Dover-Calais is the fastest and most cost-effective ferry to France. Three ferry companies operate on this route. You can find the lowest prices in our booking module or on the companies’ websites.
Dover to Calais Trains
The fastest connection between Dover and Calais is the train through the Eurotunnel. A car train departs from Folkestone to Calais, and a fast passenger train travels between London and various European cities.
- For Le Shuttle car train, you first drive to the Eurotunnel station in Folkestomne with your own vehicle.
- The Eurostar passenger train departs from London St Pancras and rides to Lille, Paris, Bruxelles, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.
Great alternatives to France and Holland
Dover - Dunkirk
Fast choice for direction Belgium, Holland and Northern Germany.
Newhaven - Dieppe
Great option for a ferry to Paris. Longer crossing but less driving.
Harwich - Hook of Holland
Night sailings can be more expensive because of cabins.
- Three ferry companies operate on the Dover-Calais ferry route, and they are quite similar.
- With DFDS, you can take the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk. This ferry takes an extra half-hour, but Dunkirk could be closer to your destination in Belgium, Holland, or Germany.
- There are two train connections that go through the Channel Tunnel. One is for foot passengers, and the other is for travelers with a car, van, camper, caravan, motorbike, or bicycle.
Dover to Calais ferries
The ferry service between Dover and Calais is a crucial link between the United Kingdom and the European mainland. Three ferry companies operate on this route, ensuring a regular schedule throughout the year.
The Calais to Dover crossing typically takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending on weather conditions and the type of ferry. It is advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during busy periods. This ensures you have a place on board and don’t overpay.
It’s advisable to book your reservation well in advance, as prices can increase rapidly as the ferries reach full capacity.
Ferries operating on the Dover-Calais route are equipped with modern amenities to ensure passenger comfort. You’ll find comfortable seating, restaurants, cafes, and shops onboard. You can also purchase various necessities and souvenirs. Some ferries even offer play areas for children and lounges where passengers can relax during the crossing.
- You may also consider the faster but typically more expensive Eurotunnel if you’re traveling by car.
- Traveling on foot? You can book a ferry through P&O Ferries or take the Eurostar from London St Pancras.
Booking a ferry
It’s worth comparing the ferries since prices tend to increase as the ship fills up. Perhaps the ferry with another company is less booked and therefore more budget-friendly.
You can use the booking module on this site or compare ferry companies directly:
How Far is Dover to Calais?
- The distance between Dover and Calais is approximately 25 miles.
- The length of the Eurotunnel is slightly over 31 miles.
In clear atmospheric conditions, you can even see the faint outlines of the French coastline.
How long is the ferry from Dover to Calais?
- The Dover-Calais ferry crossing takes approximately 90 minutes on all ferry services. Considering the 25-mile distance between the two ports, the ferries sail at approximately 16.67 miles per hour.
- However, ferry travellers should allow for check-in of at least 60 minutes in advance for car drivers and at least 90 minutes for foot passengers. DFDS offers a slightly shorter check-in time.
Can you purchase tickets at the port?
Tickets can be purchased at the ferry companies’ Travel Centers.
All ferry companies charge a Turn-Up and Go rate at the port. This is a premium rate and is also more expensive than the online rate. To get the lowest price, it’s better to book in advance online.
Which Dover-Calais ferry company should I choose?
We believe that the choice of ferry company doesn’t make a significant difference. You’re traveling from point A to point B, and it only takes 90 minutes. During this time, you can enjoy a regular cup of coffee and a sandwich on all the ferries. So, we would recommend simply opting for the lowest price.
In a hurry? DFDS has the shortest check-in time, which can save you approximately 15 minutes.
How can I find the cheapest crossing to Calais?
As a rule of thumb, ferry prices are quite similar, but there can be extra budget-friendly options available if you specify your particular preferences. This often happens because ferry fares tend to rise as the vessels fill up. So, if there’s still space on a boat, tickets for it are often the most affordable. It pays off to compare!
Comparing prices between all the ferriesand the car train is very straightforward. You can do this in our booking module.
We also have a few handy tips for traveling inexpensively by ferry.