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How Do I Get The Best Ferry Ticket Prices?

Nov 16, 2007
One question that's asked a lot is how to get the best deals when buying ferry tickets.

There are no real secrets to getting the best deal, but here are some pointers to help you when you are looking for tickets.

Which route should you use?

Shop around for prices traveling from a range of ports. For example, the short ferry routes from Dover are extremely good value. However, don't ignore the opportunity to cross from other ports such as Portsmouth. You can find some bargain tickets and, combined with mileage and fuel savings, may actually cost you less overall.

When do you wish to travel?

Unless you have fixed travel dates, look to shop around for bargain ferry tickets on the quieter sailings. After all, you may not find a bargain ticket traveling on a Friday evening in August. But you may find a great deal traveling on a Wednesday afternoon.

Taking a vehicle?

Take the smallest vehicle that you can. You may then be tempted to add a roof box or a trailer. These will usually add pounds to your ticket costs, so you may be better off taking a slightly larger vehicle and leaving the roof box or trailer behind.

Never attempt to get a cheaper price by booking a smaller vehicle than you wish to take. Remember, the check-in staff are there to check these things and you could find yourself paying lots more at the port. Even worse, you could find yourself being refused shipment.

What about on-board accommodation?

This area is one where you can make some great savings on the right routes. Think about how long you may use the accommodation for. You may not consider paying a lot of money for a cabin when you may only get 4 or 5 hours sleep as good value. Why not look at booking reclining seats if they are available? Perhaps by altering your sailing time you can do away with the requirement for accommodation altogether?

Single or return tickets?

Try to make return ferry ticket bookings. You will usually find there are plenty of savings to be made. However, it is always worth checking prices of single ferry tickets to compare the two. Never book a cheap day return to save paying a single fare. You are breaking the terms and conditions of your ticket and a dim view of this is usually taken by the ferry operators.

Do you want to eat whilst on board?

Some ferry operator's offer reduced prices when booked as a package before traveling. If having a meal on board is something you would like to do, why not look into seeing if there are any meal packages available when booking?

If you do follow these points then you will probably find a great deal. And remember, when you find that great deal it probably won't be around for long, so look to book it straight away so that you don't end up missing out on a great deal.
About the Author
Ian L Wilson is a member of the Cheaper Ferries team. Leading suppliers of online cheap european ferry bookings for ferry crossings, cross channel ferries & european ferries.
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