You would think that taking your camper van from the UK to Scandinavia via ferry would be a simple task of making a quick ferry booking online. Not any longer. Ferry routes from Scotland and England to Norway used to exist, now there are no passenger ferries from anywhere in the UK to anywhere in Scandinavia.
Unbelievable but true. Adamant that I wanted to take Horace my camper van to Norway without having to drive all the way there through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, I persisted.
I explored every possibility to get my camper van to Norway. I contacted several UK passenger ferry companies to be greeted with the same disappointing response. I contacted smaller harbours in Scotland to see if any smaller vessels headed to Scandinavia on a more ad hoc basis, the same response. I double checked to see if the Orkney Islands and Shetlands Islands had any ferries leaving to the colder climes of Scandinavia, again, NO.
Then luck should have it, I was sharing my travel frustrations with a friend who works in freight forwarding and he suggested that I ship my camper van as freight to Norway then fly out there. Ridiculous, I exclaimed, it would cost a fortune. However, two days later desperation and curiosity got the better of me. I googled freight ferries from the UK to Norway. A quick call to DFDS Seaways to see if I could ship an unaccompanied camper van from the UK to Norway. The answer …. YES.
HOORAY! I was going to Norway, well Horace was, I still needed to get there. The booking office informed me that I could ship my camper van from Immingham in the UK to Brevik in Norway. Sailings are twice a week (on a Wednesday and Sunday).
How much does it cost to take your camper van on a ferry from the UK to Norway?
Not as much as you would think. It costs £420 each way to ship a camper van or motorhome under 6 metres long. The total price there and back is £840. Not expensive given that the cost of hiring a camper van in Norway for a week is almost £2,000.
How do you get to Norway and how to collect your camper van ……?
Your camper van will arrive at Brevik docks, 132 miles south from Oslo (Gardermoen) Airport. There is another airport called Oslo Torp Airport which is conveniently located 32 miles north of Brevik docks. Would you believe that our good friends at Ryan Air fly to Oslo Torp Airport from the UK. You’ve got to love Ryan Air at this point for it’s keenness to deposit unsuspecting travellers in out of the way locations! Flights from Manchester to Oslo Torp can be booked for as little as £30 return.
The 32 mile trip from the airport to the docks can be done by taxi, although this will cost you £99 each way, it takes 35 minutes (not 1hr 15min as the Google map below indicates). Public transport takes much longer and is very expensive.
Things to be aware of …….
Don’t get confused when booking your flight, you want to fly to Oslo Torp Airport not Oslo (Gardermoen) Airport.
Brevik docks are closed on a Saturday and Sunday, although you can make arrangements to collect or drop off your camper at an additional charge (I think about £100).
Your camper van requires an MOT certificate to make the booking.
The ferry cost does not include shipping your gas bottle. Some of the crossings (those not stopping at Gothenberg, Sweden) will allow gas bottles but they must be declared as Dangerous Goods. There is a £40 charge for this each way and you must provide Dangerous Goods Notes, Safety Data Sheets and appropriate hazardous stickers. There is a caravan shop less than a mile from Brevik docks where you can buy a gas bottle and return it at the end of your trip for a partial refund.
You must have a high vis jacket with you when you drop off and collect your vehicle at both docks and proper shoes, you get shouted at if you turn up in flip flops!
Has anyone actually done this trip?
I visited Norway in September 2017. I successfully shipped Horace my camper van from Immingham to Brevik without any problems. I flew from Manchester to Oslo Torp via Ryan Air. Luckily the timings of the ferries and flights work perfectly together, but sshhhhhhhhh, don’t tell Ryan Air or they’ll hike the price up. The dropping off and collection of the camper van went smoothly. The return journey by the same route was equally as smooth.
Norway is an absolutely amazing country to explore by camper van. Before I left the UK someone told me to imagine the best bits of scenery in Scotland, Wales, the lakes and the Yorkshire dales, put them all together and this is the worst bit of Norway. They were right! Norway is endlessly stunning, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
By Ana – The CamperVana
REALLY USEFUL INFO AND CONTACT DETAILS:
Timetable of DFDS ferries from Immingham to Brevik and vice versa – click here
DFDS Seaways UK booking office contact number: 01469 552616
Bamble local taxi firm in Brevik, contact: +473596022
Caravan Shop near Brevik Docks (stockists of gas bottles). Address: Heistaddalen 37, 3940 Porsgrunn, Norway. Contact number: +47 35 56 98 90. Website: www.heistadbilcaravan.no