If you're thinking of crossing the Channel by ferry for a holiday in France, here's our guide! We show you the best options to travel from UK to France by taking the ferry. While it may be tempting to take the Eurostar or Eurotunnel to France, the ferry is often the cheapest and most convenient alternative. Are you ready to embark? It's super easy to sail from the UK to France so let's go !
The ferry to France is often one of the best options for crossing the Channel. Indeed, it is very convenient if you want to come to France with your car, motorbike or even your pets for example. It is also possible to take the ferry as a pedestrian. It can also be very cost-effective if you are a large family or travelling with several people, as some companies charge for the crossing according to the vehicle and not the number of passengers. That's why in some cases the price is the same whether you are two or five persons in the vehicle for example. Moreover, the ferry crossing is often an enjoyable and fun time for young and old alike and you won't notice the time passing thanks to the many services on board.
Prices vary depending on the destination and the period you want to travel. We recommend you to book as early as possible to get the best price. Distances also vary a lot depending on your port of departure and arrival: the Dover-Calais route is generally the cheapest as it is also the shortest and fastest.
From England you can depart from several different cities: Portsmouth, Dover, Plymouth or Newhaven. From these different ports, it is possible to reach several French maritime cities: among them, Calais is the best known, as it is the biggest crossing point between France and England. However, depending on your final destination it is possible to reach many other cities such as Dunkirk, Normandy (Caen, Le Havre or Cherbourg) but also Brittany by arriving directly at St Malo or Roscoff.
If you are coming from the north of England you can also take the ferry from Hull to Zeebruge in Belgium. You will then only have to travel a few more kilometres to reach the French border.
There are three ferry companies operating between England and France. There are Brittany Ferries, P&O Ferries and DFDS Ferries: these are three large ferry companies that operate crossings throughout Europe.
If you're wondering which option is best for you and how long the journey from England to France will take, here are the answers to your questions!
Getting to the North of France
- Dover to Calais: this is the fastest crossing as it only takes 90 minutes. It is therefore ideal if you are worried about taking the ferry or if you are seasick! To make this crossing you can take 2 companies: DFDS or P&O ferries. In addition, you should know that this is the route with the most daily crossings, so you can choose the day and time that suits you best.
- Dover to Dunkirk with DFDS Seaways in 2 hours
- Hull to Zeebrugge (Belgium) with P&O ferries in 14h30
- Portsmouth to Caen: with Brittany Ferries in 5h45
- Portsmouth to Le Havre: with Brittany Ferries in 8 hours
- Poole to Cherbourg : with Brittany Ferries in 4h30
- Portsmouth to Cherbourg: Brittany Ferries in 8 hours
- Newhaven to Dieppe: DFDS Seaways in 4h
To Brittany :
- Plymouth to Roscoff : with Brittany Ferries in 5h30
- Portsmouth to St Malo: with Brittany Ferries in 11 hours
If you want to know more, you can find details of the crossings and of the offers directly on the websites of the shipping companies. If you want tips on how to book a ferry trip, check out a ferry comparison website, which will show you the best option for you at the best price !
If you are planning to come to France for a weekend or for a holiday, you can stay in Evancy's holiday homes. In the North you can choose between several types of accommodation near the sea and very close to the port of Calais, so you can experience the French way of life even if it is only for a weekend or a short holiday. Or, if you want to go even further, you can stay in the Evancy residence in Vence on the Côte d'Azur : you'll see, you'll find in love with Provence !