The final leg of the Animalcouriers trip from southern Europe was quite slow — as well as the Tour de France being in full swing, several of the pets’ passports had minor errors that needed attention from a vet. We reached Calais in the evening and felt it would be less stressful for the animals to stay there for the night, and cross to the UK the following morning.

Up bright and early, we got to the port to find a security alert in progress. The extra security procedures in place meant it took over four hours to get from the port entrance to our check-in. But we finally made it and reached the UK safe and sound, and the round of happy reunions between pets and their owners began.

Tour de France mania reaches P&O ferries. Courier M looks set to pick up the yellow jersey any day now

Tour de France mania reaches P&O ferries. Courier M looks set to pick up the yellow jersey any day now

Cally…

Cally…

Berte and…

Berte and…

Stanley. These three cats belong to Barry. They travelled with us from La Bedouce kennels and cattery in the Aude region of France to rejoin him in Gloucester. Barry says they've settled in really quickly and are giving him lots of kisses.

Stanley. These three cats belong to Barry. They travelled with us from La Bedouce kennels and cattery in the Aude region of France to rejoin him in Gloucester. Barry says they’ve settled in really quickly and are giving him lots of kisses.

Star and Crunch were over the moon to be collected by their grandparents, Clive and Jackie. Despite all the excitement, the two girls did manage to sit still for just a moment.

Star and Crunch were over the moon to be collected by their grandparents, Clive and Jackie. Despite all the excitement, the two girls did manage to sit still for just a moment.

Tony called in to collect Saphira and it was love at first sight. He and Caroline had seen photos of her on Facebook and, after exchanging more photos and emails, decided to offer her a home in the UK.

Tony called in to collect Saphira and it was love at first sight. He and Caroline had seen photos of her on Facebook and, after exchanging more photos and emails, decided to offer her a home in the UK.

Tony told us he had bought a new car and had it all ready for Saphira

Tony told us he had bought a new car and had it all ready for Saphira

Bolt was reunited with Emer in sunny Surrey and both were delighted to see each other again

Bolt was reunited with Emer in sunny Surrey and both were delighted to see each other again

José called in for Molly and Pipoca who were so ecstatic, they were licking his face all over

José called in for Molly and Pipoca who were so ecstatic, they were licking his face all over

Livia followed up with this photo of their daughter with the two Chihuahuas, saying: "Thank you for bringing the rest of our family to us! I thought you should see my daughter's smile! She's so happy!! And so are Molly and Pipoca!"

Livia followed up with this photo of their daughter with the two Chihuahuas, saying: “Thank you for bringing the rest of our family to us! I thought you should see my daughter’s smile! She’s so happy!! And so are Molly and Pipoca!”

Catia was very happy indeed to have Benji back with her.

Catia was very happy indeed to have Benji back with her.

Catia sent us this lovely photo of Benji settled in at home and told us: "Thank you for bringing Benji to me. It means the world to me that he is by my side."

Catia sent us this lovely photo of Benji settled in at home and told us: “Thank you for bringing Benji to me. It means the world to me that he is by my side.”

Scooby walked into his grandma's house and was immediately at home. He's stayed there before, so it was just a question of hopping out of his basket and trotting up the stairs to check out his usual bedroom. Then back down to sit in the kitchen waiting for someone to open a tin of tuna!

Scooby walked into his grandma’s house and was immediately at home. He’s stayed there before, so it was just a question of hopping out of his basket and trotting up the stairs to check out his usual bedroom. Then back down to sit in the kitchen waiting for someone to open a tin of tuna!

Ben and Selina greeted Smokey and Bingo as they arrived at their new home in sunny Doncaster

Ben and Selina greeted Smokey and Bingo as they arrived at their new home in sunny Doncaster

Young Jura and Thrall who travelled from Spain arrived to a warm welcome at the family's new home in Edinburgh

Young Jura and Thrall who travelled from Spain arrived to a warm welcome at the family’s new home in Edinburgh

Faisca en route to rejoin Andreia in Somerset — it was a long journey from Portugal and they will be so pleased to be back together

Faisca en route to rejoin Andreia in Somerset — it was a long journey from Portugal and they will be so pleased to be back together

Faisca very chatty as we said goodbye

Faisca very chatty as we said goodbye

Also on his way was charming young Banksy…

Also on his way was charming young Banksy…

…still playing and looking for amusement in everything around him

…still playing and looking for amusement in everything around him

Wally was also on his way to be reunited with Maria, who was very excited about his imminent arrival

Wally was also on his way to be reunited with Maria, who was very excited about his imminent arrival