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Ferry from Portsmouth to Santander

 

Overview

Route: Ferry from Portsmouth (Southern England) to Santander (Northern Spain)
Journey time: About 24 hours
Journey highlights:

If you want to experience the wonderful coastline of northern Spain, but you don't want to fly or endure a long drive through France, this is the trip for you. Brittany Ferries' luxurious ferry is like going on a mini-cruise, and you may see whales and dolphin on the crossing - the Bay of Biscay is one of the best places in Europe to spot these magnificent marine animals.

Gateway to the rugged north coast of Spain, Santander is a bustling port city offering a flavour of traditional Cantabrian life. Within easy reach of the city by bus, train, or bike, are the region’s spectacular coastline, lush interior, and the Picos de Europa mountains.

The city of Santander has a charming centre with numerous churches and historic buildings, as well as a lengthy seafront promenade perfect for watching the bustle and activity of the port. One of the delights of the city is to enjoy the freshly caught fish in its many restaurants, before moving on to the lively Plaza de Canadio to enjoy the busy Spanish nightlife. You can also hit the beach without leaving town – numerous stretches of sand line the coast of Santander, including the glorious Playa del Sardinero.

Head out of town, and you’re in the heart of Cantabria and Green Spain: the lush, less-visited north of the country is home to some of Europe’s most dramatic scenery. Travel – by rail or road – offers incredible views over the hills, mountains, forests and beyond to the Bay of Biscay. The coastline around Santander is littered with wide, sandy bays separated by rugged cliffs. Inland, the mountains climb steadily higher and higher towards the Picos de Europa National Park, land of the dramatic peaks that were for centuries the first sight of Europe for those arriving by boat.

 

Itinerary

Sample itinerary: Take the 1115 ferry from Portsmouth on Friday and arrive in Santander in time for lunch on the following day (Saturday).
Price: From around £47 each way
 
Book a ferry ticket from Portsmouth to Santander
 
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 Santander

Ferries depart Portsmouth Tuesday at 1115, Wednesday at 1100 and Friday 1115, arriving in Santander the following day.

Frequency of service: 3 sailings per week
Operator:

Brittany Ferries

Journey time: 24 hours
Onward travel from the port:

Bienvenido a Santander

The ferry terminal lies just one block down Avenida Castilla from Santander's main train station - if you have too much to carry, it's just a minute in a taxi. Santander is well connected to the Spanish rail network, with trains running to major centres in the region and the rest of the country.

 
Book a hotel in Santander Port
 

Your route to Santander (Northern Spain)

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