Can I bring my pet?

Of course! Don’t leave your four-legged friend behind, they’re part of the family! Bring them along so that they can share the adventures and enjoy the fun. On Stena Line, pets are welcome and you can book your companion into a kennel (we advise that you pre-book to secure a kennel), take them on onboard (there are some rules around this) or keep them inside the car (this is not available on selected routes, please check the details for your specific route).  Some of our ferries have pet friendly cabins that can be pre-booked too.

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What if I’m travelling with a guide, hearing or autism assistance dog?

 

Guide, hearing and autism assistance dogs are welcome in all areas of our ports and ships and are entitled to free travel.  They have full access to the passenger decks on all Stena Line routes and vessels. All guide, hearing or autism assistance dogs must have the necessary paperwork when checking in at the port and must wear the correct harnesses and jackets at all times while travelling. Please refer the specific rules pertaining to Assistance dogs on Irish Sea routes below. Where other passengers have a severe allergy to dogs, we will alert the assistance dog owner and the passenger with the allergy. We may ask each party to avoid specific areas at specific times to reduce the possibility of an allergy attack e.g. when one party is eating in the restaurant, as we may not be able to provide the necessary medical attention in all cases.

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What vaccinations does my pet need?

 

If you’re travelling to Britain and Europe, pets need to have documentation showing that the essential vaccinations have been carried out. Please note that it is your responsibility to provide all necessary documents and to make all arrangements, including, where necessary, quarantine, to satisfy all legal requirements.

 

Dogs must undergo a tapeworm treatment not less than 24 - 120 hours prior to check-in for travel to the UK from Continental Europe. The EU pet passport must be giving the time and date of treatment.  For residents of Northern Ireland please visit https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/travelling-pets for information although there will be no requirement for a pet passport or routine checks .for non-commercial movement of pets between Northern Ireland and Great Britain until further notice.

 

Pets must be vaccinated against rabies.  Firstly ensure your pet is microchipped or the vaccination will not count.  The dog must be at least 12 weeks old before vaccination and the vaccination must be in date at the time of travel.  You must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before travelling.

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Travelling to Sweden with dogs or cats

 

When you travel to Sweden from abroad, remember that you must notify Swedish Customs.

 

If you currently reside in another EU-country, there is an option to use an e-service to notify Swedish Customs before your trip. Information about how you notify Swedish Customs is available at their website: Travelling with dogs or cats.

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Does my pet need a pet passport?

 

Pet travel with dogs, cats and ferrets is bound by the conditions of the EU pet passport. The EU pet passport or an animal health certificate replaces all passports or other documents previously used for pet travel in Europe including the PETS document. The EU pet passport can be acquired at any authorized veterinarian after a microchip has been fitted and a successful blood test has been given.

 

From 1 January 2021, UK style EU Pet Passports issued in GB or NI up to 31 December 2020 are no longer valid. As an interim measure, NI pet owners can contact their private vet, who will update their pet passport appropriately to allow travel. A new style UK (NI) branded EU Pet Passport will be distributed to veterinary practices in due course.


Brexit Advice: As of the 1 January 2021, the rules for travelling with your dog, cat or ferret from Britain to the EU have changed. More details are available at GOV.UK.

 

Please note that it is your responsibility to provide all necessary documents and to make all arrangements, including, where necessary, quarantine, to satisfy all legal requirements.

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What papers will my pet need?

 

Under the EU pet movement system, all pet dogs, cats and ferrets moving between EU Member States must meet the same animal health rules. All pets travelling between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, the UK and Continental Europe and across Europe must be micro chipped and accompanied by a pet passport. You can find more information about the changes made to pet travel implemented on 29th December 2014 by clicking the following link - EU Pet Travel Scheme.

 

Please note that it is your responsibility to provide all necessary documents and to make all arrangements, including, where necessary, quarantine, to satisfy all legal requirements.

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Does my pet need to be micro-chipped?

 

All pets travelling between the Republic of Ireland and the UK or Continental Europe and between the UK and Continental Europe must be micro chipped and accompanied by a pet passport. Your pet must be fitted with an approved electronic transponder (microchip) for identification by an authorised veterinarian. Several organisations handle the registration of electronic pet identification numbers. This registration may also be useful when retrieving a runaway pet. 

 

Please note that it is your responsibility to provide all necessary documents and to make all arrangements, including, where necessary, quarantine, to satisfy all legal requirements.

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What are the rules for travelling with pets after Brexit?

 

From 1 January 2021, the rules for travelling with your dog, cat or ferret from Britain to the EU (including pets returning to the Republic of Ireland from Britain) have changed. For more details please visit the links below.

