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Affordable summer day trips and short breaks via ferry

By 06/08/2018May 5th, 2022Press Release

Make the most of the amazing weather by hopping on a ferry for a fun and affordable day out or mini break this summer. With over 80 routes to choose from, Discover Ferries’ 13 members offer a wide variety of options, no matter where you’re looking to go.


Brittany Ferries offers the chance to escape on a short break to Normandy or Brittany with ports in Caen, Cherbourg, Le Harve, St Malo and Roscoff.  Explore beautiful port towns, laze around the uncrowded, sandy beaches, go shopping or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere. Make the most of your break with an overnight sailing. For the most economical tickets sail as a foot passenger or to stock up on French goodies and Duty-Free bring your car. 

DFDS is offering a 3-day short break ticket on Dover-France sailings for a car and up to 4 passengers for £109 return with £50 cash-back to spend in their Duty-Free stores before you sail home until 30 June 2022. DFDS has partnered with Dunkirk Tourism so that passengers can use their tickets in Dunkirk to get Buy One Get One Free at the 1940 Operation Dynamo Museum, Muserial Fort des Dunes, the Port museum and Dunkirk’s Belfry Tower.

Irish Ferries just started their Dover to Calais service last year and have now introduced the third ship to the route. From £64 one-way you can travel with a car and 4 passengers from Dover to Calais and experience the friendly Irish service, they’re known for, on your trip to France.

P&O Ferries has a 3-day Short Break Offer from just £119 per car (and up to 9 people) when booked before the 30 June 2022. Although often thought of as the gateway to France, Calais and the Hauts-de-France region have plenty to keep you occupied for a short break including the Calais beach’s new resident – the fire-breathing dragon. Plus the charming city of Lille is just an hour’s drive away.


Discover gorgeous Guernsey on a day trip from just £37 per person return on Monday and Friday. The island, which was also featured in the film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is just a hop away on Condor Ferries high-speed service from Poole and is home to beautiful beaches, castles, fine dining restaurants and tax-free shopping. Condor Ferries also offers short breaks to Jersey and St Malo, France.


Irish Ferries is working with trainline to offer a rail-sail ticket for £43.50 one-way to Dublin. Leave the car behind and enjoy a Dublin city break. Irish Ferries sails from Holyhead to Dublin and Pembroke to Rosslare.

From the Titanic museum to the Giant’s Causeway, Belfast and the surrounding area make for a great day trip destination. Travel from Cairnryan to Larne (just 30 minutes’ from Belfast) with P&O Ferries and get 25% off if the return journey is made within 28 hours of the arrival time. Book by 31 May 2022. P&O Ferries also operates a route from Liverpool to Dublin.

Drop in on friends and family or explore somewhere new for the day. Stena Line is offering 25% off selected dates and sailings for stays in Ireland of up to 28 hours on their routes to Belfast, Dublin and Rosslare. Go by foot or take your own wheels.

Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly may feel like the Caribbean, but they’re close enough to visit for the day from Cornwall. The Isles of Scilly Travel offers day trip fares for for £35 per adult and £15 per child. Arriving on St Mary’s around midday, you can enjoy an afternoon of exploring the island before returning to Penzance. Visitors in September will be able to enjoy the Taste of Scilly Festival, which lasts all month.

Isle of Man

Set sail to the glorious Isle of Man with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and enjoy a whole host of action packed activities and events. The summer months are busy with a wide range of events and festivals, including racing and cultural programmes which take place across the island such as; The Manx Grand Prix Races (21 Aug – 2 Sept), Classic TT (21-26 August) and the Food and Drink Festival (17-18 September). Adult day trip foot passenger returns start from £35 and kids’ fares are from £18. This summer Kids Go Free when travelling midweek with a car and 2 adults.

Isle of Wight

Follow in Queen Victoria’s footsteps and escape to the Isle of Wight for a day. Here you can discover stunning beaches, top family attractions and numerous events and festivals such as Rhythmtree Festival (8-10 July), Cowes Week (30 July – 5 August), Jack Up the Summer (13-14 August), and the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival (20-21 August).

Hovertravel, the only scheduled passenger hovercraft service in Europe, is an attraction in its own right and the fastest way to the Isle of Wight, a flight taking just 10 minutes. If you book at least 48 hours in advance you can get a family off-peak day return ticket for £50.

Red Funnel offers foot passenger day returns from Southampton from just £11 per person– there’s no need to book, simply turn up, buy a ticket and travel. Families can travel on foot from £39.10 or, subject to availability, take the car for the day for just £51 (inclusive of up to 7 passengers). 

Wightlink operates from Lymington and Portsmouth and offers family day trip tickets from just £55.00. Over the summer months, up to two children aged 5-15 travel for free with Wightlink with every adult foot passenger day return ticket purchased.


Travelling by river on board Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is a scenic and relaxing way to travel around the capital. Combined tickets with attractions such as Emirates Air Line, the London Transport Museum, the Painted Hall in the Old Naval College Greenwich and St Paul’s Cathedral can save you time and money.

The Netherlands

DFDS offers a short break of up to 5 nights/ 6 days from Newcastle to Amsterdam from just £129 per person, including a car, when booked before the end of July 2022. You’ll have plenty of time to explore both the city and some of the beautiful dunes and coastline around Kennemerland National Park.

P&O Ferries offers crossings from Hull to Rotterdam from £159 one-way for a car and 2 passengers. From Rotterdam Europoort it is easy to explore both Rotterdam and The Hague, or drive south to the unspoilt beaches of Zeeland’s islands.

A family of four can travel to The Netherlands with Stena Line from £103.50 one-way including a car, meaning a mini break to the buzzing city of Rotterdam won’t break the bank. Stena Line offers daytime and overnight crossings on its Harwich to Hook of Holland route and Rotterdam is just 30 minutes’ from the port.

West Coast of Scotland

From beautiful beaches and ancient castles to fresh local food and wonderful wildlife, the West Coast of Scotland has something for everyone. In order to help day trippers make the most of their time, CalMac Ferries partnered with travel writer Robin McKelvie to suggest some great day trips out with the kids: https://www.calmac.co.uk/blog/ultimate-summer-day-trips-robin-mckelvie.

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