Annual celebration of ferry travel to promote Isle of Man as go-to holiday destination


The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and 12 other ferry operators have joined together for a two-week celebration of ferry travel; a collaboration which sees more than 600 free ferry tickets up for grabs on routes across the British Isles, Ireland and Europe.

Big Ferry Fortnight 2020, which launches tomorrow (Thursday 27th February) and runs until Thursday 12th March, is a campaign organised by Discover Ferries, the industry body for the ferry sector that represents 13 ferry operators in the British Isles.

It aims to inspire more people to discover or re-discover the joy, comfort and convenience of travelling by sea and showcase the wide array of destinations that can be reached by ferry.

Tomorrow will see the launch of the public ballot where more than £80,000 worth of ferry tickets, which have been contributed by Discover Ferries’ members, are available. Residents living in the Isle of Man, Great Britain and Northern Ireland are invited to apply for tickets on any route of their choice, with the winners selected at random once the ballot has closed.

The Steam Packet Company has contributed a number of tickets for two people travelling with either a car or motorcycle in addition to pairs of foot passenger tickets. These are available for use on any route and hope to encourage more people to come and discover the Isle of Man’s beautiful shores in 2020.

Island residents are also eligible to enter the ballot to win and discover the wonderful array of destinations, experiences and events in Britain and Ireland, which are just a short ferry journey away.

They can also bid for tickets on any of the other routes on offer during Big Ferry Fortnight, including short island-hopping routes across Scotland, larger island escapes such as the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands, cruise-style ferries across the North and Irish Seas, cross-Channel trips and scenic river journeys through London.

Throughout the campaign the Steam Packet Company will work closely with Discover Ferries to showcase the Isle of Man as a great holiday destination for all.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Big Ferry Fortnight plays an important role in our ongoing commitment to promote the Isle of Man as a great holiday destination. We are proud to call the Island home and strongly believe that it has something to offer every type of visitor.

‘We’re also keen to encourage ferry travel and help people to discover the joy and freedom it can bring. Travellers can enjoy the convenience of bringing their car, relax with food and drink as they sail, stretch their legs around the vessel, take in the sweeping sea views, look out for wildlife on the outside deck and bring everything they need for their getaway, with no need to worry about luggage fees.

‘With such a great range of routes to be discovered as part of Big Ferry Fortnight, we hope Island residents take this opportunity to enter the ballot and uncover the incredible travel opportunities available both off the Island and further afield. We’re pleased to be part of this campaign for the second consecutive year.’

Ferry operators taking part in the Big Ferry Fortnight ballot include the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, Condor Ferries, DFDS, Hovertravel, Irish Ferries, Isles of Scilly Travel, MBNA Thames Clippers, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.

To enter the Big Ferry Fortnight ballot and keep up to date with the latest news, head to