Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Harwich

Harwich is a town in the county of Essex, United Kingdom. It is a major north sea port, offering ferries to Denmark and beyond. The town also benefits from a mainline railway station, linking it to London.

How to get to Harwich from
Route 1:

Iceland is not the easiest place to get to, whether that be by air or overland. The best way to travel overland between the UK and Iceland is by one train and two ferry trips. If you are tempted to brave this journey, be aware that it certainly isn't the shortest of trips; taking a total of 4 nights. Saying that however, if you have the time to spare, the reduced stress of avoiding the airport, and having time to yourself at sea could be worth considering.

The journey starts in London, with a train journey from London's Liverpool Street Station to Harwich International. You will need to catch a service that gets you to the ferry terminal in time for the 16.00 ferry check-in opening time.

Once you arrive at Harwich, you will need to check in (either as a foot passenger or with your vehicle) before boarding the ferry. The crossing takes around 19 hours in total, and you will have reserved a cabin when booking your ticket. There is plenty to do onboard during the crossing (to find out more, click on the Harwich - Esbjerg route link below).

On arrival in Esbjerg at 13.00, you will need to make your way to Hirtshals, which is in the north of the country. Depending on what time of year you are travelling in, you may need to spend a night in Denmark before boarding the ferry the following day (view the route details below for more information). On-board, you will once again find your cabin. This will be your home away from home for the next 3 nights, so get settled in! Fortunately, there is plenty to do on board, as detailed on the route page found below.

The ferry arrives in Seydisfiordur 3 nights later, unless you choose to stop over in The Faroe Islands.. Depending on where you want to go in Iceland you will need to drive or catch a bus to your chosen destination. Seyðisfjörður is a 7 or 8 hour drive from Reykjavík by car, or 8 or 9 hours by bus. It is possible to catch public transport from the ferry terminal to the city, but this involves a one-night stopover in Akureyri. More information on these public transport options can be found at www.dice.is or www.bsi.is.

Route 2:

If you are travelling between the Edinburgh (or elsewhere in the north east of the UK) and Amsterdam, there is a great alternative to flying which involves just three trains and a ferry. The journey between London and Edinburgh takes between four and five hours, with services running fairly frequently (see the East Coast Mainline website for precise timings). The London - Amsterdam (Dutch Flyer) service takes around 14 hours, and you can choose whether to travel overnight or by day.

Route 3:

One of the best ways to reach the Netherlands is by the Dutch Flyer service. This involves catching a ferry from Harwich International. Fortunately, there is a direct train route between London and Harwich, which is timed to coincide with ferry arrivals/departures.

The trains are comfortable, but nothing fancy. Both first and second class seating is available, although there isn't much difference between the two.

Route 4:

The Dutch Flyer service, operated in partnership between Stena Line, National Express East Anglia and Holland's NS railway, is a city-to-city service combining rail and ferry routes to link London and Amsterdam in around 14 hours. Travelling overnight is the best option, although not the cheapest (as purchasing a cabin is mandatory), as you maximise your time at your destination. 

Each day, there are two Dutch Flyer services in either direction. When travelling from Amsterdam, you need to change trains at Schiedam. When travelling from London on the Sunday evening or Saturday morning service, passengers need to change train at Manningtree to reach Harwich.

London to Amsterdam on the Dutch Flyer:

 StopMonday - FridaySaturdaySunday
TrainLondon Liverpool St06.3818.2006.3819.00b07.55b19.02
Harwich Intnl.08.1020.0108.0920.2209.2520.48
FerryHarwich Intnl.09.0023.1509.0023.1510.0023.15
Hook of Holland16.4507.4516.4507.4518.0007.45
TrainHook of Holland17.3708.3717.3708.3718.5508.37
Schiedam C.18.0309.0318.0309.0319.2109.03
Rotterdam18.0809.0818.0809.0819.2609.08
Schiedam C.18.1609.1618.1609.1619.2709.16
Amsterdam19.2210.22a19.2210.2220.3310.22a

a = Change trains at Schiedam for Amsterdam
b = Change trains at Manningtree for Harwich

Amsterdam to London on the Dutch Flyer:

 StopMonday-FridaySaturdaySunday
TrainAmsterdam11.40a19.10a11.40a19.10a11.40a19.10a
 Schiedam C.12.4520.1512.4520.1512.4520.15
 Rotterdam13.1320.4313.1320.4213.1320.43
 Schiedam C.13.1820.4813.1820.4813.1820.48
 Hook of Holland13.4221.1213.4221.1213.4221.12
FerryHook of Holland14.3022.1514.3022.0014.3022.00
 Harwich Intnl.20.0006.3020.0006.3020.0006.30
TrainHarwich Intnl.20.4507.1520.4507.2020.3507.15
 London Liverpool St.22.1408.5422.1408.5921.5908.54

a: Change trains at Schiedam for Hook of Holland

 

Route 5:

When travelling between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on Stena Line, you have the choice of travelling either during the day or during the night. If travelling at night, stated fares include a private cabin.

The sailing takes around 6hrs 45mins, but you must remember to allow 45mins check-in time.

If you are travelling on an overnight sailing between Harwich and Hook of Holland, you must pay for a cabin. All cabins are private, with both inside and outside cabins available (outside basically means that the cabin has a window - these are more expensive).

All cabins on board the Stena Line ferry have en-suite bathroom facilities, flat screen televisions, free WiFi access, towels and toiletries and a bureau. If you opt for a more luxurious cabin (Comfort and Captain's Class), you will get tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary minibar (including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks).

Route 6:

Esbjerg is one of the gateways to Scandinavia. Fortunately, for those travelling to/from the United Kingdom, there is a frequent ferry service which runs between Denmark and the United Kingdom, operated by DFDS.

The M.S. Dana Sirena is a medium-sized ferry, capable of transporting over 600 passengers as well as 400 vehicles. As this is an overnight journey, there are three types of cabin available for passengers, Commodore Deluxe Class, Sirena Class and Seaways Class. There is also plenty to do onboard, with three restaurants, a cafe and two lounge bars. There are also shopping opportunities, children's activities and an on-demand film service.

Esbjerg is around 170 miles from Copenhagen, which can be reached by car of train. Access is also available to Malmo in Sweden. Other ferry services from Esbjerg include the ferry to the Faroe Islands and Iceland.