Getting To & Around: Ferry Service

Ferry Service in Ireland

A variety of Ferry Services are available from Britain and continental Europe to Ireland. Ports in Ireland include Dublin Ferry Port and Dun Laoghaire Harbor in County Dublin. There is Rosslare in County Wexford and Ringaskiddy in County Cork. In Northern Ireland the ports are Belfast City and Larne, both in County Antrim. Service for individual foot passengers, and those traveling by coach and car can be accommodated. However, some ferries have limited access for the infirm, disabled and small children. Ferries primarily transport motor vehicles, people, and freight. Passage may be purchased for one way or round trip crossings. Individual passengers should allow up to 60 minutes for check-in time. Passengers utilizing the car ferries should allow 1 ½ hours for check-in. Group Travel could take up to two hours for check-in.

 

Departure ports include: Fishguard, Holyhead, Moyston, Pembroke, and Swansea in Wales; Cherbourg and Roscoff in France; and Fleetwood, Heysham, and Liverpool in Britain. From Scotland the ferries depart from Stranraer and Troon. Douglas in the Isle of Man has departures in the summer only.

 

Irish Ferries offer routings between Holyhead to Dublin, Pembroke to Rosslare, and Roscoff or Cherbourg to Rosslare. Service is available for foot passengers, ship & coach, and ship & rail. Both daylight and night service is available from Dublin to Holyhead. On the Ireland – Britain routes seating is not reserved. However, seating can be reserved on the Ireland – France routes. With Irish Ferries, you have your choice of the Cruise Ferry or the Dublin Swift. The Cruise Ferry offers a more leisurely crossing taking approximately 3 ¼ hours from Holyhead to Dublin. The Dublin Swift, is much faster with a crossing time of about to two hours on the same route. On the France to Ireland route the approximate crossing time is 19 hours.

 

Stena Line offers conventional and fast ferry service from the UK to Ireland. The routing is Fishguard to Rossalre, Wexford, and the Superferry crossing is approximately 3 ½ hours. The fast ferry on Stena Lynx is approximately two hours. There are a variety of berths available if you prefer a stateroom for your crossing. Stena Line also offers Rail & Sail Packages, Day Trips to Ireland by coach and ferry. Other routings include Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, and Stranraer to Belfast. Facilities on board include a Bureau de Change, lounges, restaurants and a bar.

 

Swansea Cork Ferries schedules its routings between Swansea in South Wales to Ringskiddy, County Cork. The crossing usually takes place overnight, so when you arrive in Ireland, you are ready to have an adventure, feeling fully refreshed. Service is provided for foot passengers, car, bicycle, minibus, motor home, and van transport. Caravans, boats, trailers, and motorcycles can also be transported by ferry. Facilities on board include restaurants, bars and duty free shopping.

 

P&O Irish Sea Ferries offers routing between Britain and Ireland, and France and Ireland. Some service has limited passenger facilities and may not be suited for the infirm, disabled or small children. On some of the ships there are no lifts to the main passenger areas, access is by staircases. The onboard facilities usually include one main lounge with dining area and bar, TV, and seating area. Many of the sailings are subject to tidal restrictions. It is recommended that you contact the ferry service 48 hours prior to departure and 24 hours to confirm. The ports are Cairnryan to Larne, Troon, to Larne, Fleetwood to Larne, Liverpool to Dublin, Mostyn, North Wales to Dublin and Cherbourg to Rosslare.

DESTINATION

PORT OF DEPARTURE

FERRY CO. SHIP

DURATION

DUBLIN
Holyhead
Irish Ferries:
Dublin Swift
Cruise Ferry
1 h 50 min
3 h 15 min
Holyhead
Stena Line:
Superferry
3 h 45 min
Cherbourg
P&O Irish Sea Ferries
European Ambassador
(not available for foot passengers)
(weekends June to August)
18 h
Liverpool
Norse Merchant Ferries:
Cruise Ferry
P&O Irish Sea Ferries:
Norbay
Norbank
(both ships have no lift to main passenger area access is by staircase)
Isle of Man Steam Packet Co:
Superseacat
7 h

7 ½ h
7 ½ h

 

3 h 45 min

CORK
Roscoff
Brittany Ferries
Irish Ferries
13 h
16 h
Swansea
Cork Ferries
10 h
ROSSLARE
Fishguard
Stena Line:
StenaLynx
Superferry
1 h 50 min
3 h 45 min
Pembroke
Irish Ferries
3 h 45 min
Cherbourg
P&O Irish Sea Ferries:
European Diplomat
(no foot passengers, no lifts)
19 h18 h
Roscoff
Irish Ferries
15 h
BELFAST
Liverpool
Norse Merchant Ferries:
Cruise Ferry
8 ½ h to 11 h
Stranraer
Stena Line:
Stena HSS
Superferry
1 h 15 min
3 h 15 min
Heysham
Isle of Man Steam Packet:
Seacat Hoverspeed
4 h
Troon
Isle of Man Steam Packet:
Seacat
2 h 30 min
Douglas
Isle of Man Steam Packet:
SeaCat
2 h 45 min
LARNE
Cairnryan
P&O Irish Sea Ferries:
SuperStar Express
European Causeway
European Highlander
(new service effective July 2002)
1 h
1 h 45 min
1 h 45 min
Fleetwood
P&O Irish Sea Ferries:
European Seafarer
8 h
Troon
P&O Irish Sea Ferries
(limited passenger facilities)
4 h

FERRY SERVICE WITHIN IRELAND

There are a variety of ferry services transporting people between the mainland of Ireland and the various surrounding islands. Many of these services operate year round, some with additional sailings during the summer months. Advanced booking is usually required. Experiencing the ferry services can save several minutes and miles on your journey. They are a shorter distance than the roads, and you do not have to contend with traffic. On longer journeys you can anticipate a bit of refreshment on board. It is important to keep in mind that all sailings on all ferries are subject to weather conditions. Each and every ferry service has the right to adjust their schedule.

