Stena Line has seen their travel business bounce back in Ireland in 2022. Figures for the first half of the year show that passenger numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels, while car numbers, in particular, are far higher than in 2019.
The increase in the number of cars is most striking on the Irish Sea. With the cost of car hire in Ireland being the highest in Europe it is no surprise that people are instead opting to travel by ferry and take their own cars to either Belfast, Dublin or Rosslare. However, the level of increase has been higher than expected, with the number of passengers taking their cars up almost a third (32%) compared to 2019.
While over on the North Sea, the number of passengers taking their cars on ferries travelling between Harwich and the Hook of Holland is at higher levels than all their competitors combined.
Paul Grant, Trade Director for the Irish Sea said: “Problems in the airline industry, high car hire prices and ongoing concerns over covid, all seem to be encouraging more people to switch to ferries and take their own cars with them on holiday. Ease of check-in, no queues at security, no baggage charges, no car hire costs, the advantage of being able to put your full allowance of Duty-Free in your car and drive from door-to-door, all make taking a ‘car-cation’ by ferry an attractive option for travellers.”
With prices for a car and driver from Ireland to Britain starting at £119/€139, and to the Netherlands from Britain starting at £61.50/€72, it is easy to see why travellers are opting for a ferry car-cation instead of flying.