Do magical folk need to travel by plane or ship to cross the Atlantic? I have a feeling if not already answered, this question will be answered in the upcoming movie.

Obviously there are means of instant travel but would they work for such a long journey? Is the Floo Network international? Can you Apparate over any distance? Portkeys?

If these methods are used, how are they regulated? There are many rules regarding Customs & Immigration in the Muggle world. If the Ministry of Magic has similar rules, how are they enforced with instant direct travel as mentioned above?


3 Answers 3


There are a few examples of international travel.

During the Triwizard Tournament:

  • The Beauxbatons arrived in a large carriage pulled by Abraxan horses.
  • The Durmstrang arrived via a large ship which could travel underwater.

In those two cases, they were bringing students who likely hadn't all learned to Apparate yet.

When the Weasleys were going on vacation to Egypt, there is no mention of how they all went. I think the assumption is either Portkey or perhaps an international Floo Network, given the complete lack of competence the Weasleys demonstrate towards Muggle methods.

Later Voldemort traveled to and from Nurmengard (Germany or Bulgaria) back to England. He flies until he is close enough to his destination to Apparate.

Since you could in theory fly anywhere, as long as you were patient enough, you could use a flying car or motorcycle, a broomstick, or any creature which can fly and support a human (Thestral, Dragon, Hippogriff).


In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt both arrives and leaves from New York via a traditional steam ship. Now, it isn't clear whether that was by necessity or not. He kind of sneaks into America with a suitcase full of illegal beasts. Perhaps if he had gone via Floo Network / Portkey, he would have had to go through magic customs or something.

Additionally, On Pottermore, under Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Isolt Sayre traveled from Ireland to America via the Mayflower. She was also traveling incognito, and likely didn't have the normal magical contacts that would enable her to travel via magical methods. The two boys she rescues (who had magical parents) also traveled by boat and had settled in Plymouth. Presumably this means they were on the Mayflower together, and didn't know it. Gormlaith also travels by boat to America in order to seek her revenge against Isolt.

I've written this song to commemorate travel in the Harry Potter world:

All right stop, Apparate and listen
Voldemort's back with a brand new invention
Flying! grab a hold of me tightly
Floo Network's dope like a Train leaving nightly
Will Thestrals stop? Yo, I don't know
Kill the lights and I'll Lumos Maximo
To the extreme I rock a Wand like a vandal
Find a Portkey and grab a Broom by the handle

Atop a big Hippogriff
Find a horcrux near a seaside cliff
Deadly, like Avada Kedevra
Azkaban Prison is another matter
Snitch it or Quidditch
You better set Sail
You better not hex or you'll be Dragon tail
If there was a goblin
Yo, I'll be slick
Transfigure a teapot with a simple wrist flick

Harry Harry Potter


  • 16
    @JackBNimble I was about to upvote this, before I read the song part...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 28, 2016 at 15:46
  • 7
    @randal'thor You are dead to me. Jan 28, 2016 at 15:47
  • 2
    Wondering what the last word on line six is for. I assumed the OP wasn't looking for a movie answer.
    – ibid
    Dec 27, 2016 at 6:18
  • 1
    @ibid I needed something that rhymed with 'know' Dec 27, 2016 at 17:24
  • 1
    @JackBNimble - It still makes this a movie answer.
    – ibid
    Dec 27, 2016 at 17:44

Portkeys - yes.

The answers to this question show that Portkey travel can be international. Copying quotes from my and DVK's answers over there:

  • from various places to the Sahara desert:

    "While there have been no proven referee slayings since [1357], there have been several incidences of broom-tampering over the centuries, the most dangerous being the transformation of the referee's broom into a Portkey, so that he or she is whisked away from the match halfway through and turns up months later in the Sahara Desert."

    -- Kennilworthy Whisp, Quidditch Through the Ages

  • from France to the Burrow:

    Mr. Weasley had therefore gone to meet the Delacours on top of a nearby hill, where they were to arrive by Portkey

    -- HP and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6: The Ghoul In Pyjamas

  • from Godric's Hollow to eastern Europe:

    “It was poor little Ariana dying, I think, that did it,” says Bathilda. “It came as an awful shock. Gellert was there in the house when it happened, and he came back to my house all of a dither, told me he wanted to go home the next day. Terribly distressed, you know. So I arranged a Portkey and that was the last I saw of him

    HP and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore

Apparition - usually no.

The answers to this question show that there is some confusion and contradiction over whether or not Apparition can be international. Firstly, as stated in KeithS's answer, this quote from the books tells us that there is a limit on the distance even a skilled wizard can Apparate:

Harry knew it; his scar was bursting with the pain of it, and he could feel Voldemort flying through the sky from far away, over a dark and stormy sea, and soon he would be close enough to Apparate to them, and Harry could see no way out.

-- HP and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23: Malfoy Manor

The following quote from Kevin's answer tells us that it is possible but risky to Apparate across continents:

Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.

-- Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 9

And finally, Richard's answer tells us that Apparition between countries is banned.

Floo - unclear.

All the information we have in canon concerns the Floo Network within Britain. This includes the latest articles from Pottermore by JK Rowling. Quoting from the second of these sources:

Floo powder was invented by Ignatia Wildsmith in the thirteenth century. Its manufacture is strictly controlled. The only licensed producer in Britain is Floo-Pow, a company whose Headquarters is in Diagon Alley, and who never answer their front door.

The inclusion of the words "in Britain" would seem to suggest that there are Floo Networks in other countries too, but doesn't tell us whether they're connected.

  • Great answer! And as you mentioned Appraition is banned. Should the Customs/Immigration question be separate?
    – Skooba
    Jan 28, 2016 at 15:49
  • 1
    The Floo network probably has a few international connections as well. No reason it couldn't. Jan 28, 2016 at 16:55

I am at work so I will look up citations later on.

In HP GoF during the World Cup many international wizards Apparated - even though for larger groups the Ministry arranged the transport means. Also for the Triwizard tournament we saw that there are alternative means for groups to travel, as the guests arrived in a magical boat and a carriage.

Also in GoF, they were discussing that ministry worker, Bertha Jorkins, who disappeared, saying that she probably Apparated on a wrong location (by Mr. Bagman to Mr. Weasley) and ended up in Australia instead of Albania - so we know it is possible to do it over long distances.

In HBP Hagrid and his lady friend, Madame Maxime, used Muggle transport to get to France and made sure they were followed.

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