By Ben Moore, Apr 6 2016 07:18AM
Maybe it goes back to when I was five years old and we sailed as a family on the QE2 to America, but I now love starting our family skiing holidays on board a P&O Ferry from Dover.
Our ski adventures always start the moment we hit the road in the UK and the crossing from Dover to Calais is always the best possible way to get in the holiday spirit. I really enjoy the relaxed pace of being ferried across the Channel.
The views for example. Those iconic white cliffs and the historic castle behind the Port of Dover provide a great backdrop for the start of the voyage. And when the sea is calm and the sun is shining, as it was for our outbound crossing on March 30th, it's always refreshing to spend a few moments out on deck contemplating the drive ahead.
And let's not forget my guilty pleasure - a full English breakfast from the main ferry restaurant. I much prefer being able to sit down at a table and tuck into a plate of tasty egg, beans and hash browns, then have to grab a croissant in the driver's seat.
The duty free shop has had decent trade from the Parallel Trails team too. This trip we've bagged some Paul Smith eau de toilette, a portable bluetooth speaker and some L'Occitane foot cream.
Over the past few years I've also really valued the priority boarding and club lounge extras. If your budget allows, the additional cost (£12 for priority boarding and £12pp for the lounge) is worth it in my opinion.
Getting to the Alps isn't a race of course, but it does feel good being the first or among the first cars off the ferry in Calais. And our family routine has now become breakfast first then settle in to the club lounge for the complimentary coffees, soft drinks and biscuits. There's also the chance to read the newspaper headlines or log on with the free 30-minutes wifi cards (the club lounge stewards are always happy to give you two or three cards).
In the year 2016 it might seem a luxurious hark back to a bygone era, but for me the club lounge and priority boarding experience on a P&O Ferry from Dover to Calais is an essential part of any family skiing adventure.
It is after a holiday!