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Ferries to England

With a culturally diverse population of around 53 million, England is divided into nine regions, and then organised by counties, districts, cities and towns.

The capital city, London, is the most densely populated area in the entire United Kingdom, with around 13 million inhabitants; it is the centre for trade, politics and law, and is also a huge tourist hotspot with plenty of attractions, outdoor spaces, iconic monuments and historic buildings.

As an Island, England and the United Kingdom as a whole is a great destination to arrive at by ferry with a good choice of ports dotted around the country. Portsmouth International ferry port, which provides a hub for those arriving directly from the Isle of Wight, France, Spain and the Channel Islands and is one of the first ‘green’ terminals in the UK. In addition to Portsmouth, the ports of Plymouth and Newhaven also provide a gateway to England from France, Spain and the Channel Islands.

The world’s busiest passenger ferry port is in Dover, located on the very eastern tip of the south coast. Around 16 million passengers pass through Dover Port annually travelling from Calais and Dunkirk, both of which provide excellent links from mainland Europe. The cross channel ferries to Dover are generally the fastest, most frequent and cheapest route into the country with crossings operated by large modern ships. For those looking for a quicker, though more expensive option, there is also the channel tunnel to consider.

For those looking to travel across the North Sea from Holland or Germany, the most direct route is to Harwich from the Hook of Holland. The service is operated by the Stena Line 'Super ferries' and operates twice daily, all year round. There are also daily overnight services to the north of England from Amsterdam to Newcastle and Rotterdam and Zeebrugge to Hull. These conveniently scheduled overnight crossings take place on board well equipped cruise ferries and allow you to arrive refreshed and ready for the onward journey.

If you’re travelling to England from across the Irish Sea, there are crossings from Dublin and Belfast to Liverpool though as both crossings take around 8 hours, depending on your final destination it may be better to sail via Wales or Scotland as the crossings are faster and more frequent. Options include sailing from Dublin or Rosslare in Ireland to the Welsh ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke or from the Northern Irish ports of Belfast and Larne to the Scottish ports of Cairnryan and Troon. In all cases, the crossings are operated by modern ferries with excellent facilities.

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England reviews

  • "Great service and 2 pleasant trips"

    Booked a dover - Dunkerque return Flexi ticket, due to changes with our arrival time at the port each way we were offered and took more conveniently timed Dover - Calais ferries each way.  From booking on line, through making on line booking amendments, via friendliness & helpfulness of staff in both Dover & the 2 French ports, to service on board, this was a smooth and easy experience. Both ferries very quiet for leisure passengers and included meal voucher each way. 1 of 2 restaurants open and offered choice of 4 meals including vegetarian option. Also used premium lounges and enjoyed opportunity to fully stretch out on chaiselongue style seating after non stop-drive from/to Scotland, though low passenger numbers meant we would have been able to do this in standard seating areas too. Use DFDS whenever we go to the continent and always happy. New ship Cote d'Opal not just clean and neat but really friendly design / colour template to boot, made the crossing in plenty sunshine feel like a mini cruise. 

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  • "Dover to Calais and back"

    Had a great crossing to Calais on 10.3.22 9.30pm. Very quiet on board, mostly lorry drivers. Free meal voucher was very much appreciated too, variety of food and big portions.  Return ferry at 11.50 am on 20.3.22 was much the same, a little busier, food was good too. 

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  • "A channel crossing which feels like a cruise"

    I felt that everything was handled with great efficiency and courtesy. The ship was clean and the free meal was delicious! My only criticism is that DFDS only had one check-in booth open - I nearly missed my reserved sailing despite arriving over an hour early at the port. A second check-in clerk would allow "un-problematic" customers to bypass a blockage!

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  • "My crossing "

    Everything excellent liked the food voucher system.

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Onboard the ferries

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Ship guides, videos & reviews

Routes and Ports in England