Ferries to England
Routes, Tickets & Timetables
Which route to England is the best depends mainly on the destination on the British Isle and the duration of the cruise. Those who want to travel to the north of England or Scotland should arrive from the Netherlands. A trip to central England could start in Harwich. For those who want to travel to the south of England, a crossing to Dover is recommended. This is also the best and, above all, fastest alternative for seasick people who want to spend as little time as possible on a ship. France fans can think about a journey via Normandy or Brittany, but should bear in mind that a longer journey to the port of departure must be planned.
Across the English Channel to England
Those planning a trip to the southern regions of Great Britain, an onward journey to Cornwall or Wales, or a visit to London should cross the English Channel to Dover.
Calais – Dover and Dunkirk – Dover
For this purpose, the ferries of DFDS depart both in the French Dunkirk and in Calais. A crossing is possible for as little as 66€. Like DFDS, P&O also maintains the fastest ferry connection between mainland Europe and England with the Calais – Dover route. P&O ships depart almost hourly for the one-and-a-half-hour trip. A trip costs at least 54€.
From Dunkirk, the ferry crosses to England up to 12 times a day. The sea journey takes 2 hours. From Calais, 30 minutes further west, there are fifteen trips a day. The Calais – Dover connection is the fastest ferry connection to England, with a journey time of one and a half hours.
Dieppe – Newhaven
DFDS ships also operate between Dieppe in France and Newhaven in England. The crossing is possible four times a day and takes 4 hours (from 176€). This connection is especially suitable for travelers who want to combine a vacation in England with a stay in France. The arrival in Newhaven in the south of England is suitable for a trip to London (about 150 kilometers), a trip to the south of England or a continuation along the south coast to Cornwall.
Caen / St- Malo / Le Havre / Cherbourg – Portsmouth
Especially Portsmouth is easily accessible with the French shipping company. In addition to ferries from Caen and St. Malo, which run all year round, there are also connections from Le Havre and Cherbourg from April to October.
From Caen, there are up to three daily departures to Portsmouth. During the day the journey takes 6 hours, at night 7 hours.
In St. Malo, the ship departs daily at 10:30 a.m. and reaches the mainland again just under 11 hours later.
A crossing from Le Havre is possible once a day between May and October and takes about 10 hours. The Cherboug – Portsmouth route is operated twice daily during these months. After 3 hours the English island is reached.
Cherbourg – Poole
With 4 hours the ferry from Cherbourg to Poole takes a little longer. Normally this connection is feasible all year round, but in 2020 the Barfleur only sails to the English coastal town in September and October (and on a single day each in August and November) – at 18:15 or 21:45, depending on the day of travel.
Roscoff – Plymouth
Brittany Ferries also offers a service from Roscoff to Plymouth. Twice daily, this route is available. Departure times vary depending on the day of the week. There are both day sailings (6 hours) and night sailings (8 hours).
From Holland to England
Hook of Holland – Harwich
Hoek van Holland is a district of Rotterdam. From here the ships of the shipping company Stena Line depart twice a day. At noon they sail to Harwich within about 7 hours. The night journey takes up to 10 hours, which is considerably longer. England is reached in the early morning.
The crossing is especially suitable for trips to East and Central England as well as a trip to London (from Harwich approx. 140 kilometers) and can be booked for 59€ including car and driver.
Amsterdam – Newcastle
For a vacation in the north of England or in Scotland, a crossing from Ijmuiden to Newcastle is suitable. Mostly this passage is called the Amsterdam to Newcastle crossing. However, it should be noted that from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to the ferry’s branch, you need to add another 45 minutes of travel time – at rush hour even significantly more.
Once you reach the port, you can cross to England seven times a week. The ferry departs at 5:30 p.m., and the trip takes just under 17 hours. Since it is a night trip, a cabin must be booked. Offers are available from 176€ (including car and two passengers).
Tickets and prices
Just as confusing as the amount of connections are the prices of the passages. They vary depending on the season, time of booking and departure time or date, so the costs should always be compared thoroughly. Many shipping companies lure with a low price, which, however, is rarely shown when searching for an exact offer. Above all, a certain flexibility regarding the day of departure helps to find the cheapest crossing possible. Usually, the earlier you book, the cheaper the trip. A departure during the week is cheaper than on the weekend.