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Cross-Channel Ferries

There are numerous options depending on where you are starting from, where you are going, time, costs, sailing vs driving etc:

Dover – Calais/DunkerqueCross-Channel Ferry

the shortest sea crossing at 90 minutes or less – (slightly longer to Dunkerque) – frequent daily crossings – motorway access on both sides of the Channel:

Newhaven/Dieppe

a slightly longer crossing (4 hours). Dieppe is an ideal gateway into Normandy and central France. Dieppe is the closest French port to Paris and the Alabaster Coast is famous for its beauty (see our article on Dieppe)

Western Channel – Portsmouth/Plymouth

longer (6-7 hours) (and more expensive) crossings but more facilities onboard and good for western France and Brittany and avoid the need to drive around London. It also feels more like your holiday has begun already and the ports of arrival feel more “French”

  • Brittany Ferries (Portsmouth/Poole/Plymouth to Le Havre/Caen/Cherbourg/St Malo/Roscoff
  • DFDS (Portsmouth-Le Havre)

Western Channel – via Spain (for southwest France)

crossing takes 24 hours or more – with easy access to the Basque country and across the Pyrenees into S W France, Aquitaine, Biarritz etc, saving the long drive down through France and the need for overnight accommodation en route! (e.g. Calais to Biarritz is over 1000km!)

LD Lines(now part of DFDS) offers 2 routes from 2014:

Brittany Ferries

For eastern or central France, especially from the North and East of the UK:

  • Hull – Zeebrugge with P&O Ferries – although Zeebrugge is in Belgium,with  fast motorway links it is still only about 3.5 hours to Paris (306km), whereas  Calais – Paris is 288km! and you avoid the M25 around London!

or as an alternative try the Channel Tunnel

Frequent departures and no weather problems or delays – just 25 minutes in your own vehicle with no luggage restrictions, but can be more expensive than the ferry.

  • Eurotunnel (this is the tunnel train for vehicles) -Folkestone – Calais
  • for passenger trains from London and Ashford to Paris/Brussels and beyond see Eurostar

Baferry.co.uk -ferry bookings to Franceook all major European ferries simply and securely online with AFerry; for Ferries to France/Corsica:
w
ith LD Lines, Stena Line, P&O Ferries, Norfolkline, Brittany Ferries, Transmanche Ferries, Seafrance, Condor, Eurotunnel, Eurostar, Transeuropa and many more (e.g. from southern France to Corsica), or view the latest ferry timetables, ferry special offers and ferry port information with AFerry.

other articles about cross-channel ferries: