* All Ferries

Serving the UK - France - Spain

Our Classic Cruise and High Speed services sail from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth to Cherbourg, Caen, Roscoff, St. Malo in France and Santander in northern Spain. Please review the terminal guide here

Conveniently timed regular departures take you much closer to all the best holiday regions of France and Spain, so saving you miles of unnecessary driving.

The route network to France and Spain

Portsmouth to Caen

Portsmouth to Cherbourg

Poole to Cherbourg

Portsmouth to St Malo

Plymouth to Roscoff

Plymouth to Santander


Summaries of the locations that the ports reside:

Portsmouth is an historic port on the south coast of England, that has been home to the British Royal Navy for more than 500 years. Not only is it a great departure point for France, but it is also steeped in maritime history, and any trip to the city should include a visit to its many naval attractions. The renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour has now transformed the waterfront bringing restaurants, bars and shopping areas, and adding six kilometres of promenades around the harbour. At night, there is plenty of entertainment on offer, including restaurants, bars, theatres, and concert venues.

Poole has a stunning natural harbour, the world's second largest after Sydney, and is famed for its magnificent beaches. Its three miles of golden sands from Sandbanks to Canford Cliffs are some of the finest in Britain. They have held blue flags since 1989, and are pristine, leading to its nickname as the St. Tropez of the South coast.

The town of Poole centres round the bustling old Quay, where you can find lovely restaurants and stylish bars, with fantastic views over the harbour. From the harbour, you can take a cruise boat around the port or a ferry to the National Trust's Brownsea Island, with its peaceful walks and wide variety of wildlife.

, the largest city in the South West, has beautiful scenery, a wealth of attractions and a fascinating maritime history. In 1577 Francis Drake launched his circumnavigation of the globe from Plymouth and repelled the Armada a few years later, the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from here in 1620, and in 1831 Charles Darwin departed for his pioneering trip to the Galapagos Islands.

The city overlooks the English Channel and is flanked by the river Plym to the east and the river Tamar to the west. It is broken up into three main sections: the Barbican with its narrow streets and Tudor and Victorian buildings, the Hoe, with its famous promenade overlooking the Plymouth Sound, and the modern central section, flattened during the war and then rebuilt.

Cherbourg - Located at the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula, the busy town of Cherbourg has been an important naval base since Napoleonic times, and is a popular gateway to the magnificent region of Normandy. It is a military, fishing and commercial port, with a yachting marina, and boasts the largest artificial harbour in the world. Normandy has a spectacular coastline and plenty of sandy beaches, with dramatic cliffs rising up near Cherbourg.

The old part of Cherbourg is centered around the old fishing port, and from the fortress Fort du Roule, there is a panoramic view over the city. Cherbourg itself is not the prettiest of Norman towns, but it has a number of attractions, including an impressive new aquarium, and peace memorials commemorating the Second World War.

During the summer, festivals are held in the Plage Verte park, the entrance of which is marked by the Napoleon Monument.

Caen, the capital of lower Normandy is a bustling industrial and cultural centre, with a wealth of medieval abbeys and a magnificent castle. William the Conqueror founded the city in the 11th century, and was laid to rest here, although after the plundering of his coffin in the 16th century only one of his thighbones remained in the city, and this was then stolen during the French Revolution. Fortunately William’s legacy still remains in nearby Bayeux, and its fabulous tapestry.

Caen was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and the war is commemorated in the moving Caen Memorial museum. The city’s beautiful 11th century abbeys and the castle’s art collection, which includes Rubens and Monet, escaped the bombing and are a must-see for any visitor. After the devastation of the war, the local limestone was used to restore much of the town to its former glory. Stroll through the streets and squares, such as the rue Ecuyère, rue Froide and rue Saint Martin, to explore hidden courtyards and medieval, narrow streets. Most of the main historical buildings are located on the left bank of the River Orne, which passes through the city centre.
back to top

Roscoff is a charming, small Breton fishing village that provides the perfect gateway to the delights of Brittany. The seaside town is clustered around a small bay, with 16th-century granite houses, little shops, and bars and restaurants, hugging the shoreline. The old harbour is the best place to while away the hours while enjoying a drink with sea views, or alternatively you can take a boat trip from here to the Ile de Batz (pronounced Ba).

