The port of Calais is the fourth largest in France but is the busiest by far in terms of traffic. It is the main ferry route between France and England and depending on the time of year, can see a staggering 99 crossings per day. Calais ferry port is also the busiest for car transportation on mainland Europe, with over 10 million passengers travelling through every year.
Calais originated as a fishing village before being steadily improved and built upon over the centuries. A part of Napoleon’s army for the invasion of England camped here in 1805. During the Second World War, it was a German base for launching bombs against Britain. Towards the end of the 20th century, it started to gain traction as one of the largest passenger and freight volume routes in the world, even in the face of competition from the EuroTunnel which opened in 1994.
Calais to Dover is the only ferry route here and it is operated by Irish Ferries, DFDS Seaways and P&O Ferries. Sailings last around 1 hour 30 minutes on this service. All three ferry companies operate out of the same terminal.
If you are travelling by car, Calais ferry port is directly connected to the European motorway network by two main routes. The A26/E15 serves the centre of France and provides access to Paris, and Southern Europe. The A16/E40 feeds into the Benelux and Northern Europe motorway system and the A16/E402 to Boulogne and Rouen. There is free parking for drop-off and short-term parking located in front of the ferry terminal but there are currently no options for long-term parking.
If you are travelling by rail, Calais Ville station is situated in the centre of the town and provides a regular service to Paris Gard du Nord as well as other major towns and cities in the area.
If you are travelling by coach, there is a regular foot passenger bus which operates between the hours of 10am and 8pm. It connects the port to the centre of Calais at Place d’Armes and the train station on request. A small fee applies.
54 rue du quai de la Loire, CS 90283 62105 Calais cedex France
Phone: 00 33 (0)3 21 46 29 00
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