Website URL: http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/PETS-travel-scheme/travelling-by-ferry-with-pets

Travelling by ferry with your pet

The PETS Travel Scheme and Brittany Ferries

All Brittany Ferries routes are approved by DEFRA for participation in the PETS scheme. This applies only to cats, dogs and ferrets travelling between qualifying countries in the EU.

When planning your return journey on any of our routes, please give careful consideration to the timing of the tapeworm treatment for dogs. Distressing difficulties can arise if things go wrong and return travel is jeopardised.

Before travel

Before commencing travel it is the owner's responsibility to supply the following:

A valid DEFRA approved pet passport or third country certificate showing that their pet has been micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. N.B. Your pet may not leave or re-enter the UK until 21 days after vaccination against rabies.

Dogs - Tapeworm treatment must be administered by a vet between 24 and 120 hours before arrival in the UK.  The passport must be signed, dated, stamped and include the date and time of treatment as well as the manufacturer and the name of the product used.  If the pet passport does not comply with this, we regret that we will not be able to carry the animal under the Pet Travel Scheme.

Cats & Ferrets - A pet passport or third country certificate is required. Tick and tapeworm treatment is no longer needed.

For further information, call DEFRA Helpline on 0870 241 1710 or consult your vet.

Arrival at the port

The animal's owner/escort will be solely responsible for the behaviour and welfare of their pet(s) at the port and on board, and for compliance with the PETS travel Scheme's provisions.

They are also responsible for ensuring that the animal is sufficiently fit and healthy to withstand the intended journey. You are recommended to seek the advice of your own vet about health and travel concerns. At all times it is the owner/escort's responsibility to comply with the DEFRA regulations governing pets travel. Brittany Ferries cannot be held responsible if the animal is refused travel due to incorrect documentation.

You should ensure that your pet is exercised and toileted before you board.

Checking in

The check-in time when travelling with your pet is 60 minutes before scheduled departure time (shown on your travel ticket) when leaving the UK and 90 minutes when returning from France or Spain.

When you check in we will place a 'pet sticker' on your car windscreen, this must stay in place until you have left the port of arrival. It is an offence to remove this sticker before leaving the port of destination. Failure to comply with this regulation could result in the animal being placed in short term quarantine.Your pet and its passport documents will be checked on arrival in the UK and before embarkation in France & Spain.

During the crossing

We have kennels on our routes to Bilbao, Santander and St Malo and a number of pet friendly cabins on some of our services to Bilbao, Santander & Le Havre, where your dog or cat can stay with you during the crossing. On ships where there are no kennels your pet will remain in your vehicle. (Except on Etretat where they must occupy a pet friendly cabin.)

The animal's owner/escort will be solely responsible for the behaviour and welfare of their pet(s) at the port and on board, and for compliance with the PETS travel Scheme's provisions.

They are also responsible for ensuring that the animal is sufficiently fit and healthy to withstand the intended journey. You are recommended to seek the advice of your own vet about health and travel concerns. At all times it is the owner/escort's responsibility to comply with the DEFRA regulations governing pets travel. Brittany Ferries cannot be held responsible if the animal is refused travel due to incorrect documentation.

Animals will only be permitted to travel in the owner/escort's vehicle (N.B. See below for exceptions). There should be sufficient space for the animal to move freely, and you should make the animal as comfortable as possible, using absorbent bedding, equipment and toys which the animal is familiar with. The garages may be warm when parking but once the ship is at sea, the temperatures are carefully regulated and the garages inspected at regular intervals. Before leaving your vehicle you must ensure that the animal(s) will have enough ventilation. This will normally mean that one or more windows will need to be left partly open, but it is important also to ensure that the animal(s) cannot escape. Please make sure that all doors are locked. You should also take with you any valuables that you may be carrying, as the Company cannot accept responsibility in the event of loss, theft or damage caused by pets or otherwise.

When the Pont-Aven and Bretagne are operating on the Portsmouth/Plymouth to Santander route, dogs must occupy the kennel provided. Whilst any other domestic pet must remain in the owners/escorts vehicle throughout the journey. Access to the kennel and/ or garage area will be provided for owners/ escorts during the voyage at the discretion of the crew and will be dependent on sailing conditions.

