DFDS Seaways Ferry with a Dog: Dieppe to Newhaven

Compared to travelling around the rest of Europe, it’s a lot harder to travel to the UK with a dog. With pet dogs not allowed on the Eurostar train to London or to fly in the cabins of planes, there’s not many options available to people travelling to the UK with a dog.

Additionally, many ferries only allow passengers with a vehicle to take pets with them, making it even harder for foot passengers. However, there are a couple of ferries that allow foot passengers to travel to the UK with a dog, including the DFDS Seaways ferry between Dieppe and Newhaven, with kennels for the pets of foot passengers.

DFDS Ferry Dieppe to Newhaven with a Dog

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links.

Why We Choose the DFDS Ferry

When we headed from Paris to the UK with our dog Schnitzel in May 2017, it made sense to take the DFDS Seaways ferry leaving Dieppe. At the time it was the only ferry option between France and England that allowed foot passengers to take dogs, which remains the case in 2023.

Dieppe is only a few hours on the train from Paris, while Newhaven is also connected by a fairly short train ride to London, with dogs allowed on each of the trains. Additionally, the crossing is fairly quick (although not as quick as some channel ferries), at just 4 hours.

Dog-friendly Paris
Dieppe is only a few hours from Paris by train

Facilities for Pets Onboard the Ferry

There are limited facilities for pets onboard the DFDS Seaways ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven. The majority of passengers taking pets onboard are travelling with a motor vehicle, and simply leave their pet in their car for the crossing.

For foot passengers, there are a small number of kennels available on the car deck. It’s required to carry your pet onboard in a carrier and then leave your pet in one of the kennels. (I’ve heard recent reports it’s now fine to just use a leash – check when booking.) When I travelled, the kennels were quite big, wire mesh cages, that I assume haven’t changed. We left our small dog in his travel case, as he’s a lot more comfortable and snug in it.

I’ve heard some reports that pets are sometimes allowed in cabins onboard, but there is no mention of this on DFDS Seaways website, and I’ve heard more recent reports stating that this isn’t possible. Double check with the staff, with unoccupied cabins often sold for cheap prices on the day of the voyage.

Booking the DFDS Seaways Ferry

At the time of our booking, it was still possible to book online to take a pet on the ferry, even if you were travelling as a foot passenger. However, this is no longer the case, with only motorists permitted to book pets online. Instead, foot passengers with a pet need to call up to make a booking.

The fee to take a pet in your vehicle is still listed as £18 in each direction, but I believe a higher fee of £22 is sometimes charged for foot passengers. The prices for foot passengers have certainly increased. While our crossing in May 2017 was £41 for two adults, in 2023 it is generally £62 for two adults. The fares can vary depending on the day and time.

During summer time there are usually three ferry crossings in each direction, reduced to two crossings daily in the winter. Back in 2017, we choose the convenient 12:30pm departure in the middle of the day, which then arrived at Newhaven at 3:30pm, once you allowed for the 1-hour time difference.

During 2023, the daytime crossing is now at 12pm, with check-in closing at 11:15am, which should still allow time to take a train from Paris in the early morning. There is also an evening and overnight crossing.

The winter crossings are not as convenient, with the choice of an early morning and evening crossing, meaning it’s not possible to journey from Paris to London in one day like we did, you would need to stay around either Dieppe or Newhaven.

Arriving at the Ferry Port in Dieppe

After catching a train at Paris St-Lazare just before 8am and changing once, we arrived at Dieppe train station at 10am. From there it was a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal, which we shared with a friendly gentleman who was familiar with the route. Be aware it’s sometimes difficult to hail a taxi at the station and allow plenty of time.

Dog travel Paris to UK
Schnitzel travelling on the train to Dieppe in his carry-bag

The check-in time normally closes 45 minutes before departure. We made sure to arrive well before the cut-off time, as we were relying on trains and also travelling with a dog.

Additionally, we had to allow time for the formalities for checking in our dog. Schnitzel’s pet passport, which he had just gotten at an English-speaking vet in Paris, was carefully checked. They checked both his rabies vaccine and the worming treatment that is specially required by the UK.

France EU Pet Passport
We presented Schnitzel’s EU Pet Passport at the ferry check-in

Pet-Friendly Accommodation in Dieppe

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. See my full disclaimer.

If you need to stay the night in Dieppe, such as if you are departing on an early ferry, a convenient option is the ibis Budget Dieppe Centre Port. This affordable hotel is just a 5 minute walk from the train station and the reception can call you a taxi for the trip to the ferry terminal. A mix of double and triple rooms are available, with an additional pet fee of about 5€ per night.

