Best ferry services

Has the recent Icelandic volcanic ash crisis and the planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew put you off flying this summer? Don’t jeopardise your summer holiday, try swapping the airport for the ferry port this summer.The Good Ferry Guide in the Telegraph newspaper have compiled a list of ferry operators and outlines what their best feature is:

Best for…

Low fares: Norfolkline (0844 847 5042; www.norfolkline.com); Dover-Dunkirk. Offers some of the cheapest return fares, especially if you don’t mind late night or early morning departures.

Frequent travellers: SeaFrance (0871 423 7119; www.seafrance.com); Dover-Calais. Operates a multi-ticket carnet that offers savings on three or more crossings.

Fastest crossing: Eurotunnel (0844 335 3535; www.eurotunnel.com); Folkestone-Calais. Trains take 35 minutes, but prices are higher.

No frills: LD Lines (0844 576 8836; www.ldlines.co.uk); Dover-Boulogne, Newhaven-Dieppe, Portsmouth-Le Havre and Ramsgate-Ostend. Facilities are basic, but fares are usually low.

Choice of routes: Brittany Ferries (0871 244 0744; www.brittanyferries.co.uk); Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg and St Malo, Poole-Cherbourg, Plymouth-Roscoff and Portsmouth or Plymouth to Santander.

Included insurance: Euroferries (0844 414 5355; www.euroferries.co.uk); Ramsgate-Boulogne. Fastcraft crossing, returning in eight days; includes free insurance when booked online.

Themed crossings: P&O Ferries (0871 664 5645; www.poferries.com); Dover-Calais and Portsmouth-Bilbao. Three-night comedy cruises to Spain in May and June.


Channel Islands: Condor Ferries (0845 609 1024; www.condorferries.co.uk); Poole and Weymouth to St Malo via the Channel Islands, and Portsmouth-Cherbourg.

  • Note weekend and convenient daytime departures are more expensive, and fares tend to rise nearer departure.
  • Operators’ websites often offer discounts for online bookings.
  • Compare prices at www.ferrysavers.com.
  • Avoid the longer western Channel routes, which can add more than £1,000 for a family of four in a cabin.

Source – The Telegraph 3rd May 2010

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