When Cap Finistère is operating on the Portsmouth to Santander/Bilbao route, dogs must either occupy the kennel provided, or one of the pet friendly cabins (located on deck 9), these cabins may be booked online or through our reservations service, for further information please call: 0871 244 0744. Pets cannot remain in the owner's vehicle on the car decks.

When travelling on Etretat to/from either Santander or Le Havre, your pet/s must occupy one of the 13 pet friendly cabins and cannot be left in the vehicle.  There are no kennels on Etretat.  Online a maximum of 1 pet can be booked into a pet friendly cabin.  If you wish to take more than 1 pet please call us on 0871 244 0744.

You will be given instructions on the procedure for the transfer of your pet from the car to the kennel or pet friendly cabin by the crew on embarkation. With the exception of assistance dogs, pets are only permitted in the areas designated for pets on board the ship. These will be signposted on board.

For reasons of hygiene and the comfort of other passengers, animals must remain either in your vehicle, or in the kennel provided (dogs only). Animals will not be permitted in the passenger areas of the ship (except assistance dogs).

Visiting your pet

If your dog is travelling in a kennel to Spain you will be given a key and can visit and exercise the animal at any time during the crossing in the designated areas on board. Your dog must be muzzled and on a lead at ALL times when out of the kennel.

If your dog is staying in your vehicle, or in a kennel to St Malo, we will arrange visits during the crossing - this will be weather permitting and at the discretion of the crew on the day. Please report to the Information Desk on board for details of times and arrangements. You will be responsible for cleaning up after your pet on board, suitable dustbins are provided in the designated pet areas.

Muzzles

All dogs on every route must be muzzled while being checked at our ports, during the short transfer between your car and the kennels or pet friendly cabin on embarkation and disembarkation and while being exercised. The transfer will be escorted by a crew member in groups using lifts passing through other passenger decks. You must provide your own muzzle and we recommend you familiarise your dog with the muzzle before travel. We reserve the right to refuse carriage if your dog is not muzzled. Dog owners are responsible for the behaviour of their pets at ALL times.

Helpful points to note

Consider the length of the journey and how this may affect your animal. The animal must be fit to travel and we recommend that you consult your vet before the journey. Brittany Ferries cannot accept liability for any adverse reaction that your pet has to the journey or facilities provided.

Pet travel is very popular and space is limited and subject to availability. Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

We do not accept pets travelling with foot passengers, cyclists, motor cyclists or freight.

Pet owners/escorts are solely responsible for being aware of, and complying with, the regulations of the country they visit with their pet. There may be prohibitions or certain regulations for specific breeds and they may be refused entry or carriage.

Important information

If any element of the PETS certification or microchip procedures should fail, we will only carry the animal if quarantine arrangements have been made for arrival in the UK. Any such arrangements and subsequent costs will be the full responsibility of the pet owner/escort.

In order to minimise failures upon return, it is part of the Company's procedures, wherever practical, that microchips are scanned and checked prior to departure from the UK.

Passengers should be prepared for an inspection by DEFRA upon entry into the UK, to ensure that all procedures have been properly followed and that documentation is in order. A failure at this stage could result in the pet being either re-exported or placed in quarantine (at the owner's expense).

Owners/ escorts are solely responsible for being aware of, and complying with, regulations in their country of destination. They should also be aware that some countries have prohibitions and special regulations regarding certain breeds of dogs, and that they may be refused entry or transit. Please contact the appropriate authorities (eg the Embassy) of the countries you are travelling to and through, or DEFRA for further information. Brittany Ferries will not accept any responsibility if your pet is refused entry to the country of destination, or any country in transit.

We will not accept bookings:

  • On the day of departure
  • for unaccompanied pets
  • for those travelling by foot, bicycle or motorcycle
  • For rabbits

Brittany Ferries has absolute discretion to accept or refuse any passenger, their vehicle, their pets or their luggage on board. The following administration fees will be made per pet: £16.50 ex UK to France; £24.75 ex France to UK; £29.50 ex UK to Spain; £39.50 ex Spain. An administration fee of €44 ex Ireland to France and €55 ex France to Ireland will be made per animal on Cork to Roscoff Sailings.

For further information and/ or to make a reservation please call our Reservations Team on 0871 244 0744 (UK) or 021 4277 801 (Ireland).

These details are in accordance with the latest information available.

Useful external link

DEFRA

Full details and regulations about the transport of dogs & cats back into the UK on the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) without putting them into quarantine.

www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad