The Hull to Zeebrugge ferry crossings is now the only route from UK to Belgium, since the Ramsgate to Ostend route closed in April this year. The Hull Zeebrugge route is a great option for travellers from the north of England and Scotland who want to take their car, motorbike or caravan to the continent – Dover is a further 4 hour drive south from Hull, with the busy south east of England road network to contend with in between. The Zeebrugge ferry is also a great option for foot passengers, cyclists and for those looking for a special mini cruise that can include some sight-seeing in the beautiful Belgium town of Bruges.
|Hull to Zeebrugge||Up to 6 per week||14 hours 30 minutes||P&O|
How long is the ferry crossing from Hull to Zeebrugge?
The crossing takes 14 and a half hours on average, although this can vary depending on many things, especially the weather. Crossings at the weekends are a little longer than weekdays.
Does the ferry sail overnight?
Yes, at the time of writing, the ferry departs Hull in the evening at 18:30 and arrives in Zeebrugge at 08:45 the next morning during the week, and at 09:30 on Saturday and Sunday sailings.
When can I check in?
P and O state that you can check-in any time during the afternoon of the day of the departure. His makes your drive to the port a little bit easier since you don’t need to worry if you get there too early. You can get on board, get comfortable in your cabin, then off to explore the ship’s facilities. Check-in for the crossing closes at 17:00
Do I need to book a cabin?
All prices on the Hull to Zeebrugge crossing include a standard cabin. These are comfortable enough, but if you are looking for a bit of extra comfort, there is the option to upgrade to a Premier, or even better, a Club cabin, which includes a TV, kettle (for tea and coffee) and fresh fruit.
Hull to Zeebrugge Timetable
The ferry travels every day, overnight, and arrives at Zeebrugge in the morning. The sailing times are quite convenient, as they mean you can relax, eat and sleep onboard, and wake up refreshed in the morning for your onward journey.
Hull to Zeebrugge
Arrives: 08:45 (09:30 Saturday and Sunday)
Zeebrugge to Hull
Arrives: 08:30 (09:00 Saturday and Sunday)
All times are local and are subject to change. Last check-in times are 90 minutes before departure time.
Booking your Hull to Zeebruge Ferry
We have included some information below about all the things to consider before making your booking, plus all the different types of tickets and fares available.
Our Tips on Finding the Best Deals:
When it comes to looking for the best deals on fares, we suggest:
- Go direct to P&O ferries to see what prices are available as a starting point
- Consider alternative crossings, such as Hull to Rotterdam
- Compare the various North Sea ferry crossings using a ticket booking agent such as Direct Ferries
- Consider a Mini Cruise offer (usually without car)
- Look out for P&O 2 for 1 offers (often late season, eg: from September)
- Look out for P&O Long Break offers (usually a 5 day trip)
Other money saving tips
- Save 10% on meals if you book them in advance
- Consider travelling as a foot passenger and using P&O’s coach transfer to get to Bruge
- Since the ferry travels overnight, the cheaper inside cabins (no window) might be fine for your trip, since there’s not much to see in the dark
- Sometimes it’s possible to upgrade your cabin when you board the ship. This can also work out cheaper, but remember, it is a risk and does depend on availability
It is possible to book on the Hull Zeebrugge crossing as a foot passenger. The price will still include a standard cabin. Booking as a foot passenger is a popular choice for those wanting to make a short city break or day trip to Bruges, the beautiful town in northern Belgium. P&O make this very easy to do as they offer coach transfers from the ferry port to Bruges and back. Note that coach transfers should be booked in advance, preferably when you make your ferry booking. At the time of writing, the price of the coach transfer from Zeebrugge ferry port to Bruges was £6.75.
There is also an equivalent coach transfer service offered by P&O between York and Hull. Again, if you want to take advantage of this, you must book it via P&O in advance.
Bruges Day Trips
The departure and arrival times of the ferries mean that it is possible to make a short day trip to Bruges by ferry. You will arrive at 08:45 and need to be back to check-in at 17:30 at the latest.
