Guide to Portsmouth Ferry Port

Ferrying is a popular way for people to get from one place to another, especially when you’re looking to traverse between different parts of Europe. The Ferry Port, located in Portsmouth, United Kingdom, has a variety of companies that take you to many destinations.

The companies that serve this port include DFDS Seaways, Brittany Ferries, and Condor Ferries, and they will take you to locations like Caen, Portsmouth, Jersey, Le Havre, Santander, St. Malo, Guernsey, Cherbourg, Bilbao, and more.


If you’ve arrived in Portsmouth, chances are that you want to check out all of the sites that they have to offer. Within a short distance of the port (and there’s plenty of public transport available if you need it), you can find amazing historical sites. The Dockyard is a short bit away and has some astounding warships from the past and present.

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, and his home has been converted into a museum that you can go and see. You can also commune with nature at the Blue Reef Aquarium, or you can take a unique look at the coast from the top of Spinnaker Tower. Go further into the city and you’ll find even more to entertain and amaze you and those you’re traveling with.


Looking to visit some of the great cities in the United Kingdom? You can get to most within a few hours, and you can find a number of ways to get to all of your favorite cities. For example, London is only about 121 km away from the Port. Even if you’re looking to go all the way to Glasgow, that’s still only about 718 km away. Most other major cities and landmarks are within 300 km, so you can make a weekend trip to any of these cities, from the Port, with no issue at all.

Many people are looking for the shopping opportunities that they can find near ferry ports like Portsmouth. The Port Solent, which is essentially the boardwalk of this area, has a number of shops that you can check out, including bicycle shops, outdoor adventure stores, clothing stores, and more. Walk up and down the beach and you can get all of your shopping done at the same exact time.

You can also go into town and find a wide variety of wine, cheese, and other food shops; antique and other fine item shops, and higher scale clothing stores as well.

If food is more your style, there’s plenty of that as well. If you’re craving British style food, you can visit the Harbour Lights Beefeater or the Thyme Restaurant (located in the Premier Inn). You can get a spot of tea at Gracie Ann’s Tea Room, or you can get Italian delicacies at Zizzi’s, which is right on the Port Solent shopping strip. There are, of course, smaller food vendors all over the immediate area, or you can stay at the port and enjoy the food at one of their cafeterias as well.

To Le Havre

Le Havre ferry port is only a 2-hour drive from Paris. This makes it one of the most used ferry ports from Portsmouth UK. With over 8 crossings running each week, this route is in high demand.

Once you get to Le Havre ferry port you will find small stores and cafes to refresh yourself, and then you can step outside to take up the transportation of your choice to get around France.

What is around the Le Havre Ferry Port?

The city of Le Havre and port were founded in 1517. Now, the city sprawls out and is divided into 3 distinct regions: the port area, the southern districts and the upper town. The university areas are were you will find all that is hip and modern, while upper town has some of the oldest monuments and the famous Saint Marie cemetery too.

If you want to venture out beyond Le Havre, Paris and Caen are both within 5 hours travel time. You can also take a ferry from Le Havre to Cherbourg as a day trip too.

Traveling Le Havre and beyond:

The port is connected by a series of canals to the Seine, but these canals are also a part of the separation between the areas of the town. To solve this issue, the city has adopted one of the best public transportation systems known. There are trains, buses, trolleys and trams – as well as water boats – that will get you where you want to go.

There is also a developing system of segregated cycle ways, much like is found in cities like Albuquerque. The system isn’t done yet, but much of it is now open to cyclists. There is also an airport nearby that you can reach by taxi, car, bus or train that will get you to the main hub at Charles DeGaulle in under an hour.

To Cherbourg

Cherbourg-Octeville is a port town in Normandy that features a ferry port and modern artificial harbor that has allowed more travelers from the UK to venture into this wonderful part of France.

If you are leaving from Portsmouth then you will want to make sure that you book your ferry overnight. The trip can take about 15 hours. You will come into St. Malo, before leaving again and coming up the coastline to Cherbourg.

Once you arrive:

The best way to get around town is by taxi or public transportation. You can also do a private hire, but if you really plan on exploring the best in Cherbourg a taxi to the hotel you will stay at is better as most of what you will want to see you will get to on foot.

Cherbourg is very friendly to foot tourists and cyclists too. You will notice that many of the ferry-goers who board in Portsmouth and St. Malo will travel with their own cycles. The countryside around Cherbourg makes for a beautiful ride.

When you are in the city:

When you are in the city you want to head to the old district first. There you will find many of the museums that make this city famous. There is the Cite de la Mer, which celebrates all things to do with maritime history, the Musee de la Liberation, which focuses on France after World War II; and the Musee des beaux arts Thomas Henry, which is home to over 300 of his works.

cherbThere are also many shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants surrounding the edges of the Cherbourg Basilica and its square. Another sight that you don’t want to miss is the Jardin botanique de la Roche Fauconnière. This is a beautiful botanical garden that makes for a wonderful day.

Planning your trip:

Planning your trip will take only a small amount of time. The ferry route from Portsmouth to Cherbourg runs frequently, although less during the winter months. You will need to make arrangements for accommodations while in Cherbourg for at least one night. This should be done in advance.

To St Malo

One of the most affordable, and stress-free ways to get across the English Channel is to take the Saint-Malo Ferry. You can leave right from Portsmouth and be in France before the day is done. From there it is easy to reach your next destination, or you can make St Malo your destination for a quick and affordable weekend holiday.

