Discover Ferries members want all passengers to enjoy a relaxing and stress-free journey on board and are committed to making services accessible and easy to use.

We understand that the more information you have about your journey, the more confident you will feel when travelling. With this mind, we have put together this overview of the accessible facilities that are available on board ferries and ensure you have a great ferry experience.

Prepare and book ahead to ensure you get the best assistance

  • Facilities vary depending on the vessel you sail on, so check what assistance is available at the port and on board before you travel. If you have questions about your journey, please contact the ferry operators directly.
  • The design and construction of a ship can make it difficult for some disabled passengers to move freely around, these passengers may wish to consider travelling with an able-bodied companion to assist during the voyage.
  • If you are travelling with an assistance dog, make sure you check which documentation is required and, if travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland, arrange for your dog to get a valid health certificate.
  • To ensure the best possible service is provided, ferry operators ask for as much notification of assistance as possible. Let ferry operators know about the level of assistance you will require for your travel when you make your booking or at least 48 hours before departure.

What assistance ferry operators offer on board

Facilities vary depending on the vessel you sail on, so check on the operator’s website or with the operator directly what facilities are available on board before you book.


Most ferries have either lifts from the car decks or passenger ramps suitable for wheelchair users. Space on the car deck may be limited close to the lifts at busy periods.  If a passenger needs to use the lift they can let operators know at the time of booking and their vehicle will be loaded in the lift lane.

Accessible Cabins

Ferries which feature private cabins have a range of wheelchair accessible cabins on most vessels, with wider doors and step-free en suite facilities. Some have bunk beds and your travelling companion/s may need to use an upper bunk.

Accessible toilets

There are accessible toilets available on most member ferries, however this varies by vessel. Please check before booking.

Loan of a wheelchair

Not all ferries can accommodate motorised wheelchairs or buggies in passenger areas; however, they can usually be loaded as freight or left on the car deck and, on most routes, a standard wheelchair will be made available for use during the journey.

Priority seating

Some ferries have priority seating areas. Seats in this area can be used by anyone but should be made available if they are needed for passengers with disabilities, expectant mothers or the elderly.

Visual Impairment

Ferries have some Braille signage on board but not all services have information available in Braille. If you or a member of your travelling party has a visual impairment, we recommend visiting the information desk on board or speaking to a member of crew for assistance with orientation.

Hearing Impairment

If you or a member of your travelling party has a hearing impairment, please report to the Information Desk on board or speak to a member of the crew. Some operators have an induction loop and others will arrange for you to receive all important messages being made over the onboard speaker system.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs are carried free of charge and can access all passenger areas of the ferry. They must be kept on a lead at all times. You may need to show your assistance animal has been certified and, if you are travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland, that they have a valid health certificate.

Carrying medical oxygen

Please notify the ferry operator of any need to bring mobility and/or medical equipment at the time of the booking. You can travel with medical oxygen with written permission from a GP advising that medical oxygen is required. Ferry operators need to be informed that medical oxygen will potentially be used on the voyage at the time of booking.

Personal care

Ferry operators are not able to help with personal care matters such as feeding, breathing, lifting or using the toilet.

Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme for hidden disabilities is recognised by Condor Ferries, Hovertravel, Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries and Red Funnel.

Concessionary Fares

Concessionary fares are available with some ferry operators, please check with the individual operators to see what is available.

Department for Transport – Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme

The Department of Transport aims to improve disabled people’s access to transport systems. The Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme recognises and celebrates operators that already put disabled passengers at the heart of their service provision. In 2020 Hovertravel was awarded Leader status in the scheme for their HoverCare initiative and here is their case study.

Where to find out more information

Ferry Company Access information online Telephone Email / Contact Us web form
Brittany Ferries 0330 159 5015
Monday-Friday: 09:00 – 18:00
Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 – 16:30
[email protected]
Caledonian MacBrayne 0800 066 5000
+44 1475 650397 (for international customers)
08:00 – 17:00
[email protected]
Condor Ferries 0345 609 1024
Monday – Saturday:
10:00 – 14:00
[email protected]
DFDS Dover to France: 0871 574 7235
Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 15:00Newhaven to Dieppe: 0800 917 1201
Monday-Friday: 08:00-16:00*Calls cost 13p per minute plus your telephone companies access charge.
[email protected]
Newcastle-Amsterdam: [email protected]
[email protected]
Hovertravel 0345 222 0461
Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:00
[email protected]
Irish Ferries  03717 300 400

Monday-Friday: 08:00- 18:00
Saturday: 09:00-16:00

[email protected]
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company 01624 661661

Monday-Friday: 0830-1800
Saturday-Sunday: 0900-1800

[email protected]
Isles of Scilly Travel 01736 334220

Monday-Saturday 09:30-17:00

[email protected]
P&O Ferries 01304 44 88 88

Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00

[email protected]
Red Funnel 02380 019192


[email protected]
Stena Line 03447 707070

Monday–Friday: 08:00-22:00
Saturday–Sunday: 09:00-22:00

* Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

[email protected]
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers Contact us:
Wightlink 0800 093 8236

Monday-Friday 09:00- 18:00
Saturday-Sunday 09:00-17:00

Contact us: