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Ferry Options from Southampton to France
Ferry from Southampton to France
Strictly speaking, there are no ferry options from Southampton to France. Just fifteen miles down the M27, however, Portsmouth has four ferry services to different locations on the French north coast: St. Malo, Cherbourg, Caen, and Le Havre. Portsmouth has the added convenience of being the closest south coast port to London. Brittany Ferries, at brittany-ferries.co.uk, operates three of the four routes (all but Le Havre) and offers a convenient ‘mix-and-match’ option, allowing you to sail in to one French port and out of another. City and port guides for each destination can be found on their website, at brittany-ferries.co.uk/ferry-routes/ferries-france/portsmouth-france.
Portsmouth to St. Malo
This is the longest route, with a travel time of eleven to twelve hours. Ships depart every evening, usually leaving at 20:15, and make the crossing by night. Return trips on Brittany Ferries start at £109, based on a five night stay in France, for two people and a small car. Reclining sleeper seats or cabin accommodation is extra.
Portsmouth to Cherbourg
At just three hours’ crossing time, this is the shortest route to France. Brittany Ferries operates up to two sailings daily, departing in the morning and afternoon. Return fares start at £92 in the summer, dropping to £75 in October. The price is based on a five night stay for two passengers and a small car. Condor Ferries, at condorferries.co.uk/uk/home.aspx, also operates a service to Cherbourg, departing at 09:30 every Sunday throughout the summer. Prices on Condor start at £80 each way for two passengers and a small car.
Portsmouth to Caen
Brittany Ferries operates up to four daily crossings to Caen. There is a fast ferry service of 3 hours 45 minutes, and a cruise ferry which makes the trip in six to seven hours by day and by night. Prices start at £89 return, based on five nights in France for two people and a small car. Reclining sleeper seats or cabin accommodation on overnight trips is extra.
Portsmouth to Le Havre
The only ferry company sailing from Portsmouth to Le Havre is LD Lines, at ldlines.co.uk. Their regular service departs daily at 23:00, arriving in France at 08:00 the following morning. Until 5 September 2011, a second service departs daily at 08:30, making the crossing in just 3 hours 15 minutes. Deals for summer 2011 offer prices of £48.50 each way for the night service, and £68.75 each way for the rapid ferry. The offers are for a five day return for two passengers and a standard car, at ldlines.co.uk/offres_hav-por.php. Reclining sleeper seats (starting at £15) or cabin accommodation (£40 to £102) is extra.