From UK to Norway by car and ferry – this is how we travel to Scandinavia

No wrestling with limiting baggage allowance or going through the stress of airport security and passport controls. Instead you could travel from the UK to Norway in comfort by car, with the help of a few ferries.

Unfortunately in 2017 there are no more ferries running between the UK and Scandinavia. Even the sailing between Harwich and Esjberg in Denmark closed down in 2014. And considering that London to Oslo is about 20 hours by car – it’s a bit of stretch to drive.

The thought of being trapped in a car for many hours can seem daunting, especially when travelling with young children. But going by car certainly has it advantages. Firstly, as soon as you are getting in the car the holiday can begin. You can make as many stops and detours you’d like. You can bring much more than what you can when flying. And by passing through the changing scenery and landscape you’ll get a better sense of Scandinavia and what the region has to offer.

So here its is, step by step, our best travel recommendation from the UK to Scandinavia;

First you need to cross the channel, either by catching a ferry from Dover to Calais. Prices starts from £31 each way. Day sailings takes 1 hour an 30 minutes and night sailings are 2 hours. We tend to travel to France via the Eurotunnel from Folkstone to Calais, crossing the channel in only 35 minutes. Prices starts from £23 each way.

Then, from there you drive up through France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark all the way up to Hirtshals in northern Denmark. Altogether the drive from Calais to Hirtshals is about 12 hours, without stops. When travelling with children you might want to consider stopping in North of Germany or South of Denmark for the night before continuing.

You can go by boat with Colour Line from Kiel to Oslo. The kids will love this minicruise with lots on board activities on offer but it will ad an extra cost as well as 20 hours more to your travel time. Another option Stena Line from Kiel to Gothenburg, which is only a 1 hour and 50 minutes pleasant drive from the Norwegian boarder. You can also drive all the way, from Germany, through Denmark, crossing the Öresundbridge from Denmark to Sweden and continue up along the Swedish coast until you’ve reached Norway.


However this will ad a good amount of miles to your journey, so not recommended unless you’d like to see more of Denmark and Sweden along your way. I must admit – the bridge is beautiful, but it’s down to how much time you have on your way to Norway.

From Hirtshals in Denmark ferries run to Kristiansand in Norway, which is great if you are travelling on to the West coast and the Fjords of Norway. However, if you are travelling to Oslo, there’s a speed ferry to Larvik, which is only 3 hours and 45 minutes. Prices from €89. Then all that is remaining of your journey is a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from Larvik – before you’ve reached your destination, Oslo.

When travelling by car we recommend checking fuel prices in advance. Prices may vary a lot from country to country. Norway is expensive and so is its petrol, so tank up before you leave Denmark (or Sweden). Also, book the Eurotunnel and ferries in advance, to get the best possible deal. If you decide to travel through the Öresundbridge, consider a ‘Bropas’ if you will be crossing the bridge more than once in a year.

To find out more about Oslo or how to get there, go to Visit Oslo

To book your channel crossing, go to Eurotunnel or DFDS Book ferry to Norway via Color Line

Please note that in the comment field below it has been suggested to take the freight ferry from Immingham to Breivik, Norway. But the freight ferries are no longer allowed to take private cars and passengers. So unfortunately this is no longer an option.


  1. Darren, that’s sounds completely ludicrous! Scandinavia and UK are suddenly very far apart without the ferry service. Like many other have suggested, we don’t need daily sailing, but perhaps one or two. And UK to Denmark would have been fine too, or UK to South of Norway. Let’s hope this situation changes. Best, Bianca x

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