Enter your search keyword or phrase and press enter.

February 27, 2024

Discover the joy of ferry travel

A gentle sea breeze, space to stretch your legs, a comfortable lounge and even the chance to spot dolphins and whales on the way; it’s easy to see why travelling by ferry is one of the most relaxing ways to get away. Plus, if you’re looking to take your car or campervan on holiday with you, ferry travel is one of the easiest ways to get there.

Discover Ferries, the industry body which represents 13 ferry operators, promotes just how enjoyable travelling on the water is. With more than 80 routes to choose from, travel to destinations in the British Isles including the Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the west of Scotland’s islands and peninsulas and Ireland as well as the Thames River Bus service through the centre of London. However, if your sights are set on continental Europe, there are direct sailings to the Netherlands, Spain and France…

Your holiday starts from the moment you board

Holidays should allow you to get away from the stresses and strains of daily life and the journey should be the start of this experience. With the space and freedom to move around on board, you can choose how you want to spend the journey. There are multiple places to pass the time including premium lounges, coffee shops and bar areas and, with onboard Wi-Fi available, you can also tackle emails or plan the next part of your trip.

It goes without saying that ferries offer spectacular views of the water and marine life making a stroll on deck a must! Discover Ferries has even created a Wildlife Map with marine conservation charity ORCA, to help passengers identify the whales, dolphins, and birds they can spot while they enjoy fresh air during their crossing.

Your journey, your way

Modern ferries boast some onboard experiences that you may expect to find on a luxury cruise liner, including a cinema, live entertainment, and games rooms. Some ships even have a spa! On longer crossings retire to your own private, en-suite cabin to arrive feeling relaxed and well-rested. For that bit of extra luxury why not upgrade to a more spacious, premium cabin? Room extras include sea views, TV and a stocked mini-bar. Accessible and pet-friendly cabins are also available.

“Deck-adent” dining

Foodies can really push the boat out when it comes to indulging in some of the finest food on the seven seas. You can enjoy a range of culinary treats on board, from quick bites to gourmet meals, made with ingredients increasingly sourced from local suppliers. Larger cruise ferries that serve longer crossings have a fine dining à la carte restaurant with menus that boast smoked salmon, langoustines and fillet steak. Amp up the glamour and indulge in a glass of Champagne or a cocktail at the bar.

Take everything you need and more

Owners of sports equipment and people with specialist hobbies are choosing to travel by ferry so they can holiday with the things that don’t easily fit in their suitcase. From a suit of armour (which would certainly set metal detectors off!) to sports equipment such as kayaks, kite surfs, snowboards and even a boat – ferry passengers have the freedom to bring more than just the essentials.

There are no restrictions on luggage allowances, which alleviates the pressures of packing. Your belongings stay with you or in your vehicle so you can avoid the worry of losing suitcases in transit and the pain of waiting for baggage upon arrival. It also negates the challenge of airport security, which 41% of travellers find stressful. While rules around the transportation of liquids are changing, the need to unpack, remove clothing and separate hand luggage can be avoided.

Furthermore, there’s plenty of room to bring back souvenirs and any duty-free! When shopping on board ferry services to Europe, Ireland and the Channel Islands you can save up to 40% on premium brands of cosmetics, wines and spirits.

Don’t forget Fido!

Dogs are very much a part of the family, so it’s no surprise that so many of us are keen to take our pets with us on new adventures and ferries make it easy to do so. The Kennel Club community even voted ferry travel as the easiest way to journey overseas in the British Isles and beyond with a dog.

Ferry operators have noted that pet travel is up by at least 20% on 2019 figures, which is partly attributed to the lockdown puppy boom. As a result, they have invested in dedicated pet facilities on board to make sure the journey is as easy and relaxing for dogs as it is for owners. Depending on which service you travel on, owners can spend quality time with their dog in pet lounges, give their four-legged friend a walk on a “pet promenade”, or settle them in a kennel for the crossing – some ships even boast a pet channel so you can tune in and check on your dog throughout the journey! On longer sailings, it is often possible to travel in a pet-friendly private en-suite cabin, which allows for all the family to relax together in their own space.

To help dogs and their owners prepare for trips, Discover Ferries and the Kennel Club have prepared a definitive pet packing list.

When combined with a straightforward boarding procedure and the thrill of spotting your destination come into view as you arrive, there really is no better way to travel!

Visit DiscoverFerries.com to see the list of ferry destinations that can be reached from the UK.

Social media


Instagram / #Luxurialife