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Ferry Sector Makes a Big Splash with over 2,000 pairs* of Ferry Tickets in Big Ferry Fortnight Ballot


Mar 3, 2019
  • Big Ferry Fortnight Ballot open from March 23rd – April 6th, 2019
  • Over 2,000 pairs of free ferry tickets available on routes in North East as well as across the UK, Ireland and the British Isles, worth a total of around £80,000

(5 March 2019) The ferry industry is launching its first ever public ballot for free ferry tickets during Big Ferry Fortnight, which runs from March 23rd – April 6th this year. As part of this celebration of ferry travel, developed by Discover Ferries, the public will get the chance to bid for over 2,000 pairs of tickets including routes across the North East. Tickets for cyclists, vehicle and foot passengers will be available to Holland and Belgium

All of Discover Ferries’ 13 ferry members have come together to offer UK residents the chance to discover the ease and joy of ferry travel, with DFDS and P&O Ferries offering tickets on routes from Newcastle to Amsterdam, Hull to Rotterdam and Hull to Zeebrugge.

The ballot, orchestrated by Discover Ferries, is aimed at residents from across the North East and the wider UK, inviting them to discover, or re-discover, the convenience and comfort ferry travel provides families, couples and people with a passion for travel and adventure. The latest industry figures show that more than 38 million passenger journeys[1] were made by ferry within the UK and to the British Isles, Ireland, France, Spain and Holland in 2018.

During Big Ferry Fortnight (March 23rd – April 6th), UK and Isle of Man residents will have the chance to bid for ferry tickets to travel with friends or family on one of over 50 ferry routes operated by Discover Ferries’ members. Tickets are available for a vast array of ferry trips, from short island-hopping routes across Scotland and larger island escapes such as the Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly, to cruise-style ferries across the North and Irish Seas, as well as cross-Channel trips and even scenic river journeys across London.

Pre-registration for tickets is open now at www.bigferryfortnight.com, and the ballot will open for applications from March 23rd.

Emma Batchelor, Director of Discover Ferries, says: “Ferries are one of travel’s best kept secrets – especially if you value ease of travel, so we are inviting North East residents to discover ferry travel for themselves by offering the chance to win a pair of free tickets on a route of their choice. There are a wealth of incredible destinations to explore from the North East coast, and the ballot also includes travel on board some of the most advanced cruise-style ferries on the longer routes to Ireland and continental Europe. A plethora of shorter crossings on smaller vessels that offer unparalleled views of the coastal waters and rivers surrounding our beautiful and diverse collection of Islands and mainland UK are also up for grabs. Whatever ferry route you take, you will feel your holiday has started as soon as you board!”

Discover Ferries members taking part in the Big Ferry Fortnight ballot are: Brittany Ferries, Caledonian MacBrayne, Condor Ferries, DFDS, Hovertravel, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Travel, MBNA Thames Clippers, P&O Ferries, Red Funnel, Stena Line and Wightlink.

“We are delighted that all of our members have agreed to take part in the Big Ferry Fortnight campaign, giving a truly unique opportunity for UK and Isle of Man residents to try ferry travel, perhaps for the first time, and experience the joy and ease of travelling by water,” added Emma.

To pre-register your interest in the Big Ferry Fortnight ballot, visit www.bigferryfortnight.com.



Big Ferry Fortnight 2019 – Summary

  • Over 2,400 pairs of free ferry tickets up for grabs
  • Tickets available on over 50 routes across the UK, Ireland and British Islands
  • Winners will be selected by random ballot and will receive a maximum of a pair of tickets per household (car and family tickets are also on offer for some ferry routes)
  • Big Ferry Fortnight Ballot opens on 23rd March and closes on 6th April 2019


When is the Big Ferry Fortnight?

Big Ferry Fortnight 2019 will take place from 23rd March – 6th April

Big Ferry Fortnight has evolved from National Ferry Fortnight, which was first launched in 2008 to showcase of Britain’s extensive network of ferry routes and the benefits of travel by sea.

The annual event is organised by Discover Ferries, the industry body representing 13 ferry companies operating in the UK, Ireland and British Islands.

Applying for tickets

Residents from the UK and Isle of Man can apply for as many tickets as they like at www.bigferryfortnight.com when the ballot opens on Saturday 23rd March 2019.

Residents can also pre-register their interest for tickets now before the ballot officially opens. The ballot will close on Saturday 6th April 2019.

You can apply for as many tickets as you like, and the winners will be selected at random.

Anyone who pre-registers on www.bigferryfortnight.com or signs up to the Discover Ferries newsletter at www.discoverferries.com will get exclusive early access to the ballot.

What are the rules?

This ballot is only available to people living in the UK and Isle of Man. UK and Isle of Man residents aged 18 and over can apply for tickets to any of the ferry routes listed. A maximum of a pair of tickets per household will be allocated at random by ballot (some car/ family tickets are available).