Ferry to Morocco: The Ultimate Guide

Visiting Morocco by Ferry

Today, many airlines fly into Morocco’s airports making it quite easy to visit. But there is a more adventurous way to arrive in Morocco – by ferry boat! Traveling to Morocco by ferry also offers a multitude of advantages: you have fewer baggage restrictions; you can bring your car along to explore Morocco on your own; and you get a unique scenic view while crossing the busy strait of Gibraltar.

If you’re thinking of traveling to Morocco by ferry boat, grab your notebook, pen and a map of the country (here, well lend you our hand-drawn Morocco map). Here are all the details on the ferry boats that can take you to Morocco’s shores.

Morocco Ports and Nearby Cities

Morocco’s northern coast is filled with port cities. Most ferries, though, will drop you off at Tangier, Tangier Med (30km from Tangier), or Nador. Although not technically part of Moroccan territory, many ferries that arrive in Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves on the North African coast) are also handy for those looking to get into Morocco.

From Tangier, Tangier Med, and Ceuta, you will be able to reach nearby cities quickly and easily to start exploring Morocco. By car, Tetouan is about 1 hour and a half away, the picturesque blue-walled town of Chefchaouen is a little over 2 hours away, and you can reach the country’s capital city in less than 3 hours. On a longer trip, you can drive straight to Casablanca (4h), Fez (4h30), or Meknes (4h). Nador and Melilla are located further East, so it will take you a bit longer to drive to some of these cities.

If you’re not thinking of bringing your car, you can catch one of Morocco’s many intercity buses and trains as you step off the ferry boat in Nador and Tangier. If you arrive in Ceuta, take a taxi to nearby Tetouan or Tangier. From Melilla, you’ll want to head to Nador first. Find more information on Morocco’s buses here and on its trains here.

Main Ferry Routes to Morocco

Every day ferries arrive in Morocco from three different countries: Spain, France and Italy. Depending on your travel style, where you are in Europe, and where you want to arrive in Morocco, you’ll want to book yourself a particular ferry route. Whatever route you choose, it’s always advisable to book your ticket in advance especially if you’re thinking of bringing your car on the ferry or if you’re traveling in the off-season (September to May). In the summer months, ferries run more frequently making it easier to book a ticket on the spot.

Below, we give you all the details on the most commonly used ferry routes to get from these European countries to Morocco.

Main Ferry Routes (Spain)

Out of the three countries that link to Morocco by ferry boat, Spain is the one that is geographically closest and thus the one that runs ferry rides most frequently. Ferry boats from Spain depart from Tarifa, Gibraltar, Algeciras, Barcelona, Malaga, and Almeria. But ferry companies, prices and routes can vary greatly. So which one should you book?

Tarifa to Tangier is the best route to travel through the congested strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. With more than a dozen ferries departing daily from Tarifa, you can leave practically any time of day and be in Morocco within an hour. Plus, if you have some extra time before departing, you can do some sightseeing in the Spanish port city. Below you can find a collection of other popular ferry routes departing from Spain.

Tarifa to Tangier

  • Length of trip: 1 hour
  • Number of ferries: 13 ferries daily
  • Ferry companies: FRS, Intershipping
  • Average price: €140 – €190

Algeciras to Ceuta

  • Length of trip: 1 hour
  • Number of ferries: 21 ferries daily
  • Ferry companies: Balearia, Trasmediterranea, FRS
  • Average price: €65-€120

Malaga to Melilla

  • Length of trip: 4 hours
  • Number of ferries: 8 ferries weekly
  • Ferry companies: Trasmediterranea
  • Average price: €160-€260

Almeria to Nador

  • Length of trip: 4 hours
  • Number of ferries: 8 ferries weekly
  • Ferry companies: Trasmediterranea
  • Average price: €160-€260

Barcelona to Tangier Med

  • Length of trip: 32-35 hours
  • Number of ferries: 5 ferries weekly
  • Ferry companies: Grandi Navi Veloci, Grimaldi Lines
  • Average price: €225-€260
Route Length of Trip No. of Ferries Ferry Companies Average Price
Tarifa-Tangier 1h 13 ferries daily FRS, Intershipping €140-€190
Algeciras-Ceuta 1h 21 ferries daily Balearia, FRS, Trasmediterranea €65-€120
Malaga-Melilla 4h 8 ferries weekly Trasmediterranea €160-€260
Almeria-Nador 4h 8 ferries weekly Trasmediterranea €160-€260
Barcelona-Tangier Med 32h-35h 5 ferries weekly Grandi Navi Veloci, Grimaldi Lines €225-€260

Main Ferry Routes (France)

If departing from Spain isn’t handy for you, you can also start your journey to Morocco in France. Grandi Navi Viloci runs a few weekly ferries from Sete (near Marseille) but the journey will take you over one day. If you enjoy spending time at sea and have a couple of days to spare, these ferries are a good option. They will drop you off in either Tangier Med or Nador.

Sete to Tangier Med

  • Length of trip: 40 hours
  • Number of ferries: 2 ferries weekly
  • Ferry companies: Grandi Navi Veloci
  • Average price: €400-€800

Sete to Nador

  • Length of trip: 29 hours
  • Number of ferries: 1 ferry weekly
  • Ferry companies: Grandi Navi Veloci
  • Average price: €340-€820
Route Length of Trip No. of Ferries Ferry Companies Average Price
Sete-Tangier Med 40h 2 ferries weekly Grandi Navi Veloci €400-€800
Sete-Nador 29h 1 ferry weekly Grandi Navi Veloci €340-€820

Main Ferry Routes (Italy)

Yet another option for those who love to navigate the Mediterranean Sea are the ferries from Italy to Morocco. With the journey taking anywhere between two to three days, you can depart from Genoa or Livorno (near Pisa).

Genoa to Tangier Med

  • Length of trip: 48h30
  • Number of ferries: 2 ferries weekly
  • Ferry companies: Grandi Navi Veloci
  • Average price: €470-€960

Livorno to Tangier Med

  • Length of trip: 60 hours
  • Number of ferries: 1 ferry weekly
  • Ferry companies: Grimaldi Lines
  • Average price: €330-€960
Route Length of Trip No. of Ferries Ferry Companies Average Price
Genoa-Tangier Med 48h30 2 ferries weekly Grandi Navi Veloci €470-€960
Livorno-Tangier Med 60h 1 ferry weekly Grimaldi Lines €330-€960

What to Expect when taking a ferry to Morocco

The comfort of being able to take your own car to explore in Morocco and not have to worry about the typical airplane baggage restrictions is one of the main perks of traveling by ferry boat. But not everything is as easy as it seems. While the most frequent ferry routes from Spain offer a great alternative to flying into the country, not all ferries are created equally. And not everyone will enjoy the ride.

Long hours (or days) at sea and limited onboard amenities can sometimes prevent people from enjoying the journey. Despite set schedules, ferry boats are not always timely which can be a problem for those needing to catch further transportation after disembarking. The prices for some journeys can also skyrocket, especially during the summer months, making air travel a more viable option for budget travelers.

In the end, it all comes down to your travel style and preference. If you’re particularly keen on taking your car to explore Morocco on a self-driven road trip but you’re not interested in wasting too much time, we advise you to depart from Tarifa or Algeciras. Sea lovers will enjoy the longer trips from Barcelona, France and Italy.

Disclaimer: These routes are accurate as of time of publishing. Please double check with the providers before departing to verify it is still accurate.