Ferries and cruises to Jersey, Channel Islands

The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is part French, part British. Its full name is the Bailiwick of Jersey (meaning it is under the jurisdiction of a bailiff), and it sits just off the north coast of France.

Jersey is part of the Duchy of Normandy, ruled by the Duke of Normandy who is, perhaps surprisingly given the ‘maleness’ of the title, Queen Elizabeth II.

Contrary to popular belief, Jersey is not actually part of the United Kingdom, although the UK has ultimate control over its defence. Neither is it truly a part of the European Union, although it does enjoy a special relationship with the EU, especially with regards to tax laws.

With its own currency (the Jersey pound) and laws, Jersey is a different and interesting place to visit. It’s a wonderful way to take a trip ‘abroad’ (and really feel as though a holiday is happening since to get there you need to board a plane or boat), yet stay close to home.

And as for the history of the place, and the attractions available to visitors, it is the ideal spot for a short break away – memorable and exciting, interesting and different, Jersey is definitely worth taking a closer look at.

Getting to Jersey

Ferry Routes

Operator Route Services Travel Time Price
Poole Jersey 1 daily 3¾ hours See prices °
Portsmouth Jersey 12 weekly 8½ hours See prices °

This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.

Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries

Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found sailing to Jersey sailing on a cruise ship.

Top 3 Cruise & Ferry Deals

  1. Sail to Belfast with Stena Line from £10pp each way
  2. 2 for 1 Guernsey mini cruise on Condor Ferries from £32
  3. P&O Ferries Amsterdam mini cruise from £40pp

Sightseeing

The first time visitor to Jersey could be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed after stepping off the plane or ferry and standing in awe at the beautiful beaches and scenery that Jersey is famous for. What to do? There is so much, it would be a shame to miss anything out. I’ve put together a list of the definitive Jersey tourist attractions to give you a helping hand.

Jersey War Tunnels

The Jersey War Tunnels may well be the most well known tourist attraction on the island. During World War II, Jersey was occupied by German forces, and the history that is left behind is at once both fascinating and terrifying. It was five long years of occupation, and Jersey was left devastated by the end of it.

Journey through the one kilometre long tunnels and you may just get a feeling of what it must have been like for the prisoners of war who were forced to create them. At least now these tunnels – protection from a rescue that never came – serve a better purpose; within them are artefacts and memorabilia of the war (including a huge tank named ‘Hedwig’, an audio visual experience in the ‘unfinished tunnel’, and the latest war time technology), and they are a reminder of what can happen.

The tunnels are open every day from 10am until 6pm (last entry is at 4.30pm), and are a must see when visiting Jersey.

German Underground Hospital

The German Underground Hospital is part of the Underground Tunnels. It took two and a half years to build, and was meant to last for the entire reign of the Reich – one thousand years. Frightening and real, you will find this emotional and thought provoking exhibition well worth checking out.

Corbière Lighthouse

The Corbière Lighthouse sits proudly at Jersey’s south west corner, where the tides and currents are particularly treacherous. It was built in 1874, after numerous accidents and sinkings off the coat, and has been a magnet for tourists and locals alike ever since, due to its gorgeous setting and surroundings.

The lighthouse itself is connected to the mainland by a causeway that is only visible in low tides, and because of this it can be tricky to reach in winter, and when the weather is bad. But at sunrise and sunset, the area is the perfect place to be. In the summer there is even an ice cream van, and opposite is a traditional pub that serves good food.

St Brelade’s Bay Beach

Being an island, it might be expected that Jersey has a number of beaches, and St Brelade’s Bay Beach is one of the best. It’s certainly the most popular, and in the summer months can be quite busy. It’s not surprising though, with its golden sands and sheltered coves, it really is a wonderful place to have a good old fashioned summer holiday with the kids, or to stroll along in the winter with the deep dark sea crashing and smashing on the shore. Beautiful and atmospheric, St Brelade’s Beach is superb. Plus the surfing (for beginners or experts) is excellent here too.

