cross channel ferry

Cross-Channel services to France

Compare ferry and tunnel services to France -  2021

► You are here:   France  ›  Driving  ›  Cross-Channel ferries - the connoisseur's guide to France


From the shortest crossing, Dover - Calais, to the longest, Hull - Zeebrugge and Plymouth - Roscoff, there is a good choice of ferry and tunnel operators running from a number of UK ports. 

► Booking directly with the ferry company protects you from any possibility of a third-party failure, and may make it easier and cheaper  to change or cancel a booking if you have to change your ticket. Though take note: most of the cheapest tickets available are now sold on a "no change / no refund / no cancellation" basis, and in this case it make little difference if you have booked directly through the ferry company, or through a fare-comparison site.  And since the cost of a flexible ticket is almost the same as the cost of a new cheap-rate ticket anyway, paying extra for flexibility doesn't make sense unless you really think you might miss that ferry !

► Which route ? It depends on your priorities, and where you're going.
  • Price  :For the cheapest crossings, take a ferry from Dover, and avoid peak periods and peak hours. Early morning or late night crossings are cheapest.
  • Speed of crossing: Take the Eurotunnel shuttle, it's fastest but expensive
  • Convenience: (and maybe price and speed too) Drivers bound for the western half of France or Spain should check out crossings from Portsmouth or further west. They are more expensive, but can result in much shorter driving distances. For example a journey from the western outskirts of London to Tours or anywhere in southwest France involves about 320 kilometres or over 200 miles less driving if taking a Portsmouth-Caen crossing, rather than Dover-Calais.  Or a trip from Birmingham to central Normandy is a 500 km drive via Portsmouth but 820 km via Dover. By taking a night crossing, you can also save time or a hotel bill.

All the ferry routes from UK to France
Route Ferry operator 
    ► See Eurostar page for trains from London or Ashford to France and Belgium
Dover - Calais  -  three carriers including Eurotunnel (from Folkestone)
The shortest and quickest services to France. 

Appropriate for reaching any region of France. Check out
Routes from Calais
Eurotunnel le Shuttle - up to 4 crossings each hour
DFDS Seaways  Up to 10 crossings a day
P&O Ferries  Up to 23 crossings a day
Dover - Dunkirk DFDS Seaways   Up to 9 crossings a day
Hull Zeebrugge (Belgium)   The least hassle from the North of England . Quick access to France  P&O Ferries  1 overnight crossing in each direction
Newhaven - Dieppe DFDS Seaways  Up to 3 crossings a day
Portsmouth - Le Havre  Brittany Ferries  Seasonal late March to late October: usually 1 crossing each day, generally leaving at 7 a.m. from Thursday to Sunday, or 11.15 Monday to Thursday
Portsmouth - Caen.  May save time for trips to western France ... but usually much more expensive than short crossings. Brittany Ferries  Daily up to 3 sailings a day
Portsmouth -  Cherbourg Brittany Ferries  1 sailing a day by fast catamaran - 3 hrs.  Seasonal: late April - early September
Portsmouth St Malo Brittany Ferries  1 sailing most nights; outward crossing departs 8.15 pm. Crossing time about 11 hours
Poole - Cherbourg  Brittany Ferries  Daily 3 Jan to 8 March, then 30 Apr. to 01 Nov.  One sailing a day usually at 8.30 am - outward.
Plymouth - Roscoff (Brittany)   Useful only for reaching Brittany and the Atlantic regions of France Brittany Ferries   Seasonal : sporadic in winter, daily from 12th March to 25th Sept. One crossing a day - very varied departure times depending on day
** It is also possible to sail to France using Condor Ferries, but most UK-France sailings on Condor involve a change of ships in the Channel Islands

Copyright © 2007 - 2021   Home page -  Site search  -  Regions  -  Maps of France  -  Contact

►This page includes links that will take you directly to the ferry company's own website where you can book online at lowest rates.

Check out the options and best prices for the days when you want to travel

►Driving down through France?
Check out the route guides for France, from this page: Routes from Calais
Best routes, route maps , route guides and easily accessible places to stay.

►►Discover home
Full site index site search
►► Principal chapters on :
Guide to the regions of France
Beyond Paris, a guide to the French regions and their tourist attractions.
Guide to Paris
Make the most of your trip to Paris; Information on attractions, Paris hotels, transport,  and lots more. 
Accommodation in France
The different options, including hotels, holiday gites, b&b, hostels and more
Tourism in France
The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
Planning a trip to France 
Information on things to do before starting your trip to France.
Driving in France 
Tips and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways, tolls, where to stay.... 
Maps of France
Cities, towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes.
The French way of life 
A mine of information about life and living in France, including working in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping.
A-Z dictionary of France
Encyclopedic dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms, culture, icons, etc.

We value your privacy. never collects personal data from users. We use cookies solely for audience statistics and to enable social media and a few advertisements. To remove this message, click   or else click for further details