Ferry Travel Tips and FAQ

What are ferries?

Ferries are vessels that transport cars, motorcycles, bicycles and other vehicles as well as passengers across a particular channel, river, sea, lake, or any other body of water.

Fast passenger catamaran ferry crossing a large body of water
Fast passenger catamaran ferry crossing a large body of water

How long do ferry trips last?

If you are travelling on a short distance, across a small lake or narrow channel your trip may last just 15 minutes. On longer ferry routes the travelling times can be 10 or even 15 hours which includes overnight crossing, which depends on the length of the trip as well as on the speed of the ferry. Some are slower while others are very fast (like the speedy catamaran-style ferries in the above photo).

Articles about ferry travel tips

How long before the ferry departure should I arrive?

It depends on the ferry company, crossing details and the size or type of the ferry. Once you buy your ticket it will be written on your booking confirmation when is exact check-in time.

Most of the large ferry companies that run longer ferry crossings expect you to arrive at least two hours before departure. Make sure to also double-check the minimum check-in time required especially for large car (vehicle) ferries.

For small, passenger-only ferries that run short routes, check-in time is much shorter, sometimes just a few minutes prior to departure.

These types of ferries are considered a means of local public transport so passengers are treated as ones on local buses, metros or trams. Below photo shows one of them:

Small passenger ferry serving a very short crossings
Small passenger ferry serving very short crossings

Can I take a dog on a ferry?

That really depends on the ferry company’s pet policy and the facilities of the particular vessel.

Most of the ferry companies accept dogs on their ferries under certain conditions – these are either that dog is kept on a leash or in a separate cage, if that facility exists on the particular vessel. Some larger ferries are even equipped with dog-friendly cabins where you can accommodate your pet too.

If you plan to travel with any other pet (cat, squirrel, hamster, hedgehog, etc) the best option is to get in touch with a specific ferry company to get info about their policy for that type of animal.

Note: Car alarms are distressing for passengers & their pets. Alarms are triggered by ship movement & vibrations. Please consider disarming your alarm during your sailing.

Island hopping, views from the deck of a local ferry
Island hopping, views from the deck of a local ferry
  • Overnight Ferry Travel Tips

    Travelling by overnight ferry to your destination can be great fun if you get well-prepared in advance. Leaving things for the last minute is a not good choice as you may end up not enjoying your overnight crossing and the following day you will be too tired to focus on the sightseeing or your further travels. Here are some tips...
    Read more » Overnight Ferry Travel Tips
  • What To Wear On A Ferry

    The answer to question what should I wear on the ferry depends on what type of ferry you take (slow car ferry or passenger fast ferry ), in what season you are travelling and whether you want or are allowed to be out on open decks or not. If you have never been on the ferry before and wonder what...
    Read more » What To Wear On A Ferry
  • Ferry Cabins

    There is nothing better than arriving at your destination fully rested and refreshed for the journey ahead or for a day of sightseeing. Whether you need a cabin for an overnight journey or just to enjoy comfort and privacy during a longer daytime crossing, choosing a cabin on the ferry can be confusing. Here is what you have to know...
    Read more » Ferry Cabins
  • Brittany Ferries

    Brittany Ferries is a ferry company that operates ferry crossings between France, Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. A privately owned French company that was started by Breton farmers in 1972, runs a car ferry daytime and overnight service from eleven European ports, connecting four countries: the UK with France, the UK with Spain, Ireland with France and Ireland with...
    Read more » Brittany Ferries
  • Car Ferry Travel Tips

    Car or vehicle ferries are vessels that transport cars and other vehicles such as bicycles, vans or trucks between two or more landmasses across any body of water – lakes, sea, channel, ocean. They also transport foot passengers. Getting prepared for your car ferry trip If you never travelled on a car ferry before, here is a list of things...
    Read more » Car Ferry Travel Tips