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To Europe Today

Read about the benefits of a ferry to Europe

Booking a ferry to Europe can often be about which is the cheapest option. The cheapest fares are at the most unsociable hours: early in the morning or late at night and this can make the beginning of a holiday seem like a chore.

However, one of the main attractions of ferries to Europe over other forms of transport is the number of sailings that occur throughout the day.

The two main ferry providers across the Channel are P&O and DFDS who between them offer over 80 sailings a day!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of taking a ferry to France over other forms of transport.

 

Cost

Fares vary depending on a number of factors:

Seasonality

The time of year can impact upon the fares as more people look to go away during peak-periods. Christmas, Bank Holidays, summer and events throughout the year can increase demand and therefore the fares go up as a result. This can be why it is better to try and book as far ahead of time as possible

 Popularity

Extending beyond peak periods, certain days and times are more expensive as they represent the more popular sailing times. This is why the cheapest fares are often in the morning or late-night sailings. Fewer people want to go on them!

 Freight

Most modern super-ferries have dedicated car decks however freight is more lucrative for a ferry provider, therefore, they will always look to maximise their freight capacity over passenger, it makes more financial sense for a ferry provider to do so. This often isn’t a problem as there are so many frequent sailings that it can mean an hour or so extra waiting time.

Fares also are dependant on what ticket type you purchase, whether you purchase a standard or flexible ticket option as well as additional extras like VIP lounge. See our Ticket Types page to learn more.

 

Flexibility

As we saw earlier, over 80 sailings a day from the main Channel companies is a large amount to choose from. There are other options to getting to mainland Europe such as Eurotunnel and other routes from other ferry providers and so you will hardly ever have any problems selecting a suitable route and time.

 

Shopping

Ferries offer travellers a wide variety of goods from perfume, makeup to alcohol and food. Be careful to check the prices though as it’s not always as cheap as you can get once you are in Europe.

 

Food

Even though the sailings are pretty short, it can be a good idea to get a meal to give you fuel for your journey ahead. Ferry operators have a variety of different food available whether you are after a continental style breakfast or a more robust dinner, most tastes are catered for.

Bars offer alcohol and cafes deliver continental style coffee to go with your croissant. Children are catered for, often with their own menus.

Most operators accept multiple currencies and of course credit/debit cards.

 

Children’s Entertainment

Play areas are common on modern ferries which help to give the adults a break before they start the next leg of their journey. See our Children’s Entertainment page for more information.

 

Scenery

Of course, the scenery is one of the main reasons the ferries appeal to a large number of people. Seeing the White Cliff’s of Dover or France come into view is a magical experience. The Dover coastline offers fantastic photo opportunities and can be a welcome sign for those coming back from a long return journey home.

 

Help & Advice

Ferry operators have information desks where you can get advice on all sorts of issues. From the latest regulations regarding headlights in France to helping with travel arrangements, they are there to help and inform you so make the most of them!

 

Currency Exchange

If you need to exchange currency, then the ferry operators can take charge of this. P&O even offer this service prior to you needing the ferry – P&O Currency Exchange – you can then pick up the money onboard, they even state they can beat the Post Office’s online rate.

We would always suggest you research your options here.

 

Social Environment

There’s a lot to be said for not being cooped up in your car. Talking to other travellers can yield interesting stories, hints and tips and the ferries have even been the place for wedding proposals! Relaxing on a lounger (perhaps in a VIP lounge), whilst you watch the waves help to push you and the ferry to Europe can be a very relaxing time.

 

Dolphins & Porpoises

Yes! Dolphins! Whilst relatively rare, ORCA work with all the ferry operators to monitor the dolphin & porpoise population. There are videos on Youtube so be sure to look out for them whilst sailing the Channel!