Ferries from the UK to Ireland: all you need to know

Posted on 12/11/2021 by Mike, Spaceships Crew


If you are thinking about visiting Ireland, here is all you need to know about ferries from the UK to Ireland.

You can take your Spaceship for a road trip or holiday in the UK or Europe. That could mean crossing the English Channel on a ferry or via Eurotunnel, but you could also head west across the Irish Sea to the island of Ireland. 

The island of Ireland comprises of 2 countries, Northern Ireland which is part of the UK and the Republic of Ireland which is a member state of the EU. There are ferries from England, Wales and Scotland into Ireland, so you can get over to Ireland as part of your #spaceshipsroadtrip from any of the three countries in mainland UK. You can easily visit Ireland too when you hire a Spaceships campervan or motorhome to take-off around the UK!

 

How much does the ferry cost?

The 64 million dollar question! Fares vary subject to the time of year and time of day. Just like airlines, demand will also affect prices, as will the size of your vehicle, number of passengers and any pets you may have with you. There are certain conditions for taking pets on a ferry. Please check with individual ferry operators and read our general guidelines here.

Crossing times will also vary according to weather conditions and the time of year. You will also notice that your return crossing may take longer than your ferry from the UK to Ireland. This may be as a result of shipping lanes and the routes to and from Ireland and the UK. 

You can use a ferry price comparison site like Direct Ferries to help with your research. You can compare routes, get prices and book one-way or return tickets.

You will need your campervan vehicle details which are as follows.

Spaceships Motorhome: Fiat Ducato, 6.99m length, 3.5m high and 2.8m wide

Spaceships Campervan: Ford Transit, 5.34m length, 2.22m high and 1.95m wide

Voyager Awning 1200

A Spaceships Voyager campervan on a campsite in Ireland

Don't forget that as a Spaceships customer you can get temporary access to Caravan and Motorhome Club membership for the duration of your hire. This gives you the opportunity to book ferry crossings at member rates. Find out more about our exclusive partnership with the Caravan and Motorhome Club here.

Ferries from Wales to Ireland

The shortest crossing from the UK mainland to the Republic of Ireland is from Fishguard in South Wales to Rosslare in County Wexford on the south-eastern tip of Ireland. The passage is across St Georges Channel and takes around 2 hours 15 minutes. There are regular crossings operated by Stena Line and Irish Ferries.

From Rosslare, you can head west on the N25 via Waterford to Cork and the southern end of the Wild Atlantic Way, the longest coastal road in the world!

Spaceships Motorhome on Ireland's Atlantic coast

A Spaceships rented motorhome on Ireland's coast

If you travel north on the N11 via Wexford, you will reach Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland. If you are thinking of exploring Dublin, leave your motorhome on the edge of the city and use public transport to get in. Much easier than driving and parking a motorhome in a busy city centre.

There is another crossing to Rosslare from Pembroke, just south of Fishguard, which may be more convenient if you are exploring the Gower peninsula and Pembrokeshire coast. Get some inspiration for a few days on the Pembrokeshire coast here.

If you are exploring North Wales and Snowdonia, you can take a ferry from Holyhead on Anglesey to Dublin. This crossing takes around 3 hours 15 minutes with crossings up to 4 times a day again run by Stena Line and Irish Ferries. After Dublin, head west on the M4 and M6 to the beautiful city of Galway on the west coast, or north into Northern Ireland home to Lough Neagh, the UK's largest lake by area (151 square miles) and a spectacular coastline.

Did you know?

The most northerly point on the island of Ireland is not in Northern Ireland. Malin Head is at the north end of the Wild Atlantic Way in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.

Malin Head County Donegal

The most northerly point in Ireland, Malin Head I Phot: Grace5mith - CC BY 2.0

Ferries from England to Ireland

You can travel from the historic city of Liverpool to Ireland and Northern Ireland. Liverpool is the birth place of The Beatles and home to the Liver Buildings, Pier Head and the River Mersey. P&O Ferries sail twice a day from Liverpool to Dublin. The crossing is for vehicles only and takes around 8 hours.

South of the Mersey is Birkenhead, where Stena Line operates 2 daily crossings to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Belfast is home to Titanic Belfast, a world leading visitor attraction which tells the story of the Titanic from design to her sinking on her maiden voyage. 

Ferries from Scotland to Northern Ireland

This is the fastest crossing to the island of Ireland. Ferries leave from Cairnryan near Stranraer in Dumfries & Galloway. The Port is on the shores of Loch Ryan and the ferries travel north out of the Loch then head south west to either Larne or Belfast.

Giants Causeway

In the footsteps of Giants... Giant's Causeway I Photo: Sean MacEntee - CC BY 2.0

Larne is north of Belfast, and from there it is a short drive to the coast of County Antrim with its incredible Giant's Causeway. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, now under the stewardship of The National Trust, this geological feature was caused by a Volcanic eruption resulting in around 40,000 short basalt columns being left. It's also close to Royal Portrush which has hosted The Open Golf Championship and the famous Bushmills Whiskey distillery.

P&O Ferries operates the Cairnryan to Larne ferries, while Stena Line sails from Cairnryan to Belfast in around 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Land on a ferry and take-off for Ireland

You can discover the UK, Europe and Ireland in your Spaceship. Just hire your Spaceships campervan or motorhome, touch down on one of the ferries from the UK to Ireland and blast-off to The Emerald Isle as part of your adventure!

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