Category Archives: Bike/Ferry

Bike ferry restrictions

Bike/Ferry Restrictions (UK)

 

Bike/Ferry restrictions

This page lists restrictions on bike carriage aboard UK ferry services. There are many regulations, but folding bikes travel free and without restriction on all ferry services, although you may have to cover the bike and carry it on, which could mean carrying the bike for some distance.
See Bike/Rail Travel Guide. If you have any official or unofficial information on cycle carriage, please share it with us by e-mail.

We are grateful to local authorities, individual cycle users and the Cyclists Touring Club for information on cycle carriage.

Please note

  • For cycling routes near stations, visit Sustrans. Enter the station POST CODE in the blue box then click FIND. The resulting MAP shows routes close to the station.
  • Barry Doe‘s excellent National Rail map [PDF] gives a clear picture of all UK operators and routes.

 

UK Bike/Ferry Restrictions

Brittany Ferries

Routes:
National Rail Network InterchangePlymouth – Roscoff, National Rail Network InterchangePoole/Portsmouth – Cherbourg, National Rail Network InterchangePortsmouth – Le Havre, St Malo/Caen
National Rail Network InterchangePlymouth/Portsmouth – Santander, National Rail Network InterchangePortsmouth – Bilbao
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
Brittany Ferries introduced peak-time cycle fares on all routes several years ago, but these were later applied all year round. Like DFDS, the company has now changed a flexible system, so there is no set fee for a bicycle, the actual fare being determined on the basis of demand at the time of booking. The supplement seems to vary from £5 to £10.
Reservations: 0871 244 0744


Caledonian Macbrayne

Routes: Numerous routes between the Scottish mainland and islands
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: tick No restrictions
Refreshingly, bicycles still travel free on all routes, but there are no facilities for pre-booking, so there is always a slight chance that your chosen ferry may not have space. Very unlikely outside of the peak holiday season.
Reservations: 0800 066 5000


Condor Ferries

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangePoole – Channel Islands & St Malo
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles:  Unknown
Bicycles now travel free, but they should be pre-booked when you buy your tickets, and space is not guaranteed. There is a click box on the booking form labelled ‘Bicycle, wheeled on’. Folding bicycles travel free, but are subject to a 15kg personal luggage allowance.
Reservations: 0845 609 1026


DFDS Seaways (& Norfolkline, now merged)

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangeNewcastle – Ijmuiden (Amsterdam), National Rail Network InterchangeNewhaven – Dieppe, National Rail Network InterchangeDover – Dunkirk or Calais
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
This is not as easy as it used to be! The old idea of charging a set supplement for bicycles has gone out of the window, because in most cases there is no ‘walk-on’ fare, indeed, no fixed fare at all, although there are minimums (bike and rider) of £20 single from Dover, £28 single from Newhaven, and £5 (plus cabin) from Newcastle to Ijmuiden.
Rather bizarrely, the DFDS booking engine can only see a ‘vehicle’, so it treats a group as though they were passengers in the same machine! If you want to book a group of cyclists, you will need to book each one individually, in order to obtain tickets covering the same number of bicycles. Surely, then, it’s possible to book – for example – one touring bike at £29, plus four ‘passengers’, each carrying their own folding bikes. If you do this, the first will pay nothing, and the others just £5 each? If you’ve tested this theory, do let us know.
Reservations: 0871 574 7223


Hovertravel

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangePortsmouth – National Rail Network InterchangeRyde, Isle of Wight
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: No
Bicycles used to be banned outright, but they are now carried free of charge in the hovercraft’s ‘pannier’, whatever that might be, subject to space being available, and as there is normally only space for two bicycles, cyclists are advised to book in advance. Report to a member of staff on arrival for assistance with loading. Covered folding bikes travel as hand luggage without restriction, up to a total luggage weight limit of 30kg.


