What is the cheapest ferry crossing to France?
The cheapest ferry crossing to France is from Dover to Calais with prices starting at £49 each way.
Is it really the cheapest crossing?
Obviously in terms of the price you pay, yes it is! However, the answer isn’t always as straight forward as you may think for a number of reasons. Firstly you may not want to travel from Dover to Calais as you may live in a part of the UK which is miles away from Dover.
There may also be a ferry port a lot closer to you. Secondly, Calais may not be anywhere near where your intended destination is.
For example, imagine living in the depths of Cornwall in Penzance, is a £49 crossing really the cheapest? If your final destination is Vannes in Brittany, then probably not. By the time you have driven 355 miles from Penzance to Dover and then the 397 miles from Calais down to Vannes, you could already have spent over £100 in fuel let alone the return journey and any tolls you may incur along the way.
In this case, you may find that a crossing from Plymouth to Roscoff is more cost-effective at just over £110 each way. Although you’ll spend more time onboard the ferry, you’ll obviously save driving time on both sides of the channel and you may even find you’re travel time is reduced.
Travelling long distances
It’s a similar case if you plan on travelling long distances once you arrive in France. If you don’t live near to Dover you may find you need an overnight stay either in the UK or France to aid onward travel. In this case, an overnight ferry my be more cost-effective.
The cost of a night’s stay in a hotel can easily be over £100 especially for families.
With an overnight ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth, you can sleep on board and the cost difference on ferry tickets may be less than the cost of the hotel.
As you can see, the lowest price doesn’t always mean it’s the cheapest journey overall. This is why we always recommend you do your research. If you really want to save money you need to find out how to get cheap ferry tickets and not just rely on the cheapest price.
How to get cheap ferry tickets?
If want to save money and get cheap ferry tickets then there are a number of things that you can do. These include avoiding peak times, choosing your route carefully, booking in advance, travelling on weekdays and in the afternoon and by looking out for special offers.
You can find out more in our in-depth guide How to get cheap ferry tickets?