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Travel topics > Transportation > Boat travel > Ferries > Ferry routes to Great Britain

Caution COVID-19 information: Due to COVID-19, ferry service on some lines is suspended or reduced. Many ferries require you to get a COVID-19 test before hopping on board the ferry. Check with your ferry operator on any changes on the routes as well as any requirements that you must follow. Wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines is required in public areas. See the warning box on the United Kingdom article for more information.
(Information last updated 27 Oct 2021)

As Britain is an island, ferries were the only way to get into the country prior to the advent of aviation and later the construction of the Channel Tunnel which gave a "dry foot" route from Britain to the continent for the first time since the Ice Ages. See also the Get in section of the Britain article. Below is a list of routes that cross the North Sea, English Channel or Irish Sea. It may not be complete.

The modern Seven Sisters Ferry, Newhaven
Major airports and ferry routes (some are missing)

Portsmouth and Southampton act as ports for transport to the Isle of Wight; Portsmouth and Poole also have routes to Guernsey and Jersey, provided by Condor Ferries.

The Irish Ferries Ulysses, the world's largest ferry
From Mainland Europe and Ireland to Britain
Overseas port British port Crossing duration Service pattern Carries Operator
Amsterdam-IJmuiden, The Netherlands Newcastle (Tyne Corporation Quay) 16 hours 1 nightly 🚢🚘🚲 DFDS Seaways
Rotterdam-Europoort, The Netherlands Hull King George Dock 10 hours 1 nightly 🚢🚘🚲 P&O Ferries
Zeebrugge, Belgium Hull King George Dock 8 hours Service withdrawn. βˆ… P&O Ferries
the Hook of Holland (Hoek van Holland), The Netherlands Parkeston Quay Harwich International Port 7 hours The "Hook Continental" route. 1 daily, 1 nightly 🚢🚘🚲 Stena Line
Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France Dover Eastern Docks 105 minutes Every 2 hours, atop each even hour 🚘🚲 DFDS Seaways
Calais, France Dover Eastern Docks 90 minutes The "Golden Arrow" route. Frequently, though irregularly, throughout each day 🚢🚘🚲 P&O Ferries
Calais, France Dover Eastern Docks 90 minutes The "Golden Arrow" route. Frequently, though irregularly, throughout each day 🚘🚲 DFDS Seaways
Dieppe, France Newhaven Town 4 hours The "Transmanche" route. In Summer, 2 daily & 1 nightly
In Winter, 2 daily northbound, 1 daily & 1 nightly southbound
🚢🚘🚲 DFDS Seaways
Le Havre, France Portsmouth International Terminal 6 hours Service suspended (as of Oct 2021) 🚢🚘🚲 LD Lines
Ouistreham (Caen), France Portsmouth International Terminal 6 hours 3 daily, 1 nightly 🚘 Brittany Ferries
Cherbourg, France Portsmouth International Terminal 3 hours Service suspended (as of Oct 2021), normally 1 weekly, southbound Sunday nights / Monday mornings, northbound Monday nights / Tuesday mornings 🚢🚘 Brittany Ferries
Cherbourg, France Poole 5 hours 1 each morning southbound, 1 each evening northbound. Seasonal service, operates April–October only. 🚢🚘 Brittany Ferries
Saint Malo, France Portsmouth International Terminal 11 hours (9 hours during day) 4-6 per week, depending on season 🚢🚘 Brittany Ferries
Saint Malo, France Poole 4.5 hours No information 🚢🚘🚲 Condor Ferries
Roscoff, France Plymouth 6 hours 2-6 per week, depending on season 🚢🚘 Brittany Ferries
Bilbao, Spain Portsmouth International Terminal 36 hours The "Peninsular" route. 3 weekly 🚘 Brittany Ferries
Santander, Spain Plymouth 24 hours 2 weekly 🚢🚘 Brittany Ferries
Rosslare–Europort, Ireland Pembroke Dock, Wales 4 hours 2 daily 🚢🚘🚲 Irish Ferries
Rosslare–Europort, Ireland Fishguard, Wales 2 hours The "Innisfallen" route. 2 daily eastbound, 1 daily & 1 nightly westbound 🚢🚘🚲 Stena Line
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland Holyhead, Wales 2 hours Service withdrawn; the "Irish Mail" route no longer serves DΓΊn Laoghaire, & now docks at Dublin Port (see Dublin to Holyhead below) βˆ… Stena Line
Dublin Port, Ireland Holyhead, Wales 2 hours The "Irish Mail" route. Every 6 hours. 🚢 not conveyed on certain late-night & early-morning sailings. 🚢🚘🚲 Stena Line
Dublin Port, Ireland Holyhead, Wales 2 hours The "Irish Mail" route. Every 6 hours; additional sailings operate in the Summer. 🚢 not conveyed on certain late-night & early-morning sailings. 🚢🚘🚲 Irish Ferries
Dublin Port, Ireland Liverpool, England 6 hours The "Shamrock" route. 2 daily, 1 nightly. 🚘🚲 P&O Ferries
Belfast (Terminal 2), Northern Ireland Liverpool/Birkenhead, England 8 hours 1 daily, 1 nightly. 🚢🚘🚲 Stena Line
Larne, Northern Ireland Fleetwood, England 6 hours No information. βˆ… Stena Line
Belfast, Northern Ireland Loch Ryan (near Stranraer), Scotland 2 hours 6 daily. 🚢 not conveyed 23:00–06:00. 🚢🚘🚲 Stena Line
Larne, Northern Ireland Cairnryan (near Stranraer), Scotland 2 hours The "Northern Irishman" route. 7 daily 🚢🚘🚲 P&O Ferries
From Ireland and Britain to Mann (Douglas), all operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co and conveying 🚢🚘🚲.
From Crossing duration Service pattern
Heysham (Lancaster), England 3 hours 45 minutes 2 daily
Liverpool, England 2 hours 45 minutes 1 each evening, April–October only.
Dublin, Ireland 2 hours 55 minutes Infrequent and seasonal
Belfast, Northern Ireland 2 hours 45 minutes Infrequent and seasonal

These routes may be subject to change. It is recommended to contact the ferry operators and book ahead.

By coach or busEdit

If you are booked onto a scheduled international bus route that crosses the Channel, it may either go by ferry or through the Channel Tunnel; you don't get the choice. However, in general FlixBus and Ouibus use the tunnel, Sindbad and Transmarian use the ferry, and Eurolines use both, depending on route. Schedules can change day-to-day depending on conditions at sea and fluctuations in ticket prices between the ferry companies and Eurotunnel. You can also catch a domestic bus to any Channel port of your choosing and take the ferry as a foot passenger, but this is not possible with the Eurotunnel. If you are going on a package coach holiday, the company will always explain how you are supposed to get to and from your start point.

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