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Driving from Ireland to France by Ferry: Your Comprehensive Guide

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Planning a road trip from Ireland to France can be an exciting adventure, offering the chance to explore the scenic routes of both countries. Traveling by ferry is a popular and convenient option, allowing you to bring your car along for the journey. Here’s a detailed guide on the various ferry routes available, helping you choose the best option for your travels.

1. Dublin to Cherbourg

  • Operator: Irish Ferries
  • Frequency: Up to three sailings per week
  • Duration: Approximately 18 hours

Overview: This direct route from Dublin to Cherbourg is ideal for those starting their journey from Ireland’s capital. Cherbourg, located in the Normandy region, provides easy access to northern and central France. The ferry offers comfortable cabins, dining options, and entertainment to ensure a pleasant journey.

Irish Ferries Dubin to Cherbourg Bookings and further information

2. Rosslare to Cherbourg

  • Operator: Stena Line and Brittany Ferries
  • Frequency: Daily sailings
  • Duration: Approximately 17-18 hours

Overview: Rosslare Europort, located in County Wexford, is a major ferry terminal offering regular services to Cherbourg. Both Stena Line and Brittany Ferries provide excellent amenities, including onboard restaurants, shopping, and lounges. This route is perfect for those based in the southern part of Ireland.

3. Cork to Roscoff

  • Operator: Brittany Ferries
  • Frequency: Weekly sailings
  • Duration: Approximately 14 hours

Overview: The Cork to Roscoff route offers a shorter sailing time, making it a convenient option for travelers heading to Brittany or western France. Roscoff is a picturesque port town known for its charming streets and Breton culture. Brittany Ferries ensures a comfortable crossing with modern facilities.

4. Rosslare to Dunkirk

  • Operator: DFDS
  • Frequency: Weekly sailings
  • Duration: Approximately 24 hours

Overview: This newer route brings you close to the Belgium border, and includes a standard cabin and all four meals in the form of buffet-style restaurants.

Tips for a Smooth Journey

  1. Book in Advance: Ferry services can fill up quickly, especially during peak travel seasons. Booking early ensures you secure your preferred sailing dates and accommodation.
  2. Check-in Early: Arrive at the ferry terminal well in advance of your departure time to allow for check-in and boarding procedures. Each ferry operator has specific guidelines on when you should arrive.
  3. Pack Essentials: Bring snacks, entertainment, and any necessary medications to make your journey more comfortable. While ferries offer onboard amenities, having your essentials can enhance your travel experience.
  4. Prepare Your Vehicle: Ensure your car is in good condition for the long drive ahead. Check tire pressure, oil levels, and ensure you have a spare tire and necessary tools.
  5. Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers ferry travel and driving in France. This provides peace of mind in case of any unexpected events.

Exploring France by Car

Once you arrive in France, the possibilities are endless. From the historic sites of Normandy to the vineyards of Bordeaux and the scenic routes of the French Riviera, driving through France offers a unique and flexible way to explore the country. Be sure to familiarize yourself with French driving laws and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.


Driving from Ireland to France by ferry is a fantastic way to start your European road trip. With multiple routes and ferry operators to choose from, you can find the option that best suits your travel plans. Enjoy the journey and the freedom to explore the beautiful landscapes and rich culture of France at your own pace. Bon voyage!

Author: Thiago

I moved to Ireland 2012. I work as a business administrator and travel a lot to Europe with my work. I enjoy writing and athletics during my vacation and try to visit friends and family every year in Brazil.
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