After our flight on Singapore Airlines Business class and our first 48 Hours in Liverpool, it was time to head to the second destination of our trip: lovely Dublin, Ireland. Being of Irish heritage myself, I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland and was thrilled to finally have the opportunity.
Of course, first we had to get there. And being that Ireland is an island, all manner of ground transportation was out. That left two options: by air or by sea.
Looking at the airline options, there were multiple airlines flying the route from Liverpool to Dublin, but most were priced around $150-300 per person, per direction. (Even RyanAir, once you add in all the extra “surprise” fees, was pricey.) I didn’t particularly feel like adding an additional $600 – $1,200 to the cost of our trip.
So I looked to the ferries: and I saw that as “foot passengers” with no automobile in tow we could book a crossing for as little as £5.50 per person, per route. That’s a pretty impressive difference. In the end, given that we were traveling over a bank holiday weekend, our ferry tickets were a bit more expensive: it ended up costing about £140 for the two of us, round trip. However, that still represents a savings of at least a $400 over flying.
Check-in, boarding, and luggage check were all very easy and seamless and quick. Once onboard, we had a wide variety of areas to explore. The public decks offered many areas, including one for families with a significant play area, the “quiet area” for passengers who wished to sleep, a bar area, and a cafeteria area. For those who wished to be more active, passengers could explore the “theater” (where they showed a recent superhero movie), an arcade area, a few online duty-free shops, or simply venture up to the open top deck to watch as the sea passed by. Some ships even offer barebones cabins that you can book for additional privacy.
We also sprung for the upgrade to “Stena Plus,” which gives you access to the premium passenger lounge onboard. And in the end, this was a great option for us. The Stena Plus lounge offered free wine, premium coffees, snacks, and plenty of comfortable seats. There was also a tv-viewing area, and waiter service throughout the lounge for anyone wanting more than a snack. I ended up ordering a steak sandwich with sweet potato fries, and it was very tasty.
While it’s true taking the ferry did likely take us a couple more hours than flying would have, the ability to be comfortable, well-attended, and relaxed while we traveled was totally worth it in my view. I can now say without reservation that I am officially a ferry fan!
Have you ever taken a ferry? Did you enjoy it? Tell us in the comments!