Boarding the DFDS Ferry

During embarkation, all the foot passengers took a bus to the ship’s ramp and entered through the car deck. It’s a requirement to have a travelling case for your dog for this stage – confirm when booking.

It was then time to leave our dog behind in one of the two or three kennels provided on the car deck. On our crossing, Schnitzel was the only dog – it didn’t seem like it was common for foot passengers to have dogs.

It was sad to leave Schnitzel behind by himself in the kennel area, but at least it was just a 4 hour journey ahead of us. For us, it went quite fast, between having lunch at the onboard restaurant and using our laptops in the lounge area.

The facilities are quite comfortable, with either regular seats, tables or reclining seats, and food and beverage prices are reasonable. It’s also possible to book a cabin, but we felt it wasn’t necessary for a 4 hour journey.

At the time of our crossing, it was not possible to visit the vehicle deck during the journey. However, the DFDS website these days states that those travelling with a vehicle can visit their pet in their vehicle during the crossing if accompanied by a crew member, except during the first or final hour of the crossing.

I’ve also heard reports that the same applies to pets in the kennels, although the visit is quite short and they cannot leave the car deck.

Pet travel UK
Schnitzel dreaming of the English seaside

Disembarkation at Newhaven

When we headed downstairs once we reached Newhaven in England, it was a bit confusing. The foot passengers were disembarking from a different deck, and no-one directed us to the kennel area. Upon reaching Schnitzel, we put him back into his carry-bag and then we were taken by ourselves in a mini-bus to the arrival area.

Once we had passed through immigration, it was then a short walk to Newhaven Town station. The train with 1 change to London’s Victoria Station isn’t too long, at 1 1/2 hours. Although once you took into account the metro trips in both Paris and London at either end, it was about 13 hours of travel time for both of us and our dog!

Dog-friendly London
Our final destination: London

Overall Cost of Our Journey

It’s worth noting that the costs for trains at either end aren’t included in your ferry fare and can add up. Our trains cost a total of £57 in France and £17 in the UK, both for two adults, and would have cost more if purchased on the day.

As I noted above, our ferry fare in 2017 was £59, including the £18 charge for Schnitzel. The grand total for our journey between Paris and London for two adults and one dog was £133, plus a small amount extra for metros at either end.

Find out more about travelling with a dog on DFDS Seaways

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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DFDS Ferry to Newhaven with a Dog

38 thoughts on “DFDS Seaways Ferry with a Dog: Dieppe to Newhaven”

  1. So sad we cant take our labrador skiing anymore, as we are too old to drive the distance, and this process is too complicated. We arent able to carry a lab weight 30 Kg, so how can you do this?

  2. I’ll have to do the same trip at the beginning of September with two dogs. One is a 16 kg beagle mix and the other a 12 kg dachshund mix. I don’t know how I’ll manage to carry both of them. Seems really odd that you can’t just walk your dog to the kennel or book a cabin to stay in with them – as you can do from Holland.

    In any case I’ll send news after I do it to keep everyone updated.

    That picture of Schnitzel dreaming of England is just the best! Thank you for this post!

    • Eduarda – Yeah, it is an odd requirement, I think it comes from management not the crew on the ground. I’m sure someone will help you out on the day.

    • I brought my 17kg dog back from Europe last Feb on the Dieppe- Newhaven ferry, and I certainly didn’t have to carry him aboard!

  3. So the tip I got for this ferry (and managed it twice with no problems) is to pay for a cabin on the day. No one books them since it is a 4 hour journey and on the day they are sold for about £10-20 if I remember rightly. Dogs can go in the cabins although they are meant to stay in their carry case (the door may have accidentally fallen open). I also carried my little guy around the decks and sat in some of the different areas with him in his carry case and no one batted an eyelid. I think the staff were just relieved they didn’t have to open the dog area.

    While I’m here, just to say thank you for such a wonderful resource. I travel regularly with my dog throughout Europe and the only place I have found really unpleasant was Greece where the attitude is very anti-dog. I had been put off Romania, but your post has given me fresh hope that it might not be the disaster I had imagined. Thanks for all your hard work putting this together!

    • Thanks for the tip Ade, that’s a big bargain.

      And I think my dog, Schnitzel, will agree with you about Greece, after getting clawed by a stray cat there.

