Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Big Ferry Fortnight about?

Big Ferry Fortnight is all about encouraging people, who have either never experienced ferry travel or who have not travelled by ferry for a long time,to try ferry services across the UK, British Isles and Ireland. By discovering the joy, comfort and freedom of ferry travel for themselves we believe they will then want to encourage their friends and family to also give it a try. 

What are the rules for applying for tickets?

This ballot is only available to people living in the UK, Northern Ireland, and Isle of Man. You must be over the age of 18 to apply for tickets. If you are successful in the ballot then you can choose when to book your travel, anytime between 27th March 2020 and 30th June 2020, depending on availability and the individual operators’ terms and conditions. 

Please see here for our full terms and conditions

What happens if I forget my account details?

If you have forgotten your password for your account, simply click on 'Login/Register' on the homepage and then click on the 'Forgot Your Password?' link on the login page. You will be asked to enter the email address used when creating your account. An automated email will be sent to this address, if it is in our database, containing a password reset link. You will then be able to reset your password.

How do I apply for a ticket?

To apply for tickets for the Big Ferry Fortnight, you first need to create an account. This can be done through the ‘login / register’ link at the top right-hand side of the page.  

Once registered and logged in, just scroll through all the offers we have on our site and click ‘apply’ for tickets for wherever you fancy! Remember, you can browse for ferry services by operator or search by route. Please make sure you are available to travel before the end of June 2020 and that you are aware of the operator’s specific validity dates so that you are not disappointed.

The ‘Your Tickets’ link at the top right-hand side of the page will show you a record of all the tickets you have applied for. 

You MUST confirm that you would like to keep your allocated tickets by pressing the CLAIM button on your email confirmation between the 16th and the 22nd March 2020. Any unclaimed tickets after the 22nd of March will be returned to the pot to allow other registered people to grab tickets and give them a chance to discover ferry travel.

How many tickets can I apply for?

You can apply for tickets for as many ferry routes as you like! Each ticket is normally valid for two people (please note that for some ferry operators offering tickets for a vehicle, additional passengers may also be included as part of the ticket, so please check carefully. You will not be able to apply for the same type of ticket multiple times, but there's so much to try you'll be spoilt for choice! The more ferry tickets you apply for, the more chance you have of winning a sailing. You never know which tickets you will win, as the tickets are all allocated at random to winners, so make sure you apply for any tickets you like the look of - and don't be afraid to try something new!

How are tickets allocated?

At midnight on Thursday 12th March, the website will close for applications. A ballot will then be drawn, randomly selecting winners from all those who have applied. If you are successful for one route, you will be removed from the ballot for any other routes you have applied for. You can only win one ticket (normally valid for two people) per household, in order to give as many people as possible an opportunity to experience travelling by ferry.

You will receive an email if you have been successful or unsuccessful in the ballot. If successful, you will first be sent an email on the 16th March to advise you which ticket you have been allocated. You will be asked to accept your ticket before the 23rd March. Should you not accept your winning tickets within that period, your allocated tickets will be returned for non-winners to have a chance to grab them. On the 24th March, once the return period has closed, you will receive another email from the Big Ferry Fortnight Team with a link to your winner’s voucher and instructions on how to book your sailing. You will be asked by the ferry operator to provide your winner voucher ID number and may be asked to produce the voucher when sailing.

Non-winners will be informed by email on the 17th March with information on how to claim one of the returned or unallocated tickets on the 23rd and 24th March.

What if I cannot use my tickets or can I access returned tickets?

The ballot is always oversubscribed so you are very lucky if you have been allocated a ticket! However we understand that sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, you might not be able to use your tickets any longer. In order to give this opportunity to somebody else, just don’t press CLAIM in your winners notification email, then it will be automatically returned. If you accidentally press CLAIM, you will be able to return your ticket by logging into your account on Monday 23rd March on the Big Ferry Fortnight site and selecting the Return My Ticket option. This will return your ticket to the ballot, and it will become available for any other registered user to claim through the website on a first come first served basis on the 23rd and 24th March. Once you have returned your ticket you are also eligible to claim other returned tickets on the 23rd and 24th March when the return period closes. Tickets for other ferry routes may therefore become available after the initial allocation has been made, so keep checking back on the site if you were not initially successful! 

What if the weather is bad?

We want you to have the best ferry experience possible and April to June usually sees the most favourable weather conditions around the UK & Ireland. However, if, due to circumstances beyond a ferry operator’s control, such as severe weather conditions, they have to cancel the service you are booked on, they are not obliged to offer an alternative date, so please liaise with them directly for guidance. Note that most ferry services operate in all weather conditions, so be prepared to travel.

What happens to my Big Ferry Fortnight tickets now that the Coronavirus pandemic safety measures have escalated?
We would like to reassure you that the safety of passengers and crew is the key priority for our ferry members. All our ferry members have, therefore, extended the travel period for their ballot tickets, or chosen an alternative date for later in the year. These extended dates are subject to availability. You still need to book your travel before the end of June 2020.

What do I need to do before I sail?

  • Check the terms and conditions and validity dates of your ticket on the Big Ferry Fortnight website (some ferry operators have exclusion dates during peak periods).
  • Contact the ferry operator, using the instructions in your winner’s email and book your tickets.
  • Check how long in advance you need to arrive at the port before sailing.
  • Check which documents you need to bring in order to sail, remember for sailings to the Continent you will need a valid passport and European Insurance and breakdown cover, if driving.
  • We recommend that you purchase travel insurance before sailing.

Who to contact?

If you have any queries regarding your ticket, please contact the ferry operator directly. Their contact details will be displayed on their page on the Big Ferry Fortnight website. For any other queries please email info@discoverferries.com with the subject 'Big Ferry Fortnight 2020'.