Getting to Corsica by Ferry

Unless you fly or have a private boat, you will have to use a ferry to get to Corsica. Four companies operate ferries between the island and France or Italy.Ferry boat of Corsica Ferries

Ferries to Corsica depart from French ports Marseille, Toulon and Nice, and from Italian ports in Savona, Genova, Livorno and Civitavecchia. Corsican harbours are in L'ille Rousse, Calvi, Ajaccio, Propriano, Porto Vecchio and Bastia. The shortest routes -- less than four hours by a fast boat -- connect Nice with Calvi and Livorno with Bastia. These two lines are also the cheapest ones.

Routes

The map below shows all ferry routes connecting Corsica with France and Italy.

The most frequent lines from mainland France and Italy are also listed in the following table:

PortBastiaIle RousseCalviAjaccioProprianoPorto Vecchio
MarseillesSNCM, La MéridionaleSNCMSNCM, La MéridionaleSNCM, La MéridionaleSNCM
ToulonCorsica Ferries, SNCM, MobyCorsica FerriesCorsica Ferries, SNCMSNCM
NiceCorsica Ferries, SNCMCorsica Ferries, SNCMCorsica Ferries, SNCMCorsica Ferries, SNCM
SavonaCorsica FerriesCorsica FerriesCorsica Ferries
GenoaMoby
LivornoCorsica Ferries, MobyGrimaldi Lines
CivitavecchiaGrimaldi LinesSNAV, Grimaldi Lines
Porto TorresSNCMSNCM

Another short route lead from Northern Sardinian port of Santa Teresa di Gallura to Bonifacio in Southern Corsica. Medmar used to sail between Naples (Napoli) and Porto Vecchio, but this line desn't seem to be operated any more. Also the routes operated by Grimaldi Lines from Civitavecchia were probably discontinued in 2011.

Rates and Booking

Use the booking form on the right to check available crossings and up to date rates. Price depends on season, number of people going together, your car's length etc. In addition, ferry operators offer various special discounts. Return tickets may be purchased for different routes there and back. For instance we arrived to Calvi from Nice, departed from Bastia to Livorno, and paid about 350 EUR for four people and a car.

I recommend to book a ferry through the Internet in advance, because the ferries are quite full and the tickets may not be available right before your journey. If you haven't booked your journey in advance though, try come to the port early in the morning and look for a yellow Corsica Ferries office or a blue SNCM one.

Ferry operators

If you don't find your preferred route in the booking form above, you can try to buy ferry tickets on-line directly on the web site of a particular operator.

I used Corsica Ferries and was satisfied with them. Their website offers an English version with a timetable and a useful ferry booking wizard. The shortest crossings are between Nice and Calvi or Livorno and Bastia. The journey in these two routes takes about four hours and the ferries go at least twice a day even during the low season.

Which port should you depart from

When choosing the best route, you should consider:

  1. Your final destination in Corsica.
  2. Which port in the continent is your closest one.

If you are going to stay in the Western coast of Corsica, ferries from Nice to Calvi, Ajaccio or Propriano seem to be the best option. If you come from Spain or Western France, departing from Marseille or Toulon will save you some drive, but the ferries are more expensive there. If you go to Bastia, Corte or Eastern coast of Corsica, Livorno is the best starting point followed by Savona and Nice.

The closest port from your home is another question. The table below gives some distances (just the shortest ones for every place of departure):

MarseillesToulonNiceSavonaGenoaLivornoCivitavecchia
Madrid1,105 km1,168 km
Barcelona505 km568 km661 km
Paris776 km839 km932 km921 km912 km
Zürich445 km421 km
Geneve461 km388 km379 km
Milano169 km145 km
Rome413 km82 km
Brussel1,076 km1,074 km1,050 km
Amsterdam1,275 km1,240 km1,216 km
Frankfurt am Main832 km808 km
München729 km705 km739 km
Berlin1,199 km1,175 km
Linz879 km855 km889 km
Wien997 km946 km
Gratz837 km813 km761 km
Prague1,031 km1,007 km1,124 km
Bratislava1,087 km1,063 km1,012 km
Budapest1,118 km1,094 km1,042 km
Zagreb789 km765 km713 km
Ljubljana657 km633 km581 km
Krakow1,588 km1,564 km1,420 km
Warsaw1,752 km1,728 km1,643 km

I recommend Google Maps or ViaMichelin route planner for finding the best driving directions.

Last modified on Sun, 2013-04-28 16:44