The Ferry Best Way to Travel

We’re delighted to welcome Discover Ferries as our very first Guest Blogger. 

Discover Ferries is the industry body representing 13 ferry operators in the British Isles, including the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, which works to promote ferry travel and ferry holidays, and to campaign on behalf of its members and in the interests of ferry travellers.

We asked the team at Discover Ferries to share some of their favourite aspects of ferry travel… 

By ferry is the best way to discover the Isle of Man

If you like to travel in comfort, with the freedom to explore, enjoy a delicious bite to eat, or feel the fresh salty air fill your lungs with the taste of holidays and adventure, we at Discover Ferries think travelling by sea is the ferry best way to go. And with around 38 million passenger journeys taken on ferries across the UK, Ireland and British Islands, we are not the only ones.

Although ferry travel is one of the oldest methods for reaching our beautiful islands and neighbouring countries, modern ferry travel has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is a great example of this, being the oldest continually operating passenger shipping company in the world, dating back to 1830. Those first sailings on the Mona’s Isle Steam Ship were the start of a dedicated service to the Isle of Man, providing the Manx people with regular access to mainland UK.

Ben-my-Chree departing Douglas Bay on a sunny day

Today, over 500,000 passengers travel with the company each year on its traditional ferry and fast craft services linking the Isle of Man to Ireland and England. These ships not only provide a lifeline service to the people living on the Isle of Man, but they are also a great way for visitors to travel to the Island, which is known for its rugged coastline, medieval castles and stunning rural landscape – not to mention the famous annual TT motorcycle races.

TT Visitors disembarking Steam Packet Company vessel Manannan on motorbikes
Credit: Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press

One of the best things about travelling by ferry is the freedom it affords you. If you don’t like to be strapped to your seat for the duration of your journey, travelling by ferry gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs while you sail. You are also free to explore the ship, dine with your friends and family, indulge in some retail therapy in the on-board shop or catch up on forty winks in a comfortable cabin with en-suite facilities.

Couple viewing a magazine in the shop on board an Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessel

You also have the freedom to take your car with you, filling it with friends, family or luggage – or, as we would suggest, maybe a combination of all three! You can even bring your pets with you, which we think is a paw-fect solution for people who don’t like to leave their furry family members behind. For the ferry best advice on travelling with your pets, check out our top tips, which have been developed in conjunction with the RSPCA.

Family of four in fully-packed car ready for a holiday

If you’re passionate about cycling, kayaking or scuba diving, or even if you just like going camping, then taking your car on the ferry also gives you the option to take your equipment away with you, saving on hire costs at the destination.

White car with pushbike rack on the road next to the coastline

There is also plenty on board to keep you entertained while travelling by ferry, no matter what your age, with a choice of cinema lounges on the fast craft services to the Isle of Man, or the option of watching your personal TV in your private cabin on the traditional ferry service.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Cinema Lounge

If you are lucky, you might even be able to spot some marine wildlife in their natural habitat! Whale and dolphin marine conservation charity, ORCA, is one of our partners at Discover Ferries. If you’re hoping to have a whale of a time on board, they offer some great information on whale species and sightings.

Mum and daughter taking in sea views on board a Steam Packet Company vessel

Whatever your passion, and whoever you are travelling with, we believe your holiday starts as soon as you board the ferry. And with our members serving over 80 ferry routes across the British Isles, we hope you will enjoy discovering ferries as much as we do. For more information and inspiration on travelling by ferry, visit

Image of Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fleet from Douglas Head

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