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Ferry to Portugal from the UK

All ferries to Portugal from the UK

Portsmouth-Santander

England ⇔ Spain
28h 30 mins
2 times per week
From: 273,00

Plymouth-Santander

England ⇔ Spain
20 Hours
2 times per week
From: 361,00

Portsmouth-Bilbao

England ⇔ Spain
31h 30 mins
2 times per week
From: 585,00

Travel to Portugal by ferry from the UK

Portugal is one of the most popular outbound travel destinations for Brits. [1]Most popular tourist destinations for UK travelers, Statista While many tourists take the airplane or drive up to Portugal, the ferry is becoming a more popular alternative for a comfortable crossing to Portugal.

Unfortunately, there is no direct ferry crossing from the UK to Portugal. There is, however some rumour that shortly there will be a direct ferry between Plymouth or Portsmouth to Porto[2]Britanny Ferries is considering running a ferry service to Portugal from the UK, MarineIndustryNews.co.uk

As alternatives to this possible future direct crossing to Portugal, some ferries are landing pretty close by.

From the South of England, from Plymouth and Portsmouth, ferries sail to the Northern regions of Spain, from where it's a relatively short drive to Portugal. Both Santander and Bilbao are options you could consider if you want to travel by ferry to Portugal.

These ferries between the UK and Spain, and then to Portugal, are either one or two-night crossings and are a comfortable way of starting your trip to Portugal.

There are several different routes from the UK to Portugal. When you choose to sail to Spain all your options are operated by Brittany Ferries. You could however also choose to take another ferry, from the UK to France for example, and then drive further to Portugal, this would be however a long drive.

Depending on where you live and where you want to travel you can choose which is the most suitable crossing for you. The routes and ships are not that different. So it doesn't matter which ship you take, on the shorter crossings to France there is a bit less onboard entertainment and facilities in general, but you'll be less long on the vessel.

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Timetable, availability, and compare prices

Booking your ferry tickets has never been easier! With our online booking module, you can easily find and book your desired ferry crossing in just a few clicks. Enter your travel dates and destination, and the system will show you all available options. You can then choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. It’s that simple!

It’s best to book your ferry ticket as far in advance as possible

The price of ferry tickets increases as more passengers book their spots. So, if you want to save money and secure your desired crossing, booking your tickets as soon as possible is best. That way, you can take advantage of the lower prices and avoid the disappointment of a fully booked ferry.

Option 1: traveling from the UK to Portugal via Spain

Ferries from Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao and then to Portugal

Your most logical choice would be to travel to Santander from the UK, as Santander is located somewhat more to the west coast as Bilbao and therefore closer to Portugal.

From Portsmouth ferries are sailing to Santander. The other option is to travel from Portsmouth to Bilbao and incorporate Bilbao into the journey to Portugal. Both crossings departing from Portsmouth to Spain are 2-night crossings.

The ferries sail 2 times per week from Portsmouth to Santander, 2 times per week from Portsmouth to Bilbao, and 2 times per week from Plymouth to Santander. The sailing time differs from 20 hours (Plymouth) to Santander up to 36 hours from Portsmouth to Bilbao.

For the crossings departing from Portsmouth, you'll be boarding the ferry in the evening and arriving in the morning 2 days later. You can book a cabin and restaurants in advance. Onboard there is a lot of entertainment, shopping, and kids' play centers.

You can bring your car, bike, or camper along on this crossing. Prices start around €275 for 1 person + car, in peak season costs will rise typically.

From Santander, it is still a 6-hour drive to for example Porto and an 8-hour drive to Lisbon.

Ferry Plymouth – Santander (faster route)

Sailing from Plymouth to Santander is your quickest option. On this route, Brittany Ferries sails with their flagship Pont Aven. This is the fastest ferry crossing (20 hours) from the UK to Spain and is a one night crossing. Plymouth is located in South-West England in Devon. 

This ship takes you 20 hours to Spain and is a one-night crossing. The costs for 2 adults + a car in peak season are about €450,- in total.

UK ⇔ Spain ⇔ Portugal

Portsmouth-Santander

England ⇔ Spain
28h 30 mins
2 times per week
From: 273,00

Plymouth-Santander

England ⇔ Spain
20 Hours
2 times per week
From: 361,00

Portsmouth-Bilbao

England ⇔ Spain
31h 30 mins
2 times per week
From: 585,00

Option 2: traveling from the UK via France to Portugal

Ferries from the UK to France and then to Portugal

Traveling via France is another option to get to Portugal, which seems to us as the less comfortable one. But if you don't want to spend too much time on a ferry then you can opt for this alternative. From the UK there are a lot of ferries leaving for France (at least 10 routes daily).
 