Bikes and Cyclists
Cyclists are allowed to take their bikes on the ferry, at little or no extra cost. You will need to include your bike in your ferry booking, pretty much as you would a car. However, there is a slight anomaly with P&O’s booking for bicycles. At the time of writing it seems their system is set up perfectly for a booking of, say, 4 people with one car. But when it comes to 4 people with four bikes? That was a bit more tricky, and returned the message “Please book any extra passengers separately as foot passengers”. The best way around this that we could find was to make 4 bookings separately, or to call them.
Zeebrugge is a great starting point for a cycling tour. If fact it’s one of the best. Why? Because when you dock at Zeebrugge you are right on the North Sea cycle Route – an amazing route that goes as far around the North Sea as possible, taking in a wide range of countries (6 in total), including Scotland, England, Belgium of course, and ending in Norway. Of course you might not want to venture quite that far. But right from the start you’ll be enjoying some beautiful coastal views of Belgium and cycling into the Netherlands and the Rhine delta region.
Taking bikes on a bike rack or roof rack on your car is also possible. However you must specify this when making your booking and know the full height and length of your vehicle (including roof and bike racks) in metres in order to complete your booking.
It is possible to book motorbikes with P&O on the Hull to Zeebrugge route, and motorcycle fares are a little cheaper than charges for cars. Taking a motorcycle on the Hull to Zeebrugge ferry is quite a popular choice, since Zeebrugge is a good starting point for many great motorcycling routes, including the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which is about 2.5 hours away. Plus you can take in Ghent, Brussels, Leuven (beer) and Liege along the way.
Pets are allowed on the ferry, but must be left in kennels for the duration of the crossing. The kennels are air conditioned and situated on the vehicle decks. There is a charge for pets (at the time of writing it was £17 each way). There are no restrictions or charges for guide dogs. Horses and horse boxes can only be booked by telephone.
Caravans and Motor homes
Caravans and motor homes can be accommodated on the ferry crossing. Be prepared when making your booking so that you have all the necessary details, in particular the height and length of the vehicle in metres (metric). You will need to include any roof rack, roof box or roof mounted cycles in the measurements.
Vans and Larger Vehicles
Cars over 1.8 metres in height can be accommodated but you will need to specify the extra height in the booking. Likewise cars with trailers. Horse trailers and boxes can only be booked by telephone, whether empty or occupied.
Vans and larger vehicles can also be booked on the ferry. As with the larger vehicles mentioned above, you will need to know the height and length of the vehicle in metres in order to make your booking. Also please note that, as with all ferry operators, P&O have strict rules regarding bookings for tourism and for freight. Any vehicle (of any size) carrying commercial goods on either crossing must be booked as freight. Also any commercial type vehicle longer than 6.5 metres must be booked as freight. Freight bookings for P&O can be found here.
Travelling with Children
Hopefully with a comfortable cabin, children will be able to sleep for much of the way. But before bed, there are quite a few things to keep the kids happy during the crossing. There are play areas on-board, some special children’s shows, video games, cinema, and organised activities such as face painting and balloon modelling. During summer crossings there’s also a kids entertainer.
The Kitchen restaurant offers a kids’ menu so the whole family can enjoy sitting down to an evening meal. Children’s meals are priced at £9.50 for dinner and £5.00 for breakfast. P&O offer free baby food for families travelling with young babies.
Travel cots are available for those who need them, although these can be a real squeeze to get into the standard cabins, and usually have to be placed in between the bunks.
You will need to book a berth for each child, even infants (aged 0 to 3 years) in the travelling party. In other words, you aren’t able to book, for example, a 2 berth cabin if you are a couple travelling with a baby and instead you will need to book at least a 4 berth cabin.
The different types of cabins are listed elsewhere on this page, but to summarise, they start at standard, then premium then club. There are family cabins on-board (usually 5 berth), which you can specify at the time of booking (if available). Many travellers we have spoken to feel the club cabins offer a good choice and more room. As for the standard and premium, there isn’t that much difference between them, apart from better quality bunks. Both are en-suite, and it’s possible to book a sea view for either cabin type.
Food and Drink
There is a café on-board, serving a choice of drinks, snacks and pastries.
There are also 2 bars on-board. The Piano Bar offers a quieter, more relaxed choice, and the Sunset Show Bar includes cabaret and music.
