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

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 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

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