The ferry market is an increasingly popular way to travel, with more modern, comfortable and powerful ferries being introduced all the time. As a result the seas are becoming more competitive, and travellers can enjoy a greater level of choice and comfort than ever before. Here are our top tips for finding the cheapest ferry deals around so that you can not only book with confidence, but also with the knowledge you’re getting a great price!
Use the compare prices form - By using AFerry.co.uk's price comparison form you can easily find and compare the fabulous array of options out there. The best prices closest to the travelling times you have chosen are displayed so you can take advantage of the lowest possible price. The comparison channel helps you narrow down all the ferry companies to find the one that travels at the best times and at the right price.
Consider your sailing times - Can you be flexible? Sailing the most convenient times often means paying more, so check different departure times. On popular and busy routes such as across the Channel night-time sailings can reduce the cost as there are more cheap spaces available. Similarly weekday crossings, especially mid-week, are cheaper than weekend ones. As with most areas of the travel industry, prices are at their highest during peak periods such as school holidays; avoiding these can save you money.
Check alternative ports - Often choosing to travel from a different port can make your journey cheaper, so look at all the options. Not only can ferry prices vary significantly, travelling to or from an alternative port can save you hours of driving, helping you save money by reducing your fuel bill. For example, Dover is home to some of the UK's most competitive ferry companies, but the ports of Newhaven and Ramsgate offer alternative ways into Europe that might work better for your journey.
Book in advance - The best prices for ferries are normally available to those who plan ahead and book early. There are often great last minute offers but those who book over 28 days in advance have access to more of the best prices. On certain routes choosing to travel on conventional ferries rather than high-speed ships can also save you cash.
Find our exclusive special offers - On AFerry.co.uk there are always special offers from the biggest names in the ferry market. Simply clicking the adverts on this site will take you to the full details. Alternatively you can find the latest cheap prices found by our price-checking technology by selecting our ferry deals and low prices page and choosing which route or company you want to see the best deals for. Signing up for the AFerry.co.uk newsletter will mean you get the latest special offers delivered straight to you!
Mini-cruises and short breaks - Also worth considering are what ferry companies call `mini-cruises'; short breaks to destinations such as Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, and Santander where you spend a night travelling each way with a relaxing day in your destination city in-between. On modern cruise-ferries this truly is a `miniature cruise'. There are also often excellent prices to be found when you take a short break to France or Ireland with 1 or 3 nights away before you return.
Split the cost - On many busy ferry routes the price for taking a car includes up to 5 passengers, so hiring a minibus and splitting the ferry cost can really reduce the price everyone pays.
Know the size of your car - There is no consistent system of pricing cars between all the ferry companies, so knowing the size of your car in metres will help save you time and money by letting you choose precisely the best company for your car size. Remember to include any roof or bike racks!
Check, and double check, your details - Although it can seem laborious, taking the time to read the booking conditions and double check your booking details is very important. Most ferry booking amendments are subject to charge, so make sure everything is correct first time to ensure there are no nasty shocks later on.