Travelling with Pets from Britain to the EU >>

Travelling with Pets between Britain and Northern Ireland >>

Travelling with Pets from Republic of Ireland to Britain >>

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If my pet remains in my vehicle can I check on it during the crossing?

 

This may be permitted but will vary by vessel and cannot be guaranteed.  Speak to our team at time of booking for further information.

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What if I am travelling with more than 5 pets?

 

From 29th December 2014 changes to the EU pet travel scheme require additional rules for vehicles carrying more than five pets. For more information please click on the following link, EU Pet Travel Scheme.

 

If you are travelling with 6 or more pets with the intention of attending a competition or show, you must complete an exemption from commercial movement declaration form. You should book via our Contact Centre with evidence of the competition or show then provide the exemption declaration on check-in. 

 

If you are travelling with 6 or more pets and are not travelling for a competition or show, you must book via our Freight department and provide all necessary paperwork for the commercial movement of animals.

 

Useful links (UK)

 

Exemption declaration forms

Travelling with pets from Northern Ireland

Commercial movement of pets from Northern Ireland 

UK Government advice on exporting live animals

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I am travelling with horses, can I book online?

 

Horseboxes up to 12m in length can be booked online on our Belfast - Cairnryan and Belfast - Liverpool routes, on routes between Sweden and Denmark and on routes between Sweden and Germany. On these routes, vehicles over 12m in length must be booked via our freight department. Horseboxes under 14m in length can be booked for travel between Sweden and Poland. For all other routes please book via Stena Line Freight.

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Travelling with your pet on the Irish Sea

 

Pre-booking your pet is mandatory:

Regardless of the option you choose when travelling with your pet, all pets, whether you are travelling by car or by foot, must be pre-booked in advance of travel.

 

Pet paperwork:

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all of the required paperwork for your pet.

 

Please ensure you are familiar with the EU and PETS rules before travelling. 

 

Assistance Dogs:

Only assistance dogs permitted in all public areas of our ports and ships and will also be entitled to free travel as long as they are kept on a harness/lead and meet the criteria below.  Please visit our Guest Services desk when you board in order to show the relevant documentation for your dog to allow access to all areas onboard.

 

Assistance dogs must be:

  • Either specifically trained to assist a disabled person and certified by an organisation that is a full member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), the accrediting bodies for assistance dog organisations worldwide; or
  • Or where they are not recognised as an assistance dog by ADI or the IGDF, and are not an emotional support dog, written evidence must be provided by a qualified dog trainer to prove that they have passed an assistance dog public access certification test in accordance with the requirements set by ADI. which you can access here (https://www.k9events.com/public-access/ADI.PublicAccessTest.updated.MAY14F-2.pdf).

 

If your dog does not meet the above criteria, or is an emotional support dog that is not recognised as an assistance dog by ADI or IGDF, then your dog will not be allowed to travel in the public areas. In these cases , please book your dog to travel as a pet under our usual rules.

 

Your assistance dog must wear an identifiable harness, bandana, lead slip or dog jacket so your dog can be instantly recognisable by the ship’s crew and other passengers.

 

We follow the Equalities and Human Rights Commission guidance which you can access here (https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/assistance-dogs-a-guide-for-all-businesses.pdf)

 

This policy only applies to assistance dogs; any other assistance animals must travel as a pet under our usual rules.

 

Emotional Support Dogs: 

Emotional Support Dogs are permitted to travel in pet carrier cases (max. size: 91cm x 62cm x 56cm) onboard Stena Superfast VII and Superfast VIII on our Cairnryan – Belfast route. Emotional Support Dogs must be confirmed as such in writing by a mental health professional or GP. Emotional support dogs must be booked by contacting out Contact Centre.

 

All dogs must be under the control of an adult at all times.  Dogs must be wearing a collar and be on a non-retractable lead (no longer than 4 ft) when being transferred to a kennel, to the pet lounge or to a pet cabin. If your dog is aggressive or has been aggressive to people or other animals it must wear a muzzle at all times except when inside a pet carrier case in the pet lounge or whilst in a pet cabin or in a pet kennel.

 

Your options when travelling to and from Ireland and to France:

When travelling with your pet on the Irish Sea you have a number of options to choose from depending on the route and ferry you are travelling on. Please note that these options could change should a temporary replacement vessel be in service on the route.

 

Pets in car (to/from Ireland and France)

Pets can remain in your vehicle on all routes with the exception of Stena Vision on our Rosslare – Cherbourg route.  On our longer crossings (Liverpool – Belfast and Rosslare – Cherbourg (Stena Horizon only) whilst pets can remain in your vehicle, due to the length of the crossings and that certain breeds of dogs are more sensitive to heat/poor air circulation in vehicles, we recommend that you either book a pet-friendly cabin or a pet kennel.

