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Have yourselves a merry little Christmas with DFDS Seaways

Date published: 31 October 2011.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the High Street this Christmas by sampling the festive atmosphere at a European Christmas market. DFDS Seaways recommends some top destinations to choose from, all just a short trip across the Channel. Fares start from just £29* each way for a car and up to four passengers.

The low-cost ferry operator runs up to 12 crossings a day from Dover to Dunkirk, putting you in the perfect place to explore areas of France, Belgium and beyond. Crossings take around two hours, and with plenty of family friendly facilities and restaurants, you can get into the Christmas spirit as soon as you step onboard.

Chris Newey, Passenger Director, DFDS Seaways - English ChannelChris Newey, Passenger Director, English Channel at DFDS Seaways, said:

Travelling by ferry is an ideal way to start your Christmas shopping trip for friends and families – offering a great sailing experience, coupled with plenty of events and markets happening across the Channel. It’s a great way to stock up on unusual toys and stocking fillers, and enjoy a short break at the same time! Plus, you have no luggage restrictions, you can carry just as much as you can fit in your vehicle!


Lille Christmas Market (One hour’s drive from Dunkirk port)

Open: 19th November-30th December 2011

This market takes place on the main square, which is transformed into a winter wonderland, dominated by an 18 metre high Christmas tree, and a Ferris wheel. Surrounding the square are 83 wooden chalets bursting with Christmas decorations and festive food, as well as local arts and crafts.

Shop windows compete to be the most original, and with 3,900 shops in the city, there is something for everyone, regardless of taste and budget.

Bruges Christmas Market (One hour’s drive from Dunkirk port)

Open: 25th November – 3rd January 2012

Bruges Christmas Market is situated in a beautiful part of the picturesque city, with its cobbled streets and historic buildings. In fact, it has been named as one of the prettiest Christmas markets in this part of Europe!

The market is on the main square in the city and forms a ring around a specially constructed open-air ice rink. It has traditional Christmas market stalls, selling treats such as Gluhwein and other festive gifts and crafts.

Starting this November and running through to January is also the city's annual Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, which really adds to the winter celebrations. This festival is a real must-see – talented sculptors use 300 tons of crystal-clear ice and 400 tons of fresh snow to make their creations, adding to the city’s winter charm.

Dunkirk Christmas Market (20 minutes drive from Dunkirk port)

Open: 13th December – 24th December 2011

An authentic and colourful Christmas market with 41 exhibitors selling local food, gingerbread, craft items, sculptures, champagne, mulled wine, jewellery, gifts and Christmas decorations. Plus, there is a funfair from 20th December to 11th January 2012.

Ghent Christmas Market (One hour 20 minutes drive from Dunkirk port)

Open: 9th December – 30th December 2011

Ghent is a quaint city, which has managed to preserve its medieval charm with its cobbled streets and winding canals. The city welcomes the festive season with its traditional winter market stalls, set in wooden huts, selling decorations, hand-made gifts and food. Visitors can browse the market whilst being serenaded by a choir singing Christmas carols.

There is also the opportunity to skate around the open-air ice rink to the sounds of jazz, folk and rock from live performances.

As the only ferry operator to sail to Dunkirk, DFDS Seaways passengers also benefit from the convenience of arriving at a port that has little of the congestion associated with busier ports, such as Calais, despite being only 20 miles away.

For more information about DFDS Seaways, or to find out about the latest sailing times and book tickets, visit www.dfdsseaways.co.uk or telephone 0871 574 7241.




*Terms and conditions apply, please visit www.dfdsseaways.co.uk for more information.

For more information, please contact Sarah Whelband or Ryan Jones on 01732 779 087 or email sarahw@westgatecomms.com / ryan@westgatecomms.com

About DFDS Seaways

DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company.

DFDS Seaways operates a network of 30 routes with 60 freight and passenger ships, while DFDS Logistics provides freight solutions in Europe with trailers, containers, and rail.

DFDS Seaways was named as the only recommended ferry operator by Which? Travel (July 2011). In the UK, the company operates passenger services on routes from Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam, and Harwich to Esbjerg.

DFDS Seaways and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group have recently submitted a joint bid for certain assets of SeaFrance, which is currently under review by the relevant competition authorities, as well as other stakeholders.

DFDS Seaways Dover-Dunkirk carried record car passenger numbers of 100,000 per week over the busy summer period this year, and is continuing to grow its market share of the car passenger English Channel market.

For further information, visit www.dfdsseaways.co.uk