Passengers travelling in their own cars have continued to be attracted by the ferry operators this year in the UK.
UK figures* released today by industry body Discover Ferries, showing a year-to-date growth in 2014 of 2.6% in ferry passengers in the 8 months to end-August, compared to the same period last year.
Nearly 28 million passengers travelled by ferry in the eight months of 2014 to end August, with almost 15 million of these travelling in the three summer months of June, July and August. Of these summer ferry passengers, over 7 million chose continental ferry routes, nearly 5.9 million visited UK domestic destinations by ferry such as Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Scottish Islands, and nearly 2 million took a ferry to Ireland.
The fastest growing ferry sector over the last three summer months to end August has been continental destinations, up 4.2% to 7.06m passengers, with 2.92m of these carried on continental ferry routes in August alone, up 5.7% on August 2013.
Cars and Coach Ferry Numbers also up
Over 6 million cars have been carried on UK ferry routes over the 8 months to the end of August, up 1.3% on the same period last year, with 2.77 million cars ferried on continental routes, 2.47 million on UK domestic island routes, and 816,000 cars carried on Irish ferry routes.
119,580 coaches carried passengers by ferry in the same 8 month period to end-August, up 3.6% on the same period last year overall, with 80,940 coaches carried on continental ferry routes, 22,140 coaches on domestic island routes, and 16,500 coaches carried on ferry routes to Ireland.
“Families taking their so important school holiday break have been increasingly attracted to the value, simplicity, no-hassle and free luggage proposition that UK ferries can offer for family travel by car” said Bill Gibbons, director of Discover Ferries. “The year-to-date growth of 2.6% in ferry passenger traffic to end-August continued a growth momentum started last year, when 38 million ferry passengers were carried in 2013 – up by a million on the previous year. There is a huge variety of destinations, and accommodation, easily reached using the 75+ ferry routes on offer, travelling in your own car, or by coach – and we welcome the increasing numbers coming aboard”, he added.
The twelve ferry members of Discover Ferries are Brittany Ferries, Cal Mac, Condor Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, MyFerryLink, Northlink Ferries, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink, operating over 75 different ferry routes.
Discover Ferries website provides comprehensive details of ferry companies and routes from the UK to the near continent, the Channel Islands, the Scottish Islands, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, and Ireland. There are direct ferry routes to Belgium, Holland, France and Spain as well as easy access to Germany and beyond.