Located in Cardiff, I was pleased to discover Hull was only a four-hour car journey away (if you think that was bad, it could have been worse!).
My car journey took me along the M4 and onto the M5. I circled underneath Birmingham on the M42 before joining the M1. At Doncaster, I split onto the M18 before joining the M62, close to Goole. From there, the A63 runs pretty much right to the port.
If you are travelling from London, you will most likely want to use the A1(M). Detour through Lincoln and across the Humber Bridge to save time compared to going via Doncaster.
If you are travelling from the North, use the A1(M) if you are heading down the east of the country or the M6 and M62 if you are driving down the west coast.
The Port of Hull comprises of two passenger terminals. Sailings to Rotterdam depart from Terminal 1. The port had to build a second terminal to accommodate Pride of Rotterdam and Pride of Hull as they both wouldn't fit through the lock gates. Bizarrely the second terminal is now known as Terminal 1!
At the main roundabout with two King George Dock roads diverging, you want to take the second one passing a vast area housing containers on the left. A long straight road bends to the left where you'll travel under a bridge used for loading cargo onto the ferries.
You'll see a big blue terminal building on the left. The car park here is a multi-storey, and the entrance is next to the main entrance to this building. If you drive under the blue bridges (used to load cars and passengers onto the ferries) you've gone too far.
Car parking at the Port of Hull
An external company operates the car parks at the Port. Pay extra care when parking to avoid penalty notices and hefty fines. The entire ground floor level is poorly signed but is reserved for Blue Badge drivers so take care here. At the time of writing, the car park charge was £7 per 24 hours or part thereof.
Don't make the same mistake as me. I arrived on a Thursday evening and left on a Saturday morning. I fed the machine £21 for a mere 41 hours, instead of £14.
Arriving by train
Hull Railway Station is a large transport hub in the centre of the city, adjacent to the Central Bus Station. Direct services run from Hull to York, Bridlington, Doncaster, London via Selby, Sheffield, Scarborough, and Manchester. Plan your journey here.
There's a single bus service running from The Interchange (next to St Stephen's shopping centre) to the terminal. It leaves at 5 pm daily and at the time of writing cost £3.50/€5.00 each way.
Alternatively, a four-mile taxi journey will get you to the terminal doors.
Arriving by coach
National Express Route 562 serves the city of Hull. The bus departs London and travels northwards to Scarborough via Doncaster, Hull and York. Book your tickets here †.
Use the shuttle bus service above to transfer to the port.
Checking-In at Hull And Boarding Pride of Rotterdam
I checked in at around 4 pm and expected to have to sit and wait in a departure lounge for a while.
Check-in was very fast thanks to three efficient check-in agents working and only one other person in the queue ahead of me.
I handed over my passport and booking reference number. There are no tickets as such here - if you book online, print out a copy of your booking confirmation with your booking reference number on it.
Even though the sailing time was 8.30 pm, I could board the ferry straight away.
Each mini cruise passenger receives a boarding card, a cabin key card, and a booklet containing a voucher for the return check-in, plus vouchers for bus transfers between Rotterdam port and Amsterdam (where applicable).
The boarding card also doubles up as a meal voucher if you've prepaid for meals. I had a "D" and "B" icon on my card, signifying dinner and breakfast.
I also had a suitcase icon on the card, meaning I could leave luggage in the cabin while off exploring Amsterdam. Mini Cruise holidays often come with this very handy feature (confirmed at check-in). Having the same cabin for both legs of the journey is ideal for leaving clothes and toiletries behind during the day. It is best to keep valuables on you rather than leaving them behind.
The cabin key card had a giant key printed on it so I couldn't get confused about which card was which.
A top tip is to make a note of which cabin you are staying in as for security reasons the number isn't printed on your key card. I left my boarding cards in the cabin along with my luggage to take a few photos of the ship as soon as I boarded. I then forgot which cabin number was mine. Thankfully I managed to retrace my steps to find the cabin.
Read more in this series
- Getting to the Port of Hull (you are here)
- Pride of Rotterdam Review
- Pride of Rotterdam Cabins
- Food & Drink on Pride of Rotterdam
- Entertainment on Pride of Rotterdam
- Guide to Europoort, Rotterdam
- Can You Really Explore Amsterdam in a Day?
- Amsterdam Mini Cruise Review on P&O Ferries' Pride of Rotterdam