Ferries to Great Britain from Northern Irelamd
There are a number of ferry companies operating services between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. These are:
- Stenaline – Services between Belfast & Liverpool and Belfast & Cairnryan
- P&O – Services between Larne & Cairnryan
- Steam Packet Company – Service between Belfast & Douglas (Isle of Man)
Ferries to Great Britain from Dublin
Many people also use Dublin Port to get to and from Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
These ferry companies operate services between Dublin and Great Britain.
- Stenaline – Services between Dublin and Holyhead and Dublin and Liverpool
- Irish Ferries – Services between Dublin and Holyhead.
Northern Ireland ferry services
The Department for Infrastructure supports two ferry services in Northern Ireland. These are
- The Rathlin Island Ferry
- The Strangford Ferry
For more information about both ferry services visit the NI Direct website.
Two private ferry services operate between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These are:
- The Carlingford Lough Ferry – operating between Greencastle & Greenore
- The Lough Foyle Ferry – operating between Magilligan & Greencastle
Visit The Carlingford Lough website.
Visit The Lough Foyle Ferry website.
UK & European Regulation
Ferry travel can be a challenge for disabled people but you do have rights under UK and EU Regulation. These rights include:
- A ferry operator cannot refuse a booking from you because of your disability, except in very specific circumstances.
- Port facilities must be accessible to you.
- Ferry operators must provide assistance free of charge, if you require this, from when you arrive at the portt until you depart.
The Regulation applies to all jourmeys within the UK and EU.
The Consumer Council
The Consumer Council is the body in Northern Ireland responsible for handling complaints about ferry travel including accessibility issues. They have produced a guide for disabled people and people with reduced mobility called “Access to Ferry Travel.”
Visit the Consumer Council website.
Terminal and ferry accessibility
Each ferry company has information about the accessibility of their services.
Find out more about accessibility on the Irish Ferries website.
Find out more about accessibility on the P&O website.
Find out more about accessibility on the Steam Packet Company website.
Find out more about accessibility on the Stenaline website.
Travelling with an assistance dog
The rules around travelling in and out of Northern Ireland with an assistance dog have changed as a result of Brexit. For the latest requirements visit the website of the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
Accessibility of Northern Ireland ferries
For more information about the accessibility of the Strangford Ferry visit the NI Direct website.
To find out more about the accessibility of other services you should contact the operator directly.
Changing Places facilities
Currently no ferry operator has a Changing Places facility at a terminal or onboard the ferry.
Every ferry company is required to provide you with assistance to use their services. You must give the ferry operator at least 48 hours notice if you require assistance. The best time to do this is when booking your journey. Ferry companies and travel agents should ask you about “Special Assistance” when booking.
Arrival at the port
The ferry company should provide a designated point in the terminal where you can access assistance.
Assistance with your journey
The ferry company should provide you with assistance checking in, boarding and disembarking the ferry and accessing facilities on the ferry.
Arrival at your destination
You should receive the same assistance once you arrive at your destination, right through to leaving the port.
The Consumer Council has produced a detailed guide about the assistance you should expect when travelling by ferry.
Visit the Consumer Council website.
If you have a free or half fare SmartPass you can use this on the Strangford and Rathlin Island Ferry services.
For more information about the discounts available visit the NI Direct website.