 

Pets travel for free when remaining in your vehicle.

 

Pets in kennels (to/from Ireland and France)

Kennels can be pre-booked on the "Stena Plus & Onboard Extras" step of the booking process or via our Contact Centre.

 

Pet kennels are free when travelling between Cairnryan – Belfast, Holyhead – Dublin and Fishguard – Rosslare.  On our Liverpool – Belfast and Rosslare – Cherbourg (Stena Horizon only) routes a fee is payable per kennel, each way. Please note, Stena Vision on the Rosslare – Cherbourg route does not have pet kennels.

 

Pet kennels on our Liverpool – Belfast and Holyhead – Dublin routes can be accessed throughout your journey.  Not only can you visit your dog on these two routes but you can also exercise them under controlled conditions too.  For visiting times for pets staying in vehicles on Stena Horizon on our Rosslare – Cherbourg route, please visit Guest Services when you board and our crew will advise you of the times.  Weather permitting, two supervised visits per crossing, for a maximum of 10 minutes are allowed.

 

Our onboard kennels are suitable for domestic pets such as cats and dogs. If you are carrying livestock, exotic, dangerous or larger animals you must contact Customer Services in advance of booking to determine the suitability of the facilities onboard for the safe carriage of the animal/pet.

 

The Pet Lounge (to/from Belfast and Cairnryan only)

Onboard our Stena Superfast vessels between Belfast and Cairnryan we have a dedicated Pet Lounge.  For safety reasons your pet must remain in its secure pet carrier case for the duration of the crossing whilst in the Pet Lounge.  The pet carrier case can be no bigger than: length 91cm x height 62cm x width 56cm.  The Pet Lounge is not exclusively for dogs, so with different types of pets and breeds of animal permitted in the lounge, all pets must remain secured in their pet carrier case.  The lounge is an enclosed area and is an unfamiliar environment for all pets, so for the comfort and safety of pets and owners, it is mandatory for all pet owners to adhere to this rule.

 

A maximum of 2 pets is permitted per booking.  For safety and security reasons, owners must not leave their pets unattended in the pet lounge at any time. All passengers who wish to travel with their pet in the pet lounge must pre-book the pet lounge in advance of travel.

 

Click here to learn more about our Pet Lounge when travelling between Belfast and Cairnryan.

 

Please note: Bags are not permitted as carrier cases and you will be unable to bring your pet onboard if you don't have an appropriate pet carrier case with you where access to the case is via a secure door/zip/lock mechanism and your pet is totally enclosed. All pets must be pre-booked as a limited number of carrier cases are allowed onboard each sailing.

 

Pet Cabins (to/from Ireland and France)

We also have a number of pre-bookable pet friendly cabins available, where you can bring up to 2 pets into your cabin. These pet-friendly cabins can be pre-booked on the “Cabins” step of the booking process or via our Contact Centre. Pets are not permitted in Superfast Suites on our route between Belfast and Cairnryan due to the limited number of suites per vessel.  Our Superfast vessels will have a dedicated pet lounge from 21 May, as well as the option to leave pets in kennels or in vehicles.

 

Stena Vision:  Pet-friendly cabins only. Pets are not permitted to remain in vehicles

Due to the configuration of the vessel and the availability of pet cabins, pets are not permitted to remain in vehicles during the crossing on Stena Vision. All pets must be pre-booked into a pet-friendly cabin onboard. There are no dog lodges/kennel facilities onboard Stena Vision. 

 

Our pet-friendly cabins on Stena Vision allow you to bring up to 2 pets into your cabin and these can be pre-booked on the “Cabins” step of the booking process or via our Contact Centre. On Stena Vision only 2 pets per booking are permitted as pets cannot remain in vehicles.

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Traveling with your pet from Harwich to Hoek van Holland

 

Traveling by car (max. 5 pets)

At check-in you will receive a coloured tag to indicate that you are transporting a pet. It should be placed on the rear-view mirror of your windscreen and should remain there until you clear customs at the port of arrival.

 

Travel on foot (max. 3 pets)

If you are travelling as a foot passenger, you must book an onboard kennel for your pet or a pet-friendly cabin; otherwise your pet may not be allowed to travel.

 

When you board the ferry, we ask you to carefully follow the instructions of our employees. After boarding, report to the information desk on deck 9, where you will receive more information about taking your pet on board Stena Line ferries.

