Ferry From Ireland To Spain: What You Need To Know

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When we took the ferry from Ireland to Spain we had lots of questions! Not only was it the first time we had done this journey, it was also the first time we had been on a ship with our self built campervan.

So if you’re after some more information about this journey, we have it here!

Ferry From Ireland To Spain

In this blog post all about taking the ferry to Spain from Ireland, you’ll find details on which ports you can cross from, sailing times and frequencies, price examples, cabin options, onboard and port facilities, plus check in and boarding information.

ferry Spain to Ireland

Ireland To Spain Ferry Routes

Which ports can you cross from?

There is currently only one Ireland to Spain ferry crossing route, and that’s from Rosslare on the South East tip of Ireland to Bilbao on the North coast of Spain. There was another Cork to Santander ferry route but this was closed a few years ago.

Which ferry sails Ireland to Spain?

At present there is also just one ferry company operating the Ireland to Bilbao ferry service, Brittany Ferries. Being a French company, languages spoken by most staff are generally only French or English. But important announcements are given in French, English and Spanish.

brittany ferries rosslare to bilbao

Rosslare To Bilbao Ferry Times

How long does the crossing take?

The ferry to Spain from Ireland takes around 30-32 hours with one or two nights onboard depending on departure day and time. There are generally two crossings per week.

Wednesday08:0013:451 night, arrive on Thursday
Friday23:5908:002 nights, arrive on Sunday

Bilbao to Rosslare Ferry Times

How many crossings are there?

The corresponding ferry from Spain to Ireland route also usually has two crossings per week. Times in this direction are slightly shorter at around 26-28 hours, with just one night onboard.

Thursday18:4521:301 night, arrive on Friday
Sunday11:0015:001 night, arrive on Monday

Ireland to Spain Ferry Price

How much does the ferry cost?

During peak summer season average Ireland to Spain ferry prices tend to be around €700 one way. However, over the winter low season, average ticket prices tend to drop to around €300. This is based on a passenger profile of two people plus a car.

What’s included in the price?

Included in the initial price is a reserved reclining seat. If you wish to have a cabin, there is however an additional cost. The cabin rooms can accommodate up to either 4 people in single bunks or 2 people in a double and have an ensuite bathroom with shower.

Rosslare to Santander ferry

There’s also the choice between cabins with a window and slightly cheaper internal cabins. The Brittany Ferries Ireland to Spain ferry prices also include a 3 course evening meal in the restaurant. Drinks are not included and Breakfast and lunches have to be bought separately.

Brittany Ferries Cabins

What cabin types are available?

A number of cabin types are available on the Salamanca ferry from Ireland to Spain. There are both 2 and 4 berth standard or luxury cabins with wheelchair accessibility. Plus also 2 berth luxury suites. Then there’s pet friendly cabins and also just reserved reclining seats.

The 4 berth cabins have a single fixed bed, with another three optional pull down bunks. The reserved reclining seats are in a dedicated area which is set up for resting and sleeping.

Do you have your own bathroom?

All cabins on the Brittany Ferries sailing from Ireland to Spain have an ensuite bathroom. It has a toilet, shower with instant hot water and sink area with towel rail, mirror and shaving point.

Are there TV’s in the cabins?

In the cabin area there is a small desk with a seat, a full length mirror, a small hanging space, and a TV with free Video On Demand service. Plus plenty of both UK and EU plug sockets and USB points. There’s various lighting combinations and each bunk has a reading light.

Are towels and bedding provided?

Bedding, towels and soap/shampoo and some paper cups are included in all cabins. Access is with the boarding card issued at check in. So if you are sharing, each person has their own cabin key. There’s heating and air conditioning controlled individually in each cabin.

sailing from Ireland to Spain

If you have opted to just have a reserved seat instead of a cabin, you unfortunately do not get a blanket. You can however purchase a sleep pack from the onboard information desk. These contain a blanket, pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs. Alternatively just bring your own.

What extras are in the luxury rooms?

The 2 berth Commodore Class cabins or suites include a twin or double bed respectively. They have extras such as tea & coffee-making facilities, a mini bar, box of toiletries, and hairdryer. They also have more space and always have an external seaview.

These cabin options include a complimentary continental breakfast with the option of that being served in your cabin. Plus the suites on this ferry from Ireland to Spain have direct access to the outside deck and an additional seating area with table.

What facilities are there for kids?

You can request a cot to be added to your cabin, which is suitable for infants up to 24 months old. There’s also baby changing areas throughout the ship and self service microwaves available near the restaurant. There’s also inside and outside play areas.

ferry from Spain to Ireland

Are pets allowed in the cabins?

Pets are permitted in pet-friendly cabins, yes. These have laminated floors rather than carpets. There are also dedicated outside exercise areas for dogs. Dogs can also be booked into kennels. They are open throughout sailing for you to visit and exercise your furry pal.

Other than in the pet friendly cabins, they are however not allowed in any of the interior areas of the ship. Neither can they stay in your vehicle during the journey. Dogs must be muzzled and on a lead at all times whenever outside of your vehicle or their accommodation.

It is recommended that you exercise and toilet your dog prior to boarding the ship. And just something to be aware of, is that during bad weather conditions access to the outside pet exercise area may not be permitted.

Spain To Ireland Ferry Facilities

What facilities are there onboard?

