Passports and Identification: Dover – Calais route

Dover / Calais route:

It is compulsory for all passengers (including babies) to have their own valid passport or officially recognised European Union I.D. card when travelling to and from Britain or France. In some cases, a visa may also be required. If you are driving a vehicle you will also need a valid driving licence.

If you are a UK passport holder travelling into a EU member country (except Ireland), as of 1 January 2021, you must make sure your passport:

  • is valid for at least three months from the date you will leave the EU member country, unless the person has a EU-issued residence permit or an EU long-term visa.
  • should be issued within the previous ten years upon the date of arrival.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure your passport is valid to travel to/from the EU.
  • French people not resident in the United Kingdom and entering UK territory will have to carry a passport. The identity card will no longer be accepted as a travel document.
  • For French people resident in the UK who have settled or pre-settled status, the identity card will remain valid until 2025.
  • Note: If you have a passport and an identity card, you are strongly advised to travel with the identity document that is linked to your resident (settled or pre-settled) status in the UK.

Non-EU nationals should check with the relevant embassy before travelling as they may need a visa as well as a passport.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. You can cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK.  You will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021, unless you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

In these cases, you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.

Passengers who turn up at our ports without a valid passport or an officially recognised European Union ID card (and a visa if required) will not be allowed to travel and / or enter either France or Ireland.

Please visit the relevant government / embassy website for the most up-to-date information and to ensure you comply with the requirements:

- Travel from Britain to EU

- Travel from France to Britain

- Visiting the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

Travelling with Pets – BRITAIN / FRANCE Routes

Dogs, cats or ferrets are allowed on our ships, as long as declared at the time of booking and they meet the EU entry guidelines and have a current EU issued Pet Passport or a valid Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

On all of our routes, you must pre-book your pets before you check-in – add them at time of booking to ensure availability.

For more details visit:


Don't give your pet too such to eat or drink before the ferry sails and allow adequate time to enable them to exercise, go to the toilet and settle down before boarding.  When travelling with a pet, boarding closes 60 minutes before departure, to allow time to verify the microchip and pet passport/animal health certificate.  As all pets must stay inside the vehicle during the trip, we recommend that they have space along with food, water, some toys, and ideally a window of your vehicle left slightly open. 

When travelling to France from Britain, you will need to visit your vet 1 month before travel and ensure your pet has:

  • microchip
  • a valid rabies vaccination
  • an animal health certificate unless you have a valid pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland
  • tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta. The treatment must have been given no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before you arrive.

These requirements also apply to assistance dogs.

Guide, Hearing and Assistance animals

  • Irish Ferries welcome Guide, Hearing and Autism Assistance animals onboard our ships.
  • All guide, hearing and autism assistance dogs must have the necessary paperwork when checking in at the Port and must wear the correct harness and jacket at all times when travelling.
  • They are allowed to remain with their owner on the passenger decks for the duration of the voyage if they are an officially registered guide, hearing or autism assistance dog.
  • Please contact us in advance of travel so that our Teams on-board can be notified and will be ready to offer special assistance if required.