Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Big Ferry Fortnight about?

Big Ferry Fortnight is all about encouraging people to try ferry services across the UK, British Isles and Ireland either for the first time or for those who have not travelled by ferry for a long time. The objective is that they will discover the joy and freedom of travel by ferry and then encouraging their friends and family to also try ferry travel.

What are the rules for applying for tickets?

This ballot is only available to people living in the UK, British Isles, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands 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 Monday 14 April 2019 and Sunday 30 June 2019, 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 2019 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. 

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 Saturday 6th April, 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 to advise you which ticket you have been allocated. 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.

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, you will be able to return your ticket by logging into your account 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. Once you have returned your ticket you are also eligible to claim other returned tickets until 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 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 may need an International Driving Licence and insurance Green Card, 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 2019'.