Stena Line reports that its travel business bouncde back in Britain and Ireland in 2022, with figures for the first half of the year show that passenger numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels, while car numbers in particular are far higher than in 2019.
The increase in the number of cars is most striking on the Irish Sea, driven by the fact that the cost of car hire in Ireland isthe highest in Europe, driving people to instead travel by ferry and take their own cars to either Belfast, Dublin or Rosslare. However, the level of increase has been higher than expected, with the numbers of passengers taking their cars up almost a third (32%) compared to 2019.
While over on the North Sea it is a similarly positive story, with increased numbers of passengers taking their cars on ferries travelling between Harwich and the Hook of Holland, Stena Line reports. As well as also beating levels on the popular short-sea routes, as car drivers opt to avoid delays on The Channel by travelling via the North Sea, where cars increased almost 11% on this key arterial route that serves not only The Netherlands, but also Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.
“Problems in the airline industry, high car hire prices and ongoing concerns over COVID, all seem to be encouraging more and more people to switch to ferries and take their own cars with them on holiday," said Paul Grant, Trade Director for the Irish Sea.
"Ease of check-in, no queues at security, no baggage charges, no car hire costs, the advantage of being able to put your full allowance of Duty Free in your car and drive from door-to-door, all make taking a ‘car-cation’ by ferry an attractive option for travellers.”
The company operates five passenger routes between Britain and Ireland and The Netherlands, and with prices for a car and driver to Ireland starting at £119/€139, and to the Netherlands starting at £61.50/€72, the metrics as opposed to flying and renting a caris increasingly favorable to a ferry car-cation versue flying.