Why not reach England from France by ferry? Here is our mini-guide on the crossings of the Channel.
Britain is almost our neighbor, and yet it differs, attracts, disorients, and confuses. England is part of his kingdom, alongside Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. A trip to England from France by ferry, what does that mean?
While London often overshadows the rest of its cultural, historical, and natural heritage, its interests are much broader. The English lands display a palette of greens and infinity, littered with castles and surrounded by cliffs.
This country is also frozen in its legends and an atmosphere sometimes romantic, sometimes eccentric. As for its customs and traditions, they are as exciting as they are enigmatic. Then, let’s say it, our English friends are full of charm, very particular humor, and inimitable phlegm. They embody a true art of living that has never been able to be exported.
But most importantly, how would you get to England? Why not by the English Channel, quite simply. England from France by ferry. We will tell you everything.
How To Get To England From France By Ferry?
From which ports do ferries leave for England?
England is an island that can be reached very easily by ferry via many French ports. On arrival, several gateways also reach out to you: the emblematic green port of Portsmouth or the ports of Plymouth, Dover, and Newhaven.
Among the most popular ferry companies to make a crossing in England from France by ferry:
● Brittany Ferries
● P&O Ferries
● DFDS Seaways
Note that the departure frequencies vary according to the seasons and the travel times according to the schedules.
To England From Calais By Ferry
The most requested ferry crossing to England from France is from Calais. You then arrive through the Strait of Dover. Two companies support this route:
● P&O Ferries: operates 24 times a day and lasts 1h 30 min
● DFDS Seaways: works 15 times a day and lasts 1h 30 min
Calais is located in the north of France. This port city contains exciting sites such as its trails along the white cliffs, its old town, its Watchtower, and its Place d’Armes.
It is easy to reach the port of Calais since the terminal is less than 20 min walk from the Calais Ville train station. A mini-bus also makes the connection, free of charge, every day.
To England From Dunkirk By Ferry
To make the crossing to England from Dunkirk by ferry, DFDS Seaways provides 11 departures per day. After 2 hours at sea, you arrive in Dover.
Located in the north of France, about ten kilometers from Belgium, Dunkirk is a predominantly industrial city. It has the third-largest port in France.
Before your crossing, treat yourself to a small seafood platter or a traditional dish of fried mussels.
Then, to reach the port, follow the signs for Car Ferry at the exit of the A16 motorway. If you come by train, the train station in the city center is a 20-min taxi ride away.
To England From Dieppe By Ferry
Dieppe is held in Normandy. Located on the English Channel, it is famous for its castle and Saint-Jacques but is above all the homeland of sailors.
To go to Dieppe via public transport, you have the choice between train and bus. In particular, there are direct connections from Paris. The city center is only 3km from the port.
DFDS Seaways operates the crossing to England 21 times a week. The journey takes at least 4 hours and takes you to the port of Newhaven.
It is located on the south coast of England, located in East Sussex, about 20 min from Brighton.
To England From Le Havre By Ferry
From Le Havre (France’s second-largest port), Brittany Ferries makes 11 sailings a week to England. The journey takes 5h 15 min, and you disembark in Portsmouth.
There is no problem reaching the port of Le Havre in Upper Normandy. The train station is 1.5km from the port, and free shuttles connect the two points.
Otherwise, taxis are available at the departure and arrival times of the ships. Arriving in the city center, you will at least have the opportunity to look at this city completely rebuilt after the war and listed in UNESCO.
However, if you arrive in Le Havre by car, leave the motorway and drive only 15km before reaching the port. Access via the A13 and following the signs on the E5.
To England From Caen By Ferry
You disembark at the port of Portsmouth in England after crossing from Caen (Port Ouistreham).
Located in the south of the country, this port was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and today its beaches combine the old and new.
To get to the port from the ring road, follow the Ouistreham/Car Ferry signs and exit Porte d’Angleterre. The port of Caen is located 20km from the city center. There is a bus line connecting the two. Taxis are available at ferry departure and arrival times.
There are 21 sailings per week from Caen, lasting 5h 45 min and operated by Brittany Ferries.
