Pets – Ireland/France routes
We know staying behind whilst the rest of the family goes on holiday can be a lonely time for your pet. That's why we are doing our very best to help you bring them along on your travels.
On all of our routes, you must pre-book your pets before you check-in – add them at time of booking to ensure availability.
Your pet, be it dog, cat or ferret will be housed in our dedicated onboard kennels. To make them that bit more comfortable we suggest that you bring a comfort blanket or bedding for your pet along with a water bowl. You will be allowed to visit your pet during the crossing and bring them for a short walk. A crew member will accompany you to the kennels. Visiting times are displayed at the reception desk.
Below are links to all the information you will need to allow you travel with your pet.
Pet Passport requirements and Government regulations
Kennel facilities onboard our ships
Guide, Hearing or Assistance Dogs
Pet Passport requirements and Government regulations
Irish Ferries participates in the Pet Travel Scheme. This is a Government controlled system that allows movement of dogs, cats and ferrets within EU member states without quarantine restrictions. Motorists and foot -passengers may bring their pet with them.
All Dogs, Cats and Ferrets travelling under this scheme need a Pet Passport. It is your responsibility to ensure that all the entry conditions are met otherwise your pet will not be allowed to travel.
Government Regulations - Pets travelling to Ireland
Dogs, cats and ferrets must have an official recognised EU Pet Passport with veterinary endorsements certifying compliance with tests, treatments and vaccinations. The endorsements must be dated (including expiry dates), stamped and signed by an authorised Veterinary Practitioner.
Brexit: Pets travelling FROM Northern Ireland:
After 31st December 2020, you will still be able to travel with your pet (dog, cat or ferret) to France and from Northern Ireland. Pets with Ireland and Northern Ireland issued pet passports will continue to use the existing pet passport scheme and EU pet travel rules.
Pets with GB issued pet passports cannot use the existing pet passport scheme but will instead need an animal health certificate (AHC). Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.
- Microchip - The microchip number on the animal must correspond with the number on the passport presented. The microchip should comply with ISO standards 11784 & 11785. Clearly legible tattoos are also accepted – the tattoo must have been applied before 3rd July 2011.
- Rabies – All cats, dogs and ferrets must have a current rabies vaccination (administered at least 21 days prior to entry). The rabies vaccination must be administered by a registered Veterinary Practitioner and entered into the E.U. Pet Passport (Section IV. Vaccination Against Rabies), signed, dated and stamped.
- Tapeworm Treatment–(Echinococcus) applies to dogs only. Tapeworm treatment must be administered by a registered Veterinary Practitioner and entered into the E.U. Pet Passport (Section VII. Echinococcus Treatment) signed, dated, timed and stamped. Tapeworm treatment must be administered between 24 hours (1 day) and 120 hours (5 days) before scheduled arrival time into Ireland. Treatment against ticks is no longer a compulsory requirement but dog owners are strongly advised on animal health grounds to avail of tick treatment for their dogs when getting the tapeworm treatment.
All other animal types must have an Import licence to travel to Ireland. These licences are issued by the Irish Government. To obtain a licence please check the Irish Government website www.agriculture.gov.ie
Government regulations - Pets travelling one way to France or any other EU Member state
The minimum requirement for dogs, cats and ferrets crossing any EU border is:
- EU Pet Passport with veterinary endorsements certifying compliance with tests, treatments and vaccinations.
- Rabies – All cats, dogs and ferrets must have a current Rabies vaccination (administered at least 21 days prior to entry). The Rabies vaccination must be administered by a registered Veterinary Practitioner and entered into the E.U. Pet Passport (Section IV. Vaccination Against Rabies), signed, dated and stamped.
All other animal types must have a certificate of good health and possibly an import licence before travelling. Check with the agricultural agencies in the country you are travelling to for more information:
- Ireland: www.agriculture.gov.ie
- UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs
- France: https://agriculture.gouv.fr/french-ministry-agriculture-and-food
Procedures when travelling with Pets
- Check-in time for passengers travelling with animals is at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the ferry - otherwise you and your pet will be refused travel.
- You may be asked to help staff to use the scanner as the animal will be more comfortable with the owner.
- Irish Ferries charge kennel fees of € 30 / € 45 / €60 per animal per journey for travel. This fee includes the use of a kennel/cat box on board and each animal must occupy a separate unit.
- Pets are not allowed to remain in your car or travel on the passenger decks during the voyage (guide dogs excluded)
- When travelling from Cherbourg port please go to the terminal building before you go to the car check-in point so that the pet microchip details can be checked.
- Pets (all dogs and cats) must be transported to and from the ferry in a secure, rigid and appropriate pet cage or box (please bring your own).
- The animal must be able to stand or lie down in comfort.
- The owner of the animal must be able to carry the cage or box from the terminal to the ship.