Rozel

For a quieter beach experience, Rozel might suit better. This is a little fishing port, with a café and a sandy expanse to enjoy. Great for talking long walks or relaxing on, there is sure to be a beach to suit you – with 45 miles of coastline, it would be a challenge for their not to be!

Elizabeth Castle

For a taste of medieval history, Elizabeth Castle is the place to go. You can access this 400 year old castle on foot (if the tide is out) or be the special castle ferry if it’s not, and either way is exciting, and certainly a rather grand entrance to visiting a castle!

There is plenty to do once you’ve reached the rocky outcrop upon which the castle stands as well; every day at midday there is a parade and cannon firing, you can climb to the very top of the battlements for the best views on Jersey, you can experience the War and Peace exhibition, learn about the Jersey Militia, and even stroll out 1.5 miles across the breakwater.

Jersey Museum and Art Gallery

The Jersey Museum and Art Gallery offers you ‘the story of Jersey’, so it’s a great place to learn more about the island you are visiting. The journey starts in Neolithic times, and takes you right up to the modern day, with plenty of interesting items and exhibitions in between.

Ancient art and modern day marvels sit side by side in this incredible museum that spans 250,000 years of Jersey history. In the summer season it’s open every day from 10am until 5pm, in the lower season it’s still every day but until 4pm, and during the winter it is only on Saturdays, so please check before you decide to visit.

Battery Lothringen

Battery Lothringen is another piece of wartime history that shouldn’t be missed. It is possible to enter the underground bunkers are really get a feel for what it must have been like below ground during the German occupation.

It also gives a new perspective on the paranoia (as it is now seen to be) of the occupying forces. It is looked after by volunteers from the Channel Island Occupation Society (CIOS), and is well preserved. If you want the place all to yourself, private tours are offered all year round.

Le Petit Train

Le Petit Train offers a tour of Jersey, with interesting and insightful commentary too. There are three little trains in all (Lillie, Terence, and Major Pierson), and they run from Liberation Square (handily, this is also where the tourist office is), all along the south coast to St Aubin, a little village in the west.

Knowledgeable and friendly drivers will answer your questions, and you can even combine your train trip with a bike ride or bus journey, depending on which tickets you choose to purchase.

And there's more...

Even those who have visited a number of times will still find new and exciting this to do on return trips. For a small island, Jersey’s history, architecture, and fun and games are big on the agenda!

  • The Georgian House is, as the name suggests, a Georgian house, situated in the capital of Jersey, St Helier. Restored magnificently to reflect its former glory, the Georgian House is full of charm and beauty. Here you can learn about the architecture of 18th century Jersey, and watch ‘re-enactments’ as the volunteers who staff it move around the house and interact with the furniture and especially the kitchen (where you may be lucky enough to find samples of Georgian type cooking). Ask as many questions as you want; these amateur historians will have the answers.
  • The Pallot Steam, Motor & General Museum is open from April to October, and contains a variety of steam powered farm machinery, vehicles, and even an organ. There are also vintage toys, office equipment, and other assortments of things that make this a truly unique and fascinating treasure trove of a place to visit. Each visit is different since new items are added all the time. And as a bonus, you can ride a real steam train around the grounds!
  • The Mansell Collection is a must for all Nigel Mansell and Formula 1 fans. Painstakingly refurbished, and filled with everything a keen driver might want to see, the museum allows you to enjoy the racing atmosphere whilst also telling you about the details of Nigel Mansell’s life and racing career. A nice touch is the audio tour which is narrated by Mansell himself; it’s almost like he is there.
  • The Jersey Wetland Centre is absolutely free and completely absorbing. Step into nature and find out what peace and quiet are really all about in this superb bird hide. There is a hi-tech element too, as there is a camera which is adjustable so you can see everything you need to and never miss anything of importance. Also provided are binoculars and bird identifying cards, so even if you’ve never tried bird watching before, you’ve got all the tools you need to get started.
  • Another great find for nature lovers is the Eric Young Orchid Foundation. For those who are fascinated by orchids, for those who want to know more, or for those who simply enjoy experiencing something unusual, this is a lovely way to spend a few hours. Some of the rarest orchids in the world can be found here, and there is a little shop from which you can buy a cup of refreshing tea or coffee, and even an orchid to take home with you to start or add to your collection. Who knows, one day you might have something as spectacular as this!
  • The aMaizin Adventure Park is only open from April to September, but is certainly worth visiting if you can. A proper family day out that includes animals and fun attractions, it will wear them – and you – out, ready for a relaxing evening ahead! Animals include rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, and lambs. There is also a miniature Shetland pony! These animals can be handled, and are a great way to start the day. Then onto the adventure park itself. With a maze, tractor rides, gold panning, football, and so much more, it is easy to spend an entire day here. And fun to as well!
  • The Devil’s Hole sounds rather terrifying, and it is creepy, but it’s nothing to worry about… too much! Devil’s Hole is a natural blowhole that is found in the rocks, eroded through thousands of years, and now a permanent part of Jersey’s coastline. It’s a steep climb down (and back up again), so only suitable for those with strong legs, but the scenery and the atmosphere are fantastic, and it’s an interesting little stop on a coastal walk.

