Review: DFDS Seaways Ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven with a Dog

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 or to fly in the cabins of planes, pu 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.

When we headed from Paris to the UK with our dog Schnitzel, it made sense to take the DFDS Seaways ferry leaving Dieppe. It’s the only ferry option between France and England that allows foot passengers to take dogs, and Dieppe is only a few hours on the train from Paris. Additionally, the crossing is fairly quick (although not as quick as some channel ferries), at just 4 hours.

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

DFDS Ferry Dieppe to Newhaven with a Dog

Booking the DFDS Seaways Ferry

Our crossing on the Dieppe to Newhaven ferry took place on a cloudy day in early May of 2017, costing us £59 for 2 adults and a dog. (The ferry fare fluctuates depending on the day and time, but the cost for a dog is always £18.)

During summer time there are three crossings daily of this ferry in each direction. We choose the convenient 12:30pm departure, that arrived in Newhaven at 3:30pm, once you allowed for the 1-hour time difference.

We were able to book our trip online, however, this option is no longer available for passengers travelling with a pet but no vehicle. Instead, call up to make a booking (0800 917 12 01).

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.

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. These are more strict when heading to the UK than when travelling in the opposite direction. 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 (standard for crossing borders in Europe), plus the worming treatment that is specially required by the UK.

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.

Then at the car deck, it’s time to leave your dog in one of the two or three kennels provided. 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 (and we couldn’t access it during the trip), 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.

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 our 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!

Overall Cost of Our Journey

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

Click here for more info about travelling with a dog on DFDS Seaways

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DFDS Ferry to Newhaven with a Dog

17 thoughts on “Review: DFDS Seaways Ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven with a Dog”

  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?

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  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!

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    • 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.

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  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!

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    • 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.

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    • 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

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      • 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!

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  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

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    • 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!

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  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.

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    • 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.

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  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.

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    • 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.)

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  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

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    • 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.

      Reply

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