Introducing our AFerry Godmother!
To help answer queries and questions for #ferryfirsttimers during the upcoming National Ferry Fortnight with Discover Ferries (5th – 19th March 2016), meet the AFerry Godmother who has flown in from ferryland to work with the team at AFerry.
Her first act of goodwill for newbie ferry travellers is to unveil AFerry’s ‘ferry bible‘ with everything that you ever wanted to know about European ferry travel. Chat to her @AFerryUK on twitter and AFerry.co.uk on Facebook. For National Ferry Fortnight special offers, click here. NB – offers are embargoed until 5th March 2016.
Britain’s top ferry operators carried more than 8.6 million cars during 2015*, 1.3% up on 2014 with continental ferry sailings proving resilient. So why do so many of us like travelling by ferry?
- No luggage restrictions – the kitchen sink can travel with you!
- Fido can come too!
- Less time spent at passport control.
- Huge range of routes and companies to choose from.
- Book on the move via AFerry.co.uk’s apps for both Android and iPhone. If you download the app before 30th June, you’ll automatically be put into a draw to win an iPad PRO.
- With families expanding more, it’s often more cost effective to travel by car and ferry than by air plus there’s no baggage fees.
- European motorways tend to be a lot less crowded than those in the UK and travelling by car makes it easier to explore at your leisure.
- Bookings can be amended or changed on the road with AFerry’s app and iPad app access.
- Fill up in a hypermarket near your embarkation port and take advantage of the cheaper prices – whether its cheeses or patisseries or local delicacies and wines.
- Want to know what it’s like to travel via AFerry.co.uk? Check out the review section – perfect for #ferryfirsttimers.
*Figures from Ferrystat via Discover Ferries
Helpful tips for travelling with your pet!
To help ease the anxiety around travelling with a pet, AFerry.co.uk has come up with some top tips and information about travelling safely and happily with Fido or Felix on-board. In this dog versus cat debate however, it’s Fido who rules the waves. Over 15,000 pets travelled safely during 2015 with bookings via AFerry. Our AFerry Godmother’s top six tips are:
- Double check which ferries allow you to take your pet with you on board or whether they have to stay in the car.
- See which companies require a dog to wear a muzzle.
- Arrive at the port in good time to a) give a last walk before sailing and b) to settle down prior to boarding.
- Don’t feed Fido too much food before travel to avoid any seasickness or anxiety but do provide an ample supply of water. Excessive panting and drooling may mean your dog is overheating.
- Crank your windows open for fresh air and a cooling breeze if your pet needs to stay in the car. Your car can become like an oven in hot weather.
- Don’t let your dog stick his head out of the window as passing vehicles could injure him.
And remember, despite having their own passports, most doggies are not allowed to travel alone!
Six ferry do’s and don’ts
- Do your research!: Always look for the best deals around by using AFerry’s comparison website. Using their mobile apps for both Android and iPhone/iPad, you can even amend your bookings or switch return dates without fuss and panic.
- Have all your documents to hand: When queuing to embark on the ferry, have all your documents to hand as you will need them. Don’t hide them away in a handbag or luggage that you can’t reach.
- Ferry Bag: Pack everything you might need for the ferry journey in a ferry bag before you leave home. Baby wipes and nappies, bottles, games, books etc. Don’t leave it until you are in the car seconds away from boarding.
- Water and walkies: Make sure your pet is looked after – if you are early at the port, take Fido for a walkies. On some ferries, Fido can come upstairs with you in special designated areas. On others, you need to leave him in the car so ensure he has adequate supplies of water, good ventilation and feels happy and secure.
- Vets abroad: When travelling around Europe with your best furry friend, do some research on vets in the area – you never know when you might need them.
- Driving abroad: On disembarking when travelling in Europe, always have your toll money to hand, your driving licence and your car will need a GB sticker, a warning triangle and headlamp adjustment. Look at the RAC’s helpful compulsory equipment check list and AFerry’s own driving abroad link. Don’t get a fine – ignorance is no excuse.
- Award winner: AFerry.co.uk is the proud winner of “The World’s Leading Ferry Website” award from World Travel Awards for the fourth year running.
- Take a mini-cruise: Sit back, relax and let the stresses and strains of the day seep away whilst on an AFerry’s Mini-Cruise Collection getaway. Perfect for couples, families or groups of friends, mini-cruises offer great value short breaks with the perfect combination of a city break coupled with a relaxing time onboard. For example, a Bruges Mini-Cruise starts at £79 (€100) per person for a foot passenger.
- The world’s your oyster: As well as ferry routes in Europe and North Africa, its possible to purchase ferry tickets to Australia, New Zealand, Asia and even the USA and Canada with AFerry.co.uk.
- Scotland ahoy: AFerry.co.uk has joined forces with Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), the UK’s largest ferry network with 130,000 individual sailings a year to 24 Scottish islands and remote mainland destinations. CalMac Ferries operates a fleet of 31 ships which includes large cruise ferries for the major, long duration routes and smaller, environmentally friendly hybrid vessels for routes to the smaller islands. Depending on your route, onboard facilities will vary as the larger cruise ships have more capacity for amenities. Food is a big part of CalMac’s onboard offering, and you really are spoilt for choice with the mouth-watering menu from Mariners Cafeteria. Each dish contains locally sourced ingredients from Scotland and the surrounding islands CalMac provides connections to.
- DFDS has introduced new ferries on the Dover – Calais route this February. Côte des Dunes and Côte des Flandres have a range of cafés and bars including a 7 Seas self-service restaurant. There is a children’s play area, a large shop and a Premium Lounge which offers complimentary tea and coffee, cold drinks and snacks.
- Popular destinations for 2016: Safe European destinations such as Spain and Italy are continuing to remain popular among many Brits. Research published by rental home specialist Interhome said that some places in Southern Europe had seen a shortage in the number of accommodation in the areas that are popular among tourists.Bookings to Spain are up by 30 per cent and Italy by 25 per cent.
- Family packages on the UP!: The January sales helped to boost the popularity of family package holidays. Findings published by analyst GfK revealed that the peak sales sparked a two per cent hike in package holiday bookings on last year. In addition, left season-to-date bookings were six per cent up on summer 2015 at the start of February.The research also showed that UK summer 2016 bookings increased by nine per cent on last year, though with average prices one per cent lower “reflecting input costs, including fuel”.
AFerry.co.uk is The Travel Gateway’s leading on-line ferry brand, which features unique real-time comparison technology for ferries, generating over 55 million unique visitors per year and over 3,000 bookings per day. It is not just for travel to and from the UK, this handy site covers European and worldwide routes too – over 1,800 ferry routes connecting more than 140 ferry operators. Check out the AFerry app for iPhone and Android.
If you would like to use a ferry crossing as part of a travel article or have an idea about a promotion, please contact Gillian Green at Magellan PR – Gillian@magellan-pr.com or +44 (0) 7515 283 287. Think UK to Ireland or France or Spain to North Africa – with the global coverage offered by AFerry.co.uk, the possibilities are endless.
*All quoted fares in this newsletter were correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change.