Grab your diary and make a note of Ferry Fortnight in March 2016, when you’ll be able to take advantage of some special travel discounts.

The Scillonian III passenger ferry en route to the sunny Isles of Scilly.

The Scillonian III passenger ferry en route to the sunny Isles of Scilly.

Britain’s annual National Ferry Fortnight takes place between March 5 and 19. Now in its eighth year, the Discover Ferries campaign is a two-week showcase of Britain’s extensive 75-plus ferry routes.

This year, travellers are being urged to re-discover the joys of the ferry travel experience, or taking a ferry for the first time. Following on from the huge success of National Ferry Fortnight 2015 and the campaign theme of ‘Ferry Freedom’, Discover Ferries has adopted the theme of ‘Be a Ferry First-Timer’ for National Ferry Fortnight 2016.

An advantage of travelling by ferry with a car is that there are no luggage limitations or surcharges, and once passengers disembark, there is the freedom of exploring the new destination in the comfort of their own vehicles. You even have the bonus option of taking bicycles along for the trip.

Other key benefits of ferry travel include the opportunity to relax, breathe in the sea air and enjoy views across the waves. Depending on the route, there may also be the added bonus of potentially seeing marine wildlife such as whales or dolphins. Often passengers can enjoy restaurants with a choice of quality cuisine, along with entertainment and shopping options – all adding up to a very pleasurable trip.

Central to the Ferry Fortnight campaign will be a series of promotional offers on ferry routes to France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly and Scottish islands. These will all be announced by Discover Ferries and promoted via their website – www.discoverferries.com – in March.

These are the 12 members of Discover Ferries. Their details are as follows:


Brittany Ferries

A French ferry company that runs ships between France, the UK, Ireland and Spain. For more information visit www.brittany-ferries.co.uk.


Caledonian MacBrayne

Also known as CalMac, this is the major operator of passenger and vehicle ferries between mainland Scotland and 24 of the major islands on Scotland’s west coast.  For more information visit www.calmac.co.uk.

Caledonian MacBrayne ferries are at the start of many a Scottish island adventures.

Caledonian MacBrayne ferries are at the start of many a Scottish island adventures.

Condor Ferries

Operates ferry services between mainland England and the Channel Islands, between England and France, and between France and the Channel Islands. For more information visit www.condorferries.co.uk.


DFDS Seaways

DFDS Seaways is a large Danish shipping company operating passenger and freight services across Northern Europe and into Spain. For more information visit www.dfdsseaways.co.uk.


Irish Ferries

Operates ferries between Ireland and the UK, and a car ferry between Ireland and France. They operate four ferries on international routes between Ireland, Britain and France catering for passengers, vehicles and freight units. For more information visit www.irishferries.com.


Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world. It celebrated its 180th anniversary in 2010. The company provides freight, passenger and vehicle services between the Isle of Man Sea Terminal in Douglas, Isle of Man, and five ports in the United Kingdom and Ireland. For more information visit www.steam-packet.com.

Ferry is a relaxing way to travel.

Ferry is a relaxing way to travel.

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group

Has operated a daily service between Penzance Harbour and Isles of Scilly since 1920 and is today served by the Scillonian III passenger ferry. For more information visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk.


NorthLink Ferries

Operate passenger and vehicle ferries between mainland Scotland and the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland. For more information visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk.


P&O Ferries

Operate ferry routes around the United Kingdom across to continental Europe. For more information visit www.poferries.com.


Red Funnel

Carries passengers and vehicles on routes between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight. Vehicle/passenger ferries operate between Southampton and East Cowes. The Red Jet branded high-speed foot passenger service operates between Southampton and Cowes on the west bank of the River Medina. For more information visit www.redfunnel.co.uk.

 

There will be many travel bargains to be bagged during Ferry Fortnight.

There will be many travel bargains to be bagged during Ferry Fortnight.

Stena Line

One of the world’s largest ferry operators and the largest privately owned shipping company in the world. With services to Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Sweden and Wales, Stena Line is a major unit of Stena AB, which is a part of the Stena Sphere. For more information visit www.stenaline.co.uk.


Wightlink

Isle of Wight Ferries operate frequent ferry crossings to and from the Isle of Wight. Carrying over five million passengers annually, it is one of the UK’s largest domestic ferry operators. For more information visit www.wightlink.co.uk.


One Stop Website

Visit www.discoverferries.com, where you’ll find comprehensive references to sea routes, ferry operators and their routes and detailed information on destinations, plus news and up-to-date information. Also, follow them on Twitter @discoverferries.


NorthLink Ferries Orkney And Shetland Are Closer Than You Think

NorthLink Ferries provide tailored services to help groups get the most out of their Northern Isles adventures. A bespoke itinerary package can be built around a group’s specific tastes and preferences. Contact a member of the NorthLink Ferries team at grouptours@northlinkferries.co.uk to discuss the range of options and prices available.​


National Ferry Fortnight 2016

Ferry companies have invested millions of pounds in modern, versatile fleets and upgraded services. With spas, first-class lounges and fine dining restaurants on-board some ships, the promoters say now is the time for passengers to re-discover the new face of ferries. Watch out for details of special National Ferry Fortnight offers, which will be released nearer the date on www.nationalferryfortnight.co.uk.

Ferry is a relaxing way to travel.

Ferry is a relaxing way to travel.