The town’s tourist attractions include its tropical gardens, an aquarium, a beautiful church, and a stunning coastline. Brittany’s sea is also renowned for its healing properties, and one of the region’s oldest thalassotherapy centres was opened in Roscoff in 1899 and is definitely worth visiting for a pampering treat.

The deep-water port at Roscoff was opened in 1973, but its harbour has been an important arrival point through the ages. Mary Queen of Scots landed here in 1548 on her way to Paris to be engaged to François, the son and heir of Henri II, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, arrived here in 1746 after his defeat at Culloden.

Thanks to the Gulf Stream the town benefits from a mild climate, and it is also shielded by the Ile de Batz, making it a perfect holiday destination all year round.

St Malo, built on a granite island on the Emerald Coast of Brittany, the beautiful city of St Malo rises up from the rock and curves around a natural harbour. Its ancient citadel, the Cathédrale St Vincent, dominates the skyline, and sailing into the port early in the morning best captures the romance of the town.

Founded in the 6th century by Welsh monks, in the 12th century, Bishop Jean de Chatillon also transferred his bishopric to the town. But the town’s murkier past is illustrated by its nickname as the City of Corsairs, so-called after its pirates, who routinely preyed upon English ships crossing the channel in the 18th and 19th centuries.

St Malo’s heart is the old walled town, known as Intra-Muros or ‘within these walls’. Visitors can walk round the ramparts of the city’s 20-foot thick walls for one mile to get splendid views of the town and the harbour. Lower down, the city’s winding streets, reminds one of a medieval maze, where you can stumble upon quaint shops, bars and restaurants. There are sandy beaches near the town, which stretch along the Northern Brittany Coast.
back to top

Cantabria’s capital Santander is an elegant city stretched over a wide bay. Its streets rise up the hill on which the city is built, so views of the Cantabrian Sea can be spotted from much of the town. Highlights include the city’s old quarter, including the historic buildings set against a beautiful backdrop of sea and mountains.

The city is built around a natural port, which was in use before Roman times. The surrounding countryside is stunning, with wide-open verdant areas. The sandy beaches are unspoilt, particularly Mataleñas, El Sardinero and La Magdalena, where Alfonso XIII had his summer residence.

The Pilgrim's Road passes through the city to Santiago de Compostela and the neighbouring Altamira Caves, both of which have been designated World Heritage sites. Santander also provides a gateway to the Natural Parks of Oyambre, Peña Cabarga and Saja-Besaya, and the beautiful Picos de Europa National Park.




Portsmouth to Caen

Passengers on this route have a choice of either the new high speed service taking you into the heart of northern France in just 3 ¾ hours, or a classic cruise ferry on which you can enjoy fine dining, excellent shopping and comfortable cabins on your crossing to France.

Portsmouth ferry terminal is located directly off the M27, and the links to the M3 and M25, it is easily reached from London, the Midlands and the North. Excellent road links out of Caen make it an easy drive to Brittany, the Loire and the South of France. This is also our nearest port for Paris and eastern France.


Route Summary*

Average sailing duration

Classic cruise ferry: 5 ¾ hours (day);
7 hours (overnight)

High Speed: 3 ¾ hours

No. of sailings from Portsmouth

Up to four ferries to France per day (two on Wed)

Sailing times from Portsmouth

Classic cruise ferry: 08:45; 15:15; 23:15

High Speed: 07:00 (Fri-Sun - Mid March to late October)

No. of sailings from Caen

Up to four per day (two on Wed)

Sailing times from Caen

Classic cruise ferry: 09:00; 17:00; 23.30

High Speed: 12:30 (Fri-Sun - Mid March to late October

Ferries operating on this route

Mont St Michel, Normandie, Normandie Express

back to top  

Portsmouth to Cherbourg

With the high speed service you can zip across to Cherbourg in just 3 hours from March to October. At other times the route is maintained by our classic cruise service on which you can enjoy fine dining, excellent shopping and comfortable cabins.

Portsmouth ferry terminal is located directly off the M27, and with links to the M3 and M25, it is easily reached from London, the Midlands and the North. From Cherbourg the N13 motorway takes you to a network of major roads for destinations in Brittany, the Loire, and further south.


