Is it worth it to take a ferry to England?
If you want to travel to England from mainland Europe, you need to cross either the North Sea or the English Channel. There are quite a few ways to do this, like taking the Eurostar directly to London from France or Belgium. There are also flights or even international coaches. Taking a ferry to England is another interesting option. England has quite a few ports, from which ferries depart to Ireland and mainland Europe. And vice versa, ferries depart regularly from ports in Ireland, Northern Ireland and continental Europe to numerous English destinations.
In this article, we’ll reveal why you should definitely consider taking the ferry to England. We will also include tips about which cities are directly accessible by ferry and what you can do there.
What are the advantages of taking the ferry to England?
Taking the ferry has more benefits than flying. Sure, travelling by plane is generally considered to be more comfortable, but we believe that these days, too many people focus on speed alone.
In the last few years, the ferry has become airplanes’ biggest rival. Naturally, travelling by ferry takes longer, but the level of comfort offered makes it preferable. Whereas in the past, the boats rather resembled a means of mass transportation for animals with no holiday vibe, today the standard for travelling by ferry is considerably higher.
One benefit is the check-in procedure. Those long, nerve-racking lines when boarding a plane? Those are almost non-existent when you travel by ferry. There are fewer checks, which means that checking in is surprisingly quick.
Moreover, many people have a fear of flying. For such people, travelling by ferry is already beneficial, since it saves them the additional stress of potentially having a panic attack.
Another sensitive topic is baggage. On planes, these are restricted. But on a ferry? Your only concern is carrying them yourself. On many ferry services, you can even bring your car or caravan along to ensure you’re able to explore your destination freely. Taking a car with you on a plane is a completely utopian idea.
However, the biggest benefit is that travelling by ferry is far more relaxing than travelling by plane. It’s very calming to simply lay back and enjoy the few hours before the hustle and bustle starts again. It’ll give you the opportunity to recharge your batteries, admire the beautiful ocean and better your health; doctors have proved that breathing in fresh sea air is very beneficial.
On the contrary, after a few minutes on an airplane, it feels like the air you breathe in has already been inhaled by others. We know that the air in cabins gets reconditioned, but it’s still an unpleasant thought.
Another benefit is that on a ferry you have more space. If there’s one thing we all hate about planes, it’s their bizarre business model to charge you extra when you want more legroom. This is extremely unfair to those who possess genetically long legs. Thankfully, on a ferry, this annoying rule doesn’t apply.
In addition, you can freely walk around anytime you feel like it. You don’t have to worm your way down a narrow aisle to use the bathroom; instead, you can comfortably wander down the ferry’s corridors. And you definitely don’t have to return to your seat and buckle up for some trivial matter.
It’s especially great that during the longer ferry crossings, you can take a nap to regain your energy. Instead of the loud drone of the plane’s engines, you are met with the calming sounds of the ocean. Not to mention that during flights, you have to constantly get up for fellow passengers if you failed to get a window seat.
When it comes to food, it’s no secret that the meals served on flights are not the best quality. Not to mention that these meals are also packed in plastic and only served at specific times. On the ferry, however, you have the benefit of always enjoying freshly prepared meals in the on-board restaurant. If you, too, would rather eat a juicy salmon fillet than a processed pasta dish full of additives, then the ferry is an alternative you’ll want to seriously consider. Lastly, the atmosphere at the ferry’s bar is also more pleasant than the one onboard a plane.
Which cities can you reach by ferry?
There are a few English cities you can reach by ferry without problems. One of these is Liverpool, which has connections via the sea route from Douglas on the Isle of Man, as well as via Dublin and Belfast.
There are three connections per day from Belfast to Liverpool. The trip takes around eight hours and costs €25 for a one-way ticket there. From Dublin, as well, you’ll find regular, daily connections to Liverpool. This trip only takes around three-and-a-half hours, but it’s more expensive: it can cost up to €40. The connection from Douglas to Liverpool is a similar length, however it’s a few euros cheaper.
From Amsterdam, there are daily connections to Newcastle upon Tyne. The ferry departs from IJmuiden harbour every day at 5:30pm and arrives in Newcastle upon Tyne at 9:15am the next day. This means that you’ll get to spend a whole night on the ferry.
Also, the ride from Amsterdam to Newcastle upon Tyne is not that expensive. Okay, at first, €70 doesn’t exactly sound cheap for a journey over the sea, however if you consider the fact that it includes accommodation for a night, the amount becomes very reasonable.
Another English city you can reach by ferry is Dover. It only takes one-and-a-half hours to reach your destination from Calais, France. However, this ferry is only for motorists; unfortunately, there are no ferries for pedestrians. The same applies to travelling from Dunkirk to Dover.
Naturally, alongside the ones already named, there are numerous other connections between England and Ireland / continental Europe. There are ferry ports in cities like Plymouth, Southampton, Folkestone and Harwich.
In case your favourite destination is not on the list, there is always the possibility of taking a bus or train to get to it. England’s public transportation system is excellent and allows you to reach any city very easily. In addition to that, you can also go on a side trip to Wales or Scotland to explore their remarkable cities.
A trip with the ferry to England may take longer than simply getting on a plane, but it definitely has its benefits. Not only is the check-in at the ferry quicker, but you can also freely move around during the whole journey.
People with long legs especially will be elated, since they won’t have to pay extra just to get some legroom. We don’t mean to completely discourage you from flying; however, if you compare the food on the ferry to that served on planes, there really is no competition.
You can reach countless cities in England with the ferry. For example, every night there departs a ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle upon Tyne. Similarly, there are also ferries from French cities to England, in particular from Dunkirk or Calais to Dover.
In our opinion, the most exciting English port is Liverpool. This one you can reach from Belfast or Dublin. Moreover, there is the possibility of crossing with the ferry from the Isle of Man to Liverpool. In case you haven’t taken the ferry to England yet, we recommend you give this type of travel a chance.