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Historic ferry crossings from the UK to Scandinavia

These are the former direct crossings from the UK to Denmark, Norway and Sweden which have ceased to exist.

Frequently, we receive inquiries on FerryGoGo regarding the availability of direct crossings to destinations like Norway or Denmark from the United Kingdom. It's a reasonable question when consulting a map; it makes sense that there would be a ferry sailing between the UK and these Scandinavian destinations.

Nonetheless, at present, there are no active ferry connections between the UK and Norway, Denmark, Sweden or Germany. There is, however, a noteworthy history of ferries that formerly serviced these routes from the UK to Scandinavia until the recent past.

Considering the significant interest in these historical connections and crossings, along with a public desire to re-establish a new link between the UK and Scandinavia, we have endeavoured in this article to chart out the former crossings.

Several companies operated these routes connecting the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Norway. Amongst others, DFDS, Fjord Line and Smyril Line have made efforts to sustain these crossings. Ships from Harwich and Newcastle, for instance, previously sailed to destinations such as Bergen, Stavanger, Esbjerg, Oslo, Gothenburg, Cuxhaven, and so forth.

Below, you will find a map illustrating the historical maritime/sea connections between the UK and Scandinavia that we have been able to trace. If there are any discontinued crossings that were once operational and we are not aware of, we would appreciate your insights in the comments section.

Map: crossings from UK to Scandinavia

The displayed routes are an indication of the routes of the historical ferry crossings from the UK to Scandinavia, plus one in Cuxhaven, Germany. You can click on the markers in the interactive map to find more information about the various crossings.

On the map illustrating the crossings between the UK and Scandinavia, you will find the following routes:

  • Harwich – Cuxhaven (Northern Germany) | (last operated in 2005 by DFDS)
  • Harwich – Gothenburg (Sweden) – First operated by TOR line and later DFDS [1]Tor Line, HarwichandDovercourt.co.uk[2]Tor Line, Wikipedia
  • Harwich – Esbjerg (Denmark) | last operated by DFDS in 2014)
  • Newcastle – Esbjerg (Denmark)
  • Newcastle – Oslo (Norway) | last operated by Fjord Line in 2006
  • Newcastle – Stavanger – Bergen (Norway) | last operated in 2008 by DFDS
  • Newcastle – Kristiansand (Norway) – Gothenburg (Sweden) | last sailing in 2006 by DFDS
  • Scrabster (Scotland) – Bergen (Norway) | Last operated by Smyril Line 2008
  • Lerwick (Shetland, Scotland) – Bergen | was operated by Smyril Line

The connections from Harwich to Gothenburg and from Newcastle to Gothenburg were merged by DFDS in 1998, forming the new crossing from Newcastle to Gothenburg via Kristiansand. This route sailed for the last time in 2006.

The ferries between Oslo and Newcastle operated by Fjord Line also ceased operations in 2006. Just two years later, in 2008, the last ferry from Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugesund, and Bergen set sail for the final time[3]Newcastle-Bergen-Stavanger ferry, Wikipedia.org.

The passenger ferry route from Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) concluded its service in 2014, marking the last sailing of a passenger ferry from the UK to Scandinavia.

The ferry company that sailed from Bergen to Scrabster[4]Blow as ferry link with Scandinavia faces the axe, HeraldScotland.com and Lerwick in Northern Scotland and Shetland is the same company that now still sails on the crossings from Denmark to Iceland via the Faroe Islands.

Wondering how to journey from the UK to Norway or Denmark? We've crafted dedicated pages providing insights on ferry travel to these destinations. Explore our pages: from the UK to Norway and from the UK to Denmark.

Surge in Demand for ferry crossings to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

With increasing popularity and a cleaner environmental profile in ferry travel over recent years, there appears to be a substantial demand for the revival of direct crossings from the UK to the Nordic countries. Will these direct routes make a comeback? Moreover, which specific connection would you like to see reinstated? Share your thoughts in the comments, explaining why you believe a particular crossing should return.

Bergen Cruise Lines is still looking at the possibilities of re-establish a year-round low-emission cruise ferry from the UK to Norway and vice versa.[5]Plans for ferry between Newcastle and Norway, FerryGoGo.com

References

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JW van Tilburg
JW van Tilburg

JW, one of the co-founders of FerryGoGo, has a passion for food, drink, and travel. He loves exploring data and the history of the many destinations featured on FerryGoGo, and he's always curious about the population of each place.

2 Comments
  1. Newcastle to Gothenburg, without a doubt! I search every year for this in the hopes that it has been reinstated.

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