Ferries to Northern Ireland | Ferries Within Northern Ireland | A Helpful Guide

Looking for a ferry to Northern Ireland?  Looking for a ferry from or within Northern Ireland?

The following is an overview of the ferry operators which operate services between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.  In addition, information is also given for services which operate within Northern Ireland and to the Republic of Ireland.
Please note that the information given on this page is subject to change.

Please check with your chosen operator directly as no guarantee is given that this information is correct.  You can visit their websites by clicking on their logo on this page.  

Unless otherwise stated services which carry cars, normally also carry motorcycles and bicycles.  

Clicking on a vessel name or picture will take you to that vessels page on NI Ferry Site.  When viewed on a computer monitor the side profile images of the ships are to scale.

P : Service carries foot passengers,  C : Service carries cars and their drivers,  B : Service carries coaches/buses,  F : Service carries freight


Ferries To / From Northern Ireland

Stena Line Ferry Routes

Stena Line is Northern Ireland’s largest ferry operator with three routes linking Northern Ireland to England and Scotland.  

Route Frequency Vessels

 Belfast (VT4) to Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port)
P.C.B.F

Crossing Time: Approx. 2 hours & 15 mins

 Up to 6 crossings per day in each direction between Belfast and Scotland for passengers, cars, and freight. STENA SUPERFAST VII

 

STENA SUPERFAST VIII

Belfast (VT2) to Liverpool (Birkenhead 12 quays)
P.C.B.F

Crossing Time: Approx. 8 hours

 Up to 2 crossings per day in each direction between Belfast and England for passengers, cars, and freight.  Up to 1 additional return crossing per day for freight only.
STENA EDDA

STENA MERSEY

SEATRUCK PANORAMA (Freight Only)
Belfast (VT1) to Heysham
[Freight Only]

 

F

Crossing Time: Varies according to tidal conditions at Heysham

Freight (mostly unaccompanied) up to twice daily between Northern Ireland and England.

Sailing times are subject to tidal conditions at Heysham.

STENA HIBERNIA
(Freight only)

 

STENA SCOTIA
(Freight only)


P&O Ferries

 

P&O Ferries currently only offers a single route from Northern Ireland, connecting Larne with the Scottish port of Cairnryan.

Route Frequency Vessels

 Larne to Cairnryan (Cairnryan Harbour)
P.C.B.F

Crossing Time: Approx. 2 hours

 Up to 7 crossings per day in each direction between Cairnryan and Larne for passengers, cars, and freight. EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY

 

EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER


Seatruck Ferries

Seatruck Ferries are a freight ferry operator owned by the Danish Clipper Group and headquartered in Heysham, Lancashire.  At present they only offer one route to an from Northern Ireland, between Warrenpoint and Heysham.  Although they are a freight operator Seatruck do carry a limited number of leisure passengers when they are accompanying a car.  The do not however take foot passengers.

Route Frequency Vessels

 Warrenpoint to Heysham
[Freight]

F.C

Crossing Time: Varies according to tidal conditions at Heysham

 Freight (mostly unaccompanied) and a strictly limited number of passengers with their vehicles up to twice daily between Northern Ireland and England.

Sailing times are subject to tidal conditions at Heysham.

SEATRUCK PRECISION 
(Freight and a limited number of passenger with vehicles)

SEATRUCK PERFORMANCE
(Freight and a limited number of passengers with vehicles)


Isle of Man Steam Packet

The Isle of Man Steam Packet is the only company which offers ferry services to the Isle of Man.  Sailings between Belfast and the Manx capital Douglas are offered on a seasonal basis using both a conventional vessel and a fast-craft.

Route Frequency Vessels

 Belfast to Douglas (IoM)
[Seasonal]

C.B.P

Crossing Time: As advised

 Sailing frequency varies for services between Belfast and the Isle of Man.  Passengers, cars, and freight are carried. HSC MANANNAN

BEN-MY-CHREE


Frazer Ferries Ferry Routes Info

Limerick based Frazer Ferries currently operate 2 routes to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland.  These routes operate under the separate brands “Scenic Carlingford Ferry” and “Lough Foyle Ferry”.

Scenic Carlingford Ferry

The Carlingford Lough ferry is the newest ferry service in Northern Ireland having only been established in 2017.  The year-round service links Greencastle in County Down with Greenore in County Louth using up to two vessels at a time

Route Frequency Vessels

Greencastle (Co. Down) to Greenore (Co. Louth)
P.C.B
*

Crossing Time: Approx.15 mins

Continuous Shuttle Service between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  There are restrictions on the types of buses which can be carried.  AISLING GABRIELLE

FRAZER MARINER
(Relief Vessel)

Scenic Lough Foyle Ferry

The Lough Foyle ferry is a seasonal service which links Greencastle in County Donegal to Magilligan Point across Lough Foyle.

Route Frequency Vessels

Magilligan Point (Co. L’derry) to Greencastle (Co. Donegal) [Seasonal]
P.C.B

Crossing Time: Approx.15 mins

Continuous Shuttle Service between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. STRANGFORD

 FRAZER MARINER
(Relief Vessel)


Kintyre Express Ferry Routes

Kintyre Express offer passenger only ferry crossings and cruises from Ballycastle on a seasonal basis.

Route Frequency Vessels
Ballycastle – Campbeltown (Kintyre, Scotland)
[Seasonal]
    Redbay Stormforce RIB
Ballycastle – Port Ellen (Isle of Islay, Scotland)
[Seasonal]
    Redbay Stormforce RIB

 

Ferries within Northern Ireland

There are two “lifeline” ferry services which carry passengers and vehicles within Northern Ireland. These connect Ballycastle to Rathlin Island, and Strangford to Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula. The latter route actually forms part of the A2 road and is effectively a toll road facilitated by a ferry.


Strangford Lough Ferry

Strangford Lough Ferry

The current incarnation of the Strangford Lough ferry service has been in operation since 1969, however, the service itself goes back much further to at least 1611.  The year-round route actually forms part of the A2 “coast road” around Northern Ireland and so is operated by Transport NI. 

Route Frequency Vessels

 Strangford to Portaferry
P.C.B
*

Crossing Time: Approx. 15 mins

 Up to 30 sailings per day for passengers, cars, and other vehicles up to 8m long. PORTAFERRY II

 

STRANGFORD II


Rathlin Island Ferry

Rathlin Island Ferry operates a year-round lifeline ferry service linking Ballycastle to Rathlin Island.

Route Frequency Vessels

Ballycastle to Church Bay (Rathlin Island)
.*
*Vehicles are only permitted on the island when they fulfil certain strict criteria.  Tourist vehicles are only permitted where a valid vehicle permit has been obtained, though disabled blue badge holders may also bring their vehicle on to the island if their blue badge is displayed at all times.

Crossing Time: 20 mins – 45 mins depending on vessel.

Check https://rathlinballycastleferry.com for details SPIRIT OF RATHLIN

 

RATHLIN EXPRESS
(Passengers only)

 

The information given on this page is subject to change.  Please check with the operator as no guarantee is given that this information is correct.  Unless otherwise stated services which carry cars, normally also carry motorcycles and bicycles.  Clicking on the operators logo will take you to their website.