Belgium is a beautiful and vibrant country that attracts millions of visitors every year. When planning a trip to Belgium from the UK or Ireland with your own vehicle, you have two options to cross the channel: the Eurotunnel or a ferry crossing. While the Eurotunnel is a great option for quick visits from the south of England, taking a ferry crossing is often the better choice for those traveling from other locations or looking to enjoy a more relaxed journey. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the different options for ferries to Belgium for overseas visitors..
Why choose for a ferry crossing to Belgium
Taking a ferry to Belgium has several advantages over other modes of transportation, such as flying or driving. Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking a ferry to Belgium:
- Cost-effective: Ferries to Belgium are generally more affordable than flights or trains, especially if you’re traveling with your car or a group of people.
- Convenient: Ferries offer a stress-free and hassle-free way to travel, with no baggage limits, security checks, or long queues. You can also bring your pets on board and enjoy a range of facilities and amenities, such as restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Flexible: Ferries to Belgium offer a range of departure times and routes, allowing you to choose the most convenient and suitable option for your travel plans.
Closed route: Hull to Zeebrugge
The former Ferry connecting Hull and Zeebrugge has been closed down by P&O ferries in 2021. Therefore there are no direct ferries from the UK to Belgium. Travelers can instead book a ferry to France or The Netherlands and continue their journey to Belgium over land.
Best Ferry routes to Belgium
There are several routes available for traveling to Belgium from England or Ireland, depending on your departure point and preferred destination. Here are some of the best routes to consider:
Route 1: Dover to Dunkirk
This route is operated by DFDS Seaways and takes around 2 hours, with up to 24 sailings per day. The ferry departs from Dover in the UK and arrives in Dunkirk in France, just 20km from the Belgian border. From Dunkirk you can easily drive or take a train to Belgium. Prices for a standard vehicle start from around €49, depending on the time of year and availability.
Route 2: Dover to Calais
From Dover, the ferry route to Calais has the shortest crossing time of only 1.5 hour. However the Calais port is located 60km from the Belgian Border, whilst Dunkirk is located at only 20km. There are 3 companies running operating ferries on this popular route.
The ferry departs from Dover in the UK and arrives in Calais in France, from where you can easily drive or take a train to Belgium. Prices for a standard vehicle start from around €45, depending on the time of year and availability.
Route 3: Newcastle to Amsterdam
This route is operated by DFDS Seaways and takes around 16 hours, with up to 7 sailings per week. The ferry departs from Newcastle in the UK and arrives in Amsterdam in Holland, from where you can easily drive or take a train to Belgium. Prices for a standard vehicle start from around £220, depending on the time of year and availability.
Route 4: Dublin to Cherbourg
This route is operated by Irish Ferries and takes around 19 hours, with up to 2 sailings per week. The ferry departs from Dublin in Ireland and arrives in Cherbourg in France, from where you can easily drive or take a train to Belgium. Prices for a standard vehicle start from around €238, depending on the time of year and availability.
Tips for Booking Ferries to Belgium
Here are some tips to keep in mind when booking your ferry to Belgium:
- Book in advance: Ferries to Belgium can get busy, especially during peak season, so it’s recommended to book your tickets as early as possible to secure your preferred route and price.
- Be flexible: If you’re able to, consider traveling outside of peak season or during weekdays, as prices are often cheaper and there are fewer crowds.
- Check for discounts: Some ferry operators offer discounts for students, seniors, or frequent travelers, so make sure to check for any available deals before booking.
- Arrive early: It’s recommended to arrive at the port at least an hour before your departure time to allow for check-in and boarding procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ferries offer an affordable, convenient, and enjoyable way to travel to Belgium, with plenty of routes and options available from various ports across England and Ireland. By following our tips and recommendations, you can book your ferry with confidence and enjoy a smooth and stress-free journey to Belgium.