To England From Cherbourg By Ferry
If you are going to England from France by ferry from Cherbourg, two crossings are operated by Brittany Ferries.
● One goes to Poole and leaves 10 times a week for a crossing of 4h 30min. You arrive on the south coast of England, in the county of Dorset, in the middle of a medieval city.
● The other goes as far as Portsmouth. These departures take place 9 times a week, and the crossing takes about 3 hours.
Cherbourg, the homeland of Vikings, hoisted in the North-West of France, is a tourist city full of attraction. Access by car to its port is via the D901.
Then all you have to do is follow the signs. The train station is located 5 min by taxi from the port. Otherwise, taxis wait at the departure and arrival times of the ferries.
To England From Saint-Malo By Ferry
Saint-Malo is the flagship city of Brittany, full of charm and fabulously fortified. It is home to a port that organizes, 7 times a week, crossings to Portsmouth. Brittany Ferries will take you across the Channel in 8h 50 min.
The port of Saint-Malo is located a few minutes from the city center. The signs indicate The Port and Ferry Terminal of Naye. Taxis are available at ferry departure and arrival times.
They bring you to the port for 10€ from the city center or the train station. The latter is located about 25 min walk from the terminal.
Otherwise, the city/port and train station/port connections are made by a bus, for a fee, which runs every 20 min.
To England From Roscoff By Ferry
The crossing to England from France by ferry from Roscoff is operated by Brittany Ferries. The trip takes place 9 times a week for a minimum of 5h 30 min. This time you arrive in Plymouth, renowned for its maritime heritage and historic district.
The port city of Roscoff, located in Brittany, is known for its sublime architecture. The opportunity to taste Breton specialties or enjoy a thalassotherapy session before your trip!
The expressway allows very easy access to the Roscoff terminal. Just follow the national road 12 to Morlaix, then finally Roscoff, and finally the signs. The train station and the city center are close to the port (about 20 min walk).
Taxis are available upon reservation. Otherwise, a regular bus allows you to reach Roscoff from Morlaix in about 35 minutes.
The crossing via the Eurotunnel with Le Shuttle
The crossing to England from France by ferry, the fastest, is the one that traces the Channel Tunnel. From Calais, the company Eurotunnel offers you, in 35 min, to reach the port of Folkestone. Departures are very frequent, up to 4 per hour.
To get to the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, take exit 42 of the A16 motorway and follow the signs for the Channel Tunnel.
How do the control formalities take place?
To make a ferry crossing of England from France, make sure you have a valid passport. In addition, minors must hold an authorization to leave the territory to be presented at the time of boarding.
It must be signed by one of the holders of parental authority and accompanied by a photocopy of the latter’s identity document.
If they are under 16 years old, they cannot travel alone. As for pregnant women, they must have a medical certificate authorizing the trip.
● Check-in: to get on board, you will first have to go through border controls (involving checking your passport and vehicle if you board with it). Then you can wait in a relaxation area including cafes and/or restaurants.
● Boarding: on the day of departure, make sure to arrive 1 hour before boarding. If you are crossing England from France by ferry, come at least 1h 30 minutes before your pet’s departure. Ditto if you travel in groups of 10 people or more.
● Disembarkation: prior to disembarkation, instructions are provided, and you are invited to release the chairs and cabins. On land, you will always have many ways to reach your final destination. Taxis, buses, free shuttles are available.
How to book your crossing to England from France by ferry?
● Go to the Direct Ferries website and fill in the details of your crossing: destinations, number of passengers and their age, pedestrian crossing, or with a vehicle.
● Then, at your convenience, take out additional cancellation or modification insurance. In addition, the site allows you to directly refine your preferences: type of seat, access to the lounge.
● Then, fill in the details about the passengers as well as your contact details.
● Finally, you pay and receive your booking confirmation, most often by email. This is to be kept and indicates, in particular, the time of recording.
Booking your crossing to England from France can be done online. However, you can also buy your ticket on-site, subject to availability. So it’s a rather risky option.
On boarding, moussaillon! Enjoy your stay in England!