Ferry to Wales Questions

Old Apr 16th, 2016, 03:57 PM
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Ferry to Wales Questions

We will be taking either of the two ferry lines from Dublin to Holyhead. Does one need advance reservations? Are there any discounts for booking over the internet or seniors? Is there any difference between the two lines? We will have no car, we are just walk ons. We travel directly from Chicago to Dublin to the ferry, so I expect we will be jetlagged. Is it worth it to upgrade the higher level of service?
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 09:56 PM
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You're travelling from Chicago to Dublin, then immediately taking a ferry to Holyhead? Can I ask where your final destination is as this seems a particularly arduous journey, especially for seniors.

further info here http://www.seat61.com/Ireland.htm
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 10:29 PM
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My guess is you are doing this because you got a 'terrific' airfare. But US > DUB > Holyhead > wherever you are ultimately headed will be one hellacious travel day.

First you'll have to transfer from the airport to the ferry port, then a 3.5 hour ferry trip. (there are faster ferries - but only a couple of sailings a day)

If you miss say the 08:20 Stena Line ferry (which is almost certain) you'll have to wait seven hours for the next sailing.

Then a train to where you want to go . . .

What are your plans after arriving in the UK? There may be much better alternatives to a ferry.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:37 AM
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Advice on the ferry.
Get to Dublin port by Taxi with luggage. You can buy your ticket at the port but better to phone and book the day or couple of days before to collect your tickets at the port especially in Summer or peak times. Pre booking saves €5 as well.

I rail and sail as a foot passenger regularly and as a foot passenger I only use Stena Line. Better customer service, cheaper on board prices and less rushed when getting on/off the ship. I used to have Stena Plus, free as a Gold customer but I wouldn't pay for it unless you want a quieter no kids type area.

As to the fast cat Irish ferries service, maybe if your rich you could pay me to get on there again. lots of folk do like saving an hour on the crossing but in winter it can be rough and cancelled regularly. I once had a summer crossing where people were sat on the stairwells because there were no seats. (that one was the straw that broke the camels back and I have never used them since)

Now where you are headed? Rail and Sail from Dublin port to London Euston station is typically about 9 hours so about twice as long as many flight options but at least you are mainly sat down not wandering about the place with your baggage.

http://www.stenaline.ie/ferries-to-britain/rail-sail
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 04:40 AM
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If you are headed for London, the rail/ferry combination will probably be longer than your flight from Chicago. In that case I would be looking for a flight, which takes about 1hr 15min Dublin - London. Of course you would have to add in layover and airport transfer time, but still a lot quicker, and maybe cheaper as well.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 04:55 AM
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We have no idea where you are headed after hitting Holyhead. So whether it makes sense or not - who knows? But unless you are spending time on Anglesey there are likely easier/faster and possibly cheaper options.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 07:25 AM
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If you're travelling on from Holyhead, as far as I can see the booking system is slightly complex.

The easiest method is would be to go to the UK railway site, nationalrail.co.uk and book the whole journey from Dublin to your final destination. Just follow the booking through, and you're eventually taken to the website for Arriva trains, the Deutsche Bundesbahn subsidiary that operates most trains from Holyhead.

This DOES offer a 33% reduction for the over-60's, but only if you have a British Senior Railcard (which costs £30, so makes sense only if you'll be spending over £90 each on UK trains). You don't have to have this card to book the fare over the web - but you do need it before you get onto a UK train, so you have to buy one at Holyhead, and you've got about 45 mins changing there to do so. It might work out better for "we" if you buy a 2 Together Railcard instead, since that also costs £30, but if there are two of you you need only the Dublin-England journey to break even.

I'm not sure how you take delivery of tickets for this journey, so investigate my suggestion first.

The alternative is to start from the Stena Line website, and book. This gives you a choice of booking by phone, or being referred to The Trainline website, which charges a booking fee and has a poor record for customer service.