Aran Islands, County Galway

Island Ferries Teo provides year round, round trip ferry service to all three Aran Islands, Inish Mor, Inish Meain, and Inish Oirr. The ferries depart from Rossaveal, County Galway, twice daily from November through the end of March. From April through the end of October there are three daily departures. During the summer, extra sailings are scheduled. The company offers five boats, which can accommodate from 36 to 272 passengers, and takes between 35 to 40 minutes per sailing.

 

Doolin Ferries provides daily, round trip, sailings from Doolin and Galway to Inish Mor, Inish Meain, and Inish Oirr. The sailing is only 20 minutes from Doolin on the five company boats. Additional crossings take place June, July and August.

 

InisMor Ferries owns and operates the Queen of Aran II ferry, a boost to the local economy. The ferry departs from Rossaveal, 20 miles from Galway City, on a daily basis. The ferry crossing takes approximately 40 minutes.

Inishbofin Island, County Galway

Inishbofin Island is situated off the coast of Connemara, County Galway. Three ferries operate on this route, departing from the harbor in Cleggan, northwest of Clifden. The Dun Aengus is owned by the people of Inishbofin. Its use supports the island economy. During the summer months there are three crossings daily. There are two other ferries that are privately owned and operated.

Tory Island and Arranmore Island, County Donegal

Donegal, located in the northwest of Ireland, offers ferry service to Tory Island off the west coast of Donegal. Another service is to Arranmore Island, located three miles from the Donegal mainland.

 

Donegal Coastal Cruises provide ferry service from Bunbeg and Magheroarty. This service operates year round, with the winter sailings operating five days a week and taking one and one half-hours. During the summer with extra service, the ferry operates from Bunbeg, Magheroarty, and Portnabiagh and takes 40 minutes.

 

The Arranmore Island Ferry Service, departs from the fishing village of Burtonport, offering daily service on a year round basis. Cars and foot passengers can be accommodated. The crossing takes approximately 20 minutes.

Killimer-Tarbert, County Clare

Shannon Ferries services the Shannon Estuary with the Killimer – Tarbert car ferry. The 20-minute journey saves 85 miles driving. Two ferries operate, accommodating up to 350 passengers and 60 cars. Both ferries can accommodate a variety of transports including commercial vehicles, coaches, caravans, camper vans and motorcycles. Reservations do not have to be booked in advance.

Valentia Island, County Cork

Valentia Island Car Ferry runs from Knightstown Pier, situated a half-mile off the Ring of Kerry Road, to Renard Point on Valentia Island. The ferry operates as a shuttle service, with a five-minute crossing, six months of the year, from 1 April to 1 October. The island is also accessible by driving across the bridge.

Bere Island, County Cork

Murphy’s Ferry Service operates a daily car and passenger ferry from the Pontoon Pier, near Glengarriff, County Cork to Bere Island, County Cork. Four sailings operate Monday through Thursday, and an additional sailing on Friday, September through May. Supplementary sailings are scheduled June through August.

Cape Clear Island, County Cork

West Cork Coastal Cruises Ltd. is a seasonal ferry service during the months of June, July and August, from Skull to Cape Clear Island. A run operates from Baltimore to Cape Clear Island. This crossing is 45 minutes.

 

Cape Clear Island Ferry Service operates two vessels, the Naomh Ciaran II and the Karycraft. The Naomh Ciaran II operates year round from Baltimore to Cape Clear Island with additional crossings during July and August. The Karycraft operates Schull to Cape Clear Island, June through September. In May extra crossings run according to demand. Bikes are carried free. The crossing takes approximately 45 minutes.

Sherkin Island, West Cork

Sherkin Island Ferry Service operates a Summer and Winter schedule with seven sailings daily during the summer months. The Summer ferry, Oilean Na nEan, carries 90 passengers. The Winter ferry, Miss Josephine, carries 42 passengers. Departing from Baltimore pier, the crossing takes approximately 10 minutes.

Garrigaloe and Glenbrook, County Cork

Cross River Ferries Ltd. provides two vessels on a five minute crossing across the River Lee, from Garrigaloe on Great Island to Glenbrook. The car ferry provides a quicker way to avoid congested traffic around Cork City. The ferries run daily and reservations are not required.

Waterford to Wexford

Passage East Car Ferry Co. offers service between Passage East in County Waterford and Ballyhack in County Wexford. Sailings are daily, year round, and saves the traveler 40 minutes drive time. The ferry service can accommodate passenger cars, mini buses, light vans, pick-ups. Crossing time takes approximately five minutes.

Ireland and Britain

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