We take our children on a DFDS Ferry across the English Channel – read our review here

We take our children on a DFDS Ferry across the English Channel – read our review here

We try out the world’s leading ferry operator to cross the Channel to France.

DFDS runs frequent ferry crossings to Europe –  to France and Holland​ and mini cruises to Amsterdam.

We travelled on the Dover to Dunkirk route with our two young children.

Check-in and disembarkment

It was a bank holiday so we made sure we got there early, but we got frustratingly stuck in a huge, slow queue at customs in Dover.

But once through and with seconds to spare, DFDS staff worked wonders to get us on the ferry quickly.

Staff swiftly processed our paperwork, there was clear signage and parking on board was easy.

Disembarking both ends was also very fast, making it a smooth process. Arriving at Dunkirk and watching the ferry dock is great entertainment from the huge windows at the front of the ship.

The food

On our ferry there were three options.

There was a main self-service restaurant with a couple of hot meal options, sandwiches, toast and snacks.

A smaller cafe bar served food like croque monsieur and there was a snack bar as well.

Plenty of choice at a reasonable price, the only criticism we had was that they could stock more simple sandwiches for children.


There is a small children’s play area called Pirate’s Island where little ones can burn off a bit of energy.

Elsewhere there is a small arcade with half a dozen racing games and video games.

The ship

Our ship from Dover to Dunkirk had 1,000 passengers and 250 cars on board.

It was peak season but other than a bit of a scrum to get back to the cars on arrival in Dunkirk, it felt like there was plenty of space.

There were nice seating areas, the decor was light and bright. There was also some good outdoor space to watch Dover’s white cliffs disappear into the distance.

two ferries cross each other in the English Channel in Dover

You can watch the white cliffs of Dover from the viewing balcony on board DFDS ferries

The on-board shop

The shop is well stocked with all the essentials you need for driving abroad, plus the usual snacks and some toys.

Very handy if, like us, you have forgotten your obligatory GB driving sticker and don’t want to be pulled over and fined by French police.

In conclusion

This was a quick, pleasant and efficient way to cross the channel.

Fares start from £35 with 24 crossings a day.

We travelled as guests of DFDS from Dover to Dunkirk. All views are our own.