Route Summary* (April to October)
Sailing duration High Speed: 3 hrs
No. of sailings from Portsmouth Up to two per day
Departure times from Portsmouth 08:00; 15:45
No. of sailings from Cherbourg Up to two per day
Departure times from Cherbourg 12:45; 20:15
Ships operating on this route Normandie Express
back to top  

Poole to Cherbourg

The shortest crossing. You have the choice of a high speed service taking just over 2 hours, or a leisurely crossing by cruise ferry. From Cherbourg, the N13 motorway leads you to a network of major roads which will take you swiftly into Brittany, the Loire and the South.

Poole ferry terminal is easily accessed with good road links from the M3/M27, A31 and A35.


Route Summary* (for May to October)

Average sailing duration

Classic Cruise: 4 ½ hours (day);
6 ½ hours (overnight)

High Speed: 2 ¼ hours

No. of sailings from Poole

Up to three per day (two on Mon)

Times of sailings from Poole

Classic Cruise: 12:30; 23:45

High Speed: 07:30

No. of sailings from Cherbourg

Up to three per day (two on Mon)

Times of sailings from Cherbourg

Classic Cruise: 08:00; 19:00

High Speed: 11:30

Ships operating on this route

Normandie Vitesse

back to top  
Portsmouth to St Malo

With a huge sandy beach and ancient walled city, St Malo is a delightful place to visit in its own right. It is also wonderfully located for travelling quickly on to all parts of Brittany and Normandy, plus the popular holiday destinations of the Atlantic coast, the Loire and the Dordogne.

Portsmouth Ferry Terminal is located directly off the M27, and with links to the M3 and M25, it is easily reached from London, the Midlands and the North.

Route Summary*
Average sailing duration 10 ¾ hours
No. of sailings from Portsmouth One per day
Departure time from Portsmouth 20:30
No. of sailings from St. Malo One per day
Departure time from St. Malo 10:45am
Ship operating on this route Bretagne


back to top  

Plymouth to Roscoff

The charming port of Roscoff is ideally situated for exploring all parts of Brittany including the Pink Granite Coast, Quimper and the popular resorts of Bénodet and Concarneau. Fast roads take you quickly on to Western Loire, the Dordogne and the delights of France's Atlantic coast. Our luxury flagship, Pont-Aven, operates on some crossings.

With excellent motorway and expressway connections via the M5 and M6, Plymouth is ideally situated for access from the North, Midlands, Wales, and the West Country.


Route Summary* (for mid-March to mid-November)

Average sailing duration

Day: 6 hours (Pont L'Abbe);
5 ½ hours (Pont-Aven)
Overnight: 8 hours

No. of sailings from Plymouth

Up to three per day

Departure times from Plymouth

please contact us for latest information

No. of sailings from Roscoff

Up to three per day

Departure times from Roscoff

please contact us for latest information

Ships operating on this route

Pont L'Abbe, Pont-Aven
back to top  

Plymouth to Santander

Sailing on board the magnificent flagship, Pont-Aven, you'll arrive in the cosmopolitan city of Santander completely relaxed. With its glorious beaches and dramatic mountains you may be tempted to stay and discover more of 'Green Spain'. On the other hand, an impressive road network means that Madrid, the Costas, Portugal and the south of France are all easily accessible too.

With excellent motorway and expressway connections via the M5 and M6, Plymouth is ideally situated for access from the North, Midlands, Wales and the West Country.

Applicable to outward sailings up to and including the 24th October. Our route from Plymouth to Santander will then be serviced by the Bretagne from the 29th October until March 2007.

Route Summary *
Sailing duration 20 ½ hours
No. of sailings from Plymouth Two per week
Departure times from Plymouth 16:00 Sundays;
12:30 Wednesdays
No. of sailings from Santander Two per week
Departure times from Santander 16:30 Mondays
Ship operating on this route Pont-Aven*



Scots-American Travel Advisors       © Copyright - All Rights Reserved
** Disclaimer ** The information published on the Scots American Travel Advisors web site is provided as a convenience to visitors and should be used for information purposes only. It is subject to change without notice. Whilst Scots American Travel Advisors uses all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained on its web site is current, accurate and complete at the date of publication, no representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of such information. Scots American Travel Advisors can therefore not be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information appearing on this web site.