      We were fine in Romania, although it’s still not as dog friendly as many European countries. Although so much depends also on the people you encounter along the way, and we met some very friendly people.

    • Thank you for this tip Ade. We are really nervous about leaving our little guy in the dog area so will be sure to request a cabin on the day. it’s really a relief to know this is an option.

      Also big thanks to you Shandos for publishing your experiences – you’re a lifesaver

      • Thank you guys so much for all of your comments. I have a trip coming up next week to the Uk and with all of the travel laws changing so much it has been a frustrating experience figuring this out. Is it important that I make a reservation for my dog ahead of time even if I plan to try and get a cabin on the way? Was everyone’s experience with this ferry good? I believe that this is the only way to get from CDG to London at the moment, or the only way that I could find.

        I also am wondering about the train or ride options getting there but that is a different story!

  4. Thank you for taking all the stress out of my trip back home to Spain with my 8 month old Ragdoll cat Otis! Since we currently live in London, we have decided to do the Newhaven to Dieppe Ferry then an overnight in Paris then Vueling flight from Paris to Malaga. Schnitzel is a well travelled little guy and so photogenic!

    Can I please ask for your recommendations for a pet carrier for Vueling please? As I cannot for the life of me find one that is their exact dimensions and I am so nervous to get all the way to Paris and not be allowed on the flight because of the height (thats the main problem).

    Any suggestions I would really appreciate thank you so much!
    Erin and Otis

    • Our carrier is actually taller than the dimensions they specify, by 2 or 3cm, but they never measured it, only sometimes checked the weight, across about 5 flights. As long as it’s soft and can squish a little (and your pup still has enough room), I wouldn’t worry. Try and get something close, but everyone else I’ve spoken to has said the same.

      Wishing you all the best!

  5. thank you so much for this detailed experience. I’m so nervous about taking mine across – especially post-brexit and the COVID pandemic, some extra hurdles to tackle.

    • It’s frustrating that things are becoming more difficult, it would be wonderful if it was easier to travel with pets to and from the Uk.

  6. Shandos, my lakeland terrier puppy is booked onto the ferry just before Christmas thanks to your blog; DFDS should give you commission tbh. Bit anxious about it, and it doesn’t help I’ve never been on a ferry before (it’s like the Titanic, right?!). Could you explain the kennel area to me, please? Does my pup need to stay in her travel case (which I am yet to buy btw – any recommendations?) – or do you just put her in what I assume is a cage, with anything you want to leave with her e.g. bedding, toys? I find the DFDS website a bit vague with all the details inc. checking in (if that’s what you call it for a ferry?) – how early would you recommend getting there for example? Noticed you’d replied to a recent post so hoping you’ll see this – thanks and advance.

    • The DFDS ferry isn’t quite as fancy and big as the Titanic, but it should be a lot smoother on the Channel. We just sat in the lounge area, which was like an extended stay in an airport terminal, but the view gradually changed.

      The kennel area is downstairs along with the cars. When I travelled, the kennels were quite big, wire mesh cages, I assume they haven’t changed. We left our small dog in his travel case, as he’s a lot more comfortable and snug in it. The option is up to you. With checking in, it’s best to get there earlier than the recommended time (perhaps 45 minute cut-off?), so they can check your pet’s paperwork. We arrived well in advance because of the timing of the train.

      Enjoy your trip! (And I actually get commission on some ferry trips if you book online, but for this one you need to call up to book with pets.)

  7. I don‘t know how you‘ve managed to book this! Please help!!
    Whenever I try to book as a foot passenger it wont give me the option to go with a pet.
    I usually do the Stena Line trip but I’m trying to find another alternative but nothing seems to be working. Please can you advise me on anything. I live in Switzerland

    • Since I last travelled on this ferry, they’ve changed the rules that you can now only book as a foot passenger with a pet by calling up the call centre. I recommend calling the number listed on the website.

  8. Such lovely blog.
    I have just travelled with my dog from
    Paris to UK today reading your blog this weekend.
    I booked online as it was on Friday evening that I read this and called this morning to add Bidou in my booking as they closed on weekends. My journey however was a bit long as I was anxious to be late so I left paris way earlier and arrived in Dieppe, unfortunately no taxi available, no Uber in Dieppe so I walked from the train station to the ferry. (I do walk a lot so it wasn’t that bad especially with the nice weather not too hot nor cold)
    We are arriving in Newhaven in the next 45 mins and I couldn’t be more happier.
    PS: The cost is a bit higher. 38 € for me and 22€ for Bidou.

