Irish Ferries services between Dover and Calais begin

By: Steven Tarbox
Last updated:
Irish Ferries' ISLE OF INISHMORE at sea, 18.06.2021. Image: Irish Ferries.
Irish Ferries' ISLE OF INISHMORE at sea, 18.06.2021. Image: Irish Ferries.

The first revenue earning crossing by Irish Ferries from Dover to Calais took place this morning.  The company’s former flagship, ISLE OF INISHMORE, left Dover just after 09:20, arriving at Calais for 11am (UK time).

According to the company, ISLE OF INISHMORE has been extensively refurbished.  The upgraded club class lounge offers panoramic 360-degree views and the spacious passenger areas have been refurbished ahead of the ship’s introduction on the route.  

Onboard facilities include a Boylan’s Brasserie restaurant, Café Lafayette, free Wi-Fi, and a newly enlarged duty-free shop.  Irish Ferries also offers an online click and collect service which allows passengers to pre-select their purchases before travel.  Freight drivers can avail of a dedicated freight lounge and dedicated new showers.

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director at Irish Ferries, said:

“Our newly-launched route between Dover and Calais brings even more choice for freight customers who can now experience our outstanding service while travelling between the UK and France.   We’re delighted to bring a little bit of Ireland to this route, and after months of travel limitations, we know that people are very eager to see family and friends, re-ignite business relations, and escape their everyday and take a much-needed holiday. We are in the business of connectivity and want to enable those special memories to be created once travel is permitted again.”

Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, said:

“We offer a very warm welcome to Irish Ferries and are delighted to see their operations commence from the UK’s busiest international ro-ro port. There has been considerable work by Port of Dover and all parties associated with this new service launch to get prepared for this day, and we are pleased to see all of those efforts come to fruition. We wish Irish Ferries every success for their new venture with us”

Fares start from £69 for a car and up to nine passengers, and ferries will operate with up to 10 daily crossings between Calais and Dover.  Foot passengers are not carried.  The timetable is as follows:

Depart DoverArrive CalaisDepart CalaisArrive Dover
04:30 (GMT)*07:00 (GMT+1)*07:55 (GMT+1)08:25 (GMT)
09:20 (GMT)11:50 (GMT+1)12:45 (GMT+1)13:15 (GMT)
14:10 (GMT)16:40 (GMT+1)17:30 (GMT+1)18:00 (GMT)
18:55 (GMT)21:25 (GMT+1)22:15 (GMT+1)22:45 (GMT)
23:40 (GMT)02:10 (GMT+1)03:10 (GMT+1)*03:40 (GMT)*
Irish Ferries’ preliminary Dover – Calais timetable. Please note that the first sailing will be 09:20 ex Dover on 29.06.2021. As ever, times may be subject to change. * Except Mondays
YouTube video
Irish Ferries Dover – Calais promotional film. © Irish Ferries.

For more information on ISLE OF INISHMORE, see our dedicated profile here.

Irish Ferries Dover – Calais Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers are provided by Irish Ferries.

Is Irish Ferries operating throughout lockdown?

Irish Ferries continues to operate schedules playing a critical role in the supply chain and facilitating essential travel. Services are operating as normal for freight, including freight drivers.

Irish Ferries’ ‘Travel Safe’ programme ensures the safety and comfort of both passengers and crew on all services. In accordance with public health guidelines, it is required to wear face coverings onboard ships and at ports where social distancing isn’t possible. 

What sailing schedule between Dover and Calais is Irish Ferries initially offering?

Irish Ferries’ Dover to Calais service currently operates on up to 10 daily sailings at regular intervals throughout the day and night, seven days a week. Regular sailing updates can be found at Irish Ferries expects to add more frequency to this route with the addition of additional tonnage, over the coming months.

What vehicles can I bring?

Cars, campervans, motorcycles, minibuses vans and commercial vehicles of all sizes and dimensions can all travel with Irish Ferries – simply select how you will be travelling at time of booking. Once safely boarded, leave your vehicle parked up and explore Irish Ferries’ many amenities onboard!

What has changed for travel between Britain and the EU (Ireland and France specifically) as of the 01st January this year.

Irish Ferries has compiled a guide to the most frequently asked questions by passengers relating to travelling between EU member states and the UK. See more here

Can pets travel on board?

Yes! Dogs, cats and household pets are allowed on ships, as long as they are declared at the time of booking, meet the EU entry guidelines and have a current EU issued Pet Passport or a valid Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

When travelling to France from Britain, you will need to visit your vet 1 month before travel and ensure your pet has a microchip, a valid rabiesvaccination, and an animal health certificate (unless you have a valid pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland).
Further details can be found here.

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