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 or options to bring your pets: from onboard pet lounges, kennels and pet-frienfly 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.
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:
- your pet must be microchipped
- your pet must have had up-to-date rabies vaccinations at least 21 days before travel
dogs have had tapeworm treatment if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta
- you must obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) from an official vet 10 days before travel. This is valid for 4 months for a single trip to the EU / Northern Ireland
- you must enter the EU / Northern Ireland through a designated Traveller’s Point of Entry (TPE), where your pet will be checked.
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.
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. 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 internal pet areas with seating and passengers need to pre-book these areas during the summer months. Prior to making a booking, they recommend customers use their online Pet Ticket Availability Checker to help determine how much space is available. Customers will then be able to make their booking and return to the checker page to progress with the pet ticket request. See https://www.calmac.co.uk/travelling-with-calmac/help-for-passengers/pets for further information.
Condor Ferries – Condor Ferries charges £11 per pet when travelling from the UK to the Channel Islands. Pets must be kept in the vehicle at all times. 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 and costs £11 each way. 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 only be carried in your vehicle and cost £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 £10 each way or can be booked into the kennels for £5 each way. See www.steam-packet.com/faqs#pets for further information.
Isles of Scilly Travel – Dogs are welcomed on-board for a fee of £10 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 for summer 2022 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. The pet lounge costs from £25 each way and includes a dog and accompnaying adult (£15 onboard entry and £5 per dog/per person to enter 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. See https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland/travelling-with-pets. On Irish Sea routes cats and dogs can travel in a vehicle free of charge or be placed in a kennel. See https://www.stenaline.co.uk/travelling-with-pets/irish-sea 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.
Updated May 2022