Ferries set sail with 70% increase in bookings after Covid rules relaxed


Bookings for ferry crossings between the UK and Europe have soared by more than 70% as Covid travel rules are relaxed for fully vaccinated passengers.

Discover the ferries, which represents 13 operators, reported that the majority of those bookings were for travel this year after it was announced that double-bitten travelers no longer needed to self-quarantine when returning to the UK from the orange list countries.

More than a third (38%) of respondents consider traveling with their own vehicle to be a important factor in choosing a ferry trip.

Other reasons include the freedom to explore at your own pace and unlimited baggage transport with no fees or restrictions.

Almost a quarter (24%) of people who booked chose to take their pet on vacation with Brittany ferry indicating that it is already close to capacity for pet-friendly chalets as of summer 2022.

And it’s not just trips to the mainland that have become more popular. Isles of Scilly Travel reported its busiest travel day in nearly two years, as services across the Solent to the Isle of Wight hit maximum capacity over the May bank holiday weekend.

Discover the ferries Accommodation partners claim that many popular UK destinations are close to capacity.

Domestic operators also expect the holiday season to extend into the fall and winter months, as travelers catch up on missed trips earlier in the year.

The authorities are also confident in the relaunch of the “alcohol cruise”, with the cross-Channel operator DFDS The new Côte d’Opale vessel embarks with the largest duty-free sales area in the Channel, and two new onshore duty-free shops are expected to open in Calais and Dunkirk this year.

Irish ferries has also invested in the on-board shop to offer passengers a wide range of products to browse and buy during the crossing.

Abby Penlington, Director of Discover Ferries, said: “It is interesting to learn how the pandemic has affected vacationers’ priorities when it comes to planning their next getaway.

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“The good news is that there could be a golden age for ferry travel. The space, value and flexibility offered by ferry travel is exactly what consumers are looking for on vacation.

“While waiting for the return of unhindered international travel, domestic ferry lines will benefit from the popularity of day trips and trips. Those who have not yet booked a British Isles getaway should not be discouraged as there is still availability, but it is worth checking out the midweek and off-peak crossings which are a bit calmer. “

To prepare for an increase in demand for modern ferry travel, in recent years operators have invested in modernizing their fleets. New ships have recently joined or will join soon Stena Line, DFDS, P&O Ferry, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and Brittany ferry, with other companies putting new vessels into service. New Irish ferries The Dover-Calais service also reflects growth opportunities for the cross-Channel market.

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