Hotels

Budget & Great Value Hotels on Jersey

Holidays can be pricey, but by staying in a good value hotel you can really cut the cost. Here are some hotels that won’t break the bank.

With balconies, an outside pool, and staff who go out of their way to help, the Miramar Hotel may look a little dated, but what it lacks in modernity it more than makes up for in comfort and friendliness. Just ten minutes from the beach, this is a great base for your stay in Jersey.

The Dolphin Hotel is located in the perfect spot, right on the harbour on a quiet street but within walking distance to restaurants and bars, and close to bus routes for day trips. Described as ‘lively and modern’, it also serves good quality food.

Jersey's Family Friendly Hotels

Jersey is a great place to take the kids, not only because of how much there is to do there, but because it’s a family friendly island – and the hotels prove it.

Located just 20 metres from a stunning beach, there isn’t a much better location for a Jersey holiday with the family than St Brelades Bay Hotel. But inside the hotel is fabulous as well – playroom, games room, swimming pool, restaurant and terrace, as well as an attached spa!

The child friendly Merton Hotel has a fantastic swimming pool and lazy river, as well as a games room to keep the little ones entertained. The staff know how to cater for the younger guests, which means that the older ones can totally relax! It also has the bonus of room service which means that you can have some chill out days too.

Luxury Jersey Hotels

Luxury is something we all crave, so if that’s what you are looking for when you come to stay in Jersey, there are certainly some hotels to suit you:

La Haule Manor is a 5 star hotel in St Aubin and is ideal for those who want something a little more special than the average. Just ten minutes from St Aubin itself (which has a number of excellent restaurants) and a 45 minute walk from St Helier, this hotel is perfectly situated. Not only that, but this is the kind of place in which you can really feel at home – even when you’re not. Freshly cooked food, spotlessly clean, and staff who learn your name, it’s a gorgeous little place to call yours for a few days.

A warm welcome is always gratefully received, and at the Longueville Manor you can expect one no matter what time you arrive, with someone to carry your luggage from your car to your room, and a complimentary drink to say hello. Surrounded by lovely walks, and with a gym and spa on site, this is a truly relaxing place to stay.

Restaurants

Although many of the hotels on Jersey offer excellent food, sometimes it is nice to stroll out of an evening to sample other culinary delights. If you want to try something different on a budget, why not sample these superb restaurants?

The Parade Café in St Helier offers a range of lovely lunch time foods including sandwiches, baguettes, omelettes, jacket potatoes, and breakfasts (with free tea if ordered before 12pm!). There are also some excellently decadent desserts, such as pancakes and banana splits.

This is a traditional seaside café with checked table cloths and a friendly pair of owners who clearly love what they do and want their customers to feel the same.

