Love is in the (sea) air this year. 2024 is also leap year, which is considered good luck for couples tying the knot and 29th February is the day traditionally set aside for when women can get down on one knee and propose (if you need an extra incentive). With unique experiences, intimate environments and privacy high on lovers’ wish lists, ferry travel offers an escape from cramped aeroplanes and crowded stations. There are also plenty of opportunities to capture dreamy selfies on deck to announce your love to the world.
So whether you’re looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, an engagement or a mini-moon, look no further than these ferry romantic getaways.
Take a “Valenthames” cruise
Board the city’s most romantic mode of transport – The Uber Love Boat by Thames Clippers – the perfect start to any date night. Enjoy an hour-long sailing through the heart of London and take in its famous landmarks whilst listening to live music and sipping on a glass of bubbles. Depart from Canary Wharf Pier at 18.15 on 14th February.
The “Engagement” Ring of Kerry
In Ireland, 29th February is called Bachelor’s Day or Ladies’ Privilege as the custom for women proposing originates from the legend of St Bridget and St Patrick. Rather than offer a diamond ring (or the traditional Claddagh ring), why not drive the scenic Kerry Ring along the Wild Atlantic Way and enjoy breathtaking views, charming villages and ancient ruins? You can stop en route to kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck – although if the proposal is declined, ladies should be gifted gloves or a silk gown!
Love at First Flight
The world’s only year-round scheduled passenger hovercraft service is launching a new romantic-themed experience for couples. A special VIP flight will take off on Sunday 18th February. Guests will be welcomed with Champagne and Chocolates while taking in exceptional views of the Solent from the balcony at the terminal. Great for couples looking for something completely different, the hovercraft will perform 360 degree turns and a host of manoeuvres never usually seen on the regular scheduled service. Book now with Hovertravel.
Cuddle up on Coll
Credit Airborne Lens Mark Craig
If your idea of a romantic break is peaceful seclusion, head to Coll. The island is a two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from the mainland but feels like a world away. Its Dark Sky status makes it perfect for stargazing and take a front row seat for one of the best shows in the universe. Cosy up at the Coll Hotel, where guests can dine on dishes made from the best of Scotland’s larder, including lobster, crab and langoustine. Catch the ferry from Oban with Caledonian MacBrayne.
Find fulfilment on the Isle of Man
The heart of the British Isles, the Isle of Man offers plenty of outdoor pursuits for active couples who love a challenge. Conquer fears, face challenges and boost your adrenaline levels during a romantic break together at The Venture Centre, which has a high ropes course, archery, air rifle target practice, axe throwing and cross bow shooting. You can follow up with an interactive treasure hunt around Douglas. Go Quest Adventure runs a self-guided sightseeing tour with an escape room element that starts from the Sea Terminal. Travel with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Double dip in Deauville
This fashionable seaside resort on France’s western coast retains a quiet elegance that suits a romantic weekend. Sea bathing is celebrated with beautiful Art Deco changing cabins, the Pompeiian baths and an Olympic-sized pool filled with sea water (heated to a balmy 28°C). Indulge in a sea therapy spa treatment followed by a massage for two at the Algotherm Thalasso Centre or the Esprit de Spa. The rom com A man and a woman was directed from Hotel Normandy, just a stone’s throw from the historic boardwalk!
Admire diamonds in Antwerp
The diamond capital of the world, this Belgian city has been central to the international gem trade since the 15th Century. 85% of the world’s rough diamonds and half of all polished stones pass through the city’s Diamond District meaning you can find some of the best deals on quality stones here. Whether you’re window shopping or making a grand purchase, celebrate with dinner for two at the trendy Restaurant Le John before sampling local Trappist beers from the extensive bar menu at Billie’s Bier. Sail via France or the Netherlands with DFDS, Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries or Stena Line.
A romantic treetop break on the Isle of Wight
Head to the Isle of Wight for an intimate treehouse stay in this forest idyll. There are plenty of walking routes for you to enjoy views over The Needles, the white cliffs and the woodlands. After a day enjoying the great outdoors, spend evenings cosied up next to the wood burning stove passing time together – the treehouses are equipped with books, puzzles and board games. Explore the many eateries in Yarmouth and Cowes or order in deliveries of fabulous local produce and homecooked takeaways. Sail across with Red Funnel or Wightlink.
Aphrodisiacs in Jersey
© Visit Jersey
Seymour Oyster in the Channel Islands offers Champagne and Oyster Tours so visitors can sample these foods of love. Learn about oyster farming and experience the oyster beds set in crystal clear environment, which shifts with the tides. Why not splash out and stay at the Royal Yacht Hotel? The hotel has an award-winning spa a relaxing sauna, aromatherapy room and spa bath. The penthouse suites have a balcony with hot tub so you can take a dip under the stars.
Sail to Jersey with Condor Ferries.
Honeymoon in the Isles of Scilly
Strapped for time, why not book now and travel later? Treat your loved one to an exotic escape to the Isles of Scilly, which has white sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes perfect for honeymooners or couples looking for a secluded getaway. To make it even more memorable, keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins and marine life from the decks of Scillonian III – named the UK’s best ferry route for wildlife spotting in 2022. Sail away from March to November.
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