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Your Best European Ferries

A few years ago we took one of the overnight European ferries from Helsinki to Stockholm…what a great experience it was!

Even before the ship left passengers were wandering all over the decks, making dining reservations, shopping for tax free items…it was just like they were making a big trans Atlantic crossing or leaving on a cruise.

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Overnight crossings…like a mini-cruise…

You know that feeling when something exciting is going to happen soon...

On my trip passengers were taking pictures on the open top deck using Helsinki as the background…and as the city disappeared, the crossing began…dining, swimming and sauna, nightlife…

In this age of fast air travel…even such a short overnight crossing brought back memories of my two trans Atlantic sailings on the France and the QE2…what a life!

Your immediate benefits with overnight crossings on European ferries

It’s not only transportation…you can enjoy immediate benefits on many overnight ferry routes in Europe.

For example, traveling on a ferry between Copenhagen and Oslo saves you a lot of driving time or a long train ride. Between Italy and Greece you can make a free stopover on the island of Corfu…

Decide between a train and/or a ferry…your Amsterdam to London choices

In some parts of Europe you can travel between two cities in different ways.

For instance, if you plan to travel from London to Amsterdam you can take the fast Eurostar train to Brussels and change for another train to Holland…OR…you can take a train from London to Harwich on the coast…then enjoy a fast four-hour ferry ride to Hook of Holland, ending with another quick train to Amsterdam.

The first one by train is the simplest and fastest…but if you’re young at heart and like to meet people, the second one is for you. It’s the most exciting way…and far less expensive…

As one travel magazine said, “European Ferries are a fun, cost-effective twist on European vacations.”

Yes, that romantic love of the sea still exists around Europe!

That’s what European Ferries are all about…are you ready for it?

Let’s look at some of the benefits of a European ferry…

  • You save time on overnight ferries…you’ve got more time for sightseeing in the cities…and cabins are less expensive than hotels.
  • Sailings are often from city center to city center – Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki or with special rail or bus connections to the ports…Harwich in Britain and Patras in Greece.
  • You can enjoy the ship’s many amenities while you sail…restaurants, bars, entertainment and shopping on the large modern ferries…it often feels like you’re making a big trip…
  • Since passengers “wander around the deck” you meet lots of interesting travelers from all over the world.

Two drawbacks…

  • In winter the weather can be a bit choppy…however, to solve that, as with cruise ships most ferries have stabilizers…and they’re big ships with hundreds and even thousands of passengers.
  • You have to carry your own luggage…porters are available but not that many. Luckily most of your suitcases now are on wheels…what a great invention…

Where do you find the European ferries …which are the popular ones…

The European Travel Resource Center lists all European ferry services by country with direct links to each company’s web site.

You’ll find complete up-to-date schedules quickly, prices of all cabin categories, restaurant and entertainment options, information on embarkation…and much more.

You'll find the correct updated information right at your fingertips…saving you hours of browsing on the Internet.

You can make your reservations for all ferry crossings online…directly with the ferry operator or with online booking services.

  • Between Ireland and Great Britain

    If you’re traveling between London and Ireland, you can go by train and ferry to Dublin or nearby Dun Loaghaire, if you want to visit Dublin City and northwestern Ireland.

    However, if you’re planning to visit Cork or Killarney, you should take the train-ferry combination via Rosslare. You will also find direct services from Ireland to Scotland and central England, most of them last only a few hours.

  • Between Britain and the Continent

    Cross Channel ferries cover the whole length of Europe from Scandinavia all the way to Bilbao and Santander in Spain.

    To find the best information for transportation by rail and ferry from London to anywhere in Europe – Scandinavia, Western and Southern Europe – click the man at seat 61.”

  • Mediterranean ferries

    If you’re planning to explore the Mediterranean, you’ll probably take an overnight ferry from Italy to Greece.

    You have many options; but one of the best is the Superfast ferry from Bari to Patras in western Greece, followed by a 3-4 hour train or bus ride to Athens…

    However, if you’re traveling from Rome or Milan to Athens I’d suggest checking the low-cost European airlines unless you want to make a free stopover in the Greek island of Corfu. Note: It takes 4 to 5 hours by train from Rome to Bari where the ferry departs.

  • Scandinavian ferries

    Ferries are of course indispensable in Scandinavia, not just between Helsinki and Stockholm as listed above, but also to and and from Denmark and Norway. Between Copenhagen and Oslo is very popular...no long train rides, no driving long distances!

    From Denmark to Sweden there is now a bridge-tunnel connection as well as several shorter ferry crossings.

What type of sea travel - Ferries, fast ferries, hydrofoils…

Ferries can range from very big (up to 3000 persons) to very small ones that take you to islands in Denmark, Holland and other countries.

You can also take fast ferries from Britain to Ireland and hydrofoils to islands in Greece and Italy.

All the information you need…maps, port information and direct links to the best web sites are listed by country in the above Europe Travel Resource Center.

So…what is the best and simplest way for you to book European ferries?

For saving time the European Travel Resource Center lists all ferry services by country with direct links to each operator’s web site.

Look at the “Travel To” section for international ferries. For local ferries in a country see the “Travel Within” each country section.


  • Decide from which country you want to travel on a ferry.
  • Visit the online booking offices…ferrylines.com or aferry.co.uk.
  • See what services are offered…from what city to what city…often there are ferries to different cities in the same country
  • Click on the link to find all ferry operators
  • Visit the operator’s web site for all the details…prices, cabins (shared or private), schedules…and a lot more…
  • Book with the shipping company directly or with the online booking office
  • Also check the port city information pages at aferry.co.uk or on the web sites of the shipping companies
  • Click here for ferry maps in Europe by area…Scandinavia, Mediterranean, Greece (click on the maps, then point to a town and all the ferry lines from that city will show up)

    For Europe click also on the links in the bottom red section of webpage. New for 2019.

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