Dover to Calais is a popular crossing point for the English Channel with ferries departing every day of the week throughout the year. All routes are direct and operated by the Danish shipper DFDS (Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab, which literally translates as The United Steamship Company). DFDS has been operating ferries from Dover to Calais since the late 19th-century. There are between seven and ten daily departures with a crossing time of just about 1.5 hours. All ferries sail from the Port of Dover with arrivals at the Port of Calais. On its Dover to Calais route, DFDS only carries passengers travelling with vehicles. There are no luggage limitations but passengers are unable to access their cars during the crossing. Animals with a valid European Pet Passport can be transported in an appropriate carrier. Advance bookings must be made and there is a charge for their carriage. All areas of the ferries have step-free access and each ship can accommodate five wheelchairs. Service dogs are allowed in passenger areas as long as they have the correct documentation.
Ferries from Dover to Calais take just 1.5 hours to cross the Channel (depending on weather conditions). All routes are direct and non-stop. Both the Port of Dover and the Port of Calais have terminal buildings with a full range of facilities that includes check-in booths, toilets, ATMs, payphones and a selection of shops and refreshment options. Schedules may vary throughout the year depending on weather conditions and tide tables.
The cost of ferries from Dover to Calais ranges from around £50 to over £70 per passenger. There may be additional charges for vehicles depending on their dimensions. To find the cheapest ferry journey from Dover to Calais be flexible about the day of the week and the time of day you travel. The cheapest ferries are often on Saturdays while early morning departures are less expensive than ferries that depart later in the day. You can also save money on ferries from Dover to Calais by booking online in advance. In peak periods, this is always advisable on this popular route.
The distance from Dover to Calais is just under 21 miles (18 nautical miles, 34 km) and the actual crossing time takes just 1.5 hours. When planning your travel schedule remember to leave time for check-in, port security and passport control as well as for driving onto the ship and parking your vehicle. Check-in times are normally one hour prior to departure although check-in booths and terminals at Dover are open 24 hours a day. On arrival at the Port of Calais, it can take some time for all vehicles to leave the ferry and there will also be passport and vehicle security checks.
Departure port: All DFDS ferries from Dover to Calais sail from the Port of Dover. The ferry terminal is clearly signposted on the A2 which can be accessed from the M20. Facilities at the terminal include check-in booths, ticket desks, toilets, ATMs, currency exchange, WiFi, charging points, guest lounges, payphones, a games room and a selection of shops, refreshment vending machine and cafes. All areas are accessible to passengers with limited mobility while induction loops for the hard of hearing and accessible toilets are available. Should further assistance be required, it is best to phone and request this before starting your journey.
Arrival port: Ferries from Dover to Calais complete their journey at the Port of Calais. This enjoys easy access to the French motorway network. If passengers wish to spend some time in Calais itself, cars can be left at the port. Regular buses run from here into central Calais. Among the facilities at the Port of Calais are WiFi, ATMs, currency exchange, tourist information, toilets and showers, charging points, waiting areas, snack vending machines and a choice of shops and cafes. All areas of the Port of Calais ferry terminal have step-free access and accessible toilets are available. Further assistance can be requested in advance. It is advisable to do this at the same time as you make your ferry from Dover to Calais reservation.