 

Travelling with a guide dog or an assistance dog for people with hearing problems or autism

Guide dogs and assistance dogs for people with hearing problems or autism are welcome on our Hook of Holland - Harwich route and are entitled to free travel. During the booking process you book a pet-friendly cabin and register the dog during the step "Stena Plus & Extras on Board". If a pet-friendly cabin is not available, please contact our Customer Service. They provide a suitable solution when other cabins are available on the sailing.

 

The dogs have full access to the passenger decks on the ferries. All guide, hearing or autism assistance dogs must have the necessary paperwork at port check-in and must wear appropriate dog harnesses and harnesses at all times while traveling. In the case of passengers who have a severe allergy to dogs, we will inform the owner of the assistance dog and the passenger with the allergy. We may ask both persons to avoid specific areas at specific times to prevent an allergy attack, e.g. if one of them eats in the restaurant, as we may not be able to provide the necessary medical assistance in all cases.

 

Kennels and pet-friendly cabins on board

There are a limited number of places available in our heated kennels. You book this in advance at the step "Stena Plus & Extras on Board" of the booking process. We also have a number of pet-friendly cabins available so that your pet can travel with you. Pets are not allowed in the restaurants, bars and shops. There is an area available on board our ferries where you can walk your dog.

 

Our onboard kennels are available in three sizes:

  • Large kennels: 97 cm x 94 cm x 100 cm (h x w x d)
  • Medium kennels: 64 cm x 108 cm x 100 cm (h x w x d)
  • Small kennels: 65 cm x 50 cm x 100 cm (h x w x d)

 

We also have a number of pet-friendly cabins available so that your pet can travel with you. Maximum number of pets per cabin:

  • 3 small pets up to 15 kilos, or
  • 2 medium pets up to 30 kilos, or
  • 1 large pet from 30 kilos

 

Pets are not allowed in the restaurants, bars and shops. There is an area available on board our ferries where you can walk your dog.

 

Please note: Large pets must climb stairs, go over a high door stop and may be lifted into small and medium kennels that are not at floor level.

 

Only the following pets are allowed: dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, ferret, mouse, chinchilla & gerbil (the maximum numbers also apply to small rodents).

 

Travel documents

There are a number of requirements that the travel documents for your pet must meet:

  • The animal is at least 15 weeks old
  • Chip for identification (must be placed before the rabies vaccination, this may also be on the same day)
  • Valid rabies vaccination (transport possible at least 21 days after the first vaccination). If the animal has been vaccinated before and this vaccination is still valid, this waiting period is not necessary
  • Valid European pet passport issued in a member state of the EU, or; a health certificate issued by the official authority in the United Kingdom or another non-EU country
  • Tapeworm treatment. This only applies to dogs. The vet must carry out this treatment at least 1 day (24 hours) and at most 5 days (120 hours) before the time of entry into the United Kingdom and it must be stated in the passport. (Only applicable when traveling from Hoek van Holland to Harwich)

 

After the crossing

When you disembark at Harwich International Port, your pet may be subject to a DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) inspection. We recommend that you keep all relevant paperwork related to your pet at hand. This is standard procedure on arrival in UK ports.

 

For more information on the rules for traveling with a pet from the EU to the UK and vice versa, please visit the DEFRA website or the UK government website GOV.UK.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to call a member of our Customer Service for more information.

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Travelling with your pet on Gothenburg – Frederikshavn

 

We have a limited number of pet places available and all pets must be pre-booked prior to travel.  At the port you must advise our check-in team that you are travelling with a pet. Cats must travel in a cage/carrier case. 

On all vessels the car deck is closed for the duration of the crossing and access to passengers is not permitted.


Stena Jutlandica

Pets are allowed to stay on the open car deck in the car or in the dog friendly lounge.

Stena Danica

Pets are allowed to stay in your vehicle (except in the months of May, June, July and August) or in the dog friendly lounge.

Stena Vinga

Pets are allowed to stay in your vehicle (except in the months of May, June, July and August) or in the dog friendly lounge. There is also a small run-out area for your pet.

 

Please note: In Denmark it is mandatory that you take out liability insurance for your dog. Liability insurance does not cover the costs of a veterinarian.  Check if the insurance also apply in the country you are going to - and how long they apply for. Please ask your insurer how best to insure your animal when travelling.

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Travelling with your pet on Grenaa – Halmstad

 

Pets are allowed to stay in your vehicle (except in the months of May, June, July and August) or in the dog friendly lounge. Cats must be transported in a travel case/carrier.

