Guide to Dublin Port Ferry Terminal

Travelling by ferry from Dublin ferry port to England, Wales or the Isle of Man makes a practical alternative to flying, with modern, state of the art ships and port facilities.

Almost 2 million people used the port in 2012, and almost half of Ireland’s GDP is exported from here. Dublin is also the most popular Irish port for cruise liners, with almost 100 ships docking in a typical year.

From the port, 5 ferry companies offer over a dozen sailings throughout the day, with crossing times taking between 3 and 10 hours. Irish Ferries operate the Jonathan Swift between Dublin and Liverpool, with the crossing taking just less than 3 hours; the company also operates the world’s largest car ferry.

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Stena Line also operates between Dublin and Holyhead, while P&O Irish Sea has several daily sailings to Liverpool, and the Isle of Man Steam packet company offers service to Douglas.

The Dublin ferry port is conveniently located just a few miles east of the city centre, and is easily reached by bus and taxi from all over the city. For those arriving by car, the M50 goes right to the port, and also provides easy access to or from Dublin Airport, located about 12 miles to the north.

The M50 also connects with the M1 and the M2, making it easy to get to other destinations in Ireland. There is pay and display parking available immediately outside the terminals. Dublin has several railway stations, all located in the city centre and connected to the Dublin ferry port by bus.

The ferry lines operate from different terminals at Dublin terminal; Stena Line, for example has its own purpose built building. The port has a cafe and coffee shop, ticketing and tourist information facilities, disabled toilets and facilities for baby changing, as well as a play area for children.

Although check in times vary for the different ferry companies, most require no more than an hour. For those travellers with more time to spare, the city of Dublin is just a few miles away, and offers world famous sights, excellent shopping, lively nightlife and of course some of the best food and drink anywhere.

Holyhead Ferry Terminal Guide

Holyhead Ferry Terminal is a major port of departure for ships to Dublin and nearby Dun Laoghaire, and is served by Irish Ferries and Stena Line. The fastest crossing to and from Ireland takes about two hours, while the other ships take between four and eight hours. Both companies have several crossings each day. The Holyhead ferry terminal has all the facilities that travellers might need, whether departing or arriving.

Although it is located on the very furthest point of the island of Anglesey, the terminal is easy to reach. The A55 dual carriageway runs almost into the port, providing fast road access from both Wales and the northwest of England.

Manchester is about two and a half hours by car; Birmingham is just over three hours drive. A large park and ride car park offers shuttle service to and from the ferry terminal, and tickets for both short term and long term parking can be purchased from ticket machines.

Liverpool Airport is the closest large airport and is just over 100 miles away. The terminal is also easy to reach by rail and is next to the station; the journey time from London takes about four hours.

There are two cafes in the modern and spacious Holyhead ferry terminal, serving hot and cold food and drinks, as well as vending machines and a gift shop. There is also a tourist information desk, money change facility and ATM.

The terminal has good facilities for disabled travellers, including special toilets, wheelchairs for use, and plenty of disabled parking bays. There is a mother and baby changing room and trolleys are also available inside the terminal.

The town itself is the largest on the island and offers plenty of accommodation, and has a wide selection of affordable bed and breakfast places. Holyhead also has a good selection of shops and restaurants, and offers some good golf, sailing and fishing.

Although there are some good beaches nearby, the surrounding coast is known for its shipwrecks and the Maritime Museum details the 100 or so shipwrecks that have happened nearby.

The surrounding area is also home to several prehistoric burial sites and there are some scenic walks nearby, both along the coast and inland. Although many ferry passengers only spend one night in the town, Holyhead also makes a convenient base to explore the rest of the beautiful island of Anglesey.

Irish Ferries Overview

Irish Ferries is one of the largest ferry companies, offering services from Ireland to several destinations in Wales and France. The company was founded in 1973 as Irish Continental Line, operating one ship on the Rosslare to Le Havre route. In 1992, the company acquired the British and Irish Steam packet Co. which allowed them to operate on several other routes.

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During the last few years, the company has invested several hundred million pounds in upgrading and modernizing their fleet of ships. Irish Ferries has won several awards during the last few years, including the best ferry award at the Irish travel awards for 3 consecutive years from 2011 to 2013. The company is also committed to doing as much as possible to help the environment, and recent steps have included using non-toxic paint, buying supplies in bulk, and collecting waste oil. The Irish Ferries fleet is one of the most modern and efficient on the sea, and transports thousands of holidaymakers to and from the Emerald Isle every year.