When you want to travel southwards from the UK to Portugal via France the most logical choices would be to travel via either, Calais – Dover (if you're living on the eastern coast of England), Newhaven-Dieppe, Portsmouth-Caen, Portsmouth – Le Havre, Portsmouth – Cherbourg or Plymouth – Roscoff.
 
Keep in mind when you travel via France to Portugal from the UK, you'll be on the road, after crossing the English Channel, somewhere around 15 hours to get to Porto and Lisbon (17 hours) from the Caen and Le Havre Region.
 
From Calais to Porto is a drive of around 18 hours, and from Calais to Lisbon will be a 19 hours drive plus-minus.
 

UK ⇔ France ⇔ Portugal

Popular
dover-calais ferry operators

Dover-Calais

UK ⇔ France
1h 30 mins.
Up to 55 times p/day
From: 36,00

Portsmouth-Cherbourg

UK ⇔ France
8 hours
2 times per week
From: 51,00

Portsmouth-Caen

UK ⇔ France
5h 45 mins.
3 times per day
From: 59,00

Portsmouth-Le Havre

UK ⇔ France
5h 30 mins.
5 times per week
From: 150,00

Newhaven-Dieppe

UK ⇔ France
4 Hours
3 times per day
From: 39,00

Plymouth-Roscoff

UK ⇔ France
5h 30 mins.
8 times per week
From: 139,00

Traveling from France to Portugal

Travelling in France is very pleasant. In combination with the ferry, most people will drive by car further south. Unfortunately, the best roads where you can drive a bit faster are not always free.

In France, you travel a lot on toll roads, offering benefits in time and a comfortable ride. Toll roads do not cost much in themselves, but the amount can add up considerably over a long drive to the South.

In google maps, a function allows you to avoid toll roads. Maybe that's useful.

Travelling to Portugal and staying in Portugal

Portugal is a popular destination for British tourists. For tourists, there is a lot to see and taste 🙂 Try local delicacies such as the Vinho Verde wine, Pastel de Nata with your morning coffee, or Francesinha for lunch that helps you through the day. 

Or visit and see vibrant cities such as Porto, Lisbon, and the Algarve region. These cities and regions offer a lot to see and do for various travellers. Porto and Lisbon are beautiful in that both have a unique historic centre with many terraces, shops, restaurants, and lively squares with many people.

The Algarve region feels more like a big vacation resort with cosy beach restaurants and somewhat smaller historical Portuguese cities.

In this Southern part of Portugal, you can enjoy sun, sea, sand and, of course, Vinho Verde, fresh barbecued fish, and beautiful scenery. Portugal has historically had many British tourists and has a big British Expat community. [3]Britsh migration to Portugal, Wikipedia.org

Frequent Asked Question ferries to Portugal from UK

If you want to travel by ferry to Portugal you don't have the luxury of a direct crossing. You could choose to travel via Spain to Portugal, then you have 6 weekly choices. Brittany Ferries sails on these crossings from the ports of Plymouth and Portsmouth to either Santander or Bilbao. You could also look into the possibility of sailing first to France and then traveling further from there to Portugal. This will be a long ride though, so the ferry to Santander would be your best choice if you'd ask us.

There is no direct crossing to Portugal but the fastest ferry to get close to Portugal is the ferry from Plymouth to Santander. This ferry takes you in around 20 hours to the city of Santander, this is a one-night crossing. On this crossing, you'll be sailing with the flagship of Brittany Ferries the Pont-Aven. If you're sailing from Portsmouth you can either sail to Santander or Bilbao. Both ferries are 2-night crossings and depending on which ferry you board these trips take you from 28 hours and 30 minutes to 33 hours and 30 mins to the Northern coast of Spain.

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3 Comments
  1. Are there any plans for a ferry route from Santander to southern Portugal around Albufeira

    • Hi Terry,

      Thanks for your question, at the moment there is no ferry from Santander to Portugal. There are however trains that will take you from Santander to the Algarve region, or Lissabon and Porto.

      When there is news about this we will inform you.

  2. Thank you for this article, very imformative.

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