Ferries and other boats travel regular routes to France, Spain, Ireland, and Scandinavia. P&O runs ferries to Belgium, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands. DFDS Seaways serves France, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and Stena Line serves Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Low-cost airlines and Eurotunnel (which lets you take a car to France on the train) have cut into ferry travel, but companies have responded by cutting fares and upgrading equipment.
Prices vary; booking early ensures cheaper fares, but also ask about special deals. Seaview is a comprehensive online ferry- and cruise-booking portal for Britain and continental Europe. Ferry Cheap is a discount website.
DFDS Seaways. DFDS Seaways 0871/574–7235; 208/127–8303; www.dfdsseaways.co.uk.
Ferry Cheap. Ferry Cheap 0844/493–1474; www.ferrycheap.com.
P&O. P&O 0871/664–6464; www.poferries.com.
Seaview. Seaview 01442/843–050; www.seaviewferries.co.uk.
Stena Line. Stena Line 0844/770–7070; www.stenaline.co.uk.
Transatlantic and Other Cruises
Most cruise ships leave from southern England—particularly Southampton and Portsmouth. Some ships leave from Liverpool and Dover as well, or from Harwich, near Cambridge.
Cunard Line. Cunard Line 800/728–6273; 0843/374–2224; www.cunard.co.uk.
Holland America Line. Holland America Line 020/7940–4470; www.hollandamerica.com.
Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian Cruise Line 0845/201–8900; 866/234–7350; www.ncl.com.
Princess Cruises. Princess Cruises 800/774–6237; 0843/374–4444; www.princess.com.
Royal Caribbean International. Royal Caribbean International 800/398–9819; 0844/493–4005; www.royalcaribbean.com.