Traditional ferry ports feared for the worst when the Channel tunnel opened in 1994, trumpeting a fast and easy way of getting to and from mainland Europe, simpler and quicker than taking a boat or a plane. But the full blast of winter has turned what should be a sprint into a marathon.
Some Eurostar passengers stranded in Paris eventually reached London using less hi-tech transport. The first step was a 300 kilometre bus ride from the French capital to Calais. That takes the Eurostar just 90 minutes, but even on a good day, the road journey takes more than twice that long. Then it was onto a ferry bound for Dover, before boarding another bus to London.
But new tickets had to be bought. Passengers will get the money back, but it meant spending even more money at this expensive time of year.
Christmas is often seen as the most stressful time of the year: this December will be remembered by thousands for a very long time to come.