Cross-Channel Ferries to France: routes, timetables and booking ferries
If you are driving to your holiday in France from the UK you are going to need to book a cross channel ferry or channel tunnel crossing!
Further down this page we have summarised the principal driving times from some of the ferry ports to some of the most popular destinations in France
Search for best prices on your cross-channel ferry crossing
An alternative to the cross-channel ferry is to cross the channel by EuroTunnel - both quick and easy to use, and with very frequent trains running - up to five trains per hour, and no risk of delays due to bad weather. The crossing from Folkestone to Calais takes just 35 minutes, costs from only £49 one-way, and has direct access to the motorway network so you are soon on your way.
See trains in France to find cheap Eurotunnel tickets
Cross channel ferry routes
The more common ferry routes to France sometimes have more than one operator running ferries on the same route. The most popular routes are:
- Dover - Boulogne or Calais
- Plymouth - Roscoff (also Bilbao and Santander in Spain)
- Poole - Cherbourg or Saint-Malo
- Portsmouth - Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre or Saint-Malo
Note that some of these crossings (those departing from Dover) only take about an hour, while others take several hours or sail overnight.
The longer crossings cost more, and cabin accommodation may also be needed. You will need to carefully balance the extra time spent on the crossing with the cost, the saving in driving time and expense, and the convenience of arriving after a night sleeping on a ferry.
The crossings from Plymouth to Santander and Bilbao are as much a mini-cruise as a ferry crossing, take more than 24 hours for the voyage, and are sometimes used by those visiting far south-west france eg Biarritz.
Driving times and distances in France from ferry ports to selected destinations
Distances in miles - see table below this one for distances in kilometres
|Annecy (Alps)||494||7h 0m||523||7h 14m||570||8h 11m||469||6h 47m||581||8h 8m|
|Biarritz (Atlantic coast)||498||7h 14m||662||9h 28m||553||8h 7m||571||8h 7m||457||6h 42m|
|La Rochelle||269||4h 10m||433||6h 23m||303||4h 50m||337||5h 5m||201||3h 27m|
|Nice (Riviera)||728||10h 6m||765||10h 29m||802||11h 19m||701||9h 54m||794||11h 5m|
|Paris||149||2h 26m||179||2h 46m||223||3h 35m||120||2h 9m||252||3h 54m|
|Quimper (Brittany)||246||3h 40m||463||6h 39m||279||4h 14m||361||5h 19m||143||2h 41m|
|Saint-Tropez (Riviera)||702||9h 56m||739||10h 13m||776||11h 5m||677||9h 47m||771||10h 59m|
|Sarlat (Dordogne)||388||6h 25m||509||7h 27m||464||7h 33m||441||6h 44m||451||6h 39m|
Distances in kilometres...
|Annecy (Alps)||790||7h 0m||836||7h 14m||912||8h 11m||750||6h 47m||930||8h 8m|
|Biarritz (Atlantic Coast)||797||7h 14m||1059||9h 28m||885||8h 7m||913||8h 7m||731||6h 42m|
|La Rochelle||430||4h 10m||693||6h 23m||484||4h 50m||539||5h 5m||321||3h 27m|
|Nice (Riviera)||1164||10h 6m||1224||10h 29m||1283||11h 19m||1122||9h 54m||1271||11h 5m|
|Paris||238||2h 26m||287||2h 46m||356||3h 35m||192||2h 9m||403||3h 54m|
|Quimper (Brittany)||393||3h 40m||741||6h 39m||446||4h 14m||578||5h 19m||229||2h 41m|
|Saint-Tropez (Riviera)||1123||9h 56m||1183||10h 13m||1241||11h 5m||1083||9h 47m||1233||10h 59m|
|Sarlat (Dordogne)||621||6h 25m||814||7h 27m||742||7h 33m||706||6h 44m||721||6h 39m|
You can find all driving distance in France and suggested route map at driving times and distances