Although times can vary by season, the company offers up to 12 crossings daily between Ireland, the UK and France. The fastest crossing is on the Dublin to Holyhead route; the company’s Jonathan Swift takes just less than 2 hours. There are two crossings daily between Rosslare and Pembroke, in South Wales, and the crossing takes about 4 hours.

The journeys to and from Roscoff and Cherbourg are overnight crossings; typical journey time is between 16 and 18 hours. Rosslare makes a convenient gateway to the southeast of Ireland, with easy road access to Dublin, while Cherbourg offers easy access to Paris, the north of France, Germany and the Netherlands. Irish Ferries offers a range of fares, special offers and promotional packages on travel throughout the year, as well as deals on self catering holidays in France.

The company’s fastest ship, the Jonathan Swift offers several bars and restaurants, a TV room and shopping, while the Oscar Wilde, which sails to France, is one of the most luxurious ferries at sea.

Passengers can choose from a wide range of cabin options, several cafes, bars and shops and a children’s entertainment area. All Irish Ferries offer free Wi-Fi, expedited boarding, club class upgrades and facilities for the disabled. The company also offers fast and easy check in, with required times for foot and car passengers ranging from just 30 minutes to an hour.

Stena Line

Stena Line has a long history of providing great customer service on their boats. Sten A. Olsson began his business by acquiring two ferry services in Denmark in the year 1962. He was one of the first to use computers for tickets and reservations, making it easier to book passage and cargo. These days, passengers, crossing the Northern Seas, will find themselves enjoying a new type of ship. The Stena Hollandica and Britannica are the largest ferries in service found anywhere on Earth. This is a company that thinks big and plans to be enjoying growth through the years.

The ships have Wi-Fi and movies for entertainment to help pass the time. For a relaxing beginning to any trip, leave the car on the parking deck and let the kids play in the up to date game room. These ships have shopping and restaurants for the adults to enjoy. Passengers can find comfort and entertainment to help make their crossing easier.

Stena Line has made planning a trip easier because of the savings and package deals they offer. A lot of people prefer to use public transportation once they arrive in Ireland or England. Buying the combination of rail service with a ferry ticket provides savings, and if an overnight stay is in the plans, several hotels will give a discount when a Stena package is used. Holidays can be planned with ease because of cheap and affordable transportation.

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The growth of Stena Line of ferries has happened not only due to the need for their services, but because the owners know that people want a fast and comfortable service. The added routes through the North Sea have allowed a whole new set of people to experience the reasons Stena are popular. Whether it is for a business trip or a vacation the traveler will find their journey a little easier when they use Stena Line.

All along the coasts of England and Ireland, there are great opportunities for sightseeing and simple pleasures with lots of time spent exploring. Stena Line’s Ferry services has expanded into the North Sea and also provides a means to enjoy these two ancient lands.

Dun Laoghaire Ferry Terminal Guide

Along with the Dublin Port ferry terminal, the Dun Laoghaire ferry terminal is a popular gateway to and from Ireland. The terminal is located about 8 miles southeast of Dublin city centre and is easily reached by the Dublin light rail system (DART) as well as several bus routes. During peak times, DART trains run every 15 minutes, and connect to the city’s main rail and bus stations.

The nearby M50 connects the terminal with Dublin Airport, and pay and display parking is available at Dun Laoghaire, with the option for frequent users to buy a quarterly or yearly parking pass.

The Dun Laoghaire ferry terminal is used by Stena Line, which operate their high speed ferry from the port to Holyhead, on the isle of Anglesey in Wales. The fastest crossing takes just over two hours, and ferries operate year round; the companies other ships take between 3 and 4 hours between Ireland and Wales.

Although daily schedules vary throughout the year, the earliest crossing from Ireland is typically at 2am; the latest one at 9pm. Facilities on board the Stena ferries include bars, restaurants, comfortable seating and Wi-Fi. Other onboard activities include an observation deck, children’s play area and shopping.

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Dublin Bay Cruises also offer daily seasonal service between Dun Laoghaire and Howth, offering easy transportation between the two places, as well as some great views of the bay and the port.

Just like the ferries, the terminal at Dun Laoghaire is modern and efficient, and has been purpose built and designed with the efficiency of an airport in mind. The terminal has a reservations and ticketing desk, vending machines offering snacks and drinks, and free Wi-Fi for waiting passengers.

There are also toilets for the disabled and staff assistance for anyone who needs extra help, as well as baby changing facilities. The nearby town of Dun Laoghaire itself has plenty of places to eat and drink as well as accommodation to suit all budgets, and the resort also offers some great sailing, fishing and golf. Dublin, with its world class attractions, shopping and museums, is a few minutes away.