The journey from Dublin airport to the ferry is industrial sprawl: there is no redeeming aspect to the ferry, except that it's not a plane (though halfway into most journeys, most of us wish it were). Much of the train journey into England is through Welsh deindustrialised sprawl.

In my view, even if you want to start your trip meandering through North Wales, it's a great deal less hassle and probably cheaper to fly to Liverpool or Manchester from Dublin.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 08:07 AM
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Nothing at all complicated booking the ferry from Dublin to any UK station
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 08:53 AM
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or you could fly direct from Dublin to Liverpool [for North Wales] or to Cardiff for the south.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. Never considered flying into Liverpool or Manchester. We are in the North of Wales for four nights before we return for two weeks in Ireland. We have accommodations in Conwy. I see good fares on Ryanair, but have no idea how to use Ryanair. Have heard horror stories about them. Does anyone have any advice how to handle booking and flying Dublin to either Manchester of Liverpool with Ryanair without getting dinged?
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:54 PM
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If you are going to Conwy I would Rail and Sail its the cheapest all in option and gives chance for a rest on the crossing.

Dublin port Stena 08.20 get into Conwy at 20 past 2pm. The afternoon sailing takes less time being just over 5 hours, leave Dublin port Stena at 10 past 3pm and arrive Conwy at 1/4 past 8pm

Liverpool John Lennon airport to Conwy is about 2 hrs 40 mins with 3 changes and a bus form the airport to a station.

Manchester Airport to Conwy is 2 1/2 hours with 2 changes normally, Oxford Rd and Chester, there are some with only the Oxford Rd change.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:58 PM
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>>but have no idea how to use Ryanair.> Have heard horror stories about them. moderated just a bit (though he is still someone we love to hate )



But honestly -- open jaw in to Manchester and home from Dublin would have been a much better option.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 01:59 PM
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Ryanair are a perfectly good airline so long as you stick to their baggage rules. they are fairly strict on size and weight. Baggage can be expensive so if you are only in Wales 4 days it might be cheaper to leave most of your baggage in Dublin although left luggage at Dublin Airport is also extortionate. Hence why Rail and sail with no baggage charges is often a better option.
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 02:00 PM
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I see good fares on Ryanair, but have no idea how to use Ryanair. Have heard horror stories about them. Does anyone have any advice how to handle booking and flying Dublin to either Manchester of Liverpool with Ryanair without getting dinged?>>

I'm not sure what you mean by "getting dinged" or what horror stories you've heard about Ryanair. You book through their website, and you can either pay for a package of seat reservation, 20 kg baggage in the hold and some other services [business plus] or just book the seat and add on the other elements you want. you are allowed to carry on one small cabin bag and a handbag or similar:

https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/useful...ew/Baggage#0-1

overall I've been reasonably satisfied with Ryanair particularly over the last 2-3 years.

The drive to Conwy will take just over an hour, according to google maps, or 2 hours on the train.
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Old Apr 18th, 2016, 04:39 AM
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Hi Tony,

I looked at the Rail and Sail. How do I book it? Everything I noticed was from Ireland to the UK.
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Old Apr 18th, 2016, 04:42 AM
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Another possibility. We arrive at the Dublin airport at 8:00am. Is it ever possible to book at room near the airport for a few hours sleep. Know I could guarantee it and it would be available, but then we need to check out at 12:00noon. Does anyone have any thoughts?
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Old Apr 18th, 2016, 05:35 AM
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Booking rail and sail is straight forwards enough, quick phone call to Customer services and you can book the tickets both ways. Otherwise pay at the port for Ireland to Wales and whilst you are waiting for the train to Conwy from Holyhead you can book the return ticket there.

Ryanair, Chris is over in the UK now having flown Ryanair for the umpteenth time and will be coming back with them. The websight is a rightsight. easier to use than it was but weighed down with stuff you neither want, need or are better sourcing elsewhere.

Dublin Airport area hotels, both Travelodge and PremierInn have a 12pm check out if you book for the night before and the Premier has a shuttle service to/from the airport think its about €3?
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