Many motorhome travellers going to Ireland, the Scottish Isles, or further places like Spain, Netherlands, or France, prefer to go by ferry, and the trend has been gaining traction in recent years.
Besides visiting the holiday destination, travelling by ferry can be an amazing adventure. You can sit back and enjoy the sea while the ferry transports you and your motorhome to the intended destination. Once you reach it, you can take the road and enjoy your trip to wherever you are headed.
However, if you want to take your motorhome on a ferry, you will need to consider a few important aspects before getting ready to embark on your much-needed vacation.
Taking A Motorhome On A Ferry
You can easily find a company that can handle ferry bookings for you as there is a wide range of available options. Most companies maintain an online presence or can be contacted via phone. In any case, it would serve well to compare the services listed and the packages offered to opt for a service best suited to your needs and travelling budget.
You can make your booking directly with the ferry company, but it would be more expensive. As an alternative, look for motorhome club deals or online brokers that offer discounted deals.
However, before you make a reservation, you need to consider your motorhome measurements or dimensions to ascertain the costs. For instance, the length would be more if you want to take along add-ons like tow bars, bike racks, or trailers. Therefore, it is essential to provide accurate details for the dimensions at the time of booking. You will be charged extra at the time of check-in if you have underquoted the length of your vehicle while making the booking.
As for the height, unless you have an additional box or roof rack, the size would be standard, and the same goes for the width of the motorhome.
Can I stay in my motorhome on the ferry?
Now we come to the interesting question of whether you can stay in your motorhome when on a ferry. Ferries come in various sizes and are equipped with different facilities. If you have boarded a small island ferry, you may be allowed to stay with your motorhome.
However, if you have booked travel on a larger ferry, you will find that the vehicle decks of these vessels are sealed off, and you will not be able to stay in your motorhome. Mostly, it is the latter scenario, and you will not be able to stay in your motorhome when on the ferry.
If you board a larger ferry headed for a far-off destination, the crossing will take time, and travelling may continue overnight. Mostly these ferries feature cabins that can use to relax or sleep awhile. Some will even require you to book and pay for a cabin in advance. These cabins are usually for two to four people and come with their own WC and showers. On some ferries, you may also find suites, dormitories, and sleeping chair options.
It is important that you book in advance and inform them that you will be camping on board since slots are limited. Unfortunately, some ferries do not have cabins, so you will have to resort to sitting in the lounges for the length of the trip.
Since you will not have access to your motorhome for the length of the journey or during transit, keep everything you will need with you on the ferry.
Checking in with your motorhome
The process of checking in may vary from one port to the next. When you arrive, you will be required to show your ticket and be directed to security or passport control if you are going abroad.
If you are travelling with a pet, you will also have to present the requisite documents. Moreover, you will need to check with your ferry company for rules regarding having pets on board. Your motorhome will also be inspected to ensure the gas is turned off.
You will be provided with a ticket to hang on the rear-view mirror or place on the front mirror of the vehicle. You can then proceed to the pre-boarding area, where you will be directed to park in a particular lane and wait. Even if you arrive way ahead of the departure time, you will have access to basic facilities at the ports, like toilets, shops, or cafes. However, if the port does not feature these facilities, you can still access your motorhome until you board the ferry.
How can I travel with my motorhome on a ferry?
Multiple ferry companies transport passengers and their vehicles from one destination to another, including motorhomes. You can book by directly contacting these companies online or by telephone. You can also make bookings via motorhome clubs or online brokers who also offer discounted deals.
Can I sleep in my motorhome when on a ferry?
If you are travelling via a large ferry, its vehicle deck will be sealed off for the duration of the journey, and you will not be able to stay in your motorhome. Alternatively, you can book an overnight stay in one of the accommodation options on the ferry.