CALAIS-Dover ferry operator SeaFrance has suspended all cross-Channel services with immediate effect.
It advised passengers with tickets from Calais to head instead to Dunkirk where arrangements had been made to transfer to DFDS sailings to Dover. Travellers from Dover should head for the SeaFrance terminal as normal.
A helpline is available on +44 (0) 845 458 0666.
The fate of the French ferry firm hangs in the balance ahead of a court hearing at the Tribunal de Commerce in Paris tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide if the company will be sold off or closed down.
SeaFrance said in a statment on its website it had taken the decision to suspend services for 48 hours until after the court hearing "with full knowledge of the consequences, to safeguard the security of the passengers, crews, vehicles and ships".
It said that there were spaces on DFDS ships - which have 12 sailings a day - to cope with the expected demand.
The statement added: "We are conscious of the inconvenience this situation is causing and we apologise for this. We will keep you informed of any changes in the present situation."
SeaFrance, part-owned by SNCF, has been in administration since last year and there are only two bids on the table to save it. One is from a DFDS/LD Lines consortium which has offered €5 million while an employee cooperative has offered a symbolic €1.