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European ferries

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Travel Guide Europe European ferries

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Introduction

Northern Islands

Northern Islands

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Although planes and trains are much faster and also buses and cars are popular way of getting around Europe, taking a ferry between countries in Europe is a great way to travel. Sometimes you can take advantage of good deals and take a night boat between countries. Also, when driving around Europe, the best way to visit islands like Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily or even Malta, is just to hop on a ferry and bring your own car.

This article is about international ferries between countries in Europe. Of course, there are numerous other options of getting around the respective countries as well. For those ferries, it is best to check the articles about the specific countries which have more details about getting around by ferry. There are also different styles of travelling over the water, including the popular cruise ship or even the odd but adventurous cargo ship.

Not all countries are listed here. In western and northern Europe the main countries are the UK, Sweden and Germany which are listed, as well as a short passage about ferries to Iceland. Norway, Denmark, Aland, Finland, the Baltic States, the Netherlands, Belgium and Russia have ferries as well. Most of them you can find here as well, but again for more details check the respective countries. For the east and south of Europe this applies as well, as here France, Italy, Greece are the main countries with small passages on Turkey, Cyprus and some former Sovjet Republics.

For more information about getting to and from Europe by ferry from Africa, you can check the International ferries article.

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Northern and Western Europe

Iceland - Mainland Europe vv

The Smyril Line company is your only option to get to Iceland by boat. The Norröna ship travels between Hanstholm in Denmark and Seydisfjördur in Iceland from about half April to the end of October. The ship stops on the way to Iceland in Torshavn, Faroe Islands and in Bergen, Norway year round and in Scrabster, Scotland only during the summer period of half June to the end of August.

To and from the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is very well connected to quite a few countries in the western and northern parts of Europe.

Ireland

Sweden:

Netherlands

Belgium

  • Superfast Ferries has overnight ferries service 3 times a week from Rosyth (Scotland) to Zeebrugge (arrive 11:30 next day).
  • P&O Ferries offers daily overnight ships between Hull (England) and Zeebrugge as well.

Germany

Norway

  • Colorline between Newcastle and both Bergen and Stavanger.
  • Fjordline between Newcastle and both Bergen and Stavanger.
  • DFDS Seaways between Newcastle and Kristansand.

Denmark

Spain

France

Jersey and Guernsey

  • Condor Ferries from Guernsey and Jersey. Boats travel to Weymouth and Poole from Jersey and to these places and Portsmouth from Guernsey.

To and from Germany

The Queen Mary 2 regularly sails from New York to Hamburg, usually once or twice a year in the summer months.
There are no longer direct ferries from the UK to Germany, the closest connections are Harwich to Hoek van Holland (Netherlands) and to Esbjerg (Denmark).

Other ferries to Germany operate on the Baltic sea, connecting various ports of Germany with Scandinavia. Destinations are Gedser and Rodby in Denmark, Gothenburg, Helsingborg and Trelleborg in Sweden, Oslo in Norway and Hanko (Helsinki) in Finnland.

Switzerland
The Schweizerische Bodensee-Schiffahrtsgesellschaft car ferry travels across Lake Constance between Romanshorn in Switzerland and Friedrichshafen in Germany, taking around 40 minutes one way.

Norway

Sweden

Finland

Ferry to Stockholm leaving Helsinki Harbour

Ferry to Stockholm leaving Helsinki Harbour

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  • Silja Line between Rostock and Helsinki.
  • Finn Lines between Travemunde and Helsinki.
  • Superfast Ferries between Rostock and Hanko, about 90 minutes from Helsinki.

Denmark

Latvia

Russia

  • Trans Russia Express operates a ferry between St Petersburg and both Sassnitz and Lubeck in Germany.

Lithuania

Estonia

United Kingdom

To and from Estonia

Getting to and from Estonia by boat is very easy. Most ferry companies service Tallinn but some of the smaller towns also have boat service. Remember to book online for cheaper tickets and ahead during busy times of the year.

  • Nordic Jet has boats running between Helsinki and Tallinn, 1 about every 2 hours starting at 8 am and ending at 7:30 pm. A one way super economy ticket is 28 € but you have to book your tickets online.
  • Tallink Silja also has regular service between Helsinki and Tallinn starting at 7:30 am. It also offers services to several other Scandinavia cities.
  • Viking Line has a boat that makes its first or last stop in Tallinn before going to Helsinki.

To and from Sweden

Ferry out of Stockholm

Ferry out of Stockholm

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Finland

Aland

Germany

  • Stena Line between Gothenburg and Kiel.
  • TT Line between Trelleborg and both Rostock and Travemünde.
  • Scandlines between Trelleborg and Sassnitz.

Denmark

Norway

Estonia

  • Tallink between Stockholm and Tallinn.

Latvia

  • Stockholm to Riga with Riga Sealine.
  • Terrabalt between Karlshamn and Liepaya.

Lithuania

Poland

  • Stena Line between Karlskrona and Gdynia.
  • Pol Ferries between Nymashamn and Gdansk, between Ystad and Swinoujscie and between Trelleborg and Swinoujscie.
  • Unity Line between both Ystad and Trelleborg and Swinoujscie.

Russia

United Kingdom

  • DFDS Seaways between Gothenburg and both Harwich and Immingham.

