The majority of carriers to Europe now only allow dogs to travel if they are in the owner’s vehicle, and not accompanying foot passengers. The only company which travels between the UK for Europe where dogs can travel without vehicles is DFDS on the Newhaven – Dieppe route, where foot passengers can take animals but they must be contain in a suitable carrier. Brittany ferries does offer kennels and dog friendly cabins, so pets do not have to remain in vehicles for the entire trip, but these are only available when you pre-book and travel by car.
Once you are onboard, the policies varies from company to company. We have compiled information from the major ferry companies serving the most popular routes around Britain.
Please note, as of 26/05/2010, the European Parliament and Council have advised that the number of dogs, cats and ferrets entering from one EU Member State into another will be limited to 5.
Isle of Wight
Wightlink – Dogs travel free on Wightlink Ferries, and you do not need to book them in. Wightlink do not provide kennels, so all animals must be secured in suitable containers or restrained. If you are taking your car, you can leave your dog in the car during the crossing, but they have to be left alone as you are not able to stay in the vehicle during the sailing. Dogs are not allowed in the main passenger lounges, but there is a dedicated ‘pet lounge’ and they are allowed on the outside deck. Assistance dogs are allowed in all public areas.
Wightlink also publish a guide to taking your dogs to the Isle of Wight called ‘Pawprint’ which can be found here – http://www.wightlink.co.uk/isle-of-wight-guide-and-events/walking/pawprint
Red Funnel – There is no charge for dogs travelling with Red Funnel. They recommend that dogs stay in vehicles during the crossing, but they are allowed to travel in one of the designated pet areas on Decks A or B. Drinking water is available on Deck A. Red Funnel request that owners abide by the following rules to avoid complaints from other passengers:
- Dogs must be restrained by a harness/collar and lead at all times.
- They must not be allowed to interfere with other pets, passengers or crew.
- They are only permitted in the designated areas marked onboard – for food hygiene reasons, they are not allowed near any food areas.
- They must not be allowed to occupy a seat or climb over seats – you may want to consider bringing a floor blanket for them.
- A £50 cleaning charge (to be paid at the time) applies if a dog fouls whilst onboard. To allow for ‘calls of nature’, we recommend you allow sufficient time to exercise your dog before boarding the ferry (there are suitable areas within a short walk of both ferry ports).
Red funnel advise that nervous or aggressive dogs are muzzled or left in vehicles for the duration of the trip. The car decks are ventilated and patrolled by the ship’s crew during the voyage, but windows of cars should be left ajar to aid ventilation.
Hovertravel – Dogs are permitted to travel with foot passengers, but must be kept on a lead and must not go on the passenger seats. There is no charge for dogs, but there will be a penalty fare if dogs foul on the craft, pad or terminal.
For all journeys to and from Europe, pets are required to be part of the ‘Pet Passport’ scheme.
Stena Line – allows the travel of dogs, cats and ferrets to and from to the UK on Stena Line’s Harwich – Hook of Holland route. Pets can either make the crossing in your car, or in the ships kennel facilities. As pets are not allowed on passengers decks or in cabins, it is recommend that you visit your pet during the crossing to ensure they are comfortable.
P&O – The policies vary depending on the route, but on all journeys animals must travel with a vehicle, as foot passengers are not permitted to transport pets.
Dover – Calais – you must check-in at least 1 hour before your trip and pets must remain in the vehicle during the crossing. The cost for pets is £15 each way.
Hull – Rotterdam/Zeebruge – you must check-in at least 90 minutes before your trip and pets must remain in the air-conditioned kennels on the vehicle deck. Coach and foot passengers are able to bring pets. There is a £17 charge each way for pets travelling this route.
Animals cannot travel unaccompanied on any route.
Brittany Ferries – depending on your destination and the vessel you are travelling on, dogs can travel in your own car, in the ships kennels, or in a pet friendly cabin.
Pets must be booked in advance, and bookings on the day of departure will not be accepted. Animals cannot travel unaccompanied, or with passengers travelling by foot, bicycle or motorcycle.
The prices for pets are as follows:
- UK – France – £16.50
- France – UK – £24.75
- UK – Spain – £29.50
- Spain – UK – £39.50
The following ships all have kennels – Pont-Aven (Portsmouth/Plymouth and Santander), Cap Finistère (Portsmouth and Bilbao) and Bretagne (Portsmouth and St Malo)
On all crossings:
- a tap is available close to kennels to provide pets with water
- exercise areas area located near to the kennels
- No bedding is provided, so please bring your own
- Dogs occupying kennels are not allowed in any public area of the ship
- Muzzles are compulsory
Pont-Aven – 42 small and 24 large kennels, accessible at all times via a swipe card.
Cap Finistère – 8 small and 4 large kennels are accessible at all times via a swipe card which is issued at check in. A dog waste bin and bags are provided.
