France ferries depart from almost twenty ports to destinations as diverse as England and Morocco. In virtually all cases, more than one ferry line operates the same route. The crossing time for any given route can vary by as much as four hours depending on which line you've chosen and on what kind of vessel is used for the journey.
France Ferry to the UK and Ireland
The northern coast of France faces the English Channel. At its narrowest (around the town of Calais), the channel is only 21 miles wide. Until the Channel Tunnel was completed in 1994, the only way to get from the UK to France was by boat or by air. There are France ferry routes between the two that have been in operation for a few hundred years. The first ferries to take cars crossed the Channel in 1939. Ferry service is regular and frequent, and there are more ferry ports and more routes along this coastline than anywhere else in the country.
France ferries across the English Channel depart from:
Caen to Portsmouth - 3.5 hour crossing/13 sailings weekly
Dieppe to Newhaven - 4 hours/13 sailings
Calais to Dover - 1.25 to 1.5 hours/31 sailings
Le Havre to Portsmouth - 3.25 hours/14 sailings
Dunkerque to Dover - 2 hours/10 sailings
Cherbourg to Poole 2.5 hours/15 sailings
Cherbourg to Portsmouth - 3 to 5 hours/12 sailings
Cherbourg to Rosslare (Ireland) - 16 to 18.5 hours/6 sailings
Roscoff to Plymouth - 5.25 hours/11 sailings
Roscoff to Cork - 13.75 hours/1 sailing
Roscoff to Rosslare - 17.5 hours/1 sailing
St Malo to Portsmouth - 8.75 hours/7 sailings
St Malo to Weymouth - 8 hours/7 sailings
St Malo to Poole - 5.5 hours/7 sailings
France Ferry Routes to the Channel Islands
St Malo to Jersey - 1.25 hour/3sailings
St Malo to Guernsey - 2 hour/3 sailings
Dielette to Guernsey - 1.25 hour/2 sailings
Dielette to Alderney - 0.75 hour/1 sailing
Granville to Jersey - 1.25 hour/9 sailings
Carteret to Jersey - 4 hour/1 sailing
France Ferry Routes to Corsica and Hyeres Islands
The main ports for ferries to Corsica are Nice, Marseille, and Toulon. Ferries provide a primary source of travel for the little French island and the frequent sailings go to a number of Corsican ports, including Bastia, Ajaccio, Propriano, Ile Rousse, and Calvi. The shortest sailings are from Nice to Calvi (three to five hours), and the longest from Marseille to Porto Vecchio (12.5 hours). You will also find short ferry hops from the towns to the east of Toulon to the Hyeres Island.
France Ferry to Morocco
France ferries depart the town of Sete (just north of Perpignan and the border with Spain) for Tangier and Nador on the coast of Morocco. There are six weekly sailings for the 36-hour crossing to Tangier and one sailing per week for the 28-hour sailing to Nador. Tangier is located just across the Strait of Gibraltar, and Nador is located due south of Malaga.
France Ferry to Spain
Saint Nazaire is located on the Atlantic coast of France, just to the west of Nantes and the Loire Valley. From here, there are four weekly sailings to Gijon on the northern coast of Spain. The crossing takes 14 hours.
France Ferry to Italy
There are no ferries between France and Italy, although it is possible to take a ferry to Corsica, and then one from there to Sardinia or the Italian mainland.