Channel Ferry routes
Every year millions of people and vehicles ply these routes to get to their preferred destinations around Europe. Ferries to France are a very popular way for many people, business travelers and tourists alike, to visit Europe. For tourists it is simply a more romantic way to travel and for business folks it is to avoid the claustrophobic feeling of going in a underground train for a few hours.routes are a vital link in connecting the UK with the rest of Europe. Another benefit is that travelers are able to bring their car and there are no weight restrictions on luggage.
Out of all the starting points on the UK side, Dover is still the principle place to take a ferry. If you are visiting London and are thinking about going to France then you will be able to take the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne. Calais is the main ferry port on the French side and the 2 biggest ferry lines that operate this route are Seafrance and P&O ferries. Both ports are relatively large and can handle a lot of traffic at any given moment. This not only includes boats and people but also cars and trucks. The weekends are usually the busiest and it is always advisable to book in advance, rather than just showing up and making a booking at port.
Dover – Dunkerque
Dover to Dunkirk is dominated by Norfolkline and it is one of the more popular routes to take. The only down side is that the port at Dunkirk is not as big Calais and on the busy weekends it can get quite hectic. On the good side because of its relatively small size, it does not take much time to go through. What makes Norfolkline a bit different from the rest, is that they mainly take cars and their passengers. This means there will be less foot traffic to deal with. This is also the route to take if you are heading to the eastern part of France.
Other ferry routes
If you were to go more to the west side of England, the next port where you will be able to catch a ferry is from Newhaven. The main carriers from here is LD lines ferries. These ferries operate to Dieppe in France. This service runs twice a day all year long. This is the ferry to take if you are planning to go to northern part of France and Paris. Total time to cross is 4 hours and the town of Dieppe is oldest port in France. Dieppe can also boast of a nice beach and a beautiful historic town.
Ramsgate to Boulogne is a relatively new ferry route which is operated by Euroferries and is the only Channel ferry operator which uses a catamaran ferry making it the fastest operator on the English Channel with a crossing time of just 75 minutes. The French Government has invested a vast amount of money in the motorways out of Boulogne making it a great place to start your holiday in France. Euroferries operates 4 sailings a day out of Boulogne and travelers can checkj in up to 30 minutes prior to departure.
Another popular route is England to Amsterdam which is being operated by DFDS Seaways or you can alternatively take a ferry from Hull to Rotterdam if you want to visit the southern part of The Netherlands.
Last but not least Portsmouth is also a popular starting point for cross Channel traveling. From here you will be able to catch a boat to Le Havre, Cherbourg, St Malo and Caen. Brittany ferries operate the routes between Portsmouth, St Malo, Cherbourg and Caen. The ferries owned by Brittany ferries are relatively large in comparison to other cross Channel ferries, being able to hold up to 2000 passengers and are similar to cruise ships.