P&O Ferries to reopen ferry service from the UK to Scandinavia?


The last ferry link between the UK and Scandinavia ended in 2014. News is that the Scottish Government has called for a summit with ferry operators to explore the potential for a new service between Scotland and Scandinavia. And apparently P&O Ferries are willing to consider it.

P&O Ferries is a British-based company that operates ferries from the United Kingdom to Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Throughout its history since the late 60s, P&O Ferries has operated in five main areas, centred around Dover, Portsmouth, Southampton, the Irish Sea and the North Sea.

The company has, as many other ferry companies, closed several of its services due to a strong competition with cheap air fares and the Channel tunnel. But the company has announced they’d like to consider the Scottish Government’s initiative.

“We are always looking for new opportunities and would be happy to sit down with the relevant parties to discuss a route between Scotland and Scandinavia.” said a spokesperson from P&O Ferries.

It will be interesting to follow the development from this discussion. Our previous post on how to travel from the UK to Scandinavia by car and ferry is one of the most read posts on this blog. We believe it’s beyond doubt that there’s a great demand on both sides of the North Sea for a direct passenger ferry link.

To open talks about a new service between the UK and Scandinavia is a smart move by Scotland. It could be significant post-brexit for the country’s economy if the ferry service is being brought back.

Why it matters to us

You might wonder what it means to us, having the ferry service brought back. Many would wonder why we wouldn’t choose to fly. As I’ve read in your comments we all have our reasons to prefer the ferry. It could be the convenience of bringing your own car or the less hassle associated with a ferry vs driving for endless hours. Anyway, aren’t road trips back in vogue?

We travel several times a year to our Norwegian house renovation project. For us, the best route is to get to Fredrikshavn where we can jump on the ferry to Gothenburg and drive straight north, to Trysil in Norway.

London to Fredrikshavn is a 900+ miles drive through France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany before we reach Fredrikshavn in Denmark. If P&O Ferries decide to open a new service between, let’s say Aberdeen and Esbjerg, this means we’ll be saving 200 miles on our drive.

But imagine how many miles would be saved on our journey to Scandinavia, for all of us living in England, if only P&O Ferries would consider reopening the passenger ferry Newcastle or Harwich to Esbjerg…

You might also like:

How to travel from the UK to Scandinavia by car and ferry.
Sign the petition – Reopen the Harwich to Esbjerg ferry!

You might also like:

This is how we travel from the UK to Scandinavia by car and ferry
Sign the petition – Reopen Harwich to Esbjerg!

72 Comments

  1. I am amazed that the discussion here is still going on one year after the article.
    Yes, many in Scandinavia also wants a connection, from either Norway or Denmark.

    Personally, as a camper, I would like to take a round trip in the UK, and the ferry is needed I arrive in Scotland and leave England – I get to see it all. Driving all the way south and back does not make sense.
    Say Bergen / Stavanger / Kristianssand – Aberdeen / Edingburg

    There are many in Scandinavia who want to do see new places, and this has an interest of many.

    Denmark or Norway – you need a ferry to go from one to the other. If I could go from Norway, it would be best, and it is easily accesible to everybody up north. Denmark – then you need to go to Denmark, and the trip get too long and I will not do it.
    Then again, people in Denmark will complain that they have to go to Norway first.

    Where do campers from the UK want to go to?

  2. In point 4 (above) it is stated you cannot hire a car in Scotland when aged over 70. I am not sure this is always true, I am over 70 and have no difficulty renting cars in the UK from Europcar, Avis. Hertz, Budget or Sixt. If you are over 75 and wish to rent a car in Ireland I understand you need a certificate from your doctor confirming your fitness to drive but car hire is generally available – so do not let your age dissuade you from coming to the UK!

  3. All British car clubs in Scandinavia would love a reopening of a new ferry line from Gothenburg or Bergen to uk.

  4. It would be great if there was a ferry service again but I understand there are economic constraints on this. Firstly I now believe people understand this and will be willing to pay a reasonable premium for taking their own car therefore not necessary to compete with cheap flights Also if there was just a single route possibly from Newcastle to Denmark this would attract all of the business and would be more commercially viable

  5. Thank you for sharing this information, Tor! I am sure others will find it useful! Best, Bianca

  6. I’ve just got a quote from Euro Marine Logistics (http://http://euro-marine.eu/) for shipping of my precious MGB between the terminals at Drammen and Tyne. EUR 165 Drammen->Tyne and EUR 190 Tyne->Drammen.
    They only deal with companies. Drammen is one hour from Oslo Airport Gardermoen (express train) and Oslo Airport Torp (bus). The terminals are not open in weekends, so keep that in mind when booking.
    Since our Highlands and Orkney trip starts and ends in weekends (everything booked before I checked this service), we have to book transport of the MG between Tyne and Edinburgh. It’s still less than the boring rental car.

