Feel Ferry Safe a World Away

We are delighted to welcome Abby Penlington, Director of Discover Ferries, as our Guest Blogger. With some light at the end of the tunnel and the possibility of travel returning to some form of normality later this year, we asked Abby to share her insight into the joy, safety and freedom of travelling by ferry.

A headshot of Director of Discover Ferries, Abby Penlington
Abby Penlington is the Director of Discover Ferries

After what feels like a long winter and many months since we’ve ventured far from our own immediate surroundings, there’s definitely a feeling of cabin fever, a desire to get out and explore again, to feel free, to inhale and breathe, to feel the fresh sea air and connect with nature.

Holidays are important

Discover Ferries’ research1 revealed that nearly two in five people agreed that a lack of a holiday in 2020 had adversely impacted their mental health, so a getaway in 2021 feels more important than ever.

The same research showed that the principal considerations for people choosing their next holiday will be visiting a coastal destination (32%), spending time with friends and family (31%), having time to enjoy nature (29%) and of course COVID-19-safety2 (69%), all elements that a holiday to the Isle of Man by ferry can encompass. The Isle of Man’s breath-taking coastline, unique heritage and the wide range of activities you can enjoy with friends and family make it an ideal escape and by taking the ferry your trip will feel safe and enjoyable from the start.

Image of Douglas Harbour with the sun setting in the background and the Steam Packet Company vessel Ben-my-Chree sitting in the harbour to the right of the image.

Travel in safety and comfort

In the current climate, ferry travel is considered one of the safest ways to travel. In fact, Discover Ferries’ research1 revealed that Brits consider ferry travel the safest mode of public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic, faring higher than planes, trains and coaches.

This is understandable when you consider the spacious lounges which lend themselves well to social distancing, outdoor deck areas with plenty of fresh air, the option of a private cabin on some sailings and the ability to bring your vehicle and create your own little ‘travel bubble’. With no need to walk through busy ports or use additional public transport to get to your chosen destination, you can avoid large groups of people and keep contact with others to a minimum. Staggered boarding and disembarkation and increased sanitisation measures also contribute to making your journey safe and comfortable.

View of the blue sea, sky and clouds from the back of the vessel with the Isle of Man's coast in the distance

Adventures by ferry

62% of respondents in Discover Ferries’ research agreed that being by the sea or on water feels like an adventure, so your adventure can start the moment you step on board a ferry. Watch the coastline fade into the distance, keep an eye out for marine life – you may even spot a dolphin or seal, refuel with a delicious meal or snack or, if travelling on the Steam Packet Company’s fast craft Manannan, sit back, relax and enjoy a movie – this is the start of your well-deserved holiday!

Whether your passion is cycling, paddle boarding or golf, you can continue the fun as soon as you arrive as travelling by ferry allows you to bring your sports equipment along for the journey, with the added bonus of no luggage fees!

If the family includes a pet, they are welcome too, either staying in the car or, dependent on the route, in the Pet Friendly Lounge, Pet Friendly Cabins or on-board kennels.

A family of six on the Steam Packet Company's Ben-my-Chree outdoor deck pointing towards the sea in the distance and smiling

Book with confidence!

If you are eager to book your next getaway to the Isle of Man ready for when the Manx borders open, but have some concerns due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, there is no need to worry as the Steam Packet Company’s Book with Confidence Commitment offers greater flexibility and complete peace of mind. With no amendment fees to change your booking and the promise of a full refund if your travel is affected by COVID-19 Government imposed travel restrictions, you can book your future travel with the Steam Packet Company with confidence.

There is an adventure waiting for you just a sailing away. For more information on COVID-19 safety on ferries, visit discoverferries.com

Abby Penlington is Director of Discover Ferries, an industry body representing 13 ferry operators across the British Isles, including the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Discover Ferries’ role is to promote ferry travel and ferry holidays and campaign on behalf of members and in the interests of ferry travellers. 2019 saw over 37 million passenger journeys by ferry, 8.7m car journeys and over 137,190 coach journeys made by ferry.

Please note that at the time of publishing (March 2021) the Isle of Man’s borders are closed to non-residents. To see the most recent updates, head to the Isle of Man Government’s Travel Advice page. 


  • 1 Research for Discover Ferries was carried out online by Censuswide on 3rd to 6th September 2020.
  • 2 Research for Discover Ferries was carried out online by Censuswide on 11th to 13th November 2020.

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