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How Long Is The Ferry Ride From Spain To Morocco


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ceciley Geddes



Embarking on a journey from Spain to Morocco by ferry is a thrilling experience that allows you to explore the cultural diversity and natural beauty of two vibrant countries. Whether you’re seeking a sun-soaked beach retreat or an adventure in the bustling markets of Marrakech, the ferry ride across the Strait of Gibraltar offers a convenient and scenic way to travel between these two fascinating destinations.


The ferry route from Spain to Morocco is a popular choice for both tourists and locals alike. It not only provides a seamless connection between Europe and Africa but also showcases the breathtaking coastal views and the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.


In this article, we will delve into the details of the ferry route from Spain to Morocco, including the various operators, departure ports in Spain, arrival ports in Morocco, and the duration of the ferry ride. Furthermore, we will provide valuable tips on securing tickets, making reservations, and ensuring a smooth journey.


So, whether you’re planning an exciting vacation or simply curious about the logistics of traveling between Spain and Morocco by ferry, read on to discover everything you need to know about this fascinating route.


The Ferry Route from Spain to Morocco

The ferry route from Spain to Morocco is primarily focused on connecting the southern coasts of both countries. The journey typically takes you from mainland Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar to the northern regions of Morocco, offering stunning views along the way.


There are several ferry operators that provide services on this route, offering a range of options in terms of departure ports, arrival ports, and frequency of sailings. The most common departure ports in Spain include Algeciras, Tarifa, and Malaga, while the arrival ports in Morocco include Tangier, Tangier-Med, and Ceuta.


When planning your journey, it’s important to consider the different departure and arrival ports, as they may vary in terms of proximity to major cities and accessibility to transportation options. For example, Tangier-Med is located around 40 kilometers east of Tangier city, while the port of Ceuta is situated on a Spanish enclave on the northern coast of Morocco.


The ferry ride itself is an opportunity to witness the stunning beauty of the Strait of Gibraltar, with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and the possibility of spotting dolphins or other marine wildlife. Keep your camera handy as you cruise through the strait, capturing the picturesque scenery of the mountains and the shimmering blue waters.


Depending on the chosen ferry operator and the specific route, the duration of the ferry ride can vary. On average, the journey takes approximately 1 to 2 hours, but it’s important to check the schedule and allow some buffer time for boarding and customs procedures.


Overall, the ferry route from Spain to Morocco is a convenient and enjoyable way to travel between these two countries. It not only offers a unique maritime experience but also showcases the geographical and cultural diversity that characterizes this region of the world.


Ferry Operators

There are several ferry operators that provide services on the route from Spain to Morocco, offering travelers a range of options to choose from based on their preferences and needs. These operators ensure a safe and comfortable journey across the Strait of Gibraltar.


One of the prominent ferry operators on this route is FRS. FRS operates regular ferry services between Tarifa in Spain and Tangier in Morocco. They offer modern, well-equipped vessels with comfortable seating, onboard facilities, and stunning views of the coastline during the journey.


Trasmediterranea is another major ferry operator that connects various ports in Spain, such as Algeciras and Malaga, with destinations like Tangier and Ceuta in Morocco. With a reputation for reliability and quality service, Trasmediterranea offers a range of amenities onboard, including restaurants, bars, and comfortable seating areas.


Balearia, a renowned Spanish ferry operator, also provides services between Spain and Morocco. Their routes include Algeciras to Tangier-Med and Algeciras to Ceuta. Balearia offers a fleet of modern ships with spacious seating, onboard dining options, and amenities designed to enhance the passenger experience.


Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) is an Italian ferry company that operates between Genoa, Italy, and Tangier Med, Morocco, with a stopover in Barcelona, Spain. This route offers a longer journey but allows travelers the option to combine their ferry trip with further exploration in Italy or Spain.


It is important to note that ferry schedules and availability may vary depending on the time of year and other factors. It is recommended to check the websites or contact the ferry operators directly to inquire about the latest schedules, ticket prices, and any additional requirements or restrictions.


With a variety of ferry operators catering to different routes and preferences, travelers have the freedom to choose the one that best suits their needs, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey from Spain to Morocco.


Ferry Departure Ports in Spain

When embarking on a ferry journey from Spain to Morocco, there are several departure ports to choose from, each offering its own advantages in terms of location and accessibility. Here are some of the main ferry departure ports in Spain:


Algeciras – Located on the southern coast of Spain, Algeciras is one of the busiest ferry ports in the country. It provides frequent ferry services to Tangier and Ceuta in Morocco. With its strategic location near the Strait of Gibraltar, Algeciras offers convenient connections to major cities in Spain and easy access to highways and transportation networks.


Tarifa – Situated just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco, Tarifa is another popular departure point for ferries to Tangier. Known for its picturesque beaches and excellent wind conditions for water sports, Tarifa offers a unique coastal experience before setting sail to Morocco. The port is easily accessible by road and has nearby parking facilities.


