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How Long Is Ferry Ride From Dublin To Liverpool


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Sue Mcnew



Planning a trip from Dublin to Liverpool? Taking a ferry ride is not only a convenient mode of transportation but also a delightful journey that offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. Whether you are a tourist exploring the historic sights of Liverpool or a local resident of Dublin looking for an exciting getaway, the ferry route between these two cities is a popular choice.


The ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool provides a perfect opportunity to relax and unwind while enjoying the stunning coastal scenery. It offers a unique and enjoyable traveling experience that combines the comforts of modern amenities with the charm of sea travel.


In this comprehensive travel guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about the ferry routes, the duration of the journey, the services and amenities available on board, and tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned adventurer, this guide will help you plan your ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool with ease.


Ferry Routes from Dublin to Liverpool

There are two main ferry routes from Dublin to Liverpool, providing travelers with options to choose according to their preferences and schedules. The routes include Irish Ferries and P&O Ferries.


Irish Ferries operates a daily service between Dublin Port and Liverpool Port. Their ferry, the Ulysses, is the largest and most luxurious cruise ferry on the Irish Sea. The journey takes approximately 8 hours and offers a range of facilities on board, including restaurants, bars, shops, and comfortable seating areas. The Ulysses is known for its excellent service and modern amenities, ensuring a pleasant and relaxing journey.


P&O Ferries, on the other hand, operates a service between Dublin and Liverpool using their ship, the Norbay. The journey takes around 8-9 hours, and passengers can enjoy comfortable seating, restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities on board. P&O Ferries is renowned for its efficient service and comfortable vessels, making the journey a pleasant experience for travelers.


Both ferry routes provide regular departures throughout the week, allowing travelers to choose a time that suits their schedule. Whether you prefer an early morning departure or a late-night journey, there are options available to accommodate your needs.


It is essential to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or holidays, to secure your preferred departure time. Online booking platforms and official ferry company websites make it easy to reserve your tickets and select your desired travel date and time. Be sure to check for any promotional offers or discounts available to make the most of your ferry travel experience.


Duration of Ferry Ride

The duration of the ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool varies depending on the ferry company and the sea conditions. On average, the journey takes approximately 8-9 hours. It is important to note that this timeframe is an estimate and can be subject to change due to factors such as weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.


The Irish Ferries’ Ulysses ferry takes around 8 hours to complete the journey. With its spacious and comfortable facilities, the time onboard can pass quickly as you relax, enjoy a meal, or explore the various amenities available. P&O Ferries’ Norbay ferry also takes a similar time frame of around 8-9 hours, providing travellers with ample time to unwind and enjoy the journey.


While the duration of the ferry ride may seem long, it is important to consider the advantages it offers. Unlike air travel, which requires additional time for security checks and waiting at airports, ferry travel allows passengers to board the vessel directly and enjoy a comfortable journey with scenic views of the Irish Sea. Additionally, the availability of onboard amenities such as restaurants, bars, and entertainment options ensures a pleasant and enjoyable experience during the duration of the trip.


It is worth mentioning that the ferry ride itself can be considered part of the travel experience. The stunning coastal views, the calm and serene atmosphere of the sea, and the opportunity to relax and unwind make the journey an integral part of your trip from Dublin to Liverpool.


It is advisable to check the ferry schedules and plan your journey accordingly. Some ferry departures may be overnight, allowing you to rest and wake up in Liverpool refreshed and ready to explore the city.


Overall, the duration of the ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool offers a unique and enjoyable travel experience, providing passengers with the opportunity to relax, take in the scenic views, and arrive at their destination in comfort.


Factors Affecting Ferry Ride Duration

While the estimated duration of the ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool is around 8-9 hours, several factors can influence the actual duration of the journey. It is essential to keep these factors in mind when planning your travel itinerary:


1. Weather Conditions: The Irish Sea can experience varying weather conditions, including rough seas, strong winds, or fog. In adverse weather conditions, ferry sailings may be delayed or canceled for safety reasons. It is advisable to check the weather forecast and stay updated with any notifications or alerts from the ferry company.


2. Sea Traffic: The amount of sea traffic and the number of ships crossing the Irish Sea can impact the journey time. During busy periods, such as weekends or holidays, there may be increased traffic, leading to potential delays or longer waiting times at the ports.


