A new ferry link between UK and Scandinavia in 2019?

Gothenburg in Sweden. © Visit Sweden

The last ferry link between the UK and Scandinavia, the crossing between Harwich-Esbjerg was discontinued five years ago, in 2014. 

Whereas there are no news in regards to a reopening of a new ferry link between England and Scandinavia, our Scottish neighbours seem much more interested and willing to consider the opportunity.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald told the Falkirk Herald in the new year that there’s no better time for ferry operators to reinstate a direct passenger ferry link between Scotland and Scandinavia. He also promised to continue to work with ferry operators and the Scottish Government to make this route a reality.

Furthermore, MacDonald added to the The Courier MacDonal that a route between Aberdeen, Rosyth or elsewhere in Scotland to Scandinavia would mean increased tourism and be a significant boom for the economy.

We have no doubt a ferry link between the UK and Scandinavia would be great for the economy, on both sides. As a reader of Little Scandinavian suggests, a route from Englands East coast to f.ex. Gothenburg in Sweden would possibly be the best solution as it would serve the most people.

P&O Ferries has reported growing demand for its new freight link to Gothenburg in Sweden. Would there be a great enough demand for a passenger link as well?

Please note that the freight ferry between Immingham to Brevik with DFDS no longer accepts passengers, regardless of availability.

Please let me know your thoughts below.

33 thoughts on “A new ferry link between UK and Scandinavia in 2019?

  1. We as a motorcycle club, travel to Sweden often. And the Swedes to us in Northern Ireland. As it is now, we must travel via Amsterdam. A lot of road!
    A ferry directly into Goteburg would be a great help for our travels. Both ways.

  2. I used the Harwich-Esjeberg route with DFDS several times before its demise. Since then my ifs and I have flown to Gothenburg and picked up a rental car at the airport for our onward journey. It’s a great pity that ferry operators can’t get their act together to re-instate a crossing from the UK to Sweden. Judging by the comments here I feel sure it would be commercially successful.

  3. Living in Northern Ireland and married to a Swede. We will willingly use a route from the Southeast Scotland to Denmark or west Sweden. Several times a year. Looking at the economy of flying and then car hire It must become a viable option soon, in the post Covid world/Brexit world! Here’s hoping the ferry companies are serious looking at new routes to the Scandinavian peninsula.

  4. Would love to see a link by ferry between Scotland and Scandinavia.

    Was thrilled to find this discussion, especially as at this time wouldn’t it be wonderful to travel to Northern europe from Scotland? It makes so much sense.

    I live in Orkney and logic tells me that it’d make sense to just keep going that way from the mainland.

    *on another note, was just absolutely shocked to find such blatant racism in this thread. Speaking for myself, as a person born in England, I’d like to see all countries united. Took a lot for me to write this as it really stunned me to read that. But, hey, this is the internet, so finding hatred on it is hardly a surprise even when it is unexpected.

  5. Yes, we travel to dk regularly and would LOVE to be able to take a car ferry to norway, sweden or denmark again. Please let us know of any developments in that direction!

  6. There are a lot of continental touring motorcyclists that would utilise a link between Norway and Scotland. Both are favourites for moto camping but currently for a two week holiday we have to chooee between the two.

  7. DFDS if you read their articles & emails just keep saying it is not sustainable to run passenger ferries between any northern Scandinavian/ European country and the UK, but they can run freight ships daily across the North sea.
    Stena Line just say they are monitoring the situation but do not commit and have been saying this for several years.
    Non of the other ferry companies don’t seem to won,t to take a chance in running a passenger service, or is there a controlling cartel? ie in controlling what goes on in the upper north sea.

  8. I blame the low cost carriers like Ryanair and Norwegian for putting the ferries out of business. But in an age when people are looking to cut back on flying bringing the ferries back between Scotland and Norway/Sweden would be fantastic! I would be one of the first to book it (and preference would be Edinburgh/Fife) for me! It would open up so much more of Northern Europe to us northern UK’ers to prevent the journey down to Dover and back up the otherside! Who can we write to to put this in action … lobby P&O on Twitter, write to our MSP’s???

  9. Its a continual frustration and I cannot understand why all these routes have been discontinued. I refuse to fly and used to be able to travel to Norway or Iceland from Aberdeen on the Ferry. There was plenty of demand so its just nonsense if they say its not.

    I suspect the real problem is racist little Englanders, a backwards UK parliament and Border Force, the refusal to be full Schengen members and now Brexit.

    I’m so sick of the UK and I hope Scotland opts to go independent soon.

  10. Yes – used the Newcastle – Bergen Route many times and am not keen on the unsustainable and grim drive across Northern Europe as well as the cost. Would be keen on a south Scotland route or preferably North England – to serve most people in the UK (I am a southerner …) … bewildered at the lack of a ferry route … but anything is better than nothing … and driving up to Scotland is certainly cheaper and more pleasant than the much longer slog to Denmark from the chunnel.

