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(15 July 2019) When it comes to dining out, Brits abroad are more adventurous than you might think. Far from shunning foreign cuisine, almost two thirds (60%) actively seek out local delicacies, according to a survey commissioned by Discover Ferries. Four in ten (40%) even say local delicacies are their favourite holiday food. Seafood and fish and chips are a distant second (14%)**, when it comes to favourite holiday foods, while 44% of respondents say they like to eat locally sourced food when they are away. Perhaps less surprisingly, beer (18%), wine (15%) and alcoholic cocktails (12%) top the list respectively as favourite holiday drinks.

The YouGov survey into consumer holiday habits was commissioned by Discover Ferries, the industry body for ferry operators. Emma Batchelor, Director of Discover Ferries, says:

“Taking your vehicle, or bike, via ferry is a great way to travel, especially if you want to explore local eateries, vineyards or even breweries as part of your holiday. You also have the option to take home your holiday favourites as most ferries don’t have any passenger luggage restrictions.”

“What might surprise some people, however, is the fantastic array of delicious gastronomic delights available on board ferries these days; from award winning local cheeses and sausages to artisan breads and locally sourced chocolates, jams and even ice-cream,” continued Emma. “And that is before you even start to explore the myriad speciality whiskies, gins, juices and beers that our ferry members stock.”

The YouGov survey mirrors a Discover Ferries audit of members’ food and drink offering, which reports over 70^ different locally sourced food and drink items that are available to purchase on board member ferry services, which serve London, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, France, Spain, Belgium and Holland.

Examples of locally sourced foods and delicacies include: cheeses from the Isle of Arran and Isle of Man; beef from Waterford, sausages and black pudding from Cork; kippers from Isle of Man; cakes and muffins from Essex, Bute and the Isle of Wight; crisps from Kent and Isle of Wight and ice cream from France and the West Country.

“With on board catering this good,” added Emma, “you can see how, when you travel by ferry, your holiday starts as soon as you board.”

Discover Ferries members include Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, Condor, DFDS, Hovertravel, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, MBNA Thames Clippers, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.

To access Discover Ferries’ latest blog on the top destinations for foodies by ferry, or for more information on where to go by ferry, visit www.discoverferries.com


* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,113 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 4th July 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

** 8% of respondents chose seafood as their favourite holiday dish, and a further 6% selected fish and chips.

^Locally sourced products sold on board by region:

  • Channel Islands: Sark Chocolates, Wheadons Gin (Guernsey), Ten degrees Gin (Guernsey), La Mare confectionery (Jersey), Rocquette cider (Guernsey), Liberation craft beer
  • East England: Stokes sauces
  • France: Carrots, onions, artichokes from Prince de Bretagne;Moustache Ice Cream; wine and champagne
  • Ireland: Beef from Waterford, award winning sausages from Mitchelstown County Cork, bacon from County Kilkenny, and black and white pudding from West Cork. Dublin roasted Java Republic coffee and Barry’s Tea from Cork.  AndyCorn popcorn produced in Navan, Co. Meath
  • Isle of Man: Manx Kippers, Isle of Man Creamery Cheese, Manx Ice Cream Tubs, Davison’s chocolates, Manx Spirit and gin and vodka from Fynoderee and Seven Kingdoms distilleries.
  • Isle of Wight: Isle of Wight Tomatoes, Piper’s Arreton Tomato Crisps, Grace’s Bakery sandwiches, Briddlesford Farm’s milk from Guernsey herd, Island Roasted coffee, Wight Crystal water, Calbourne Classics cakes, products from The Garlic Farm, Isle of Wight Biscuit Company, Wight Salt from Ventnor and The Tomato Stall’s juice and ketchup, drinks from Goddard’s Brewery, Island Ales and Isle of Wight Distillery.
  • London: The London Beer Factory, Gipsy Hill; Meantime London Pale Ale, brewed in Greenwich; Sipsmith London Dry Gin distilled in Chiswick; Soho Sandwiches (Tottenham).  Cakes, shortbread dips and muffins by Tiptree Patisserie in Essex (Greater London). Pastries from Paul Rhodes Bakery in Greenwich.
  • Netherlands: bitterballen, heineken
  • Scotland: Cheese, milk, oak cakes, preserves and bakery products from the Isle of Arran; ale, cakes and hot pastries from Bute; gin from Colonsay; ale from Eigg; Harris gin; Islay wine and ale; gin from Jura; black pudding and biscuits from the Isle of Lewis; shortbread, biscuits and gin from the Isle of Mull; jams and preserves from North Uist; Oban chocolate and sandwiches; Isle of Skye Tablet (fudge) and ales; over 20 single malt whiskies
  • South East England: ‘Kent Crisps’, Traditional Hand Cooked British Crisps. Shepherd Neame ‘Spitfire Ale’ Britain’s oldest brewer based in Kent.
  • South West England: Marshfield Ice cream

Discover Ferries press office

Contact:  Abby Penlington or Emma Batchelor via email on: [email protected] or Tel: 07763 806459