New to Freight Ferries

Help! I’ve never done this before, where do I start?Image of a deck on a Stena Line freight ferry

First of all – don’t panic! Booking a freight ferry is quite straightforward and Freightlink are here to help you. First things first: where are you leaving from? Where do you need to get to? When do you need to be there?

There are other things you will need to take into consideration. What size of vehicle am I going to be using? Freight ferry prices are determined by the total length of the vehicle so you need to know this to get an accurate price. How many people will be going with the vehicle? Some routes will charge you extra for a second or third passenger.

Now you know all this, you can start doing some research into ferries.

Ok, I’m ready to research. Where do I go to find the information?

Rosslare Harbour

Perhaps you may wish to consider using an online mapping tool which will show you some suggested routes. Alternatively, you should look at Freightlink’s handy “How Do I?” guide which will give you various options to get to your destination country. We have given various options for each country so you can see the quickest ways, the cheapest ways and the most direct ways.

Because we are experts in what we do we want to pass on our knowledge and guidance to you. You may of course have your own ideas and other parts of the Freightlink website will be able to give you information about specific ports, or just show you all the available direct ferries between two countries.

If you are still really stuck, then why not contact the Freightlink Customer Service Team? They are ferry experts and will be able to offer you suggestions based on their years of experience, or simply point you in the right direction on our website.

Then it is up to you to decide what is most efficient for you. You may prefer to catch shorter ferries, but drive more miles, or you may decide that it is better to catch a longer, more expensive, ferry, but not have to drive as much.

Great! I know what I want now. What is the booking procedure?

Screenshot freight ferry booking tool on the website

It’s brilliant that you’re now ready to book your first freight ferry. There are a few places you can start. You don’t need to create an account, but if you want to you can do this on and have your own login details as well as access to all our features such as Track and Trace and a free SMS reference.

If you know the specific route you are looking for, simply go to “Ferry Routes” and select which one you want. Then you can choose your day and follow our simple step-by-step process to select the vehicle length. On the final page you will need to enter your vehicle registration, and you will be able to add a return journey if you wish one.

Alternatively, if you have just worked out what countries you are travelling between start on our home page. You can select your starting country and your destination country from the “Search and Book” box and then select if you want a return journey. This will then show you all the routes and you can pick which one you would prefer. Then, as above, follow the step-by-step process to select your date, vehicle length and enter your vehicle details.

Once you have checked all your details are correct and you are ready to pay, just hit checkout where you will be able to enter your personal details and process your credit card payment. When this has been successful you will get the Freightlink booking confirmation page. This is just a confirmation you have requested a ferry booking with us, not your actual ferry ticket.

Our Customer Service Team are now ready to process your booking. In the case of many of our most popular routes this will be done automatically. You will then receive your booking reference and ferry ticket confirmation through to your email inbox.

What will I need to catch my ferry?Typical cabin on a freight ferry

Very simply, to catch your ferry you need two things:

  1. Passport or photographic identification. For any ferries outside of the UK and Ireland you will need a fully valid passport. If you are travelling to any UK islands (e.g. the Isle of Wight), to Northern Ireland or to the Republic of Ireland (from the UK) then you will only need a valid photographic identification – we would recommend a photo driving licence.
  2. Your booking reference. This is on the ferry ticket confirmation that we have emailed you.

If you are shipping with hazardous goods or animals, then you will also need the correct paperwork that accompanies these.

Please also remember to take any other relevant paperwork you need for your extended journey with you, e.g. insurance documents, customs forms or load documentation.

What is the procedure at the port?

When you get to the port you first of all need to go to the freight check in – where applicable. You should always be on a quay a minimum of one hour before the scheduled departure time. There are some routes that do require you to be there even earlier than that, but if that applies to you then our team will make you aware of it.

You will then be asked to queue up with the other freight vehicles to get onboard. Once onboard the crew will look after you and direct you to your cabin where applicable.

Upon arrival at your destination you will be asked to return to your vehicle and then directed to drive off the ship. You can then continue your journey.

Whilst at port and onboard ship we would ask you to follow all the instructions of members of staff of the ferry company and the port and the onboard crew. This will help the process run efficiently and maintain the safety of all travelling.

I think this tells me all the basics, but I have some more questions!

Why not check out our FAQ section? This covers a wide variety of questions that we’ve been asked in the past and lots of queries that customers have. If you can’t find the answer to your question then contact our Customer Service Team and they will be able to help.

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Mon, 4 Jul 2022
Tue, 5 Jul 2022
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