    • Thanks for the update on price, I’ll update this soon. That’s unfortunate that there were no taxis available, lucky you had time to walk. We also made sure we arrived in plenty of time as I also worry about connections like that!

  9. Hi Schandos,
    Very nice blog and how helpful as you describe perfectly the journey.

    My miniature dachshund, Rodrigue, and I already travelled 4/5 times via this route from Paris to London. It is quite a long journey in between the trains, the taxi, the boat, and again the two trains to London (especially for Rodrigue) and obviously always traumatic for him as well when he has to stay in the kennel in the middle of the cars with a lot of unexpected and unfamiliar noises around him…but well, unfortunately that’s the only way to get home to the UK when traveling as a foot passenger.

    You can now visit your dog 1 time (for like 2 minutes…) during the crossing escorted by a crew member but honestly it makes me so sad to see him there all alone that I’m no longer going downstairs during the cruise.

    We are actually traveling back to the UK this sunday, and I saw a comment about keeping the dog in the cabin. I’ll ask if this is possible, I hope so 🙂

    Thank you again for all your great tips X

    • Thanks for the update on visiting dogs! Although I agree with you that I would probably skip visiting, unless there’s a medical or other reason, as many dogs would become unsettled after a visit. Let me now about the cabin!

  10. Hi,

    I am due to take this journey from UK to France, as foot passenger with my mini dachshund with separation anxiety. I didn’t know that I could only have access to my dog in the kennel area once during the entire trip. That’s making me a bit worried already.

    Another thing is, with the current hot weather, is the kennel area well ventilated? Do they keep it cool or is it just quite crude for the dogs?

    I called up customer center, the lady said ‘yes we have had dogs died during the trip, not sure if it’s overheating or other conditions’ that comment is making me questioning this whole arrangement and considering cancelling my whole paid for holiday!

    Please can people tell me if heat/ventilation is fine for heat/summer weather? Don’t want to go on holiday and end up with a dead dog?!!

    • When I travelled with DFDS, there wasn’t any extra cooling, but it was a large area, that seemed well ventilated. I was travelling during a cool, cloudy spring day though, when heat wasn’t a concern. If there’s a chance of warm weather, it’s better to take an evening or night time ferry.

  11. Hi Taha,

    Was wondering if you were able to book a cabin on the day of your travel! About to do the trip next week with my pup and really hoping that the cabin option is still viable!


  12. Sorry for the lengthy email.
    First, thank you so very much for spelling out/listing in order. Makes it so much easier. I took my chihuahua 3 years ago to Paris on Delta/Air France( direct flight). To my understanding Delta will no longer fly animals in cabin for flights longer than eight hours.

    Biscuit is now 11 and in good health. He did well it was easy in France. He also got a European microchip. For the life of me I can’t understand why they make it incredibly hard if you have the rabies and tapeworm treatment.

    We are talking about visiting the UK (mostly Scotland). It sounds crazy!!! It almost feels like their not pet friendly. Probably one of the hardest things it seems is leaving the pooch in the kennel.

    If you don’t mind me asking. What did the flight fee cost for taking a in cabin pet? It also sounds like one has to call around in Paris to find an English speaking vet that agrees to provide a passport when you’re not a resident?

    Also did you take a connecting fly to break things up or direct flight. Trying to think about how long Biscuit would actually be in a carrier…move around, stretch and potty.

    Thank you for all your help😁
    Best regards,
    Kem Turner

    • The pet fee varies by airline. I’m pretty sure Delta still flies pets in the cabin from the USA to Europe, unless they’ve changed this recently, plus a number of European airlines will do this.

      To travel to the UK, you can get a UK pet health certificate completed, it’s become difficult to get an EU pet passport if you’re not a resident, particularly in France, due to Brexit.

      I’ve only flown once with my dog from Europe to NYC, a direct flight from Paris.

  13. Help! I am planning to fly with my dog from the US to Paris, then take a train straight on to Dieppe and this ferry to the UK. I need to get a European health certificate in the US so that my dog can enter France. Will I then need to get another separate health certificate or a pet passport in France so that my dog can board the ferry to the UK? Or will the European health certificate suffice so long as it has proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and tape worming treatment? Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, you’ll need a 2nd Great Britain health certificate. See if you can get this in the US as well (just keep in mind the time frame for the worming treatment). Otherwise get the certificate or perhaps an EU pet passport in France.

