Travel by boat

You want to travel with comfort, avoid flying, reduce your environmental impact, or transport home lots of Irish beers? We thoroughly recommend taking the boat! One plus is that you can take your car (ideal for a road trip), but you can also travel as a foot passenger.

To us both, it is a very enjoyable and stress-free way to travel, besides its lower environmental impact. But of course, it does take more time and can be more expensive – although for families travelling together it can be very good value.

To turn your trip to Ireland into a high-seas adventure, these are your options:

  1. Irish Ferries via Cherbourg to Dublin
  2. Stena Line via Cherbourg to Rosslare
  3. From or via England and Wales

Let’s take a look at these different options.

1. Cherbourg to Dublin with Irish Ferries

Ferry to Ireland from France | Cherbourg - Dublin
The W.B. Yeats on its way to Dublin

The floating hotel that is the WB Yeats will take you in style from Cherbourg direct to Dublin Port. Visit the cinema, browse the gift shop, try to spot England from the outside deck, dine in a variety of restaurants (some very affordable) and the sleep snuggly in your compact cabin – when you wake up, Ireland will be on the horizon.

The WB Yeats sails 2-3 times a week in both directions. A return ticket per person costs about €140, to which you will need to add the cost of a cabin (from €90) or a reclining seat (around €30). If you are travelling in a group, the cost of the cabin can be shared between 2-4 people. All cabins are indicated as 4-bed cabins, but you can book one for fewer people, and you will not be sharing with strangers.

Book your tickets and find more information here:

If arriving to Cherbourg by train (oui, SNCF), note that the ferry port is a 40 minute walk from the train station and public transport will not help you. Leave enough time to walk or think about getting a taxi. 

For details of how to get from Dublin Port to the city centre as a foot passenger, check out the Travel within Dublin page.

Bonus: follow the route of the W.B. Yeats (Cherbourg – Dublin) in real time:

2. Cherbourg to Rosslare with Stena Line

Stena Line positionne son plus récent ferry sur Cherbourg-Rosslare | La  Presse de la Manche
The Stena Embla connects Cherbourg to Rosslare

The Stena ferries are departing every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from Cherbourg, and arrive in Rosslare the next day. For the return trip, departures are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

Book your tickets and find more information here:

You can either book a cabin or, for a more affordable option, a reclining seat. The price range is similar to Irish Ferries. The seat option is much less comfortable but it is very manageable if you are used to sleeping on trains and busses.

If arriving to Cherbourg by train (oui, SNCF), note that the ferry port is a 40 minute walk from the train station and public transport will not help you. Leave enough time to walk or think about getting a taxi. 

When you reach Rosslare, there are several trains a day from Rosslare Europort to Dublin’s Connolly station. The trip takes 2hrs 50 mins. The train station is right beside the ferry terminal.

Bonus: follow the route of the Stena Horizon (Cherbourg – Rosslare) in real time:

3. Through England and Wales

Get to London

First step, if you are coming from Belgium or France, you will need to get to London.

There are of course many options.

Travel across England and Wales

Once in England (or if you live there already) you will need to get to the port of Holyhead in Wales. If travelling by car, you can of course let your GPS or road map direct you. If you’re travelling by foot, the most incredibly good-value option is to buy a ‘Rail & Sail’ ticket that includes both your train and ferry ticket for around €120 return. Trains to Holyhead leave from Euston Station (10 minute walk from St Pancras Eurostar station). When you arrive in Holyhead, the train station is directly connected to the ferry port.

You can buy your Rail & Sail tickets from the Trainline website. If you need any help with booking these ask Ciara ( for help. Unless you live in Britain, you will have to choose the option to collect your tickets from a ticket machine when you get to London. To buy a Rail & Sail ticket leaving from Dublin, you just need to book it over the phone with the ferry company you are travelling with.

You can also travel by bus from London to Dublin (the bus travels with you on the ferry). The bus leaves London Victoria Coach Station at 17:45 on Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Dublin Bus Station (Busaras) at 06:30 the next morning. Buses from Dublin to London leave Busaras at 19:15 on Thursdays and Saturdays, and arrive in London Victoria at 08:00 the next morning. From €70 return, the bus is a very affordable option, but the timetables may not suit all travel plans.

Your options for travelling by ferry from Hollyhead to Dublin are Irish Ferries and Stena Line. They have very similar sailing times, the main difference is that the Irish Ferries boats are bigger and a bit more luxurious. You can travel by foot or by car with both companies.

Bonus: follow the route of the Stena Epsilon (Holyhead – Dublin) in real time (24h):