Malaga – Located on the Costa del Sol, Malaga is a vibrant and tourist-friendly city that serves as a departure point for ferries to Tangier. With its well-connected airport and train station, Malaga offers convenient transportation options for travelers coming from different parts of Spain or even from other European countries.


Barcelona (for GNV ferry) – Although not directly on the southern coast of Spain, Barcelona is a departure point for the GNV ferry that connects Spain to Morocco. This vibrant city offers a mix of cultural attractions, stunning architecture, and a bustling port area. Barcelona is easily accessible by various means of transportation and provides a unique opportunity to explore the city before continuing the journey to Morocco.


Each departure port has its own facilities and services, including parking, waiting areas, ticket counters, and baggage drop-off points. It’s advisable to arrive at the port ahead of time to complete any necessary check-in procedures and ensure a smooth boarding process. Additionally, it’s important to check the exact departure port for your chosen ferry operator, as they may have different terminals within the same port area.


Whether it’s Algeciras, Tarifa, Malaga, or Barcelona, each ferry departure port in Spain offers its own charm and convenience, allowing travelers to begin their journey to Morocco in a comfortable and seamless manner.


Ferry Arrival Ports in Morocco

Arriving in Morocco by ferry offers a captivating entry into the country, presenting travelers with a variety of destinations to explore. Here are some of the main ferry arrival ports in Morocco:


Tangier – As one of the most well-known and popular ports in Morocco, Tangier provides a gateway to the country for many ferry travelers. Located on the northern coast, Tangier offers a rich blend of Moroccan and international influences. Visitors can explore the vibrant medina, stroll along the picturesque beaches, or indulge in the bustling markets and delicious local cuisine.


Tangier-Med – Situated around 40 kilometers east of Tangier, the Tangier-Med port is a modern and well-equipped facility that has become a significant hub for maritime traffic between Europe and Africa. It offers efficient customs and immigration procedures, making it a popular choice for both passengers and freight transport. From Tangier-Med, travelers can easily access the nearby cities of Tangier and Tetouan.


Ceuta – Positioned on the northern coast of Morocco but under Spanish administration, Ceuta is an autonomous city and a unique destination for ferry travelers. While technically part of Spain, Ceuta provides a fascinating blend of Spanish and Moroccan cultures. Visitors can discover its historical landmarks, enjoy the beaches, and explore the charming city with its distinct Mediterranean flavor.


Upon arrival at these ports, travelers will find a range of facilities and services, including transportation options, car rental agencies, cafes, and tourist information centers. It’s advisable to plan for onward travel in advance and familiarize yourself with the transportation options available from each port to your desired destination.


It’s important to note that some ferry operators may offer services to specific arrival ports, while others may serve multiple destinations in Morocco. Make sure to check the ferry company’s schedule and confirm the arrival port to ensure it aligns with your travel plans.


Arriving in Morocco by ferry provides a unique and picturesque perspective on the country, immersing travelers in diverse landscapes, bustling cities, and the warm hospitality of the Moroccan people.


Duration of the Ferry Ride

The duration of the ferry ride from Spain to Morocco varies depending on various factors, including the chosen ferry operator, the specific route, and prevailing weather conditions. On average, the journey takes between 1 to 2 hours, offering passengers a comfortable and efficient means of transport between the two countries.


For example, the ferry ride from Algeciras or Tarifa in Spain to Tangier or Tangier-Med in Morocco is typically around 1 hour, while the journey from Malaga to Tangier can take approximately 2 hours. These times may vary slightly depending on the ferry operator and any scheduled stopovers or route adjustments.


It’s important to note that while the duration of the ferry ride itself is relatively short, extra time should be factored in for boarding procedures, passport control, and customs checks. Arriving at the port at least one hour before the scheduled departure time is advisable to ensure a smooth and stress-free boarding process.


It’s also worth mentioning that the ferry ride across the Strait of Gibraltar offers passengers a chance to take in the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes. On a clear day, travelers can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains, the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and even spot dolphins or other marine wildlife.


During peak travel seasons or holiday periods, it’s recommended to book ferry tickets in advance to secure your preferred departure time and avoid any potential disruptions due to high demand.


Overall, the duration of the ferry ride from Spain to Morocco is relatively short, providing a convenient and enjoyable way to travel between the two countries while offering passengers the opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the Strait of Gibraltar.


Ticket Prices and Reservations

When planning a ferry journey from Spain to Morocco, it’s important to consider ticket prices and make the necessary reservations in advance to secure your desired travel dates and times. The cost of ferry tickets can vary depending on factors such as the ferry operator, the route, and the type of accommodation or seating chosen.


It is recommended to check the websites or contact the ferry operators directly to obtain the most up-to-date information on ticket prices. Many ferry companies offer online booking platforms, making it convenient to compare prices and make reservations from the comfort of your own home.


