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Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen



Route: Ferry from Portsmouth (Southern England) to Caen (Northern France)
Journey time: From 6 hours
Journey highlights:

Enjoy cruise-standard facilities onboard as you cross the Channel with Brittany Ferries. Renowned for their food quality, ships also offer everything from DJs to cinemas.

Buzzing Caen’s long history is evident in its patchwork of contemporary and historic architecture: moving on from the destruction of WWII it has developed into a regional hub with a big student population. With all the typical French cafés and restaurants that you could hope for, and a range of bars and shops, the appeal of Caen is the fusion of old and new: the beautiful Abbey of St Etienne and William the Conqueror’s enormous castle tower over the city centre’s contemporary and historic buildings. Compact and walkable, if your legs tire then you could make use of Twisto, the city’s pioneering guided bus system.

As the area’s largest settlement, Caen is a hub for transport, making it easy to get out and explore the lovely Normandy countryside: sample calvados and cider (the region is a paradise for fresh agricultural produce), or head to the gorgeous beaches where the D-Day landings took place. The D-Day beaches are complemented by resorts such as Deauville and Cabourg where you can watch the world go by in glamorous belle époque surroundings, or take a dip in the channel during the summer months. A little further afield is Bayeux, home to the incredible Bayeux Tapestry.



Sample itinerary: Take an 0815 ferry from Portsmouth and you'll arrive in Caen in the mid-afternoon.
Price: From around £39 each way
Book a ferry ticket from Portsmouth to Caen
How to travel to the port:

The easiest way for foot passengers to reach the harbour is to take a National Express coach which stops right outside the ferry departure building. You can also take the train to Portsmouth Harbour from where it's a short 10-minute taxi ride (about £5) to the ferry departure building. NB between May and September, there is a shuttle bus from Portsmouth & Southsea railway station to the harbour.

Portsmouth Harbour facilities: Bar, café, shop, bureau de change, internet access point.

Transfer time: Allow 40 minutes
Book a hotel in Portsmouth or Southsea
Book a hotel in Portsmouth or Southsea
The Ferry Crossing:

Portsmouth to Caen

There are up to 4 crossings a day, with sailings usually at 0815, 1445 and overnight at 2245. On Friday to Sunday between March 19 and October 30, there is a high speed service at 0700. For full details and specific dates, see the Brittany Ferries website.

Frequency of service: Up to 4 per day

Brittany Ferries

Journey time: 6-7 hours
Onward travel from the port:

Bienvenue à Caen

Actually, it's not quite Caen - the ferry port is at Ouistreham about ten miles north of Caen. Thankfully, there's an excellent shuttles bus service (Bus Verts du Calvados line 1), which is scheduled to meet ferry arrivals at the port and run to Caen's main railway station and the city centre - the journey takes around 40 minutes.

Gare de Caen (railway station) is linked to the French railway network and has services to many destinations throughout France, including Paris (journey time around 2 hours).


Your route to Caen (Northern France)

The lines on the map are for illustrative purposes only - they don't show the exact route taken by the ferry.