Rows of cars parked on car ferryFerries from Dover to Calais/Dunkirk

There are a choice of routes and operators for crossing the English Channel between Kent and France – Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk and, if time is at a premium, the Eurotunnel between Folkestone and Calais. You can cross by boat in around 90 minutes or 35 minutes using the train.

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For those in the South of England, the English Channel ferry routes between Dover and Calais are a convenient way of reaching France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and other European countries further afield.

Taking around 90 minutes and with over 40 crossings a day, it’s quick and easy and you’re sure to find a crossing time to suit your travel plans.

Row of cars waiting to board the car ferryDover – Calais

  • Ferry operators: DFDS, P&O Ferries, Irish Ferries
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Over 40 crossings a day

Dover – Dunkirk (Dunkerque)

  • Ferry operator: DFDS
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • 12 crossings a day

Folkestone – Calais

  • Operator: Eurotunnel
  • Duration: 35 minutes
  • 22 crossings a day

* Crossing times and frequency correct at the time of writing.

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Special Offer

Sail from Dover to Calais or Dunkirk with DFDS for just £39 return!

Dover to Calais/Dunkirk Ferry FAQs

Where is the ferry terminal at Dover?

The Port of Dover ferry terminal is located just off the A20 in Dover. By car, follow the boat signs to the ‘Eastern Docks’ – all three operators, P&O, DFDS and Irish Ferries, are found here. Use postcode CT16 1HZ for your sat nav. For foot passengers arriving by public transport, Dover Priory train station is just over 1 mile from the port.

Port of Dover – View Larger Map

Where is the ferry terminal at Calais?

The Calais ferry terminal (Port Boulogne) can be found just outside of Calais on the N216. From the main A16/E40 motorway, looks for the green signs to ‘Calais Port – Car Ferry’. Again, all three ferry operators can be found here. The entrance for foot passengers is by the ‘Cousteau’ bus stop and the free Balad’in shuttle bus runs from the centre of Calais to here roughly every 12-20 minutes.

Port of Calais – View Larger Map

Where is the ferry terminal at Dunkirk (Dunkerque)?

The DFDS terminal is located just to the West of Dunkirk. The address is Terminal Car Ferry, Port 5670, Rte de la Maison Blanche, 59279 Loon-Plage, France. There are white ‘Car Ferry’ signs on the exit from the main A16/E40 motorway.

DFDS Dunkirk Ferry Terminal – View Larger Map

How soon do you have to check in for the ferry?

Check in times vary, from 45 minutes up to 90 minutes before the sailing. Check with your ferry operator for their specific minimum arrival time at the port.

What are the Duty Free allowances when travelling between England and France?

Personal allowances for alcohol and tobacco when travelling to mainland Europe are much lower than they used to be when the UK was a member of the European Union. According to the UK Goverment website, you are currently allowed to bring into the UK:

  • 200 cigarettes or 250g tobacco
  • 18 litres of wine (24 bottles)
  • 42 litres of beer

without paying import VAT or duty.

Driving in France? – Know the Requirements

Woman wearing reflective jacket and red triangle on the road following a car breakdown

In France, it is a legal requirement to have reflective jackets and other items of safety equipment in your car.

It’s a legal requirement in France and many other European countries to carry a number of items of safety equipment in your car with you. There can be very hefty fines (sometimes on the spot) if you’re stopped by the Police and you don’t have these items in your car.

  • Reflective jackets for the driver and all passengers. These should be accessible from inside the vehicle.
  • Red warning triangle
  • Registration plate country identifier
  • Headlamp beam deflectors
  • Spare bulb kit – this is recommended rather than mandatory
  • First aid kit – again, a recommendation