Ticket prices can also vary depending on the season, with higher demand during peak travel periods. Therefore, it’s advisable to book your tickets well in advance, especially if you plan to travel during the summer months or holiday seasons.


When making your reservations, it’s important to consider any specific requirements or preferences you may have. Ferry operators typically offer different classes of seating and accommodation options, ranging from economy class seats to more luxurious cabins. The prices will vary accordingly, so it’s essential to choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.


Additionally, some ferry operators may offer discounted rates for children, seniors, or groups, so be sure to inquire about any available discounts or special promotions that may apply.


It’s worth noting that ferry schedules can occasionally change due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions or maintenance. Therefore, it is advisable to check for any updates or notifications from the ferry operators regarding schedule changes or cancellations.


In summary, planning ahead and making timely reservations is key to securing your preferred travel dates, times, and ticket prices for the ferry journey from Spain to Morocco. Be sure to check the ferry operator’s website or contact them directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information, and don’t forget to consider any specific requirements or preferences you may have when choosing your seating or accommodation option.


Tips for a Smooth Ferry Journey

Embarking on a ferry journey from Spain to Morocco can be an exciting adventure. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research the ferry operators, departure ports, and arrival ports to determine the most convenient options for your travel itinerary. Check the ferry schedules in advance and make your reservations early to secure your preferred dates and times.
  2. Arrive Early: Allow yourself ample time to reach the departure port and complete the necessary check-in and boarding procedures. Arriving at the port at least one hour before the scheduled departure time is advisable to avoid any potential stress or delays.
  3. Prepare Documents: Ensure you have all the required travel documents, including a valid passport and any necessary visas. Have them readily accessible for the passport control and customs procedures. It’s also a good idea to carry extra copies of your important documents, such as your passport, in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
  4. Pack Essentials: Pack a small carry-on bag with essentials such as your travel documents, medications, valuables, and any necessary personal items. Be mindful of the baggage allowance and restrictions imposed by the ferry operator, as excess luggage may incur additional charges.
  5. Comfortable Attire: Dress in comfortable attire for the ferry journey, taking into consideration the varying temperatures on the boat. It’s also advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater in case the air conditioning is cooler inside the ferry.
  6. Seasickness Prevention: If you’re prone to seasickness, take necessary precautions such as taking anti-seasickness medication or wearing acupressure bands. It’s also helpful to choose a seat or cabin closer to the center of the ferry, where the motion is less noticeable.
  7. Stay Hydrated and Snacks: Carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated during the journey. While many ferry operators have onboard dining facilities, it’s a good idea to pack some snacks or light refreshments to keep you energized.
  8. Entertainment and Relaxation: Bring items such as books, magazines, or electronic devices to keep yourself entertained during the ferry ride. You may also consider carrying a neck pillow or travel blanket for added comfort.
  9. Enjoy the Scenic Views: Take advantage of the stunning coastal views during the ferry ride. Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful landscapes, including the breathtaking sight of the Strait of Gibraltar.
  10. Respect Local Customs: Once you arrive in Morocco, respect the local customs, traditions, and dress codes. Familiarize yourself with any cultural sensitivities to ensure a positive interaction with the local community.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can have a smooth and memorable ferry journey from Spain to Morocco, savoring the anticipation of your destination while enjoying a comfortable voyage across the strait.



The ferry route from Spain to Morocco offers an exciting and convenient way to travel between these two diverse and captivating countries. Whether you’re seeking a cultural immersion, an adventurous escape, or a relaxing beach getaway, the ferry journey across the Strait of Gibraltar provides a scenic and memorable experience.


In this article, we explored the key aspects of the ferry route, including the various operators that offer services, the departure ports in Spain, the arrival ports in Morocco, the duration of the ferry ride, and tips for a smooth journey. By planning ahead, making reservations, and following the suggested tips, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable ferry experience.


From the bustling ports of Algeciras and Tarifa in Spain to the vibrant destinations of Tangier, Tangier-Med, and Ceuta in Morocco, each leg of the journey presents unique opportunities to discover the rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes of both countries. The ferry ride itself offers stunning views of the Strait of Gibraltar, with its majestic mountains, sparkling waters, and the possibility of encountering marine wildlife along the way.


As you disembark from the ferry and step foot in Morocco, be prepared to immerse yourself in a world of enticing aromas, vibrant markets, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re exploring the maze-like medinas, enjoying the pristine beaches, or indulging in the mouthwatering Moroccan cuisine, the journey from Spain to Morocco by ferry sets the stage for an unforgettable adventure.


So pack your bags, secure your ferry tickets, and get ready to embark on an exciting journey between Spain and Morocco. The ferry route offers a seamless and enjoyable connection between these two diverse countries, allowing you to explore their unique cultures and create lasting memories.