5 of the ‘Ferry’ Best Value Holidays from the UK



Need an affordable getaway that avoids the hassles of air travel? Consider one of these top-value ferry holidays from the UK for your next escape. With hundreds of routes available across the English Channel and Irish Sea, taking a ferry opens up a world of easy, low-cost travel opportunities across Europe. Here are 5 of the best destinations for a ferry-enabled holiday:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Best Value Holidays from the UK

Famed for its picturesque canals, world-class museums like the Rijksmuseum, and lively nightlife scene, Amsterdam is an ever-popular city break. Ferry routes from Newcastle to Amsterdam with DFDS or from Harwich to Hook of Holland make it a cinch and surprisingly affordable to visit the Dutch capital by sea. Travel time is around 16 hours.

Dublin, Ireland

Best Value Holidays from the UK

Ireland’s fair capital city combines heritage highlights like the Guinness Storehouse with pubs, music, and that legendary Irish craic. Multiple ferry routes from Liverpool, Holyhead, and Pembroke Dock make traveling from Wales and northwest England cheap and convenient. Sail and rail packages can be a cost-effective option too.

Normandy, France

Best Value Holidays from the UK

For an easy yet authentic taste of French culture, look no further than the historic Normandy region. Ferries from Portsmouth and Poole have you in coastal destinations like Cherbourg, Caen, or Dieppe in as little as 4 hours. Rent a car for an affordable road trip through rural villages, WWII sites, Mont St. Michel, local cider farms, and more.

Brittany, France

Best Value Holidays from the UK

The peninsula region of Brittany is renowned for its charming seaside towns, fresh seafood, and Celtic heritage. Ferry routes service major cities like St. Malo and the fun beach haven of Roscoff direct from Plymouth and Portsmouth. With rural gites and coastal hikes, it’s fantastic for low-key holidays.

Santander, Spain

Best Value Holidays from the UK

While a long journey at over 24 hours, the ferries from Plymouth to Santander offer one of the most affordable ways to reach Spain overland from southern England. The vibrant city in Cantabria serves as a great gateway to further road tripping into northern Spain’s beach towns, mountains, and wine regions.

In addition to avoiding flight hassles and costs, taking ferries from the UK has several advantages, from being able to pack the car to regulated airfares. Many featured routes run overnight as mini-cruises, allowing passengers the added thrill of awaking refreshed at their destination the next morning. When planned ahead, extremely low fares can make the overall vacation costs comparable or even cheaper than flying, plus you get scenic views and port of call stops along the way. For a fun, hassle-free holiday, taking a ferry could be your ferry godmother’s next value-packed idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cheapest ferry routes from the UK?

Short crossings like Dover to Calais or Folkestone to Coquelles tend to have the lowest base fares. Longer routes are cheaper per mile like overnight sailings to Holland, France, Ireland or Spain.

Do I need to bring my own vehicle on a ferry?

No, it’s possible to be a foot passenger on virtually all ferry routes. This can save significantly versus taking a car, though rates are higher for renting a vehicle at your destination.

Can I take a ferry for a day trip only?

While possible, it’s not very economical or time-efficient to use a ferry for just a day trip when you factor in transportation logistics and sailing times.

Are ferries wheelchair/mobility scooter accessible? 

Yes, all major ferry operators have accessibility facilities on board their ships as well as for boarding and disembarking at ports.

What amenities are available on ferries?

Most larger ro-ro ferries feature restaurants, bars, entertainment lounges, shops, kids play areas and more to keep passengers occupied during extended sailings.


For travelers seeking a convenient, hassle-free, and affordable alternative to air travel, ferry holidays from the UK offer a wealth of possibilities to explore destinations across Europe and even into Spain. With hundreds of routes spanning the English Channel and Irish Sea, it’s easy to set sail for cultural cities, rural escapes, coastal towns, and more while avoiding airport chaos. Visitors can pack up the car, sit back and enjoy the scenic journey as part of the overall experience.

Major routes like those to Amsterdam, Dublin, the French regions of Normandy and Brittany, and even Santander in Spain allow UK residents to affordably reach iconic locales with ease and minus the high flight costs. Between low base fares, overnight mini cruise style sailings, and bringing one’s own transportation, ferry holidays can wind up being an exceptional value. With some savvy planning for the logistics and no need to stress about luggage limits or airport crowds, travelers gain a relaxed, rewarding start to their hard-earned vacation right from departure. So ditch the hassles of air travel on your next trip, and discover your ferry tale adventure by sea instead.

In another related article, 10 Tips for Budget Travel in Europe

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