Trip between the UK and France: ferry or Eurotunnel?

Find the solution to your dilemma

Traveling between the UK and France is probably in your bucket list, but a question always looms over travelers: is it better to take the ferry or cross through the Eurotunnel?

Ferry or Eurotunnel: on Ferryhopper, we can help you solve this dilemma. We will share with you the pros of taking the ferry instead of using the Eurotunnel to travel between the UK and France, and leave the final decision up to you!

Disclaimer: yes, this is Ferryhopper, not Tunnelcrosser; still we have some actually good reasons to take the ferry to France. Read on!

View to the port from Calais beach

Two large ferries close to the port of Calais in France

How to travel between the UK and France

If you’re planning to explore the UK or France with a car, the first thing you’ll have to decide is how to cross the English Channel – ferry or Eurotunnel?

The 2 ports connecting the UK and France are Dover and Calais. The Dover - Calais ferry crossing usually lasts 1.5 hours. These routes are currently operated by ferry companies DFDS, P&O Ferries and Irish Ferries.

As for the Eurotunnel, it runs between Folkestone and Calais multiple times a day, and the duration of the trip is 35 minutes.

Tip: to see all available options for your trip to France, check out our guide to ferries to France from the UK, as well as Ireland, the Balearics and more.

Why choose the ferry to travel between the UK and France

Even though traveling between the UK and France using the Eurotunnel may look like the better option to save time, there are several parameters to consider before making your choice.

If you are wondering which one is better, the ferry of the Eurotunnel, here are some arguments in favor of a ferry trip:

  • Traveling by ferry is certainly more fun. It will give you the opportunity to take a relaxing break from driving, move freely on the vessel and enjoy the sea breeze from the deck. This way, you will arrive on the other side feeling more refreshed. 
  • If you're traveling in a large group, using the ferry can be a better option because everyone can meet up in the bar or restaurant.
  • Some ferry companies allow you to make reservations up to a year in advance, which could be more cost-effective
  • The ferry option is also more child friendly. Unless, of course, you believe that your little ones will be content sitting silently in the back seat while the car remains stationary in a darkened train under the Channel. 
  • Additionally, if you are traveling with small children, ferry companies allow infants and toddlers up to 3 years old to travel free of charge.

Ferry sailing off the coast of Dover

View to the world-famous White Cliffs of Dover from the deck of a ferry

Ferry or Eurotunnel: which one is cheaper?

How much does the ferry to France from the UK cost? Dover - Calais ferry tickets start at around €36 for foot passengers and at about €80 for passengers who travel with a vehicle.

On the other hand, prices for the Eurotunnel start at over €100 for a one-way drive to France from the UK.

Conclusion: the ferry from the UK to France is usually cheaper than the Eurotunnel.

More reasons to pick the ferry over the Eurotunnel

Haven’t the pros of a ferry trip between the UK and France convinced you yet? 

Here are 2 extra reasons why it would be better to avoid the Eurotunnel:

  • It is also possible to take the ferry as a pedestrian. On the other hand, at the Eurotunnel you are only allowed to travel in a vehicle.
  • And most of all: traveling between the UK and France using the Eurotunnel doesn’t include the comforts and amenities that you could enjoy on a ferry! Usually, ferry companies offer comfortable lounges, restaurants, cafes, and duty-free shopping.

Sunset on sea with ferry in distance

Ferry crossing the English Channel during sunset

If by now you agree that taking a ferry between the UK and France is by far the best option, you just have to plan your ferry trip!

On Ferryhopper, you can book your ferry tickets to the UK and France fast and easily. Check all ferry routes, compare prices and organize your trip with no hidden fees!