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Now that ferries are making a comeback and that many tourists are staying away from flying, Normandy is back on the map as a greener and easily-accessible holiday destination. With five different routes from England to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs and tastes!

ferries are back in style!

These days, as people become more aware of their carbon footprint and the international health crisis is changing our travel habits, the ferry is seeing a real resurgence in popularity. Seen as a cleaner alternative to flying, ferry travel is also considered less stressful. Airport delays, increased security and luggage restrictions have had passengers tearing their hair out, and the recent Covid-19 measures haven’t made things easier. When catching the ferry, you can travel in the comfort of your own car and enjoy lots of space and fresh air once on board! If you’re a cycling enthusiast, you can take your bike too. Our beautiful part of France boasts four ferry ports linking us to Portsmouth, Poole and Newhaven. Take a closer look at the different options you have:

PORTSMOUTH TO CAEN-OUISTREHAM

  • Service operated by Brittany Ferries
  • Crossing time: approximately 6 hours (option of 9h overnight travel)
  • 3 sailings a day in each direction
  • Crossings are carried out by two ferries: MV Mont St Michel and MV Normandie
  • Crossing capacity: 2 100 passengers
  • Cabins available for overnight sailings
  • Ferry port located just 10 miles from Caen city centre

newhaven to dieppe

  • Service operated by DFDS
  • Crossing time: approximately 4 hours
  • Up to 3 crossings a day in each direction
  • Crossings are carried out by two sister ships: MS Seven Sisters and MS Côte d’Albâtre
  • Crossing capacity: 600 passengers
  • Cabins available for overnight sailings
  • Ferry port is located one mile from Dieppe town centre. Dieppe is the closest port and beach to Paris.
Dieppe port

PORTSMOUTH TO CHERBOURG

  • Service operated by Brittany Ferries
  • Weekly overnight sailings on the brand-new cruise ferry, Salamanca 
  • Crossing time: approximately 8 hours
  • 2 sailings a week in each direction
  • Crossing capacity: 1 100 passengers
  • Cabins available for overnight sailings
  • Ferry port located two miles from Cherbourg city centre

POOLE TO CHERBOURG

  • Service operated by Brittany Ferries
  • Crossing time: approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • 1 sailing a day in each direction
  • Crossings are carried out by the MV Barfleur
  • Crossing capacity: 1 200 passengers
  • Ferry port located two miles from Cherbourg city centre

Portsmouth to le havre (freight only in 2022)

  • No thrills ‘économie’ service operated by Brittany Ferries
  • Crossing time: approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes (option of 9 hrs 45 mins overnight travel)
  • 1 sailing a day in each direction (5 days a week)
  • Crossings are carried out by the MV Cotentin
  • Crossing capacity: 215 passengers
  • Cabins available for overnight sailings
  • Ferry port located one mile from Le Havre city centre. This is Brittany Ferries’ closest crossing to Paris, just 2 hours drive from Le Havre.
Le Havre © Herve Sentucq

HIGH-SPEED PORTSMOUTH – CHERBOURG – POOLE SERVICE

  • Seasonal high-speed service operated by Brittany Ferries
  • Fastcraft will operate from 27th May to 5th June and from 15th July to 4th September on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It will depart from Portsmouth at 07:00, arriving at Cherbourg at 11:00. A return service will depart Cherbourg at 11:45, arriving at Poole at 13:15.
  • Crossing time: approximately 3 hours
  • Crossings are carried out by the Liberation fastcraft ferry
  • Crossing capacity: 850 passengers
  • Ferry port located two miles from Cherbourg city centre

FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

  • Manche Iles Express*: From Diélette, Barneville Carteret and Granville, to the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and Alderney, and to the Chausey Islands
  • Jolie France*: From Granville to the Chausey Islands

*Please note some ferry crossings are seasonal

Chausey Islands © © T. Verneuil

DUTY FREE IS BACK!

Duty free has now returned on ferry routes between the UK and France for the first time in more than 20 years. The end of the Brexit transition period saw duty free shopping make a comeback on 1 January 2021. Passengers are now able to load their luggage with tax-free tobacco, alcohol and perfumes again. Yet another reason to hop on the ferry and visit Normandy! 

Ouistreham beach