Where is the St Malo Ferry Port located?

The St Malo Ferry Port is located in France in the city of Saint Malo. This is one of the oldest surviving walled cities that sits on the English Channel. The city has grown and modernized, but the population remains at just under 1 million. It has a rich history, with many standout incidents involving piracy too.

How far is the ferry port from Portsmouth, UK?

The trip from Portsmouth takes between 11 and 15 hours; the weather is the most influential factor on the length of the trip – and the time of day. Many people prefer to schedule their ferry trip over night so they can sleep or nap away the hours. The seats on the ferry itself aren’t rated as very comfortable, but that is actually a bonus.

Getting up and moving around will help keep your body in good condition. The seats do make perfect beds, although many people will sleep right on the floor.

What is there to do while we wait?

There is plenty to do at St Malo if you are early. Before you check in you can explore the surrounding area. The town has grown up quite a bit and offers the traveler many choices in food and entertainment near the port. Inside the port there are some small shops and cafes to take care of any needs you may have.

What else should we know about the ferry?
The ferry is going to bring you into Saint-Malo and from there you can hire a car, or take the train or bus to many cities with ease. Paris is only four hours away by rail. Caen, Le Havre and Chebourg are also less than a 6 hour trip by rail or bus too.

to Caen

Caen Ferry Port is actually one of the newest ports located on the English Channel. It is located in Normandy, and it is only a few miles away from Brittany. Other cities like Paris, Angers, and Mont St. Michel are within 300 km of the Port itself, making it a great place to arrive if you’re going to travel to France.

Shopping is a big deal in France, and you will find that there are a lot of stores for you to enjoy in and around Caen. There are a variety of markets (Farmer’s markets and such) that are located within a short walk, and are open daily. A little further into town, you fill find the Cote de Nacre, the Saint Clair, the Centre Paul Doumer, and the Mondeville, all of which are outlet shopping centers.

If you’re looking to enjoy some delicious cuisine, whether casual or fancy, Caen has a lot of choose from. The Tim Sam is a Vietnamese restaurant that is well loved by locals and tourists. You can also check out the A Contre Sens (French), Le Bouchon du Vaugeux (French), La Cave a Huitres (seafood), or the Bistrot du Pere Tranquille (French casual). These, and more, are within a short drive of the port, allowing you to go there and back within a short period of time.

For local attractions, you have a lot to choose from.  If you enjoy medieval history, the Chateau de Caen is one of the largest castles on the entire continent. You can pay respects to William the Conquerer at the Abbaye aux Hommes (his burial place), or you can take a look at the various museums that have recorded French history. If you love nature, you can go to the Normandy Beaches, either on your own or with a guide.

to Santander

Spain is an exciting country full of beautiful sights and wonderful people. The Ferry Port, located in Santander, is a travel center for this part of Northern Spain, and they offer ferries and other forms of transportation throughout the entire day.

If you’re looking to use Santander Ferry Port as a way to access other popular cities in Spain, you’ll find most of them within a few hours’ drive, including Barcelona (approx 700km), Madrid (about 400km) and Vigo (500km). There are various forms of transportation that leave the port and can get you to any of these locations and more.


Upon arriving, you may want a bite to eat. You can head to La Bombi for some seafood, or you can go to the Restaurante Tatami to get some Japanese Cuisine. If you’re looking for tapas, you can head to Casa Lita in the middle of the city.

If you’re looking to hang out with the locals and get a delicious pub meal, the Café Pub La Rana Verde is also a popular choice; it’s located near Canadio’s bar and pub district. No matter what type of food you may be craving, you have easy access to it all, right from the port.

Santander is a unique city, and because it’s so easy to traverse, it will only take you a few minutes to get anywhere that you want to go. The commercial area has a variety of markets and outlets that you can enjoy, or you can see the historical sites and museums.

If you go the other direction, you can check out El Sardinero, which has all of the tourist attractions and the beach resort area, complete with a casino and other forms of entertainment. There is always something to do in Santander, and the port is your access to all of it.

to Jersey

The Island of Jersey is located in the English Channel, and is known as the largest of the “Channel Islands.” That being said, there are a number of things to do when on the island – many of which we’re going to take a quick look at here.

Some of their most well known attractions are only a few miles from the ferry port, and there is transportation available throughout the entire year.

These attractions include:

– The Durrell Wildlife Park, which includes Desert creatures, Asian birds, and a variety of other exotic animals.
– The Jersey War Tunnels, used to help defend the troops that were stationed there during WWII.
– The wide variety of beaches – there are about 53 miles of beachfront that is accessible around the Island of Jersey.
Castles of all sorts; including the Mont Orgeuil Castle, which has been around since the 1200’s.
– A variety of museums and other cultural attractions that allow you to see the history of this region and the cultural differences it has helped to make in history.

If shopping is more of your thing, you may want to check out some of their quaint shops, including The Harbour Gallery (art gallery), Catherine Best and the Jersey Pearl (both jewelery), the La Mare Wine Estate, and Rachel’s Textiles. As the Island of Jersey becomes more popular, more shopping areas are expected to pop up.

After you’re done checking out all of the sights, food may be on your mind. Some of the restaurants that they have include La Fregate Café, the Merchant House Brasserie (traditional British fare), Le Petit Greek Bistro, the Jersey Pottery Café (sandwiches and pastries), and the Old Portelet Inn (pub and bar fare). Many of these restaurants are right on the waterfront or within a short walk or drive.