Holyhead - Dublin (Irish Ferries)


The Journey

If you are planning on catching an Irish Ferries sailing between Holyhead and Dublin, you have the choice of two boats, the faster Dublin Swift, or the luxurious Ulysses Cruise ship. The latter is cheaper and has a greater range of facilities on board, but takes around twice as long to cross the Irish Sea.

After checking in at Holyhead, passengers are transferred to the boat by free shuttle bus, as they are located a short distance from the terminal.


The Ulysses is an enormous car and passenger ferry, apparently one of the world's largest car ferry (with the ability to carry 1342 cars and 2000 passengers). The boat has a range of facilities, including cinema, bars, lounges and restaurants. The ship is also equiped with WiFi (additional cost). Cabins are available for passengers (full details and options available here).

Dublin Swift

The Dublin Swift travels at around 80kph during the short crossing. Onboard, passengers have the choice of two bars and two restaurants, as well as a TV lounge, entertainment stage and gaming area. WiFi is also available at an additional cost.

At the Dublin end of the journey, both ferries serve Dublin Ferryport. Dublin city centre can be reached most easily by bus or taxi. A bus is waiting for passengers on arrival at the Ferryport, with journeys to Dublin's central bus station costing €2.50 for adults, and €1.25 for children. If you aren't planning on heading to Dublin, the Ferryport is a two minute walk from Dublin Connolly Station, which has trains to Belfast and Wicklow. If you are planning on travelling to Cork or Galway, catch a tram from Dublin Connolly Station to Heuston.

Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries is a ferry operator, offering routes between Ireland and the United Kindom, and Ireland and France. The company has a current fleet of four, with a further ship chartered to another company. The flagship of the company's fleet is the Ulysses; the Irish Sea's largest car ferry.

The company currently operates the following routes:

  • Dublin - Holyhead;
  • Rosslare - Pembroke;
  • Rosslare - Cherbourg; and
  • Rosslare - Roscoff.

Irish Ferries currently has a fleet of four ships, each with sligthly different accommodation options. Passengers booking a cabin on any of the company's boats benefit from priority boarding if they are travelling with a car.

Double Bed Suite with Window (Oscar Wilde)

The best cabins in the fleet are air conditioned, with en-suite bathroom and full sized double bed. The suite is suitable for cots, and offers passengers a seating area with sofa that can be converted to a bed (suitable for an adult or two children). The suite has a flat screen TV with satellite channels, and free WiFi. The room also benefits from a trouser press and hairdryer. Passengers travelling in this class receive a complimentary breakfast for two in the on-board restaurant. Guests also receive a free fruit basket, and may choose to use the minibar.

4 Bed Window (Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde)

The four bed window cabins offer passengers four beds in a bunk bed arrangement. The upper beds fold upwards to give space to sit on the lower beds. The cabin is air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom. 

4 Bed (Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde)

These four bed inside cabins do not have windows, but are still air-conditioned, with en-suite bathrooms. Beds are arranged in bunk-bed formation, with the upper beds folding upwards to give space to sit on the lower beds. 

2 Bed Window Suite (Ulysses)

The two bed window suite offers passengers an air-conditioned, en-suite cabin with two beds. The cabin also has a lounge area with television, tea and coffee making facilities and fridge.

2 Bed Window Plus (Ulysses, Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde)

The two bed window plus cabins are air conditioned, with two single beds and an en-suite bathroom. The cabin also has two chairs, tea and coffee making facilities and a television.

1 Double Bed Window Plus (Isle of Inishmore)

Passengers may choose the double bed window plus cabin, which has a full size double bed, as well as en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. The cabin also has a padded window seat to enjoy the panoramic sea view, and comfortable armchairs. The living space has a television and tea and coffee making facilities. Passengers in this class also receive a complimentary fruit basket.

2 Bed Window (Ulysses, Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde)

Standard two bedroom window cabins are air-conditioned with two beds (either standard or bunk beds) and an en-suite bathroom.

3 Bed (Oscar Wilde)

This small three bedroom cabin is air conditioned, with en-suite bathroom. Two of the beds are on the lower level, whilst the third is a bunk bed. One of the two lower beds can be converted into a sofa.

2 Bed (Ulysses, Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde)

2 bed inside cabins have no windows, but are still positioned above the water line. The rooms are air conditioned, and offer passengers en-suite bathroom facilities.

1 Bed (Ulysses)

Passengers travelling alone can take advantage of an air conditioned room (without window). The cabin is air conditioned, and has an en-suite bathroom.

