Ferry To France

Dover to Calais and Dover to Dunkirk

This is our Ferry to France feature. Its aim is to provide some basic information about the current ferry services available to France from the UK, to provide links to resources a little background information and where possible add some value with some user reviews and feedback. We've been publishing this and similar features for over a decade. We invite your feedback, our contact details are at the foot of the page. You can see our latest French tourism features here.

The cross channel ferry market is now more dynamic than ever and old routes are revived and traditional ones closed, both in the short and long term. For example at the time of writing the Dover - Boulogne route wasn't operating since the closure of the LD Lines service but it is felt that the route will eventually be picked up by another operator. There is also a service between Ramsgate and Ostend, and DFDS and LD Lines have entered into a joint venture on the Dover to Calais route.

To book with P&O follow this link: www.poferries.com this for DFDS www.dfdsseaways.co.uk. The current economic recession seems to have led to some consolidation in the cross channel ferry market. From Dover P&O remains the major force with DFDS playing an increasingly important role. Seafrance was placed in administration in November 2011. Norfolkline became part of the DFDS group in July 2010.

The main ferry routes connecting England to mainland Europe across the English channel are (details correct at the time of writing but subject to frequent change, always check with the port/ferry company before you book or set off):

  • Dover to Calais
  • Dover to Boulogne
  • Dover to Dunkerque
  • Newhaven to Dieppe
  • Portsmouth to Caen (Ouistreham)
  • Portsmouth to Cherbourg
  • Portsmouth to Le Havre
  • Portsmouth to Saint Malo
  • Portsmouth to Jersey & Guernsey
  • Poole to Saint Malo
  • Poole to Cherbourg
  • Weymouth to Saint Malo
  • Plymouth to Roscoff

You can check all the sailings out of Dover by visiting the Port of Dover website at http://www.doverport.co.uk/.

P&O Ferries - Dover to Calais

At the time of writing (February 2013) Dover to Calais day returns for £24 including six free bottles of wine.

  • Dover - Calais from £24
  • Travelling between Dover and Calais
  • Crossing time: 90 minutes
  • Vehicle check-in: closes 30 mins before departure
  • Foot passenger check-in: closes 45 mins before departure. Passenger who are travelling by foot can only travel between the hours of 08:25 - 19:35 Dover to Calais and 06:30 - 22:00 Calais to Dover.

DFDS Ferries - Dover to Dunkirk

  • A crossing time of about two hours, at the time of writing this was the only operator running a service between Dover and Dunkirk.
  • The road links to Dunkirk are very good with links to the A16 and A25 motorways, port traffic is much lighter than Calais.

DFDS/LD Lines - Dover to Calais

  • One and a half hours crossing time, up to 10 crossings a day, one of the leading cross channel companies.
  • Frequent deals, offers and promotions, prices as low as £29 returnat the time of writing (terms and conditions apply).

My Ferry Link - Dover to Calais

  • A new and important player operating out of Dover (formed in 2012). Up to 16 sailings a day using three ships the M.V. Rodin and M.V. Berlioz and the M.V. Nord Pas de Calais.

Ferry Departures & Arrivals - Dover

We don't publish a 'live' timetable at present, check direct with the operator for current information.

Main Ferry Destinations

The main ports servicing cross ferry traffic are:

The Port of Calais
The Port of Calais alone handles about a third of the cross channel roll on roll off traffic between continental Europe and the UK.

The Port Of Dover
The Port of Dover is Europe's busiest ferry port. It handles around £80 billion of trade each year.

The Port of Dunkirk
Dunkirk is France's third-ranking port, it handles heavy bulk cargo as well as cross-Channel ferry traffic.

The Port Of Ostend
A versatile shortsea port, it accommodates all types of coastal maritime traffic including cross channel ferries.

The Port Of Ramsgate
The port represents a niche UK port facility, capable of handling passenger traffic in an efficient and customer friendly way.

Feedback & Disclaimer

This page is regularly maintained but if you find that any links are broken or content out of date let us know.This is a feature under constant improvement. We welcome submission of local tourist information for a free listing.