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Southern and Eastern Europe

To and from France

It is possible to catch the ferry across the English Channel from the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are also boat travelling to and from Spain, Italy and countries in Northern Africa.

Ireland

United Kingdom

Jersey and Guernsey

Italy

Spain

Morocco

  • Comanav has services between Tangier and Sete, which is located between Marseille and Montpelier.
  • SNCM also operates a service between Tangier and Sete.

Algeria

  • Algerie Ferries is one of the major operators, with scheduled services between Marseille and Algerian cities like Algiers, Oran, Bejaia, Skikda and Annaba.
  • SNCM travels between Marseille and Algiers as well.
  • Cnan Maghreb Lines (website under construction) has boats from Marseille to Oran and Algiers.

Tunesia

  • Cotunav operates a service between Marseille and Tunis.
  • SNCM has services from Marseille to Tunis as well.

To and from Italy

Italy being a peninsula, there are many possible entry points for those wanting to arrive by water. For bookings on most ferries, you can use Ferries Online or Viamare. Off-season, you can get much better deals just showing up at the harbour, although this typically requires some flexibility in your travel plans, as many routes don't have daily service.

Italy can be reached across the Adriatic from Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Across the Ionean Sea lie Greece, Albania and Malta (no direct connections with Turkey exist). Across the Mediterranean proper lie Spain, France, Tunisia and Morocco (no direct connections exist with Libya, Egypt and Algeria, nor with Israel, Lebanon and Syria).

Albania

France

  • Transmanche Ferries between Toulon and Civitavecchia.
  • SNCM between Marseille and Porto Torres on Sardinia.
  • SNCM between both Ajaccio and Propriano on Corsica and Porto Torres on Sardinia.
  • SNCM between Bastia (Corsica) and Livorno.
  • Corsica Ferries between Bastia and Portaferrao (on Elba).
  • Corsica Ferries between Bastia and Savona and also Bastia and Livorno.
  • Corsica Ferries between Ile Rouse (Corsica) and Savona.
  • Corsica Ferries between Calvi and Savona.

Spain

Croatia

  • Crossings from Venice arrive in Mali Losinj, Porec, Pula, Rovinj and Rabac, check the Venezialines websites for details. Note that some crossings are only made during high season, meaning July and August.
  • From Ancona, there are crossing to Split, Zadar, Hvar and Vis. Check the Jadrolinija website for details.
  • From Ancona and Pescara, crossings by ferry arrive in Split and Hvar respecitvely, but only during the summer months of June to September. Check Jadrolinija or SNAV for details.
  • From Termoli, Larivera has ferries in the summer months of June to September to the Croatian towns of Korcula and Lastovo.
  • From Bari, Azzurraline (summer) and Jadrolinija (all year) have crossings to Dubrovnik.
  • SEM Maritime Company between Ancona and Split, seasonal between Ancona and both Hvar and Vis Island.
  • Hydrofoil Miatrade between Ancona and both Bozava and Zadar.

Greece

Turkey

Morocco

  • GNV operates services between Genoa and Tangier, in northern Morocco.
  • Comanav has services between Tangier and Genoa as well.

Malta

Tunesia

  • GNV has ferries from Genoa, Palermo and Civitavecchia in Italy to Tunis.
  • Grimaldi Lines offers the same routes, as well as from Salerno.
  • Cotunav has crossings between Tunis and Genoa.
  • SNCM between Genoa and Tunis.

To and from Greece

There are dozens of ferries to and from Greece. Apart from the ones mentioned below, you might find even more connections on Greek Ferries website or another one about Ferries to and from Greece. Dozens of domestic services can be found here as well.

Italy

To and from Turkey

Turkey has several connections with neighbouring countries and even Italy by boat.

Italy:

Ukraine:

Northern Cyprus:
Fergün Shipping Company operates a Tasucu-Girne service year-round. They also offer a service in summer between Alanya and Girne.

Greece:

  • Fergün Shipping Company has direct services to Greece. The Bodrum-Kos is the only service operating in the low season between November and April. These are the routes they offer: Bodrum-Kos, Bodrum-Rhodes, Cesme-Chios, Kusadasi-Samos, Marmaris-Rhodes and Yalikavak-Samos.
  • A few other private companies have connections between Lesbos and Ayvalik and between Rhodos and Fethiye.

To and from Ukraine

The only options for international boat travel are from the port city of Odessa (or nearby Ilichovsk) to destinations like Constanta in Romania, and Varna in Bulgaria. A fast catamaran to Varna takes about 8 hours (to Constanta 6 hours). Tickets are available through Ukrferry company or in offices inside Odessa seaport. Boats to and from Georgia (Poti and Batumi) are not always reliable and frequent.

To and from Azerbaijan

Ferries, both cargo and passenger, travel across the Caspian Sea from Baku in Azerbaijan to Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan and Aqtau in Kazakhstan. Services are erratic though, but the crossing to Turkmenistan is the most popular and reliable.
Theoretically, ferries also cross the Caspian Sea to Iran, but these are unreliable and infrequent, no schedules exist, they are not comfortable and it's slow. It is adventurous though!

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This is version 31. Last edited at 0:09 on Jun 24, 13 by Peter. 3 articles link to this page.

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