3. Ferry Schedule: The specific departure time and frequency of the ferry service can influence the duration of the ride. Some departures may be early in the morning or late at night, which can affect the overall journey time depending on your preferred travel schedule.


4. Customs and Immigration Checks: As ferry travel involves crossing international borders, there might be checks conducted by customs and immigration officials. The time required for these checks can vary, depending on the number of passengers and the efficiency of the procedures.


5. Technical Issues or Mechanical Delays: While ferry companies strive to provide reliable and prompt service, occasional technical issues or mechanical delays may occur. These unforeseen circumstances can lead to changes in the departure time or even cancellations, thus affecting the overall duration of the journey.


It is important to consider these factors and allow for some flexibility in your travel plans. Checking the ferry company’s website or contacting their customer service can provide you with up-to-date information about any potential disruptions or delays.


Despite these factors, ferry travel remains a popular choice for passengers traveling from Dublin to Liverpool. The comfortable amenities and the experience of sailing across the Irish Sea make it an enjoyable and memorable journey, regardless of any slight variations in the duration.


Services and Amenities on the Ferry

When embarking on a ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool, you can expect a range of services and amenities that will make your journey comfortable and enjoyable. Ferry companies strive to provide a pleasant onboard experience for passengers, ensuring that their needs are met throughout the trip. Here are some of the services and amenities you can expect:


1. Restaurants and Cafes: Most ferries have onboard restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat during your journey. From casual snacks to full meals, there are usually a variety of dining options available. Whether you’re craving a hot meal, a quick sandwich, or a cup of coffee, you’ll find plenty of choices to suit your taste.


2. Bars and Lounges: Sit back, relax, and enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the onboard bars. Ferry companies often have well-stocked bars offering a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You can unwind with a cold pint, sip on a cocktail, or enjoy a glass of wine as you soak in the ambiance of the journey.


3. Shopping: Make the most of your time on the ferry by browsing the onboard shops. From duty-free items to travel essentials, there is usually a wide variety of products available for purchase. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, cosmetics, or confectionery, you’ll find something to entice you during your journey.


4. Entertainment: Many ferries provide entertainment options to keep passengers entertained throughout the trip. This can include live music performances, movie screenings, or even game rooms where you can challenge your fellow travelers to a friendly competition.


5. Seating and Relaxation Areas: Comfortable seating areas are available onboard, allowing you to sit back and relax during the journey. Whether you prefer a cozy lounge chair, a seat with a view, or a quiet area to catch up on some sleep, there are usually options to suit every passenger’s preference.


6. Wi-Fi and Connectivity: Stay connected with friends and family or catch up on work with onboard Wi-Fi services. Many ferry companies provide internet access, allowing passengers to stay connected on their devices while sailing across the Irish Sea.


7. Accessibility: Ferry companies strive to cater to passengers with special needs or disabilities. Accessibility facilities such as ramps, elevators, and designated seating areas are often available to ensure a comfortable and inclusive journey for all passengers.


It’s important to note that the availability and range of services and amenities may vary depending on the ferry company and vessel. It is advisable to check the specific offerings of the ferry you’ll be traveling on to ensure that your needs and preferences are met.


With these services and amenities, your ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool will not only be a means of transportation but also a pleasant and enjoyable experience.


Arrival and Departure Ports

The arrival and departure ports for the ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool play an important role in your travel experience. Here’s what you need to know about these ports:


1. Dublin Port: Located just minutes away from Dublin city center, Dublin Port serves as the main departure point for ferries heading to Liverpool. The port is well-connected to various transportation options, making it easily accessible for travelers. There are several parking facilities nearby for those arriving by car. Dublin Port offers a range of amenities, including passenger waiting areas, cafes, and shops, ensuring a comfortable stay while awaiting departure.


2. Liverpool Port: The ferry from Dublin arrives at the Port of Liverpool, which is conveniently situated close to the city center. The port provides easy access to Liverpool’s attractions, landmarks, and transportation networks, allowing you to explore the city effortlessly. Similar to Dublin Port, Liverpool Port offers facilities such as waiting areas, cafes, and shops for your convenience.


Both Dublin and Liverpool ports have efficient and organized systems in place to handle passenger flow and ensure smooth embarkation and disembarkation processes. The staff at the ports are helpful and can assist with any inquiries or assistance you may need.


