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Calais  P&O ferry

P&O ferry Calais to Dover

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Taking the Ferry from UK to France




Most ferries sail from Dover to Calais a few to Boulogne and Dunkerque.These are the best ferries for Northern France. You need to sail from Portsmouth to Caen. St Malo and Cherbourg.If you are going to Brittany,Normandy and the Vendee.

If you live in the North of England you can sail from Hull overnight to Zeebrugge in Belgium.Or the Europoort in Rotterdam. Zeebrugge is not far from Northern France it saves the long drive down to Dover but you have to do the miles in Belgium.The cost of fuel for your car if you used diesel in Belgium is about 1 pound a gallon less than the UK .

Dover ferry picture

The fastest way across to France is the tunnel but it is expensive. Even travelling in the early hours of the morning both ways. It cost on average twice as much as the ferry for a 30 minute quicker journey. Which for me is not worth it the ferries are getting larger and more comfortable.You can have a walk round the shops have a coffee or a meal and you are in Calais.

We live in Blackpool so it is a long trip to the ferry ports. It is 325 miles to Dover and about 290 to Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth to Caen overnight crossing is best for Normandy you get about 5 hours sleep.

If you are going to Brittany St Malo is best. If you go overnight St Malo gives you an extra 2 hours sleep in your cabin.On our last trip to Brittany we saved some money by taking the 7am sailing from St Malo.The cost of a cabin is a lot less during the day you do not have to book a cabin on the day sailing.We did so we could have a couple of hours sleep and a shower it helps to pass the journey.

One thing about going from Dover is that a ferry leaves more or less every hour.

I usually book a ferry in the afternoon about 3pm. So that if I get delayed with traffic I can still catch the ferry. I then leave home in the early hours and if no delays get to Dover for 10am.

They will let you get on the next ferry up to 15 mins before sailing. You have the security of a confirmed booking if you have any delays on the motorway.

Dover white cliffs picture

View from the ferry on a calm day

Dover ferry picture

It can be quite difficult to work out which ferry is the cheapest.

Last year we went to the Vendee near La Rochelle. The Dover to Calais ferry cost £80 return for 5 people.

The Portsmouth to St Malo cost £450 return so we took the £80 ferry.

I have been to the Vendee several times so I knew the extra distance we would have to travel in the car.

It would have cost us £3 less and been 4 hours quicker each way paying the £450.

We had an extra overnight each way plus 250 miles of fuel each way and road tolls.

With the cost of fuel and road tolls it is worth spending a bit of time working out the best route.The cheapest is not always the best but planning your trip is part of the holiday

Just an update

This year we visited Normandy and for the first time sailed From Newhaven to Dieppe. The ferry takes about 4 hours for the crossing and cost us £190 return with cabin.

It saves you about a 200 mile each way drive. You also miss the problems in the Calais area and the road works in Dover.

This route on DFDS ferries offers the best value if you are goimg to Normandy.The terminal at Newhaven was easy to find we had a smooth crossing.The ferry was clean and comfortable getting on and off was quick.

Dieppe has a good network of roads for our trip it was the D925

Newhaven Port and inside the DFDS ferry

Newhaven port Newhaven ferry



The white cliffs of Dover I always like to see them it means I am almost home


Dover white cliffs picture
A few of the places we have visited in Northern France

If you do not like crowds the early morning ferry is for you

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