Irish Ferries

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangeHolyhead – Dublin & National Rail Network InterchangePembroke – Rosslare
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
Irish Ferries says bicycles are welcome on all its services, but subject to a fare of £9 per single journey. Pre-booking is not obligatory, but might be advisable in the peak season.
Reservations: 0818 300 400


Isle of Man Steam Packet Co

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangeHeysham/Liverpool – Douglas, Isle of Man
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
Bicycles are carried free when accompanied by a fare-paying passenger.
Tel: 01624 661661


Isles of Scilly Steam Ship Company

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangePenzance – Isles of Scilly
Folding bikes: Treated as conventional bikes   Tandems and tricycles: No
Bicycles, including folders, are carried, but must be pre-booked, with a fee of £13 each way. As far as we know, this makes this makes the Isles of Scilly the only route (and we’re including some very tiny ferries) where you have to pay for and pre-book a folding bike. The good news is that the company is thinking of liberalising the regime from 2017.
Tel: 01736 334220
Email: sales@islesofscilly-travel.co.uk


LD Lines

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangePortsmouth-Le Havre, Saint-Nazaire – Gijon
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
The bicycles supplement varies according to the route. Saint-Nazaire to Gijon the bicycle effectively travels free (foot passengers are not carried), and Portsmouth to Le Havre, the supplement is £3. In all cases, bicycles must be booked in advance when you buy your tickets.
Tel: 0844 576 8836


North Link Ferries

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangeAberdeen- Kirkwall (Orkney), Aberdeen-Lerwick (Shetland) & Scrabster (National Rail Network InterchangeThurso) – Stromness (Orkney)
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions  Tandems and tricycles: Not permitted
A small, friendly company, very keen to find ways to help cyclists move around the Highlands and Islands. Bicycles are welcome and carried free on all services, the Aberdeen ferry being a useful way of avoiding bicycle restrictions on the Highland rail network when returning from the Orkney Islands. Note though, that the online booking system can only deal with one bicycle per booking, so groups should make their bookings by phone to the contact centre.
Reservations: 0845 6000 449
Email: customer.services@poferries.com


Red Funnel Ferry Co

Routes: National Rail Network InterchangeSouthampton – Cowes & National Rail Network InterchangeLymington – Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
Bicycles are carried free on the vehicle ferry services to and from Yarmouth and East Cowes, but the high speed Red Jet Catamaran from Southampton to West Cowes carries only covered folding bikes as hand luggage. The new Red Jet 6, entering service in 2016 will carry bicycles on this route.
Tel: 0844 844 9988


Regina Line NEW FOR 2016?

Route: National Rail Network InterchangeHarwich – Esbjerg
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
The advance information may yet prove optimistic, but Danish company Regina claims it will start operations in March 2016, and that it will carry bicycles free on its three weekly sailings, with no need to book. Definitely the ferry for Denmark and northwest Europe.


Stena Line

Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
Routes:
National Rail Network InterchangeFishguard – Rosslare, National Rail Network InterchangeHolyhead – Dublin, National Rail Network InterchangeLiverpool or Cairnryan – Belfast
Stena now welcomes bicycles on all these UK (and France)-Ireland ferry routes, subject to a fee of £10 per single journey, bookable via the website where you’ll find a tick-box for ‘bicycle’, but you can also pay before you board.
National Rail Network InterchangeHarwich – Hoek van Holland
Stena now welcomes bicycles on all ferries on the Harwich-Hoek van Holland route, subject to a fee of £4 per single journey, bookable via the website where you’ll find a tick-box for ‘bicycle’.
Other Routes:
Unless you can tell us otherwise, we know of no charge for bicycles and no booking requirements.
Tel: 01233 647047   Reservations: 0990 455455


All other operators

Routes: UK – Republic of Ireland
Folding bikes: tick No restrictions   Tandems and tricycles: Unknown
Unless you can tell us otherwise, we know of no charge for bicycles and no booking requirements on ferries to the Republic of Ireland.