More ferries plying between the Netherlands and the UK

The ferry from Hoek van Holland to Harwich.
© Hollandse Hoogte
The number of people travelling by ferry from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom and vice versa has risen again in recent years. Altogether, 1.9 million people opted for this mode of transport last year, i.e. 5 percent more than in 2014. During the first six months of 2016, the number of ferry passengers also increased, by over 3 percent relative to the same period last year, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) at the launch of a special Brexit Monitor.
More than one-quarter of Dutch visitors to the UK in 2015 travelled by ferry. The majority (59 percent) travelled by plane. Nearly 14 percent took the train through the Channel Tunnel.
Only 1 in 20 UK visitors to the Netherlands (2 million in 2015) arrived by ferry, two-thirds by plane.

The number of ferry passengers to and from the UK has declined steadily in the period 1993-2009. The opening of the Eurotunnel in 1994 and the success of low-cost carriers provided more opportunities to travellers to and from the UK.

Ferry passengers to and from the UK
Ferry passengers to and from the UK
 Number of passengers
19852.19
19862.208
19872.085
19882.204
19892.351
19902.496
19912.52
19922.543
19932.512
19941.948
19952.038
19962.001
19971.952
19981.833
19991.943
20001.994
20012.026
20022.192
20032
20042
20051.94
20061.984
20071.671
20081.76
20091.598
20101.82
20111.65
20121.695
20131.708
20141.786
20151.883

More ferry traffic in summer period

Ferry traffic peaks in summer as many people go on holiday. Forty percent of Dutch ferry passengers travelling to the UK are holidaymakers. Throughout the year, business travellers (nearly 30 percent) and people visiting family and friends (more than 25 percent) cross the Channel by ferry. Last year, ferry operators carried 357 thousand cars across the Channel.


Ferry passengers to and from the UK
Ferry passengers to and from the UK
 Travelling to UKTravelling from UK
2011 Q1154150
2011 Q2185241
2011 Q3266266
2011 Q4199189
2012 Q1168158
2012 Q2224229
2012 Q3249259
2012 Q4212196
2013 Q1180160
2013 Q2239223
2013 Q3261270
2013 Q4187187
2014 Q1191158
2014 Q2231243
2014 Q3259291
2014 Q4209204
2015 Q1168159
2015 Q2265254
2015 Q3291326
2015 Q4202217
2016 Q1190181
2016 Q2247255

Ferry traffic United Kingdom

In 2015 ferry operators carried more than 21 million individuals from all over Europe to the UK and vice versa. Nearly three-quarters of them travelled between the United Kingdom and France. Just under 1 in 10 sailed to or from a Dutch seaport. In 2015 approximately 250 thousand German citizens travelled by ferry to and from the UK through Dutch seaports.

Ferry passengers UK, by origin or destination, 2015
Ferry passengers UK, by origin or destination, 2015
 Share
France73.363
Ireland12.924
Netherlands9.109
Belgium1.649
Spain1.447
Other1.477

Related items