Run by a surfer for surfers (although everyone is more than welcome) the Line Up Café is a relaxed and friendly place to eat. Catering nicely for vegetarians as well as meat eaters, there is something for everyone here. It can get busy when the surf’s up, but it’s worth popping in for a big bite to eat.

It’s always a good idea to get children used to restaurants early, and no matter what their age the family friendly restaurants on Jersey are perfect to practice in!

With a sunny patio for the adults and a fabulous play area for the little ones, The Goose on the Green is a great spot for finishing a day of sightseeing.

A pub and restaurant, the Goose serves real ale, wines, spirits, and soft drinks, and has a large and varied menu which includes steak ciabatta, smokey chilli beef and bean pot, red duck curry, and a variety of hot puddings and ice cream. With a kids’ menu as well, this is for all the family.

Situated in beautiful St Brelade, the Old Portelet Inn is full of country charm and includes a great kids’ menu (including chunky chips, fish goujons, and jam sandwiches), as well as some truly delicious adult items such as moules mariniere, fish burgers, sharing Ploughmans platter, and of course the famous Jersey cream tea!

Not only all this, but there is a pirate themed play area in this pub restaurant to keep the children more than happy.

When you want to spend a little more, and treat yourself, Jersey is full of luxury restaurants too:

Part of the Atlantic Hotel, The Ocean Restaurant is considered the best place to eat in St Brelade, and the views across the bay certainly make it stand out.

But thankfully the food is just as good as the location, and dishes that include hand dived Jersey scallops, citrus roasted fillet of cod, and a passion fruit soufflé are just a small sample of what can be produced here. If you want to really push the boat out, why not try the tasting menu, a seven course feast with accompanying wine.

Situated in St Helier, Jersey’s capital, Aromas is a gorgeous French bistro that is classy and classic, and will make you feel very special indeed.

Food includes delicacies such as flat mushroom stuffed with goats cheese, Cajun style pork with a lime chilli salsa, and apple strudel with rum custard. All ingredients are locally sourced if at all possible, and each dish can be adapted to accommodate any dietary requirements.

Family travel

Jersey is the ideal family holiday destination. The beaches (of which there are many) are clean and safe, and in the summer months are perfectly hot enough for spending many hours on. There are walks, activities, museums, and a lot of history to keep everyone entertained, as well as loads of great places to eat and relax.

Hotels tend to cater to the younger visitor with family rooms often as standard and a warm welcome guaranteed, and many have swimming pools (inside and outside) for the children to splash about it while the adults chill out on the poolside.

When to visit Jersey

Jersey is, we can all agree, a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, but are there any special times to book your trip? For those who are specially interested in seeing the historical sights and museums, the spring and summer would be best as many of the attractions close during the colder months.

Although August is traditionally the busiest month for Jersey’s tourist season, it is worth checking out because of the spectacular ‘Battle of the Flowers’. This two day event is a way to enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna of Jersey, and it includes parades, exhibitors, and the flowers themselves. This is the biggest floral carnival in Europe!

Handy information

Where you will dock

St Helier is the main port on the island and the ferries will dock here on the southern tip of the island.

Nearest airport

The island only has a single airport which is located on the western side approximately 5 miles (about 8 kilometres) from the port. Routes are available to regional airports across the UK as well as to sister Channel Island Guernsey. A small selection of flights to European destinations are also available.

Currency

Jersey uses a local version of the British Pound known as the Jersey Pound. The currency uses the same denominations (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2 coins plus £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes). They also have a £1 note.

Some shops choose to accept Euros at the prevailing rate although you are normally better off paying in Sterling instead.

Ferry Routes

Operator Route Services Travel Time Price
Poole Jersey 1 daily 3¾ hours See prices °
Portsmouth Jersey 12 weekly 8½ hours See prices °

This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.

Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries

Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found sailing to Jersey sailing on a cruise ship.

Top 3 Cruise & Ferry Deals

  1. Sail to Belfast with Stena Line from £10pp each way
  2. 2 for 1 Guernsey mini cruise on Condor Ferries from £32
  3. P&O Ferries Amsterdam mini cruise from £40pp

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