It is advisable to arrive at the port well in advance of your departure time, especially during peak travel periods or holidays. This allows sufficient time for check-in procedures and ensures a hassle-free boarding process.


Furthermore, both Dublin and Liverpool are vibrant cities with numerous attractions and activities to explore. If you have some time before or after your ferry ride, take the opportunity to discover the highlights of these cities. From historic landmarks and museums to picturesque waterfronts and bustling markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


Whether you’re departing from Dublin Port or arriving at Liverpool Port, the ports provide convenient access to the respective cities and offer a smooth transition to your onward journey or adventures.


Tips for a Smooth Ferry Ride

Planning a ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool? Here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:


1. Book in Advance: To secure your preferred departure time and to take advantage of any promotional offers, it is recommended to book your ferry tickets in advance. Especially during peak travel seasons or holidays, ferry sailings can fill up quickly, so it’s best to plan ahead.


2. Arrive Early: Allow plenty of time to arrive at the port before your scheduled departure. This gives you ample time to check-in, complete any necessary procedures, and board the ferry without rushing. Arriving early also avoids the stress of last-minute delays or unexpected circumstances.


3. Pack Essentials: Ensure you bring all the necessary essentials for your journey. This includes travel documents, such as passports or identification, as well as any required visas. Don’t forget to pack any medications, chargers, and entertainment options to keep yourself occupied during the journey.


4. Prepare for Seasickness: If you are prone to seasickness, it is advisable to bring motion sickness remedies or consult your healthcare provider before the journey. Additionally, choosing a seat or cabin in the middle of the ship or near the waterline can help minimize the effects of motion.


5. Dress Comfortably: Opt for comfortable and layered clothing, as temperatures onboard the ferry may vary. Bring a light jacket or sweater in case it gets chilly, and wear comfortable shoes for ease of movement while exploring the vessel.


6. Explore Onboard Amenities: Take advantage of the services and amenities offered onboard. Whether it’s enjoying a meal at the restaurant, shopping for duty-free items, or simply relaxing in one of the seating areas, make the most of the facilities available to enhance your journey experience.


7. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: It’s important to stay hydrated during the journey, so be sure to have water with you. Additionally, grab a meal or snack at the onboard restaurants or cafes to keep yourself nourished throughout the ride.


8. Follow Safety Instructions: Pay attention to safety announcements and follow the guidance provided by the ferry crew. Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency exits and life-saving equipment. Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance.


9. Enjoy the Scenic Views: The ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool offers stunning coastal views of the Irish Sea. Take the time to appreciate the beauty around you and capture some memorable photos along the way.


10. Plan Your Arrival: Before reaching your final destination, make sure to plan your onward journey from the Liverpool port. Research transportation options and have a clear idea of how to reach your desired destination in the city.


By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool. Sit back, relax, and make the most of this unique travel experience.



A ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool offers not only a means of transportation but also an unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re a tourist seeking to explore the historic city of Liverpool or a local resident looking for a relaxing getaway, the journey across the Irish Sea provides breathtaking views and a comfortable journey.


In this comprehensive travel guide, we have covered essential aspects of the Dublin to Liverpool ferry ride. We explored the various ferry routes available, including those operated by Irish Ferries and P&O Ferries. We discussed the average duration of the journey, factors that can affect it, and the services and amenities offered onboard to ensure a pleasant trip.


Remember to book your ferry tickets in advance, arrive at the port early, and pack all the necessary essentials for your journey. Dress comfortably, prepare for seasickness if needed, and take advantage of the onboard amenities to enhance your experience. Stay hydrated, nourished, and follow safety instructions provided by the ferry crew.


The arrival and departure ports, Dublin Port and Liverpool Port, offer facilities and convenience for travelers, allowing for a smooth transition to and from the ferry. Additionally, taking the time to plan your arrival in Liverpool and explore the city’s attractions will make your trip even more rewarding.


By implementing these tips and embracing the unique travel experience, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool. From the stunning coastal views to the comfortable facilities onboard, this journey provides an opportunity to relax, unwind, and create lasting memories.


So, whether you’re embarking on an adventure or simply seeking a peaceful journey, let the ferry ride from Dublin to Liverpool be a part of your travel experience. Enjoy the scenic views, savor the onboard amenities, and make the most of this delightful way to travel between these two incredible cities.