- If you turn up at the port without an appropriate pet cage or box you will not be allowed to bring your pet on board. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Kennel facilities onboard
The kennels are situated on car deck 4. The small kennels are situated along a corridor leading to the car deck and the medium and large kennels are in a secluded area on the car deck itself. The dimensions of the pet units are:
Small kennel €30 (55 cm high, 53cm wide and 80cm deep)
Medium kennel €45 (72 cm high, 93 cm wide and 96cm deep)
Large kennel €60 (115cm high, 144cm wide and 90cm deep)
The kennels are situated on car deck 5, whilst the cat-boxes are situated on deck 4. The dimensions of the pet units are:
Small kennel = €30 (51cm high, 75cm wide, 95cm deep)
Medium kennel = €45 (70cm high, 75cm wide and 95cm deep)
Large kennel = €60 (100cm high, 75cm wide and 95cm deep)
Cat-Box = €30 (50cm high, 80cm wide, 72cm deep)
- Please ensure that you book a kennel size appropriate for your pet. If you reserve a kennel that is too small for your pet, we reserve the right to refuse travel. Irish Ferries also reserve the right to optimise the usage of the kennels onboard based on demand and on the size of the pet. Where Irish Ferries judge it appropriate to move a pet to a smaller kennel, no refund will be paid. You will be assigned a kennel number and your pet must remain in that kennel for the duration of the voyage. When you add a kennel to your booking you will have to confirm that you are aware of and will adhere to the special terms and conditions of the Pets travel scheme.
- Early pre-booking of pets is essential and is subject to space, availability and terms & conditions of the Pet Travel Scheme. There are only a limited number of kennels available on each sailing and our reservations system is programmed to accept two kennels per booking. If you wish to bring a third pet please contact us at email@example.com and we will let you know if a suitable kennel is available on your chosen travel dates.
- If your pet is travelling both ways you must make a return booking and reserve a kennel on each journey. If your pet is not returning with you please contact us before travel commences at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can note your booking accordingly. If you are using our Landbridge services to or from Europe (travelling via the UK) please ensure that you are compliant with our partner carriers' regulations regarding the transport of pets.
- Where specified by Irish or French legislation, if your pet is required to be muzzled and is not, you will be refused travel.
- You will be allowed to visit your pet during the crossing and bring him/her for a short walk to answer calls of nature. A crew member will accompany you to the kennels. For safety reasons children are not permitted to visit the car deck during the crossing. Visiting times are displayed at reception on deck 7.
- We suggest you bring some comfort blanket or bedding for your pet and a water bowl.
- Cat-boxes are reserved exclusively for cats. Dogs and ferrets can be booked in kennels.
Check to see if your dog is considered a dangerous breed. The importation and transit to and around France of dangerous dogs Category 1; such as Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (Pit bulls , Mastiff (Boer bulls) or any dog of the type known as the Tosa without a pedigree is not permitted. All dogs in category 1 type should be properly muzzled or they will be refused travel.
For further details regarding dangerous dogs please see https://agriculture.gouv.fr/french-ministry-agriculture-and-food
Guide, Hearing and Assistance dogs
Assistance and Guide dogs are welcome in all public areas of our ports and ships.
We accept Assistance dogs who are recognised by the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and International Guide Dogs Federation (IDGF) programmes. These programmes ensure Assistance dogs are specifically trained to assist and support people with a disability, whilst also being fully trained to work in a variety of environments and are accustomed to public access and interacting with many different types of people.
Where they are not recognised as an assistance dog by ADI or the IGDF, evidence/accreditation must be provided by a qualified dog trainer to prove that they have passed an assistance dog public access certification test in accordance with the requirements set out by ADI in order to be accepted as an assistance dog on our ships. Emotional therapy pets who do not meet this requirement can travel with us, however they will have to follow the same rules set out for our regular pets, and will not have access to the passenger areas on board.
If travelling with an Assistance / Guide Dog, please contact us at email@example.com at least 3 working days in advance of travel so that our Teams on-board can be notified and will be ready to offer special assistance if required.
On our France route, we require all customers to pre-book a kennel on-board for the overnight crossing. When travelling with a Guide, Hearing or Assistance dog who will not be occupying a kennel, please contact the Disability officer with the relevant booking reference for a refund of this kennel cost.
All assistance dogs must have the necessary accreditation and pet passport/animal health certificate documentation when checking in at the Port. They must also wear the correct jacket and harness at all times when travelling, and are allowed to remain with their owner in the passenger areas for the duration of the voyage. For sailings where foot passengers are permitted, passengers with an assistance / guide dog are permitted to walk their dog through the terminal building and onto the ship.
The pet passport / animal health certificate etc requirements for entry for assistance dogs are the same as all other pets.
Movement Restriction on the Number of Pets.
- From the 29th December 2014, the maximum number of pets that can travel with one owner or authorised person under the pet travel scheme will be five. Anyone wishing to travel with more than 5 pets will therefore need to comply with the commercial movement rules (see below).
- An exemption from this requirement will be introduced where more than five pets, aged over six months, are travelling with their owner, or an authorised person, to attend a show, competition or sporting event (or training for such an event). Written evidence of attendance/registration will need to be provided. In all cases the transport vehicle must be fit for purpose, for example, in relation to size, type and ventilation. Kennels are available on board and can be booked with Irish Ferries.
Commercial Movement of Animals.
- Any other shipment of animals that exceeds five, (not including those attending shows or sporting events) or any movement of animals for commercial purposes (for sale, for breeding or commercial gain), cannot be booked on Irish Ferries Passenger services. A booking will need to be made with Irish Ferries Freight Services (contact +353 (0) 818221560.
- Customers should also note that there are separate requirements for commercial shipments of animals, including additional approval documentation, for the animals, the vehicle type and in some cases, for the driver of the vehicle. Further information can be obtained from the office of your nearest animal health Veterinary Practitioner.
If your question has not been fully answered in this FAQ please contact us and let us know firstname.lastname@example.org