The ferry operating on the Spain to Ireland crossing (and vice versa) is one of Brittany Ferries newest ships, The Salamanca. On board there’s a duty free shop, interactive kids playrooms and sun deck with loungers perfect for whale watching. And sports equipment up there too.

What restaurants are onboard?

There’s a main restaurant, plus a bar which serves snacks. There’s loads of seating dotted around with both tables and comfy chairs. If you don’t get seasick, curling up by one of the huge windows with a good book is a great way to pass the time.

brittany ferries Ireland to Spain

Is there a first class service?

Or if you prefer, there’s also a private premium lounge on the Salamanca ferry from Ireland to Spain. There’s unlimited self service snacks and soft drinks. Complimentary access is included with Commodore Class tickets or limited spaces can be bought separately.

Is there wifi available on the ship?

Whilst on board you can access a free 90 minute wifi session. But after that if you wish to continue using it the service is chargeable. An additional hour for one device is €3.00. Three hours with two devices is €8.00. And six hours with two devices is €17.00. 

Rosslare to Santander ferry prices

Because the internet connection is via satellite speeds may vary and it may not be suitable for streaming depending also on how many users there are at any given time. Generally it works absolutely fine for web browsing and social media though. 

Will my phone work during the crossing?

Whilst there is an offshore network called Skybridge available, it is not advisable to use it. This is because data roaming charges still apply to this satellite-based marine mobile provider and charges are considerably higher than standard tariffs. Basically it’s a rip off.

You should disable mobile data roaming whilst onboard the ferry from Ireland to Spain so that your phone does not automatically join it.

Brittany Ferries Rosslare To Bilbao

When does check in open?

Check in for the Rosslare to Bilbao ferry usually opens 6 hours before the crossing time. We took the midnight crossing and were able to check in from 6pm. Then you just wait in your assigned loading lane to be called.

The last check in is 60 minutes before departure. Unless you are checking in with a pet, in which case you need to be there at least 90 minutes prior. Your pets chip will be scanned and documentation checked. 

They will need to have an EU Animal Health Certificate or a Pet Passport issued by a current EU country in order to travel. A sticker will then be placed on the vehicle windscreen to ensure you are directed to park in the appropriate area when boarding. 

When does boarding start?

This is entirely dependent on how busy the freight traffic is for the crossing. However in most cases it will generally be around 45-60 minutes before departure time that cars, vans and motorhomes start being loaded on.

Once you are parked, you should turn off vehicle alarms for the duration of the crossing. This is because it’s likely the motion will set it off. Also be aware that on busier sailings some vehicles may be parked in an open overflow area on deck.

Remember to let your vehicle insurance company know the dates that you will be travelling to a new country. Most need to be notified as per their T&C’s even with 365 day EU cover.

ferry to Santander from Ireland

Can I access my vehicle during the crossing?

No. Access to the garage decks are strictly prohibited during the crossing. You will be called over the intercom when it is safe to return to your vehicle.

You will be asked to vacate cabins 30 minutes prior to arrival. There’s no need to worry about setting an alarm for early morning arrivals as there is also wake up call music that will be played into the cabins an hour before arrival. Time on board is Irish time. 

Rosslare Ferry Port

Rosslare Harbour Address

The address is Rosslare Harbour, Co. Wexford, Rosslare, Y35 PH4X, Ireland. For cars the what3words location is swum.vowel.amused and for foot passengers arisen.playtime.bumps.

How To Get To Rosslare Port?

By Car | From the south of Ireland jump on the N24/N25. Dublin is a couple of hours away via the M11/M50. The Port is also well connected with the north via the M1, N80 and M9.

By Bus | There’s a bus stop within the port called Rosslare Harbour. Bus Eireann routes 40, 132, 370 and 379 stop there. Plus also route 387 on the Local Link Wexford buses. 

By Train | Just a 10 minute walk from the terminal there’s a train station. It’s on the Dublin Connolly line. Trains run five times per day and take around three hours from Dublin.

Rosslare Europort Facilities

There’s a cafe, toilets with disabled and baby changing facilities, car rental service, free and paid wifi options, luggage lockers and information desk.

For long stay parking there’s privately operated car park with 335 spaces charged €1 per hour, €5 per day or €25 per week. Payment can be made in cash or by card.

Rosslare Strand

Bilbao Ferry Port

Bilbao Harbour Address

The address is Puerto de Bilbao, Muelle A3, Pais Vasco, Zierbena, 48508, Spain. For vehicles the what3words location is calibrate.reissues.nurture and for foot passengers nutrient.dangling.baffles.

How To Get To Bilbao Ferry Port?

By Car | From the A-8 motorway take the exit 130 for N-644 towards Portua/Santurtzi. Then continue on N-644 and follow the yellow signs for ‘FERRY’ which will direct you into the port.

By Metro | The nearest station is Santurtzi. It’s the last stop on line 2 which runs directly from the city centre. From there it’s either a 3km walk or 5 minute taxi ride which costs about €10.

There’s no other public transport that runs to Bilbao ferry port. But central bus and train stations can be found in Bilbao city centre which connect to the rest of the county.

Bilbao Port Facilities

There’s a wheelchair accessible departure lounge with information desk, toilet and snack bar. Free and payable Wi-Fi options are also available. There’s car park available for short and long stay parking, including overnight with dedicated spaces for motorhomes. 

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