  14. Thank so much for the advice in this article and the blog! It was super useful indeed. I managed to get my pup from Lisbon to London in one day – early 6am flight to Paris on Transavia, then four trains took us to Dieppe where we got the ferry. It was £31 for me as a foot passenger and £18 for the dog. She had to stay in the kennel on the car deck – they are definitely not allowed in the cabins upstairs. Poor thing howled throughout the 4 hour journey! But then we were reunited and two more trains got us home to London at around 11.30pm. Long day but worth it!

    • Wow, now that’s a long day! I’m so glad that everything worked out for you with that many connections. I thought our day from Paris to London was long, but I guess it would have been easier to negotiate the tube outside of evening peak hour!

      That’s no good to hear that your dog howled during the ferry. But at least it’s only a few hours, not an overnight journey.

  15. Hey! Thanks so much for all this information. I am trying to travel with my Doberman/whippet mix (20 kg) from Norway to Scotland. Since flying into the UK is not an option, this seems to be the only feasible way to make this trip. I have a pet passport issued in Mexico, which allowed me to enter Norway with the dog. I have 2 questions.
    1: Would the pet passport issued in Mexico Suffice? or would I have to get a European Pet passport issued in Norway plus extra certificates, vaccines etc?
    2: When travelling from Norway to Paris, I will bring a large crate for the dog. Will this crate also be necessary to board the ferry? I read other comments on how people carry their dogs onboard to the kennel area, but you also mention that that dog needs to board in a crate. How strict is this? I want to avoid having to carry around this large crate.

    Again, thanks for this detailed explanation. Its been a great help.

    • Hi Tom,
      I’m not sure what you mean by a pet passport issued in Mexico – I’m guessing you mean a Norway pet health certificate? I’m not familiar with the pet health certificate for Norway, just the EU pet health certificate – which is then valid for 4 months for further travel around the EU.

      I suspect you’ll need to get an EU pet health certificate issued in Norway or the Norway pet passport, which is interoperable with the EU pet passports. This can be used to travel to the EU. But then since the UK has left the EU, you need to get a GB health certificate from the vet or use an EU pet passport to enter. (I assume a Norway pet passport will be okay.) Plus you’ll need a worming treatment done by a vet between 24 hours and 5 days of entering the UK.

      With the DFDS ferry, the requirement for a crate seems to not always be enforced – it’s hard to tell. I recommend calling up and asking DFDS.

      Also, another option to consider is the DFDS Ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle, as it’ll deliver you closer to your destination of Scotland. They also have pet-friendly cabins and I believe they have a lot more pets travel on this route, plus the ferry terminal is a lot closer to Amsterdam airport.

      Hope this helps! Shandos

  16. I live in the UK and I am looking to adopt a street dog from Morocco.

    As I can’t fly with her directly into London, I was thinking of flying into Paris and then taking a ferry as a foot passenger… I was discouraged from my initial search suggesting that no ferry would allow us on board without a vehicle, but then I found your post and was so relieved!

    Thank you so, so much for sharing this wealth of information. It gives me such peace of mind to read about your experience on the DFDS Dieppe — New Haven route.

    I also read about you being able to get a EU pet passport for Schnitzel, which is something I was tempted to consider toding too… Would you be able to share the details of the english-speaking vet? And/or advice if you reckon this is still possible to do as UK-resident only travelling through France?

    Any info on this would be hugely appreciated!
    Best wishes,

    • Chiara – Thanks for your kind words! It’s been quite a few years since we got our pet passport and not as many French vets give them these days. I believe there are possible contact details in the EU pet passport post? Otherwise I recommend asking in my FB group for recent experiences.

  17. Hi Shandos, Thanks for this great review, it’s so useful!! I just booked tickets for the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry as a foot passenger with my Labrador (apparently you don’t need to carry them in a carrier anymore, just on a leash). I had to book a kennel for her. However, I started to get a little worried now reading some previous comments and online articles of people saying their dogs suffered heat while locked in the kennels or in vehicles. How was your experience? Was the area venitlated enough? We’re travelling early in June with the first 9:30AM ferry so it shouldn’t be too hot, I hope…It’s also my dog’s first time travelling this way so I’m sure it will be already stressful for her to be alone in the kennel for a few hours.

    • I think during the morning in early June you’ll be fine. We travelled in May during the middle of the day (the old ferry schedule) and it was a grey and cool day. The area was quite large, so I wasn’t worried about ventilation. Check the weather in advance, and speak to the ferry staff if you are concerned – you may be able to check during the voyage.


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