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Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services.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 - Esbjerg (DFDS Ferry)

Sea

The Journey

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.


DFDS Seaways

DFDS Seaways is a passenger and freight ferry operator, with routes covering most of the North Sea. Having been founded in 1866, the company's headquarters are now in Copenhagen, in charge of one of the largest shipping fleets in Europe.

The routes operated by the company include:

  • Newcastle - Amsterdam;
  • Dover - Dunkirk;
  • Dover - Calais;
  • Harwich - Esbjerg;
  • Copenhagen - Oslo;
  • Karlshamn - Klaipeda;
  • Kiel - Klaipeda;
  • Sassnitz - Klaipeda;
  • Ireland - Amsterdam; and
  • Ireland - Denmark

Each ship varies in the number and type of facilities available to passengers, but there is always plenty to do. Besides the standard ferry routes listed above, the company also operates a number of mini-cruises which allow passengers to see cities on a short-break basis.

DFDS operates two classes of cabin; Commodore Class and Seaways Class.

Commodore Class cabins are the more expensive option, offering a larger room (some have balconies), and come with all bedding, an en-suite shower and toilet, television as well as a complimentary breakfast. When you first board the ferry, you are greeted by a Commodore Steward, who will also offer to take your dinner reservation.

Commodore de Luxe cabins are even more luxurious (some even come with a private jacuzzi!).

Commodore De Luxe Class passengers have access to the Commodore De Luxe Lounge, which offers comfortable chairs and desks, as well as complimentary wine, beer and newspapers.

Seaways cabins are the Standard Class option, and come with all bedding/towels, an en-suite shower and toilet, table, wardrobe and sea view. If you are on a very tight budget, Seaways cabins are also available without a window on the inside of the ship.

All Seaways options (except Seaways Class Comfort - 1/2 passengers) can accommodate 1 to 4 passengers.

Luggage

Passengers are permitted to bring 50kg of luggage each, or 25kg per child. 

Pets

Pets may only be carried on board DFDS' routes between Newcastle and Amsterdam and Harwich and Esbjerg.

Entertainment, Food & Drink

Passengers have plenty of entertainment opportunities onboard the ship, including nightclubs, discos, a spa, cinemas, and children's club. Onboard, there are a range of restaurants to choose from, including A la Carte dining, as well as a buffet and steakhouse. The restaurants complement the range of bars also found on the ships, which include a range of wine bars and champagne bars. Passengers can bok their meals before travelling, which can save up to 25%.

Passengers are not permitted to bring their own food or drink on-board the ships, and any items found may be confiscated.

Timetable

This service operates three times each week in either direction, although this frequency increases to every two days during the summer season. 

Harwich to EsbjergEsbjerg to Harwich
Check-in from16.00Check-in from16.15
Boarding starts16.45Boarding starts18.00
Check-in closes17.00Check-in closes18.00
Boarding ends17.30Boarding ends18.30
Harwich17.45Esbjerg18.45
Esbjerg13.00 (next day)Harwich12.00 (next day)
RouteDeparture DaysArrival Days
Harwich to EsbjergWednesday, Friday, SundayThursday, Saturday, Monday
Esbjerg to HarwichTuesday, Thursday, SaturdayWednesday, Friday, Sunday

The ship sails on different days of the week depending on time of the year. To check which days the ferry is operating this month, visit the DFDS website.

From 1st November 2012, there will be no Thursday departure from Esbjerg, and no Friday departure from Harwich. On Saturdays, the ferry will depart Esbjerg at 17.15 (rather than 18.45), arriving at 11.30 the next day (rather than 12.00).

There are four sailings per week between 12th December and 22nd December.

Price

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you see it), passengers aren't allowed to share cabins with strangers, so if you are travelling alone you will need to pay for a one-person cabin, which usually works out more expensive than a multi-berth alternative

One way fares start at £62 per person each way (travelling without a car) and in Seaways Class (based on four sharing). Return fares based on two people sharing a Seaways Cabin start from around £150. Expect to double the return fare if you are planning on travelling alone.

Full pricing information can be found here.

How to Find and Book Cheap Ferry Tickets

As with most travel bookings, booking as early as possible can ensure that you get offered the cheapest fare. Generally speaking, the further in advance you book, the cheaper the fare.

When you are ready to book, make sure you book online! These days, savings in paperwork are passed on to the customer, so you can expect discounts of around 10% for booking online.

Midweek ferry crossings tend to be cheaper than other times. If you are flexible with your day of travel, try looking for sailings between Monday and Thursday for the best prices.

Some seasons are more popular than others. Travelling at off-peak times lets you take advantage of special promotions, and cheaper fares generally. The off peak seasons are generally January to March and October to December.

Tips, Questions & Comments