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Folkestone - Boulogne ferry

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Folkestone - Boulogne ferry
Location Map ( geo)
Folkestone Harbour 1980 - Geograph - 63040.jpg
The Ferry in 1980
Cameraicon.png View gallery (1)
From:  Folkestone
To:  Boulogne-sur-Mer
Distance:  52.9 km (32.9 miles)
Kent • France
Error: France is not a county
Current Operator
Sealink, Hoverspeed
On road(s)
A260, N1 (France)
Crossings related to the A260
Crossings related to the N1 (France)

The Folkestone - Boulogne was a former Sealink and Hoverspeed route. A Ro/Ro linkspan was built at Folkestone in 1972 allowing modern ferries to berth. Until the construction of the Channel Tunnel, and A16 and A26 Motorways, coupled with the opening up of Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall and associated changes in transport patterns, Boulogne was in years past a more attractive port than Calais, with better rail links to Paris.

However, the port lost a lot of custom when the Channel Tunnel opened, and profitability was also reduced by the ceasing of duty free between EU states and a reduction in 'booze cruises' with onboard sales. The opening of the A20 dual carriageway to Dover docks as an extension of the M20 further served to increase the convenience to motorists of Dover as a port.

In 1991, Stena Line (who had acquired Sealink a year earlier) closed the route to concentrate on Dover - Calais, leaving Hoverspeed as the only operator with its catamaran service.

Hoverspeed finally axed the route in its entirity late in the year 2000, meaning that there were no further scheduled services from Folkestone.

There has been subsequent interest in reopening a ferry crossing from Folkestone; however, it has not been calculated to be profitable, with the Channel Tunnel and ferries from Dover operating nearby.


British Side

Route To Notes


London, Canterbury, Dover (A20, M20)


Hastings (A259)

French Side

Route To Notes


A16, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Dunkerque, St Omer, Remis, Paris


Name IMO Operator Dates Notes
St Anselm 7813937 Sealink 1990-1991
Vortigern 6910960 Sealink 1979-1988 Built as a dual purpose rail and ro/ro ferry. Also served on other routes during this period
Hengist 7205063 Sealink
Stena Line
1972-1991 Also operated on Folkestone - Calais route during this period. While operating on this route, the Hengist was caught in the great storm of October 1987 and beached without power between Dover and Folkestone.
Horsa 7205075 Sealink
Stena Line
1972-1991 Also operated on Folkestone - Calais route during this period.


Folkestone - Boulogne ferry
Related Pictures
View gallery (1)
Folkestone Harbour 1980 - Geograph - 63040.jpg
Other nearby roads
NCN2 • A20 • A259 • A260 • A2033 • A2034 • B2011 • B2061 • B2062 • B2063 • B2064 • B2170 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • E15 • M20 • T4 (Britain) • T37 (Britain)
Crossings of the English Channel
Kent and SussexRamsgate to Ostend • Dover to Zeebrugge • Dover to Ostend • Dover to Dunkerque • Dover to Calais • Dover to Boulogne • Dover to Dieppe • Euroroute • Channel Tunnel • Folkestone to Ostend • Folkestone to Calais • Folkestone to Boulogne • Lydd to Le Touquet • Newhaven to Dieppe
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