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General Ferry FAQs

By 16/06/2020September 23rd, 2022FAQs, Information

Pets

Can I take my dog with me?

Yes of course you can! Most ferry companies allow you to take pets on their routes.

https://www.discoverferries.com/thinking-taking-dog-holiday/

How much does it cost to take my pet on a ferry?

Sometimes this is totally free of charge and other times there is a small cost. Check with the ferry company you are planning to travel with to get the exact amount.

Can my pet stay with me on the ferry?

It depends on the route you’re taking as to whether your pet can stay with you on the crossing, stay in your car or in kennels in a dedicated pet area. You’ll need to check with the ferry company you are planning to travel with for exact details.

Can I take my pet on a ferry to France?

Oui! You can take them to any mainland European country provided all their documentation is up to date. Some companies like Brittany Ferries now operate a Pet Travel Scheme. With travel schemes like this, it makes it easy for you to take your dog or cat on holiday to the continent. Check out your ferry company’s website for all the details.

Driving

Can I take a trailer or caravan on a ferry?

Absolutely! Ferry travel is perfect for transporting all types of vehicles and trailers. However, ferries come in all shapes and sizes so it’s well worth checking the website of the ferry company that you intend to travel with for the exact requirements of that particular vessel.

What are the legal requirements for driving in Europe?

It’s always best to be prepared when you’re driving in Europe. Vehicles travelling in Europe are now legally required to have certain breakdown and emergency equipment stored in the vehicle. Check the website of the ferry company you are booking with for a list of all the things you need to do and have with you to make your journey run smoothly.

What are the speed limits in Europe?

The speed limit on motorways is generally 110, 120 or 130 km/h and the limit in built-up areas is 50 or 60 km/h. Keep an eye on the signs to make sure of the exact limits and any special conditions that apply.

What do I have to have in my car when I drive in France?

The following items are compulsory to have in your car under French law: Original registration documentation, reflective jacket/waistcoat, warning triangle and headlamp adjustment kit. For more details, check the website of the ferry company you are travelling with or check our partner’s website – www.theaa.com.

What type of vehicle can I take on a ferry?

All sorts! The beauty of ferry travel is in its flexibility. The exact vehicle you can take depends on the individual requirements of the ship that you are planning to travel on, but you could travel in a car, motorhome, a car with a roof-box, on a bike, on a motorbike, a car with bikes on the roof, a car towing a caravan or trailer, on a coach, minibus and you can travel with your commercial vehicle too! Always check the individual requirements of the company you are travelling with before you book!

Is parking available at ports?

Short and long term secure parking is available at most ports. The cost of this will vary according to the particular port. For more information it is best to contact the port directly.

Can I travel with a roof box or bicycles attached to my car?

Yes, that’s what ferries are designed for! Please make sure that you enter your vehicle dimensions correctly, including any attached racks or roof-boxes. Failure to enter vehicle dimensions correctly may lead to problems at the port, such as additional charges or not enough space being available for you to board the ferry.

On Board

Do ferries have Wi-Fi?

A large number of ferries now offer free Wi-Fi on board which is brilliant for keeping in touch when you’re travelling. It’s fantastic for sending those last minute emails, checking the traffic on your forward route, booking a restaurant or updating your social media status to ‘on an adventure!’

Are ferries equiped for disabled passengers?

Of course! Modern ferries have been designed or adapted to suit the needs of disabled or passengers with reduced mobility, however some sailings have a restriction on the number of wheelchairs that can be taken. If you have specific requirements, check with the ferry company that you plan to sail with.

Are there places to eat and drink on a ferry?

There are lots of places to eat and drink on the vast majority of vessels with only the smallest ships on the shortest routes not providing this service. One of the best things about ferry travel is that you can relax, eat and drink while you’re travelling. We think you’ll be surprised by the range and quality of the onboard dining options now available on ferries.

Can I book a cabin on a ferry?

Yes. Cabins are available on many ferries, especially on longer routes. Ships have many different types of cabins and to see if cabins are available on the route that you want to travel, follow the links to your ferry company’s homepage. Cabins can typically be booked online, onboard or by calling your ferry operator.

Are there medical services on a ferry?

Many of the larger ships will have nurses on board, for both daily and emergency care. In addition, the larger ships often have a dedicated sick bay to enable care and support to be provided. On ships that do not have dedicated medical staff on board, a number of staff will have been trained in first aid and will be able to help you on your journey. If you think that you may become ill while travelling on a ferry it is advisable to take medication prior to departure and keep it with you on board as it may not be available on the vessel.

What currency do I use onboard a ferry?

Prices on board ferries are in Sterling or Euro depending on the route. On most routes ferries will accept both Euro and Sterling as payment. Bureau de Change facilities are available on board many ships that are serving routes to countries in the euro zone.

Can I take my bike on a ferry?

Yes, bicycles are usually carried free of charge when the rider buys a foot passenger ticket. Please note that space for bicycles can be limited on some fast ferry services and it’s always best to check with the ferry company you plan to travel with. If you’re planning to travel with bikes on the back or top of your car, that’s fine too but again, it’s best to check the exact dimensions permitted on the ship that you intend to travel on.

Can I buy duty free on a ferry?

Yes, if you are travelling from the UK to an EU country or vice versa you can take advantage of duty-free and tax-free shopping on board your ferry.

You have a duty-free allowance on both your outbound and your return journey, but the allowance for entry into the UK will be higher than the allowance for entry into the EU.  This “duty-free allowance” is what you can bring into the country through Customs without having to declare it or pay any duty or tax.  You do not need to buy the items in a duty-free shop: you are free to buy the items wherever you wish: in a duty-free shop on board the ferry, or in your favourite hypermarket (or vineyard or distillery!) inland.

These new duty-free allowances will replace the current rules which allow you to bring as much as you like of whatever you like with you when travelling between the UK and neighbouring countries.  However, for two adults travelling together to the UK, the new duty-free allowance for wine and beer amounts to a car-boot-full, so you will still be able to travel to the Continent to stock up.

When travelling from the UK to the EU, your duty-free allowance (per adult) will be:

  • 1 litre of spirits
  • 4 litres of still wine
  • 16 litres of beer
  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of smoking tobacco
  • and €430 (£398) in other goods

When travelling from the EU to the UK, your duty-paid allowance (per adult) will be:

 Alcohol

  • 42 litres of beer
  • 18 litres of still wine
  • 4 litres of spirits OR 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine or any alcoholic beverage less than 22% ABV

Tobacco

  • 200 cigarettes OR
  • 100 cigarillos OR
  • 50 cigars OR
  • 250g tobacco OR
  • 200 sticks of tobacco for heating
  • or any proportional combination of the above

and £390 worth of other goods.

Paperwork

Do I need to take my passport when I travel on a ferry around the British Isles?

This is pretty simple, if you hold a British passport and you’re travelling on a ferry route within the British Isles, you do not need a passport to travel but are required to take a form of photo identity.

Do I need a ticket to travel on a ferry?

This all depends on how you made your booking. Typically you’ll need your booking reference number and a form of photo identification at check-in. Check-in is a straightforward process on ferries and if you have any detailed questions, check out the website of the ferry company you are planning to travel with or give them a call, they’ll be happy to help.

Do I need a passport when I travel to Europe on a ferry?

Yes, a passport is required for all passengers, including children and infants, it must be less than 10 years old and be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of return for all trips to mainland Europe. You will not be permitted to travel on routes to mainland Europe without a valid passport.