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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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Scotland reviews

  • "Relaxing crossing"

    We had a nice relaxing crossing on both legs of our trip. The ferry was clean and comfortable and the staff were very friendly and helpful. We used the Stena Plus lounge and we will definitely book it again the next time we travel to Wales. The lounge was quiet and comfortable and the service and food was excellent. We would recommend using it, we felt it added to our comfort on the ship. There was a very nice member of staff working in the facilities in Fishguard. She was very welcoming and helpful to all the travellers. We were very impressed with the standard of cleanliness in these facilities too.

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  • "Care free Travel"

    care free travel Clean Ship cabins, toilets, public areas

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  • "Brilliant ship and pleasant sailing."

    The ship was clean and really looked smart.  So convenient the car deck 7 just below our cabin on deck 8.  Coffee shop, restaurant and shop superb.  All the staff are so friendly and chatty it was a pleasure sailing with Stena Line.

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  • "Relaxed travel"

    Friendly staff, clean cabin. Highly recommended.

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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