Channel Ferry Crossings - Further information on Services, Routes and Operators
The most popular Channel Ferry Route is the Dover to Calais route. This is due to it being the shortest crossing distance of the channel providing an easy and cheap link between England and France. France is the perfect place to travel to by ferry, either on foot or with a car. From the Alps to the cities, from golf to skiing, France has it all. Ferry operators to France include P&O Ferries, SeaFrance, Norfolk Line, Transmanche Ferries, Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries. By searching all operators we can offer you the most options and best value ferries to France.
Channel Ferry Information
The busiest seaway in the world, the English Channel, connects Great Britain and mainland Europe sailing mainly to French ports, such as Calais, Boulogne, Cherbourg-Octeville, Caen, St Malo and Le Havre. Ferries from Great Britain also sail to Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Ireland. Some ferries carry mainly tourist traffic, but most also carry freight, and some are exclusively for the use of freight lorries.
The English Channel is densely populated on both shores, on which are situated a number of major ports and resorts possessing a combined population of over 3.5 million people. The most significant towns and cities along the Channel are Brighton and Portsmouth on the English side and Le Havre and Calais on the French side.
The Channel, with traffic in both the UK-Europe and North Sea-Atlantic routes, is the World's busiest seaways carrying over 400 ships per day.
The Main Channel Ferry routes are:
Dover-Calais - (P&O, SeaFrance)
Dover-Boulogne - (LD Lines)
Dover-Dieppe - (LD Lines)
Dover-Dunkerque - (Norfolkline)
Newhaven-Dieppe - (LD Lines, Transmanche Ferries)
Plymouth-Roscoff - (Brittany Ferries)
Poole-Cherbourg - (Brittany Ferries)
Poole-Saint Malo - (Condor Ferries)
Portsmouth-Caen - (Brittany Ferries)
Portsmouth-Cherbourg - (Brittany Ferries, Condor Ferries)
Portsmouth-Le Havre - (LD Lines)
Weymouth-Saint Malo - (Condor Ferries)
Many travellers cross beneath the English Channel using the Channel Tunnel. This engineering feat, first proposed in the early 19th century and finally realised in 1994, connects the UK and France by rail. It is now routine to travel between Paris, Brussels and London on the Eurostar train. Cars can also travel on special trains between Folkestone and Calais. You can also book the Channel Tunnel with computicket.co.uk - Click Here to go to the Eurotunnel Page.
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the county of Kent, England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel. The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District.
Its strategic position has always been evident throughout its history: archaeological finds have revealed that the area has always been a focus for peoples entering and leaving Britain, and this continues to this day. The town gives its name both to the surrounding chalk cliffs, which a form a gateway to the port; and to the narrow sea passage - the Straits of Dover - on which it stands. The cliffs also gave Britain its ancient name of Albion ("white").
One measure of the importance of Dover's links with France is that only a few English towns/cities have names in French different from their English names: these are Dover (Douvres), London (Londres) and Canterbury (Cantorbéry).
The Dover Harbour Board is the responsible authority for the running of the Port of Dover.
The English Channel, here at its narrowest point in the Straits of Dover, is the busiest shipping lane in the world. Ferries crossing between here and the Continent have to negotiate their way through the constant stream of shipping crossing their path. The Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme allots ships separate lanes when passing through the Strait. The Scheme is controlled by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency of HM Customs, whose headquarters is at Langdon Battery in Dover
The Port of Dover is also used by cruise ship passengers, and the old Dover Marine railway station building, together with a newly built one, cater for those passengers.
The ferry lines using the port of Dover are (number of daily sailings in brackets):
To Boulogne: LD Lines (2); (Previously operated by Speed Ferries who ceased operation in 2008)
To Calais: P&O Ferries (22) and Sea France (15);
To Dieppe: LD Lines (1)
To Dunkerque: Norfolk Line (12).
Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km (21 miles) wide here, and is the closest French town to the United Kingdom, of which Calais was a territorial possession for several centuries. The white cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day.
The city's proximity to England has made it a major port for centuries. It is the principal ferry crossing point between England and France, with the vast majority of Channel crossings being made between Dover and Calais. The French end of the Channel Tunnel is also situated in the vicinity of Calais, in Coquelles some 4 miles (6 km) to the west of the town.