  7. My husband and I were medical students in Glasgow in the late fifties/ sixteis . We always went back to Oslo by boat from Newcastle and enjoyed the two nights on board. We are often in Scotland ( I am Scottish) but must take the plane from Oslo to Edinburgh. We,d love to see a new car ferry opening up between Oslo and preferably, Scotland. An important point is that one is not able to rent a car in Scotland after 70 years, so it would be great to be able to take our own car. PLEASE bring back the ferries!!!

  8. We took the last ferry from Newcastle to Bergen – a very sad day for everyone – and really miss it as the drive from the South of England to the ‘Fjordland’ is impractical and expensive. Flying and car hire kills any camping plans and if I have to spend one more day walking the length of Oslo airport between connecting flights I will lose the will to live!! DFDS killed off the Newcastle Bergen route and then made the Harwich Esbjerg so expensive that they killed off demand – and then killed the route. Be great if someone other than DFDS could get either of those routes up and running again.

  9. Please re-open a ferry route to Scandinavia from the UK. I hate flying and used to travel from Newcastle to Bergen regularly . Its so sad that there is no way to get to our close neighbours by sea anymore. Bring back the boat !!

  10. When my son married a Swede in 2005, then moved there to live , we thought itcwas great as we could fat a ferry from the Tyne to Gothenburg . It would make sense to me to re-open that route as we stopped off in Norway en route. Gothenburg gives easy access to all of Sweden and Denmark. Come on ferry operators!

  11. I am a British citizen living in central southern Norway and would love to drive over to the UK to visit my family. As it is at the moment there are no ferries from Scandinavia to the UK, this means a very long drive. My wife and I have often discussed why there are so few British car’s on the Norwegian roads, now we know why. I hope the ferry company’s can find a solution especially in the sommer months.

  12. I have family in Estonia, and my first ever visit after independence was by car per the Harwich-Gothenburg ferry, short stay with friends in Sweden, easy drive to Stockholm, ferry to Tallinn, then the freedom to tour and visit scattered family, with no luggage constraints. It was a doddle. Similarly, to northern Germany via the Harwich-Esbjerg connection. It seems almost beyond belief that there are no direct ferries as surely there must be a huge potential market, including caravanners (both ways), motor homes, tourers, etc, and it cries out for a subsidised and heavily promoted reinstatement of at least one route, if only for a provisional initial season, as a social, political and economic necessity. I am currently researching my next Estonian visit by rail, which is surprisingly viable, but doesn’t have the car plus ferry flexibility of ease of luggage and onward internal travel. Please add my voice to your lobby for at least one ferry route reinstatement!

  13. I’d go to Scandinavia at least once a year if only the Newcastle-Bergen ferry was reinstated!! Driving from Northumberland just isn’t an option as it’s too far And costly to drive!! Since a no deal Brexit is looming we surely could do with alternatives to flying. So please please make it happen! Has anyone considered a petition via 38 degrees?

  14. Please Please..Re-instate the Newcastle to Bergen route. Every year I check online and read that shipping company’s are under discussion to open the route but without success.
    My father was Norwegian and I have a large family in Norway. Sadly my father passed away and is buried on a beautiful island with my grandmother.
    Since a child, I and my family have crossed the North sea. There were Three crossings per week. and the ferry was packed with many students, Visitors,families, cars, bikes, camping vans, trucks of all sizes. My sister and I were returning to the UK following a wonderful visit with our family. When the radio in the car informed us that the ferry was no more.. Finished. We were shocked. We did travel to Norwich crossed over to Denmark which took us 3 days In all and very costly. shortly following, that Ferry crossing was finished. Again the Ferry was packed. Why ?

  15. I am disappointed to find there are no ferries to Scandinavia as Iam planning a trip there but no way am I going to drive from N. England to cross at Dover and then drive north from there. Please open up the ferry links again.

  16. The route that would get most traffic would be east cost England to Gothenburg. This would serve Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo i.e. all of Denmark, and the most densely populated parts of Sweden and Norway.

  17. I come from Shetland and have been living in Norway for more than 10 years now and currently for me to drive home it is a 4000 km round trip, and it would take 5 days travel each way and cost around £2000.
    We have a van that we travel and camp in and camping is a huge thing here, I have met people from all over and so many share the opinion that they would love to visit the UK but it is just too far and to expensive when you add up all the miles and multiple ferries it takes to get there. I look at the map and find it so frustrating when I see how short the distance is from say Bergen to Shetland or the mainland UK. Please someone restart a link to Skandinavia even just for the summer months.

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