Several ferry operators serve Irish routes, including Irish Ferries, Stena Line, P&O Ferries, and Brittany Ferries. Each operator may have multiple routes and schedules. Some of the more popular ferry companies are Irish Ferries, Stena Line, P&O Ferries, Brittany Ferries, Isle Of Man Steam Packet and Norfolk Lines.
Their ferry fleet includes Stena Line – Stena Horizon, Stena Line – Stena Express, Stena Line – Stena HSS Explorer, Brittany Ferries – Pont Aven, Irish Ferries – Oscar Wilde, Irish Ferries – Dublin Swift, Irish Ferries – Ulysses, P&O Irish Sea – Express & Steam Packet. These ferries vary in size and type, ranging from large car ferries to high-speed catamarans. The type of ferry used depends on the route and operator.
Main ferry ports in Ireland
Dublin Port – Dublin is one of the major ferry ports in Ireland, offering connections to Holyhead in Wales and Liverpool in England, among other destinations.
Rosslare Port – Located in County Wexford, it serves routes to France and Wales.
Belfast Port – Belfast has ferry connections to various destinations, including Liverpool and Cairnryan in Scotland.
Cork Port – Ferries from Cork connect to Roscoff in France and Santander in Spain.
Larne Port – It is situated in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and offers routes to Cairnryan and Fleetwood in England.
Ferry schedules and prices
Ticket prices vary depending on the route, type of ferry, time of booking, and other factors. Discounts are often available for children, seniors, and students.
Ferry schedules can vary seasonally, and it’s advisable to check with the ferry operators for the most up-to-date timetables and to make reservations, especially during peak travel times. It’s advisable to book ferry tickets in advance, especially during the peak tourist season (summer) and holidays. Most ferry operators have online booking systems for convenience.
Ferry tourism and leisure in Ireland
When you arrive at your destination via ferry, local tourism information centres are often available to provide maps, brochures, and recommendations for attractions, accommodations, and dining options. Many ferry routes in Ireland offer picturesque coastline views and surrounding landscapes. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the beauty of the Irish Sea and neighbouring shores.
Ferries are not just a means of transportation; they also offer scenic journeys and opportunities for tourists to explore the coastline and islands of Ireland.
Take advantage of the opportunity to explore Ireland’s offshore islands. In addition to the Aran Islands, consider visiting islands like Achill, Inishmore, and Valentia for unique experiences. If you plan to travel with a car, check the rules and regulations for transporting vehicles on the ferry, including size and weight restrictions.
COVID-19 and safety considerations
Like all modes of travel, ferry services in Ireland have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Before planning their ferry journey, travellers should check for relevant travel restrictions or health guidelines.
Ferries in Ireland adhere to strict safety regulations, and the Irish Maritime Administration oversees their operation to ensure passenger safety.
Ferry accessibility and amenities onboard
Depending on the ferry operator and the specific route, you may find various amenities onboard, such as restaurants, bars, shops, and comfortable seating areas. Longer routes to France and Spain may offer overnight cabins.
Ferry operators in Ireland typically provide accessible facilities for passengers with disabilities. If you require assistance or have specific needs, it’s a good idea to inform the ferry company in advance.
When planning a journey via ferry in Ireland, it’s essential to consult the websites of the ferry operators for the most current information on routes, schedules, and ticketing. Additionally, keep in mind that ferry services can be affected by adverse weather conditions, so it’s a good idea to check for any service updates if you’re travelling during inclement weather. Once you have booked your trip, we recommend doing a little research before your journey. We have outlined some tips and advice below for you to review:
1. Become familiar with the rules of the road, such as country speed limits, seat belts and headlight requirements.
2. Ensure you ask a qualified mechanic to service your vehicle before embarking on your journey; road safety is paramount.
3. We recommend taking out European breakdown assistance and a travel insurance policy.
4. Remember to bring the following travel documents: a valid driving licence, passport & vehicle registration certificate.
5. And finally, always shop around for the lowest ferry prices. You may be surprised at how much you can save.
Remember that ferry travel can be a memorable part of your journey, offering scenic views, a relaxed atmosphere, and the opportunity to explore different regions and cultures. Enjoy your ferry adventure in Ireland, the UK and France. Ferry quotes are provided and administered by Direct Ferries. Terms and conditions apply. Use our ferry comparison engine to compare cheap ferries for great online deals today and save!
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