Holidays & Travel

Stena Line research finds more than 100,000 in NI have never travelled by sea

Travel journalist and broadcaster, Craig Doyle, said the time is right for modern travellers to become ferry first timers

Stena Vision
The Stena Vision

With a proud maritime history and the cranes Samson and Goliath towering over Belfast, it’s inconceivable that people living in Northern Ireland could lose their sea legs, but new research has found more than 113,000 of us have never travelled by ferry.

The survey found that 113,832 people living in Northern Ireland have never travelled on the high seas and almost one third of us have not done so in the past five years.

Conducted by Swedish owned ferry company, Stena Line - which has daily crossings between Belfast and Cairnryan, Belfast and Liverpool, Dublin and Holyhead and Rosslare and Fishguard - the research shows our perception of ferry travel may be outdated with large numbers surprised by the extent of facilities onboard modern vessels.

For example, 39% of those questioned don’t expect to find a spa onboard while at sea, 27% are unaware they can watch the latest movies in a cinema and almost 20% do not realise your four-legged friend can enjoy the high seas in a pet cabin.

Travel journalist, TV presenter and broadcaster, Craig Doyle said the time is right for modern travellers to become ferry first timers and enjoy a level of comfort at sea which goes beyond all expectations.

With ferry travel from ports in Belfast, Dublin and Rosslare, Craig said: “I’m a regular ferry traveller with Stena Line as I go back and forth between the UK and Ireland, and I really couldn’t believe how many people hadn’t even tried it!

“I love just filling the car up with everything I need, with no airport stresses and them I’m just done! On board, I treat it like a restaurant as well as my office.

“I also get a tremendous sense of calm and feel I have some much-needed peace to get things done. I love the fact I can even walk on deck and look out to sea as you make your way across, it is an enjoyable way to travel.

“The Stena Line survey also revealed that around two-thirds of people in Northern Ireland want to try something new on their holiday and they feel accomplished after trying new things.

“I would urge anyone, who hasn’t travelled by sea before, or maybe has an outdated impression of what ferry travel is like, to try it this summer - I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”