Travelling with Pets – Ireland / Britain 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. 

Your pet be it dog, cat or ferret has the option of either staying in the comfort of your car for the duration of the voyage, or being housed in our onboard kennels. It’s up to you to decide which option is the most comfortable for your pet. If you do choose to use a kennel it must be booked in advance.

When travelling with your pet / assistance animal, you must advise us at time of booking.

Below are the links to all the information you will need to help you travel with your pet.

Pet Passport requirements and Government regulations

Procedures for travel

Kennel facilities onboard our ships

Guide and assistance dogs

Movement restrictions


Pet Passport & Government regulations 

EU pet passport rules apply throughout the European Union. All Dogs, Cats and Ferrets travelling between member states need 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 Vet. It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the entry conditions are met. 


From 1 January 2021 onwards, the UK will have Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people travelling from GB with their pets and assistance dogs will need to follow new requirements in order to travel to the EU and Northern Ireland.  Importantly, a current EU pet passport issued in GB will not be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021, while EU pet passports issued by Northern Ireland will remain valid.

Before taking their dog, cat or ferret to the EU for the first time after 1 January 2021, pet owners must complete the following steps:

  • Ensure their dog, cat or ferret is microchipped.
  • Have a valid EU pet passport OR a health certificate issued by a UK official vet.  A health certificate is required before each entry into the EU. (Pet owners are advised to retain any GB-issued EU pet passport, as it may contain important information about vaccinations, treatments, etc.)
  • Ensure that their dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.  Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel
  • Have a tapeworm treatment (for dogs).  Dogs travelling from, or returning from, Britain to Ireland will require treatment against tapeworm by a veterinarian 24 to 120 hours (1 to 5 days) before arrival in Ireland. If travelling with a passport issued in Ireland, this treatment may be entered into the pet passport by a UK vet.

Pets and assistance dogs will also need to enter the EU through a travellers’ point of entry (TPE).

Cars travelling with pets arriving into Dublin port should stay in Lane 4 (lane on the right) for the necessary pet clearance.

Advice from DEFRA

Procedures when travelling with pets

Car passengers

  • Your pet must be taken on board the ship in your car and must remain either in your car or in the kennels provided by Irish Ferries for the duration of the voyage.
  • The kennels can be booked in advance and are free of charge.
  • Family pets are not allowed on the passenger decks at any time.


  • Pets (all dogs and cats) must be transported to and from the ferry in a secure, rigid and appropriate pet carrier/cage or crate (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 carrier/cage or crate from the terminal to the ship.
  • The carrier/ cage or crate will be accommodated in the kennel area on the car deck..
  • If you turn up at the port without an appropriate pet carrier/cage or crate you will not be allowed to bring your pet on board. There are no exceptions to this rule.


Kennel facilities on board

Each ship has kennel facilities which are situated on the car deck. Please note that you may not be parked beside the kennels. The kennel sizes are :

Isle of Inishmore ( Rosslare/Pembroke route)
A mix of small, medium and large kennels up to 100cm high, 80cm wide, 85cm deep

Dublin SwiftDublin/Holyhead route)
A mix of small, medium and large kennels up to 84cm high x 120cm wide x 88cm deep

Ulysses (Dublin / Holyhead route)
A mix of small, medium and large kennels up to 96cm high, 96cm wide and 85cm deep.

Epsilon (Dublin/Holyhead route)
A mix of small, medium and large kennels up to 110cm high, 140cm wide and 95cm deep

W.B. Yeats (Dublin/Holyhead route)
A mix of small, medium and large kennels up to 100cm high, 75cm wide and 95cm deep


Guide, Hearing and Assistance dogs

  • Irish Ferries welcome Guide, Hearing and Autism Assistance dogs 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.
  • Foot passengers – you are permitted to walk your guide, hearing or autism assistance dog through the terminal building and onto the ship.





Movement Restrictions

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 Inspector.

There are restrictions in place curtailing the free movement of birds due to the risk of bird flu.

Further information on the restrictions applying when travelling with animals is available on

If your question has not been fully answered in this FAQ please contact us and let us know

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