Ferries offer a pet-friendly way to go on holiday with your furry friends whether it be to island destinations around the British Isles, to Ireland or over to the Continent. Ferries have a range of options to bring your pets: from onboard pet lounges, kennels and pet-friendly cabins to keeping your pet in your own vehicle. To make it easy to see how your pet can travel with your we’ve provided information on the ferry operators’ pet policies.
Specially trained assistance dogs are permitted in passenger areas on all ferries and are entitled to travel free of charge. Please check with individual operators on how an assistant dog is defined.
Taking your pet to the EU or Ireland
On 1 January 2021, Great Britain became a Part 2 listed third country in the EU Pet Travel Scheme, this means that when taking your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland*:
There is no change to the pet travel health requirements for entry into Great Britain, Great Britain continues to accept EU pet passports.
Detailed guidance from the Government on pet travel can be found here.
* There will be no routine physical or documentary checks on the non-commercial movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland until further notice
Brittany Ferries – Brittany Ferries is an approved carrier of cats, dogs and ferrets. Taking a pet to France costs from £29 one-way in the comfort of a car and from £45 one-way when taking a pet to Spain. Brittany Ferries also provides kennels and pet friendly cabins on several of their ferries, with pet promenades available for pets staying in pet-friendly cabins and in some kennels. Muzzles are compulsory at all times for dogs when they are outside the owners’ vehicle, kennel or pet friendly cabin during transfer but otherwise must remain in the chosen location for the duration of the journey. It is possible to exercise pets in the designated areas. See https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/pet-travel/customer-advice for further information.
Caledonian MacBrayne (Cal Mac) – Pets are welcome on-board free of charge but all pets need a ticket, regardless of whether you plan for them to remain in your vehicle, travel in the passenger pet lounge or sit outside. On most ships pets are allowed access to all outside passenger areas. If customers are travelling with a vehicle it is recommended they leave their pets in the car for the duration of the sailing. On larger ships there are inside pet lounges with seating, these get booked up quickly so we would encourage passengers to reserve in advance. See https://www.calmac.co.uk/travelling-with-calmac/help-for-passengers/pets for further information.
Condor Ferries – On the new Condor Islander there are a total of six pet-friendly cabins which can accommodate up to three people and one domestic pet. Each is en-suite, with bunk-style and an extra bed and differs from the usual passenger-only cabins in that they feature a laminate flooring. An outside deck is accessible for exercise and pets are to be muzzled and kept on a lead when not in the cabin. Pets can still be carried on Islander and the other passenger vessels in a vehicle or in an appropriate carrier on the car deck. Foot passengers taking their pets must have their own RSPCA approved carrier, which will be left in a designated area on the car deck for the duration of the journey at a cost of £11 each way. Pets travelling in vehicles are free of charge and must be kept in the vehicle at all times. See https://www.condorferries.co.uk/ferry-routes-ports/plan-your-journey/travel-advice/travelling-with-pets for further information.
DFDS – Passengers can take a pet on the Newcastle-Amsterdam route for £30 each way providing they are suitable secured in a vehicle, booked into the kennels or passengers book a pet-friendly cabin. Taking a pet on the Dover-Calais/Dunkirk and Newhaven-Dieppe routes costs £15/ £18 each way and pets must remain in the vehicle at all times. See https://www.dfds.com/en-gb/passenger-ferries/passenger-information/pet-travel for further information.
Hovertravel – Taking a pet on Hovertravel is free of charge. Pets must be carried in RSPCA approved pet carriers or restrained by a harness/collar and lead whilst on board, and kept on the floor in the passenger area, not on the passenger seats. See https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/travel-tips-and-advice/ for further information.
Irish Ferries – Dogs and cats can travel free of charge on Irish Sea routes in both vehicles and kennels although kennels must be booked in advance. Pets must stay in either for the duration of the journey. See https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/frequently-asked-questions/top-10-faqs/pets-ireland-britain-routes/ for further information. On the Dover to Calais route pets can remain in your vehicle free of charge or you can book kennels from £15 each way. See https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/frequently-asked-questions/travelling-on-dover-calais/travelling-with-pets-britain-france-routes/ for further information.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company – Passengers taking pets to Isle of Man can take them for free when kept in a vehicle for the duration of the journey. Dogs and cats can travel with passengers who wish to use the pet facilities available on-board, including pet friendly cabins, for a charge of £15 each way or can be booked into the kennels for £10 each way. In addition, new ship Manxman offers two pet lounges at the top of the stairways that link the car deck, kennels and pet exercising area (deck 7). See www.steam-packet.com/faqs#pets for further information.
Isles of Scilly Travel – Dogs are welcomed on-board for a fee of £11 each way, they must be kept on a lead at all times and out of the café areas and lower saloon. See www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk/plan-your-trip/pets for further information.
P&O Ferries – New since last summer on Dover to Calais crossings dogs can now travel with the whole family in a dedicated lounge which includes access to outside space and complimentary refreshments. A pet lounge upgrade costs from £12 per dog each way and £6 per passenger to enter the lounge. Alternatively taking a pet to France on the Dover-Calais route costs £15 per pet each way when pets stay in your vehicle. Hull to Rotterdam costs £22 each way with all cats and dogs staying in air-conditioned on-board kennels during the trip. On P&O Ferries’ Cairnryan to Larne route pets travel free of charge but must be kept in the vehicle while for the duration of the journey. See www.poferries.com for further information.
Red Funnel – Taking a pet on Red Funnel is free of charge. Travellers can either leave their pet in their vehicle for the duration of the journey or can accompany their pet in a suitable carrier or restrained in the appropriate manner to the designated pet areas on the A and B decks. See https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/en/isle-of-wight-ferry/dog-friendly-travel/ for further information.
Stena Line – Cats and dogs can now travel in pet-friendly cabins with their owners on North Sea crossings. Alternatively, they can stay in your vehicle for £18 each way or be booked into a kennel for £21 each way. All Stena Line kennels on the North Sea are fitted with a Kennel Cam that is linked to the relevant cabin so travellers can keep an eye on their pet during the crossing. On routes to and from Ireland pets can travel with their owner in pet-friendly cabins, in kennels or they can remain in vehicles. When booking a kennel or remaining in the vehicle pets travel free of charge on Irish Sea routes, except on the Liverpool to Belfast route, where a £15 kennel fee is applicable. On the Belfast-Cairnryan route whilst no pet cabins are available, there is a new pet-friendly lounge for pets travelling in pet carrier cases or pets may be left in the kennels or remain in your vehicle. On the Rosslare-Cherbourg route pet-friendly cabins are available on both Stena Vision and Stena Horizon and on Stena Horizon pets can also remain in vehicles or in a kennel. Please visit: https://www.stenaline.co.uk/customer-service/pre-travel/can-i-bring-my-pet for more information.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – dogs are welcome on all River Bus services free of charge but must be kept on a lead at all times. See https://www.thamesclippers.com/info/faq for more information.
Wightlink – Taking a pet on Wightlink is free of charge. Travellers can either leave their pet in their vehicle for the duration of the journey or accompany their pet in a suitable carrier or restrained in the appropriate manner to the designated pet friendly lounge area. See https://www.wightlink.co.uk/travel-advice/travelling-with-your-pet for further information.
N.B. Passengers travelling with pets can visit their pets below deck when accompanied by staff during the sailing as well as exercise them in designated areas at the discretion of the ship’s crew.