Bretagne – 12 small and 24 large kennels which can be visited during set times to be advised when on board.
If your pet would rather travel with you, pet friendly cabins are available on the Cap Finistère to Bilbao or Santander, or the Etretat to Santander or Le Havre.
The Cap Finistère has 17 pet friendly cabins on deck 9, and an exclusive promenade on deck 10 is available to pet owners travelling in a pet friendly cabin.
Etretat has with 13 pet friendly cabins on deck 6. There is an exercise area at the rear of the ship which is opened shortly after the vessel departs.
Condor Ferries – Pets can accompany passengers who are travelling by car, and must be left in the vehicle for the duration of the crossing.
Pets are charged at £30 for the first pet and £15 for additional pets for return journeys between the UK, St Malo, Portsmouth and Cherbourg.
It may be possible to visit the car deck during the crossing, but you must be accompanied by a member of the crew and visits are dependent on weather conditions.
DFDS – allows pets onboard all ferries, but the facilities available vary slightly amongst the different routes. You can visit your pet during your crossing, even if you are travelling on an overnight crossing. These viists should be arranged with the crew on board the vessel.
Newcastle-Amsterdam & Harwich-Esbjerg – pets can travel within vehicles on kennels for a cost of £19 each way. Pets must be registered in advance at the time of making your booking.
Dover-Calais & Dover-Dunkirk – on these routes pets can travel within vehicles on kennels. Pets must be registered in advance at the time of making your booking. There is no charge for journeys from Dover, but a £30 fee for pets travelling from either Dunkirk or Calais back to Dover.
Portsmouth-Le Havre & Newhaven-Dieppe – pets can travel in vehicles for a cost of £18 each way on these routes. They can be visited by arrangement with the crew, but not in the first or last hour of the journey.
Pets may be taken on the Newhaven – Dieppe route by foot passengers, as long as they are contained in a suitable cage. On the Portsmouth – Le Havre route only cats can be carried on by foot passengers.
LDLines – pets can travel with LDLines as long as reservations are made in advance online and you check in with your pet at least 90 minutes before your departure. They must stay in your vehicle for the crossing. It may be possible to accommodate foot passengers wishing to travel with their pet in a cage, but these reservations must be made via the call center.
Please note – pets are not allowed on the Poole-Santander route.
MyFerryLink – Up to five pets per vehicle are allowed. There is a charge of £25 per animal, which is only payable on the inbound journey to the UK. You can book your pet by selecting the relevant drop down on the internet booking process. All pets must remain in the vehicle during the crossing and are subject to the necessary documentation and vaccinations required for the Pet Passport scheme.
Eurotunnel and Eurostar information can be found on the trains page.
P&O Ferries – passengers wishing to travel with pets must make an advance booking and declare animals when they make the reservation. Pet policies vary slightly across the different route, but you will be advised of the arrangements for your crossing at the time of booking. Pets are not allowed in the passengers areas of the ship so only travel by car, with a maximum of four pets per vehicle. Foot passengers or those travelling by coach are not allowed to take pets. At Larne Harbour there is a DEFRA unit where authority to travel will be given before check in. There is no charge for pets travelling in vehicles.
Stena Line – Pets can travel free of charge within vehicles on routes crossing the Irish Sea. Pets are not allowed on the passengers decks on the following routes – (Dublin/Dun Laoghaire – Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard, or Belfast to Liverpool. It is recommended that you book an on board kennel for your pet on the Belfast to Liverpool route.
Pets can travel with foot passengers, but they must be in suitable pet carriers and will remain on the car deck for the crossing. On the Belfast to Liverpool route pets must be booked in to a dog kennel. There are located on the Promenade Deck and allow you to visit your pet during the crossing and exercise them for a charge of £15 per kennel.
Irish Ferries – pets can travel free of charge with either car or foot passengers.
Car passengers – pets can either remain in your car, or make the crossing in the ships kennels. Kennels are free of charge and can be booked in advance. Pets are not allowed on the passenger decks.
Foot-passengers – Pets must be transported in suitable pet carriers in which they are able to stand or lie down comfortably. Owners must be able to carry the container themselves, and animals will spend the crossing in their carrier on the car deck.
Every ship has kennel facilities on board, located on the car decks. Available kennels are:
Isle of Inishmore ( Rosslare – Pembroke route) – 10 kennels.
Dublin Swift( Dublin – Holyhead route) – 5 kennels.
Ulysses (Dublin – Holyhead route) – 6 Medium kennels, 4 Large kennels.
Epsilon (Dublin/Holyhead route) – 5 Small kennels, 3 Medium kennels and 2 Large kennels.
Condor Ferries – pets may travel to the Channel Islands for free if they remain within vehicles. Foot passengers can also bring pets, but they must be housed in an RSPCA approved pet carrier, and will remain on a designated area in the car deck for the crossing. The cost for pets accompanying foot passengers is £10 each way.