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Special Offers to Scotland

Ferries to Scotland

Geographically speaking, Scotland occupies the northern third of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, sharing a land border with England to its south, and with Northern Ireland found to the south west, across the Irish Sea.

Scotland is home to hundreds of islands and many archipelagos, all varying in size. The Isle of Skye is perhaps the most well-known, part of the Hebrides along the west coast, as well as the historically rich northern isles of Orkney and the slightly more far-flung Shetland Islands. It’s usually on these islands, particularly the Western Isles, where Scotch whisky is made; it’s one of the nation’s best exports, with some five hundred million bottles produced annually.

Scotland boasts a mix of spectacular and spellbinding landscapes; it is a land of glorious, sweeping highlands with glistening lochs in the northwest, inhabited by a rich and varied wildlife, attracting high numbers of birdwatchers from around the world.

It has a blossoming arts and culture scene, which is most prominent in Glasgow, and countless castles, the most famous being the iconic hilltop fortress in the capital, Edinburgh. It’s believed there was once over three thousand castles in Scotland.

Getting a ferry to Scotland from Northern Ireland is simple, with a choice of conventional and high-speed sailings connecting you to south west Scotland. The ferries are modern, well-appointed vessels and provide a short and frequent year round link across the Irish Sea.

Though the direct passenger ferry link to Scotland from mainland Europe is no longer operating, the UK road network provides good access to all regions of Scotland. So if you’re travelling from the continent: going via England is a reasonable alternative, preferably sailing to a port in the north east England to minimise driving time. The Port of Newcastle is around two and a half hours from Edinburgh by car, while Hull is roughly four hours from the Scottish border.

Scotland also provides a gateway by ferry between the UK and the numerous Scottish isles, great if you’re looking for an onward connection, or equally if you’re heading back to the mainland.

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Popular Ferry Operators

  • P&O Irish Sea
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  • Stena Line
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  • Caledonian MacBrayne
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  • Northlink Ferries
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Scotland reviews

  • "Pet friendly journey"

    Our first ferry journey with our dog went without a hitch. We arrived early for our booking and were put on an earlier ferry. The pet friendly accommodation was spacious & comfortable & the coffee was good. The lady who answered my telephone query was friendly & helpful.

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  • "Ferry to arran"

    Excellent service, both on land and on the ferry, very organised, comfy seating. Never used the catering bar coffees. Late leaving port but no problem to us but possibly others.

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  • "Excellent trip"

    Excellent journey. Very efficient loading and unloading of our car. Lovely rest before our long drive home. We had a beautiful day for our journey and we could see for miles and enjoyed all the lovely scenery. Would definitely recommend.

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  • "Booking"

    I found booking with Direct Ferries extremely easy and simple. Unfortunately I had to change my return booking and did this online. When I received no further confirmation that my request had been successful and my departure date was imminent I tried phoning Direct Ferries. This was very dispiriting. I tried 3 times and each time was held in a queue with the frequently repeated message 'we are dealing with other customers'. No doubt true but in this case it would show more consideration to employ more telesales staff. At the very least the company might invest in the software to tell customers where they are in the queue. On my first 2 attempts I gave up after 10 minutes. On the third occasion I hung on and was answered after 20 minutes. The person I spoke to was extremely courteous and helpful and dealt with me most efficiently. I was charged £10.50 for the change of booking. When I reported to the Caledonian McBrayne terminal at Oban, I was told they would have changed the booking without a fee. I think in view of this I will in future try to deal with the ferry company direct although I recognise you offer a good service when there are no problems.

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Onboard the ferries

Find out what it's like onboard the ferries before you travel.

Ship guides, videos & reviews

Routes and Ports in Scotland