There are also 2 restaurants on-board; The Kitchen and The Brasserie.
At the time of writing, dinner was priced at £18.50 and breakfast at £10.50 in The Kitchen. It’s more of a cafeteria type place, and offers a varied “ eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet” with food from around the world. There’s also a roast dinner available, and a salad bar. It’s possible to save 10% of meal prices if you book your meals in advance, which is best done at the same time you book your journey and ferry ticket.
This restaurant offers a similar type of menu to the famous Langan’s Brasserie in London. There’s a great choice of steaks and some fine wines available from the menu. The Brasserie offers a relaxed atmosphere, with waiter service. There is a copy of the menu here to give you an idea of choice and prices.
The quality of the cabins is extremely important on a ferry crossing such as the Hull Zeebrugge route. Since the ferry only travels overnight, a poor cabin means a poor night’s sleep, making any onward journey far less enjoyable.
A standard cabin is included automatically as part of any booking – it’s not possible to book a ticket without a cabin. All the cabins offer towels (no need to bring your own) and an ensuite shower room. The grades of cabins are: standard, premium and club.
Standard – 2 or 4 bunks with ensuite. At the time of booking you can choose an inside or outside view, if still available.
Premium – 2, 4 or 5 bunk, with similar facilities to the standard (and choice of inside or outside view), apart from better quality bunks. Obviously if you are part of a group of 5 you’ll need to go for the premium cabin.
Club – These are quieter and more spacious. They have a colour TV, mini bar (at the time of writing), sea view, fresh fruit, plus a kettle with tea and coffee. They have a better quality of toiletries, bed linen and towels too.
Tips on choosing the right cabin:
Standard, Premium or Club? Many travellers we spoke to felt that the difference in class between standard and premium wasn’t so great. An upgrade from standard to club is far more likely to be worthwhile, and conducive to a relaxing journey.
Remember that the ferry travels overnight. It will be dark for most of your trip, so a cabin with sea view isn’t hugely beneficial.
You can upgrade from a standard cabin to a premium or club when you make your booking. But sometimes it’s possible to upgrade your cabin when you board the ship. In fact this can often work out a cheaper way to upgrade, but remember, it does depend on availability and could be a risk. If you have set your heart on a club class cabin, it would be best to book it at the same time you book your ticket.
Be aware that this is a ship with 2 restaurants and 2 bars, travelling overnight with nearly 1,000 passengers onboard. Unfortunately some of the standard and premium cabins are quite near to the bar areas and therefore might be noisy, until closing time at least. If a quiet night’s sleep is hugely important, then consider booking a club class cabin, which P&O say are all located in the “quiet section” of the ship.
There is a cinema on-board showing recent film releases. There is also a casino, video games arcade, a shop with a big choice of perfume, some toys, books, newspapers and magazines. The main lounge sometimes offers bingo and quizzes.
For more practical things, there is also a cash machine ATM, money changing facilities and e-top up facility.
At the time of writing there was no Wi-Fi on board the ship.
The Pride of Bruges and Pride of York are the vessels used for the Hull Zeebrugge crossings. They were originally built in the mid 1980s but upgraded for service on their current route in 2007. Both are almost 180 metres long, hold around 1,000 passengers and 850 cars.
Sea Sickness and Rough Crossings
Many sufferers from sea sickness or travel sickness may have some trepidation about taking an overnight ferry across the North Sea. Of course there may be some rough crossings, which are more likely during the winter months than summer. However, both ships (Pride of York and Bruges) are built for these kinds of seas and hold very steady (they have a gross tonnage of 31,000 plus) despite some rough water.
Moving on from Zeebrugge
If you are travelling onwards from Zeebrugge, it’s very easy to access a number of major European cities. Between Zeebrugge and Bruges is a motorway which will get you to most places in Europe. Other motorways surrounding the town will connect you with places such as Calais, Lille, and Ostend. Take the N31 to Brugge, which is only 8 miles away as the crow flies. Zurich is a 365 mile drive, Nurnberg is a 371 mile drive, and Paris is a 189 mile drive.
About P&O Ferries
P&O Ferries are one of the oldest ferry operators in the world. In fact, as you can see from the video below, they have recently celebrated their 175th Anniversary.