Reserved Seat (Oscar Wilde)

If you want a designated seat on your voyage, you can pay for a reserved seat in the fully air-conditioned private lounges. The lounges also offer ladies and gentlemens' showers and toilets. Blankets and pillows are available to borrow for free, and luggage storage lockers are also available.


Passengers travelling by car may bring as much luggage with them as they can fit inside their vehicle. Foot passengers travelling between Ireland and the United Kingdom may check in bulky items, but will not have access to them for the duration of the voyage. Only small items of personal luggage are allowed on-board. For passengers on Ireland-France routes, passengers must be able to carry all their luggage onto the ship, as no check-in facilities are available.

Disabled Passengers

Passengers with a disability may book specialised accommodation in the form of the 2 Bed Disability room (Ulysses, Isle of Inishmore, Oscar Wilde). This cabin is close to the lift, is fully air conditioned, and has an adapted en-suite bathroom. The beds in the cabin are at a lowe level, and doors have been widened. Passengers travelling with a car receive priority boarding.

WiFi / Internet

WiFi is available free of charge on-board all of Irish Ferries' ships. If you don't have an internet enabled mobile device, there are also a number of internet kiosks onboard.

Food and Drink

Passengers have a choice of places to buy food and drink onboard. All ships offer a choice of restaurant or cafe dining. The restaurants serve a selection of hot food, whilst cafes offer a range of sandwiches and light refreshments. Some ships also offer bars, with a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as light snacks. The Oscar Wilde boasts a number of high-quality restaurants, including a waiter-service restaurant, The Berneval.


Each ship offers passengers the chance to buy gifts, souvenirs or other goods. The shops accept Euros or Sterling, and a Bureau de Change is available on-board.


Passengers bored of looking out to see can take advantage of the range of entertainment facilities on offer. This includes amusement arcades, childrens' play areas, cinemas, salons and lounges.

Travelling with Pets

If you are travelling between Ireland and the United Kindom, pets may travel with car and foot passengers, although pets are not allowed on the passenger decks. If you are travelling with a car, your pet should remain in your car or in the kennels provided (free of charge, but must be pre-booked). If you are travelling on foot, pets should be transported to and from the ferry in a pet cage or box. They will remain in this for the duration of the voyage on the car deck. 

If you are travelling between Ireland and France, Irish Ferries participates in the Pet Travel Scheme. Pets transported under this must abide by both country's relevant legislation. Pets should be checked in at least two hours prior to departure, and a fee of €45/75/100 will be charged per animal per journey. Your pet will travel in a kennel or cat box; they cannot travel in your vehicle. There are a limited number of kennels/boxes available on each voyage, so book in advance. You will be permitted to visit  your pet during the voyage, but only at designated times and accompanied by a crew member.

Guide dogs may travel freely on Irish Ferries ships, but they must be compliant with relevant legislation. Guide dogs are permitted to travel with their owners on the passenger decks. Please contact Irish Ferries prior to your journey to make them aware of your animal.


Passengers must check-in at least 30 minutes before departure for all sailings. If you are collecting tickets from the port, please allow extra time.

Each ship has two sailings per day, although there are no sailings on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The sailing timetable is as follows. If you are travelling by train to Holyhead before catching the train, the best ferry to book is the 14.10 Ulysses sailing.




A full list of up-to-date fares can be found on the Irish Ferries website.

FareUlyssesDublin Swift
Adult Foot Passengerfrom £28from £33
Child Foot Passenger (4-15 years)from £17from £19
Infant Foot Passenger (0-3 years)FreeFree
Car + Driverfrom £69from £69
Extra Adult Passenger£23£23
Extra Child Passenger£13£13

Foot Passenger Minicruises:

If you are only planning on spending a short time away, discounted fares are available. Foot passengers staying away for less than 24hrs can buy a return ticket for as little as £32 for adults, £14 for children. Discounted rates are also available for those travelling with cars, with fares starting from £130 return. 

These fares are only valid for return travel on certain sailings:

Holyhead to Dublin12.0014.1017.1502.40
Dublin to Holyhead08.0508.4514.3020.55

To be eligible for this ticket, you must catch the first sailing on or before completion of 24 hours away from home. Adults must accompany under 18 year olds. A £5 fee will be charged for credit card bookings. A maximum of 8 passengers may be included on each booking.

Foot Passenger Day Trips:

If you are planning on staying away for even less time, then you can take advantage of the special day trip offer. This discount is valid for trips that last less than 12 hours after arrival at the port. Return tickets cost £27 for adults, and £14 for children.

Rail Pass Holders:

Irish Ferries offers a 30% discount on standard foot passenger rates for Eurail or InterRail pass holders. Cabins are available for an additional charge.

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