Getting here by sea - UK to Jersey ferry services
Uk to Jersey ferry services run from several south coast ports. The information on this page will help you work out which is the best option for you.
If you're looking for ferries to Jersey from France click
All the UK to Jersey ferry services are operated by Condor Ferries.
Condor have two types of ferries - all take vehicles as well as passengers.
- Fast ferries run from Poole and Weymouth taking around three and a half hours,
- A conventional slow ferry runs from Portsmouth taking ten and a half hours. The ferry to Jersey runs during the day, leaving early in the morning, and the return trip to Portsmouth is overnight arriving early.
Bringing your car on ferries to Jersey can be expensive. Cheap flights and car hire can work out cheaper.
The fast ferries run frequently in the summer. During the winter there are ferries to Jersey several times a week, but not every day. The fast ferries need a reasonably smooth sea to operate, so are sometimes cancelled if the sea is rough. The conventional ferry runs in everything but the most extreme weather so is rarely cancelled.
I enjoy sea travel, and I generally prefer the conventional ferry to the fast one. Both types are spacious modern boats with good facilities. There is a restaurant and more space to sit or walk outside on the conventional Jersey ferry, and with a good book or something else to do the time passes quickly.
The conventional ferry has a limited number of cabins which are very much in demand for night crossings. If you don't have a cabin, you can book a reclining seat in the quiet lounge. I find it difficult to sleep on recliner seats. For daytime crossings the free seating is adequate - most of it is in the restaurant.
In the morning you will be woken well before getting into Portsmouth Harbour by an announcement on the intercom system. This allows you time to get up and have breakfast in the restaurant.
If you're trying to travel cheaply or couldn't get a cabin, try and get one of the bench seats at the back of the restaurant. These are actually quite comfortable to sleep on, although you'll need a blanket or coat as the air-conditioning tends to be cool. Once the TV's are turned off and the lights dimmed at about midnight, you should get a reasonable bit of sleep. You have to be quick though - there are only about half-a-dozen of these seats.
If the fast ferry is cancelled, passengers are offered the chance to rebook on the overnight slow ferry instead. If this happens in the middle of the season, you might find yourself spending all night trying to sleep sitting upright at the tables in the restaurant, as all the cabins and comfortable seating will be booked up very quickly! If you aren't in too much of a hurry to get home you might want to see if you can stay on for a day or two until the weather improves. If you have to travel this way, try and find something to use as a pillow. Some people even take a blanket or sleeping bag and find a patch of floor to lie down on - although floor space can be in short supply as well.
All the ferries to Jersey have a duty-free shop with a small selection of gifts and magazines, and a bar.
The fast ferries have a cafeteria, bureau de change facilities, children's TV room and baby-changing facilities. You have numbered seats - some of which have airline style tables and others have small round tables. There is some seating with two rows of four seats facing in towards a shared table.
If you want space to use a laptop or read a large newspaper while you travel, ask at check-in if you can be seated at a larger table. If you prefer not to be sharing a table, ask for a pair of seats near the window.
When you pack, put everything you want on the ferry in one bag. You can't usually get back to your vehicle once the ship leaves port.
Bicycles are carried free on all Condor Jersey ferry services.
If you are travelling without a car you can book a combined rail and ferry fare for the Poole ferry. You can save a lot on the rail fare this way.
Some of the UK to Jersey ferry services leave early in the morning or arrive back in the UK late at night. If you have much distance to drive, it's worth thinking about finding a hotel close to the harbour for the night.
If you are carrying camping equipment or lots of luggage in your car, look for a hotel near the port that has secure car parking.
Travelling with Children
Ferry journeys with children can be difficult. All the Condor Ferries to Jersey have a TV lounge for children which shows videos suitable for all ages. Small packs of crayons and pictures to colour in are usually available.
If the children's video finishes, you can ask for another one at the Cabin Manager's desk.
Children often enjoy going out on deck, especially when the ship is leaving or entering port. For safety reasons they are only allowed out with an adult.
Pack a small bag of toys, games, drinks and snacks for your child during the voyage. It's a good time to play cards, read a book or draw.
Facilities for disabled passengers
Every UK to Jersey ferry has good disabled access. Ferry staff have undergone disability awareness training and are usually very helpful. You need to discuss your requirements at the time of booking so that assistance can be provided. On the fast ferries, there is a limited amount of easy access seating and wheelchair space. Priority boarding and accessible toilets are available on all Jersey ferries, as are lifts from the car deck to the passenger lounge. Steward service to your seat is provided if you need it.
The conventional Jersey ferry has 2 cabins with ensuite disabled toilet and washing facilities which can be booked for day or night voyages. You may need to book early to make sure you can get one of these cabins.
The range of food offered on the Jersey ferry is reasonable but limited. If you have specific dietary needs you may need to bring food with you, especially if you are travelling on the slow Jersey ferry from Portsmouth. The kitchen staff on this boat are very helpful with putting your special meals in the fridge if you need, and will heat up a meal on request.
Find out about flights to Jersey here.
Find out about ferries to Jersey from France here.
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