  11. We went to Norway many times from Newcastle to Bergen or Gothenburg and would defiantly go again to both Norway and Sweden if there was a direct ferry form either England or Scotland — Aberdeen, Hull or Newcastle would seem the best choices and probably Gothenburg would be the best destination and serve both countries. Wish this would happen !

  12. My family and I have travelled to Norway many times over the years. The last time we drove through Germany and Denmark and got the boat from Herstal. We are hoping to go again in 2020. A boat from pretty much anywhere in the UK to any port in Scandinavian would make that trip far more likely and would be VERY welcome.

  13. In these days of saving the planet and reducing the carbon footprint, I cannot understand why DFDS has not considered re-opening North Shields to Esbjerg ferry route, even if it just for the summer months. I live in Tynemouth and as a child and as an adult, the family regularly visited Denmark and Norway to go camping as it is only a mile to the ferry port. It is unacceptable that the people of the North East UK have to endure either a long trip to the South of England or take a trip to Holland and then a long drive to reach Denmark before trying to catch a ferry to Norway. So it’s time for the ferry companies to stop basing everything in the South of England and bring it back to the North East, because clearly there is a demand there

  14. Hi Jens. We have already moved what’s needed to be moved for now. But maybe someone else would like to share? Hope you will find someone – and please give my love to Lise! x

  15. Going to Esbjerg on the ferry was part of the holiday. One can still go via Hook of holland but that is a lot of extra driving if one is short of time … or in my case getting on a bit !!!

    I know one can fly.. probably very much cheaper but some of us like to travel “heavy”

  16. Hei Bianca.. This isn’t meant to be posted on the site, but it’a the only way of contacting you. I posted earlier about a van to Norway.

    I am the other half of Lise Herud Bråten (ceramics/fashion & tailoring) who has met you before from the NORA network (we live in London). She tried to contact you via Instagram, but we think you’re very busy with the house ;o)

    We’re still looking to see if anyone (yourself?) may be interested in ‘sharing’ a van to ship some things to (or from!) Norway to London, sometime this year. We have a cabin in Nesodden (Oslo) and have a couple of chairs and boxes to get over there..

    It’s always worth making contacts about these sort of things!

    Lise says Hei! and maybe something might come of this..

    Jens & Lise

  17. Agree. Any ferry connection from Scandinavia to north of England or Scotland would serve a great marked I am sure. Come on ferry companies.

  18. I’ve used Newcastle-Bergen, Newcastle-Göteborg and Esbjerg-Harwich, on many occasions. And would still be using them if any of they were still available. Sadly there is no realistic option for me to get my car + camping equipment to Sweden or Norway now.
    If any one of these routes were to re-open, I would be on it this summer.

  19. We wish to run some training courses in Gothenburg, so it would be a van and two people travelling from UK. So sad that the Harwich G’burg ferry stopped, used it a LOT in the past. Maybe they could just run a trial service for a short while to see if its viable? Maybe summertime only as then there is most traffic, but ideally all year.
    We have people waiting to be trained in Sweden, but we need to bring some equipment along.
    Will be watching and hoping .. Liam

  20. Slightly off topic, but is anyone aware of/planning to/interested in pooling a transit van to the Oslo area from London within say the next six months? (and coming back too…).

    I myself need to move a few bits and pieces, but probably only around a third of a van full.. And I’m pretty flexible as to when.

    I don’t think a direct ferry to Norway will be up and running by then, but from looking around the Holland option would appear the easiest, with Newhaven next. Other routes seem to penalise vans and charge a huge amount.

    I’d love to hear from anyone in a similar situation!

  21. Dear Clare. I am part of the group and have shared the link with several. There was a petition going on for a while too. Not sure how many people signed and what happened. Worth asking in the FB group. x

  22. There’s a facebook group dedicated to trying to get a ferry route re-opened from the UK to Scandinavia – plenty of enthusiasm! Can I post a link here? Or I can send it to you privately?

  23. A ferry from the UK Mainland to Norway would be fantastic and save me so much time and money.
    Please make it a reality!

  24. A ferry link Edinburgh-Kristiansand (Norway)-Gothenburg would serve the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark since there is already a ferry to Kristiansand from Hirtshals in Denmark which could be a feeder. Even travellers from Sweden to Ireland like myself would benefit greatly and could avoid flying short distance if that is a priority. If there action or news in this matter in the UK I would love to know about it in order to approach politicians in the newly elected Swedish parliament.

  25. Great news. Im going to Norway in march for a month and wish there was a ferry!
    Im looking at driving and getting the Larvik/hirtshals ferry. Other option would be driving to Kiel in germany and boat to oslo.
    Is this a visble option cut down on driving

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