First time traveller guide
Travelling with Brittany Ferries for the first time?
If you've never travelled with a vehicle on a ferry or with Brittany Ferries before then you perhaps have lots of questions about the travel process so we've put together this useful guide telling you everything that happens!
If you have any questions please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Travelling with children? Find out just how much easier it is to travel by ferry with your family in our Ferry to France vs Plane Infographic.
Before you leave home
- Documents: All passengers need a valid passport or ID card
- Your vehicle: Check your vehicle meets the requirements for the country you are visiting
- Plan your journey to the port: There is a minimum 45 minute check-in prior to departure
Special travel needs
- Please contact us before the day of departure if you have any special travel needs that you think may affect your journey
Pack a separate travel bag with the essentials you will require during the sailing to save taking large suitcases with you to your cabin/seat. Soap and towels are supplied in every cabin. For overnight sailings without a cabin there are public showers and we sell Sleep Packs and Shower Packs onboard.
Arrival at your departure port
The check-in procedure
- Follow the signs to the Brittany Ferries vehicle embarkation check-in booths and have your booking reference and passports ready
- Your passports will be returned to you along with a boarding card that hangs on your interior mirror so the port staff can identify you plus a useful ship guide containing a deck plan and safety instructions
- Your boarding card is printed with your cabin/ seat number and if you have booked a cabin it is also your cabin key
- Proceed into the car lane designated by our staff prior to the security check
If you need to use the Terminal facilities you may be able to leave your vehicle at this point subject to time available. Please listen out for any announcements for passengers to return to their vehicles.
Boarding the ship
- You will be directed through the security checks and will enter the departure car lanes where you must remain with your vehicle
- The port staff directed by the ship's Loading Officer will guide you onboard. This is a skilled operation, and the positioning of vehicles depends on their type and size, so please be patient if your vehicle is not moving as fast as others
- Once parked onboard, make sure that your handbrake is properly applied and any car alarms are disabled
- Motorcycles and bicycles will be secured with straps by a trained member of crew
Leaving the car decks
- Please take a note of the car deck and nearest door number once you are parked
- Please be careful as you move towards the exits as other vehicles may still be boarding and there is limited space between the parked vehicles on the car decks
- Access to the public decks is via the lifts or stairways
Watch our videos: Travelling with a pet, young children, a motorcycle or bicycle? Then watch our videos that include details on the check-in and travel experience.
Remember to take your essentials with you as you are not permitted to return to the car deck during the sailing. For passengers travelling with pets there are scheduled accompanied visits.
Whilst on board
- The time onboard is always UK time (all departure times are quoted in local time to the ports)
- On each deck there are detailed ship plans on the walls to help you locate your cabin or seat
- There is an Information Desk on each ship located on deck 6 or 7. Our bilingual staff will be happy to assist with any enquiries
- Relax and enjoy the onboard experience!
There is plenty to do whilst onboard our ships which suit all budgets, especially for children including a play room and cinema. Find out more about the onboard experience on each of our ships. The name of the vessel you are sailing on will be shown on your travel documents.
- We request you leave your cabin 30 minutes prior to arrival ensuring that you take all your belongings with you
- On overnight sailings you will receive a wake-up call approximately 60 minutes before arrival
- An announcement will be made as to when you can return to your car
- Do not start your engine until instructed to do so and carefully follow all directions given by the crew
Please be advised there can be delays when queuing for immigration and have your passports ready for inspection.
We look forward to welcoming you onboard.
Travelling by car ferry for the first time?
Taking your car by ferry with Brittany Ferries couldn't be simpler. This video outlines what you need to do when you get to the port and check in, what happens once you drive on board and some of the great things you can enjoy aboard our ships before you disembark in France or Spain.