating by the YHA and it also holds the RYA's Berth Holders Charter. It’s not a onerous walk into town, there are many short cuts across the swing bridges and the walk along the harbour beach front via the Royal Cinque Ports YC makes a pleasant detour. Immediately to the west of Granville Dock, on Limekiln St, is a handy 24 hr garage which sells food, wine, groceries and news papers.
Dover's main hazard is the sheer volume of shipping, accordingly it is compulsory for all vessels to call Port Control in VHF Ch74 - preferably when 2 miles off the entrance. When given permission to enter the harbour you should maintain a listening watch on Ch77. Allowance must be made for strong winds and tides, the tidal set across the entrance can reach 4.5kts during springs, and strong SW winds in particular can cause a dangerous swell off the western entrance. There is a NCM just inside the western entrance. Do not pass between it and the southern breakwater.
The entry channel between the north and south piers are dredged to 5m. The entrance to both the Granville and Wellington dock are under traffic signals;
RED RED RED vert: do not proceed
GREEN WHITE GREEN vert: proceed
Quick flashing light by Port control or harbour launch means keep clear of the entrance you’re approaching.