National Ferry Week

By | Category: Travel news
The Condor Rapide linking the UK and France to the Channel Islands

The Condor Rapide linking the UK and France to the Channel Islands

Did you know such a thing existed? Nor I. It starts on March 5th and unlike tourism weeks or the newly launched National Museums and Wellbeing Week, this celebration lasts a fortnight. Why so Long? What’s behind such an event?

There are good reasons why people use ferries rather than planes to holiday abroad and the ferry companies are using this opportunity to draw attention to themselves and what the modern ferry services are like.

Domestically, there are some Scottish islands where the only convenient way of approaching them is on the subsidised Caledonian MacBrayne ferries.

The ferry companies say that using a ferry means you don’t have to face “stressful queues in airports” or “being squashed into a small seat for several hours.”

As far as I am concerned, the major advantage in using a ferry is when you have lots of luggage or you are taking your pet with you. Or you are planning on bringing back lots of items bought abroad.

The ferry companies will also say that the range of facilities on board modern ships makes the journey both comfortable and entertaining and very different from how it was years ago. Unlike planes, ferries have cinemas with a choice of films, children safe-areas and play areas, shopping malls and family lounges to sleeper loungers with reclining chairs. Some ferries and routes even have a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi and sauna!

National Ferry FortnightLast year 39 million people travelled by ferry so it is a popular and significant tourist transportation system.

The ferry companies that operate from the UK are:

Brittany Ferries which sails from Plymouth, Poole and Portsmouth to Bilbao and Santander in Spain as well as the French ports of Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Roscoff and St Malo. There is also a service between Cork and Roscoff.

Caledonian MacBrayne is a domestic company linking 26 routes to the Scottish mainland from some of the most beautiful our coastline.

Condor Ferries link the UK to the Channel Islands. There are departures from Poole and Portsmouth to Guernsey, Jersey and from those islands to St Malo and Cherbourg.

DFDS Seaways operate from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk and from Newhaven to Dieppe. There is also a service from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

Irish Ferries run services from Rosslare and Dublin to Holyhead and Pembroke and from the same two Irish ports to Cherbourg. There is also a service from Rosslare to Rosscof.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company runs services to the island from Belfast,Birkenhead, Dublin, Heysham, Larne and Liverpool.

The Isles of Scilly Travel Company links the main island of St Mary’s with Penzance in Cornwall. The same company also operates the air services from Exeter, Land’s End and Newquay airports.

John O’ Groats Ferries undertake a ferry service from John O’groats to Burwick on Orkney

North Link Ferries provide the service linking the Orkney and Shetland Islands with Aberdeen and Scrabster in Caithness.

P&O Ferries provide a number of ferry links. Ships sail from Dover to Calais, Hull to Amsterdam and Zeebrugge, Liverpool to Dublin and from Larne to Troon and


Stena Superfast X which operates on  the Holyhead -Dublin route

Stena Superfast X which operates on the Holyhead -Dublin route

Pentland Ferries links Gills Bay in Caithness and St Margaret’s Hope on South Ronaldsay in Orkney

Red Funnel Ferries link the Isle of Wight with Southampton with departures from both East and West Cowes.

Stena Line operates from Harwich to the Hook of Holland

Stena Line operates from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and then all the other services from the UK are to ports in the island of Ireland. Fishguard is linked to Rosslare, Holyhead to Dublin and Belfast with both Cairnryan and Liverpool.

Wightlink is the other ferry service linking the Isle of Wight to the mainland. Services operate from Lymington to Yarmouth and from Portsmouth to Fishbourne. There is also a catamaran service from Portsmouth to Ryde.



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