Vibrant cities, dramatic landscapes, beautiful scenery and a warm welcome await all adventurers who make the brilliant decision to travel to Ireland by ferry. Whether you are going to take a trip back in time through Ireland’s Ancient East, to explore the majestic landscape of the Causeway route or to experience the untamed Atlantic Way, this stunning country will provide you with experiences you will never forget. Deciding to travel to Ireland by ferry is the easy decision, the more difficult choice is how to plan your route through this wonderful country. Will you visit Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway or Killarney, the choice of amazing destinations is virtually endless! With five ports connecting Ireland to mainland Britain and France, you will be able to find a perfect port that gets you close to the start of your own adventure. One word of caution, it will be an adventure that you won’t want to end! Find your perfect port of entry for your Irish experience.
How to have a great cycling holiday in Ireland via ferry
Ireland’s varied landscapes and fresh, crisp air make the island an ideal cycling destination. Zip around the vibrant capital city of Dublin on two wheels, or explore the lush Irish countryside, including miles of some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Sailing to three destinations in Ireland, Discover Ferries’ members serve Cork, Dublin and Rosslare with easy access to the rest of the country, meaning there are plenty of options to entertain families, professionals and novices alike.
Visitors to Dublin can jump straight in the saddle for the Rathdrum Wicklow Gap, which starts right in the city centre and climbs 85km to Rathdrum via the beautiful Blessington Lake and through the Wicklow Mountains. For a less challenging coastal ride, take the Clifden road out of Galway City to Spiddal. This 40kms road route offers mountain and sea views: on a clear day the Cliffs of Moher or even the Aran Islands come into view. For more tours and travel ideas, visit www.ireland.com
Routes to Ireland are available from Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man SteamPacket, and Stena Line. Visit their websites for information, or call 0330 159 7000 for Brittany Ferries, +353 818 300 400 for Irish Ferries, +44 (0) 1304 44 88 88 for P&O Ferries, 08722 992 992 for Isle of Man SteamPacket, or 0844 770 7070 for Stena Line.
Travelling with a bike attached to a vehicle
The majority of passengers taking ferry holidays with bikes simply strap them onto their cars, caravans, or motorhomes in racks or boxes. That means they can drive to any destination and cycle wherever they go on their holiday. The pricing of taking bikes on a vehicle is simple – passengers just need to include the additional height and length of the vehicle when making the ferry booking.
It’s worth remembering that rear mounted cycle racks can obscure rear lights and number plates so car owners may need a lighting board with number plate and electrical supply to ensure their car and bike racks are legally roadworthy.
How to take a bike on board a ferry as a foot passenger
It’s easy to take a bike on a ferry as a foot passenger and cycle off into the sunset from the port. Passengers travelling with bicycles generally check in at the same time as other foot passengers. They dismount from their bikes for safety reasons and push their bicycle up the same vehicle ramp as that used by cars. Stewards will be on board to instruct cyclists. Once onboard travellers will be shown where to park and secure their bicycle on the deck for the crossing. It may be attached to the floor, wall or a railing for the crossing.
Ferry company policies and charges
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company allows foot passengers to take a bike free of charge. They operate seasonal sailings between the Isle of Man and Dublin. Visit www.steam-packet.com for more information.
Bicycles are permitted on board all Irish Ferries crossings including Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Pembroke and Rosslare to Cherbourg/Roscoff. The price of travelling with a bicycle is £20/ €20 return. Visit www.irishferries.com or call 08717 300 400.
In addition to checking out the cycling sections of each ferry members’ website there is some great advice for cycling routes from cycling organisations such as Eurovelo – a European cycling network http://www.eurovelo.com/en, or www.Sustrans.org.uk for UK, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland.Tourist Information