4 Awesome Places To Visit By Ferry From The UK

Ferry crossings to places like France and Holland  have become incredibly popular with people travelling from the UK.  With the flexibility of being able to take your car to Europe and a wide range or facilities and creature comforts on board a ferry it’s obvious to me why they are becoming the go to choice for travellers.

One of the things that caught my attention about travelling by ferry from the UK was the price.  It’s definitely a cost effective way of getting to France, Holland, Belgium or Germany especially for families.  Not only are ticket prices reasonable, but you also save on other holiday costs like car hire and additional baggage allowance.

Normandy Castle

If you don’t enjoy flying or would rather avoid stressful airport lounges taking the ferry might tick lots of other boxes for you too.  The check in time is only 45 minutes and when you are onboard the ferry you are free to leave your car and enjoy the onboard bars, restaurants and relaxing sea views.  You can also take your dog if you don’t want to leave them behind during your holiday.

Brittany Ferries offers the widest choice of cross channel ferries to France from the UK departing from Portsmouth, Plymouth or Poole and traveling to Cherbourg, St Malo, Caen, Le Havre or Roscoff.

Ferry Crossings to France: Dover to Dunkirk

Crossing time: 2 hours

Prices from £39 per person

Up to 24 sailings per day


If you are choosing a ferry to France from the UK then the crossing from Dover to Dunkirk could be perfect for you.  It provides very easy access to France and also other European destinations because it’s close to the Belgium border. Taking this ferry to France can also make for an excellent day trip to the historic town itself, which is an incredibly popular destination with British tourists.

Dunkirk was the famous evacuation site during World War II and is the perfect destination for tourists interested in how this and other events like it in the local area shaped the future of Europe.  A visit to Dunkirk brings together scenic sandy beaches and historic attractions like the Dunkirk War Museum to make for an incredibly memorable experience.

Click here for more information and to book.

Ferry Crossings to France: Dover to Calais

Crossing time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Prices from £39 per person

Up to 30 sailings per day


Calais is a famous beach resort in Northern France and is one of the quickest and easiest French ferry ports to get to from the UK.  It’s been incredibly popular with British tourists for shopping for many years.  Many empty cars visit Calais by ferry and come back with excellent local produce and lots of cheap wine and beer.

If you prefer your shopping to be more about luxury, Calais is also an excellent place to visit to pick up the latest trends at great prices from Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and many more.

Make sure you don’t leave Calais without a spot of sightseeing though.  The Lighthouse provides the perfect viewing point over the city and on a clear sky day you might even catch glimpse of the White Cliffs of Dover.

Click here for more information and to book.

Ferry Crossings to France: Newhaven to Dieppe

Crossing time: 4 hours

Prices from £49 per person

Up to 21 sailings per week

Castle Dieppe

Taking the Newhaven Dieppe ferry is the easiest way to access the stunning Normandy coast line and this very popular French location. Dieppe is a famous fishing town and holiday destination surrounded by impressive and beautiful limestone cliffs.  For more ideas for exploring this area, Suitcases and Sandcastles shares her experience of the spectacular cliffs at Étretat which is well worth a read.

The town’s harbour is an interesting place to watch the world go by before taking a stroll along the mile long promenade.  You will have trouble deciding which restaurants to visit, but I can assure you that the locally caught fresh fish will be a complete delight where ever you choose to eat.

Dieppe is also the perfect ferry port for visiting Paris.  You can arrive in Paris in just over two hours either by train or car, lending itself to the ideal day trip to the capital.  If you want to explore the local attractions, then Château Mussée is a must with it’s impressive sculptures and views over the town from the cliffs.

Click here for more information and to book.

Ferry to Holland: Newcastle to Amsterdam

Crossing time: overnight

Prices from £64 per person

Sailings 7 days per week


Start your holiday in Newcastle by joining the overnight ferry to Amsterdam with DFDS.  You can board the ferry from 2pm and enjoy the onboard bars, restaurants, cinema and casino.  After an evening packed with entertainment get a good night’s rest in one of the cosy cabins knowing you will wake up a short distance from central Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is the perfect city to explore on foot, with it’s subdued nature and extensive canal network.  Taking a canal cruise is a great way to learn about the city’s history and enjoy it’s splendid architecture.  It has a vast array of museums and attractions to chose from, or if you prefer something a little more quirky why not visit the cat boat along Singel canal or take an eye opening stroll around the Red Light District.

It takes just 30 minutes to reach central Amsterdam from the port, or an hour to get to Rotterdam.  If you are travelling further a field for a road trip then Bruges and Brussels are around 3 hours from the ferry.

Click here for more information and to book. 

Planning A Trip? Why Not Pin For Later

4 Awesome places to visit be ferry from the UK. Visiting Europe by ferry is an excellent option for travellers and can be the perfect start to a day trip or a European road trip. Find out more about taking the ferry to Calais, Dunkirk, Dieppe and Amsterdam here

This post contains affiliate links and PR collaborations. 




Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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  1. Sidrah Ahmed
    October 6, 2017 / 11:16 pm

    Amazing i love these places they look perfect for a family day out

  2. Margaret Gallagher
    October 8, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Didn’t know there was a Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry
    Wouldn’t mind trying this one

  3. October 8, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    I really like travelling by Ferry (when it’s a decent company!), my favourite one so far has been from Denmark to Norway, was almost like a mini cruise! 😀
    Emma Raphael recently posted…Sunday Photo – Wild Man of the WoodsMy Profile

  4. October 9, 2017 / 3:44 am

    It’s such an easy and fun way to travel with kids

  5. Monica Gilbert
    October 9, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    I’ve not taken a ferry in the UK, but I used ferries while living in Japan. They are a nice way to travel, and I’d like to try some of these trips.

  6. October 9, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    Having travelled by ferry to the Isles of Scilly this summer, we would definitely do it again! It’s cost effective and a really pleasant journey!

  7. October 12, 2017 / 4:05 am

    I love ferries – first went on one at school to Belgium- would absolutely love to visit Amsterdam
    Kira recently posted…Movie Night | SPARKMy Profile

  8. October 12, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Fabulous this is food for thought as i Love a ferry ride i dont know what it is but it really relaxes me ready for the explore at the other side

  9. October 12, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    We are planning to explore Dunkirk at some point and take the ferry. Have done UK to Amsterdam and really enjoyed that. These are some great ideas

    Laura x

  10. Taslyn Russell
    October 13, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    I would have loved to do something like this but my husband cant swim and he would feel too nervous. Loved your post!

  11. Kayleigh Watkins
    November 4, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I didn’t realise you could get a ferry to all these places, the price isn’t bad either xx

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Whether you are looking for travel tips to make the most of your next cruise holiday or you need UK travel ideas we’ve got you covered on Zena’s Suitcase UK travel blog.  We started sharing our holiday and travel reviews in 2013, so if you can’t find the travel, family or lifestyle blog above you are after make sure you head over to the search bar to find what you need.  Think of us as one of the best travel blogs brimming with ideas to get you out and about with and without the kids.