 

Please note: In Denmark it is mandatory that you take out liability insurance for your dog. Liability insurance does not cover the costs of a veterinarian.  Check if the insurances also apply in the country you are going to - and how long they apply for. Please ask your insurer how best to insure your animal when travelling.

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Travelling with your pet on Rostock – Trelleborg

 

You must pre-book your pet and also advise our check-in team when you arrive at the port.

 

A limited number of pre-bookable pet cabins are available on board the Mecklenburg-Verpommen and Skåne.  If you are booking without a pet cabin, you must book your pet when completing your booking under the heading “Extras”. If there are no pet places presented under “Extras”, it will not be possible to take your pet with you on the departure you had selected. If this occurs, please choose an alternative departure. Pets are not allowed in the restaurants, bars and shops. It is possible to stay on deck in the designated areas.

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Travelling with your pet on Kiel - Gothenburg

 

You can travel with your pet on Kiel - Gothenburg however you must pre-book a pet cabin in order to do so. A limited number of pet cabins are available on each sailing. No more than two pets are allowed per cabin.  Please note you cannot travel with your pet if there are no pet cabins available.   Your pet is not allowed to stay in your vehicle during the crossing. Your pet must be registered at check-in and you will then be taken to the special pet cabin by the shortest route. Apart from the cabin and the exercise area, your pet is not allowed access to the general passenger areas.

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Travelling with your pet on Gdynia - Karlskrona

 

Pets can only travel on Stena Spirit, Stena Ebba and Stena Estelle in special pet-friendly cabins. There are a limited number available on each ferry and you can bring up to three pets with you when you stay in this type of cabin. If you haven't got a pet-friendly cabin booked, unfortunately your pet won't be able to travel with you.



The pet must be registered at check-in, after which a member of staff will show the shortest route to a special pet cabin. Apart from the exercise area on the outside deck, pets are not allowed in the public areas. Dogs must wear a muzzle outside the cabin and must be kept on a leash. Cats must travel in a cage/carrier case.

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Travelling with your pet on Travemünde - Liepāja

 

On our Travemünde - Liepāja route you can travel with your pet on the Stena Flavia and Stena Livia. However you must pre-book a special pet cabin.  There are two pet cabins available. Pets cannot travel if these pet cabins are fully booked. The animals are not allowed to stay in the vehicle during the crossing. Pets are not permitted access to the general passenger areas. Dogs must be kept on a leash and wear a muzzle.

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Travelling with your pet on Nynäshamn - Ventspils

 

The Stena Baltica and Stena Scandica have cabins where pets are allowed. When choosing a cabin for the transportation of pets, there is no charge for the pet, but the reservation should indicate how many pets will travel (max. 5 pets per cabin). During the summer season (from May 1 to September 30) pets are allowed to stay in the car. You can visit your pets at certain times accompanied by a crew member. There is an additional charge per pet staying in the car. 

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What responsibilities do I have for my pet whilst travelling by ferry?

 

  • You are responsible for ensuring the animal's welfare.
  • If pets travel inside a vehicle or in the onboard kennel they must remain there for the duration of the crossing.
  • We recommend that dogs should travel in the provided onboard kennel and Stena Line cannot be held responsible for any damage that may arise from not using our kennel facilities
  • It is your obligation to ensure that all conditions for EU pet travel and the UK Pet Travel scheme (PETS) are met.
  • Stena Line cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information given.
  • Should your pet not meet the conditions of the EU pet travel and the UK Pet Travel scheme (PETS) the animal is liable to be held in UK quarantine for a period of up to 6 months or be re-exported.
  • Stena Line is obliged as an accredited PETS carrier to verify your documentation and will refuse the carriage of your pet if the documentation is in breach of the PETS rules.
  • If you are planning to quarantine your pet you will be fully responsible for all arrangements and cost associated with this procedure. You will need to produce the relevant documentation to Stena Line prior to carriage.
  • Stena Line cannot be held liable for any cost in connection with non-compliance with EU pet travel and PETS rules.
  • We do not accept any responsibility for any liability or damage caused by your pet while on board. You accept that if an injury or incident occurs which was caused by your pet, you may be reported to the relevant authorities, and in some cases, it could give rise to criminal or other legal liability.

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Illicit Puppy Trading


Stena Line condemns the illicit puppy trade and tries to stop this practice. In cooperation with DAERA and DEFRA , Stena Line is actively taking action against the transport of dogs and puppies from puppy farms between Ireland and Great Britain. Investigators are authorized to stop and search vehicles belonging to people suspected of illegally dealing in dogs and puppies. All passengers who are guilty of illegally transporting dogs will be prevented from continuing their journey. The result is criminal prosecution and the confiscation of the puppies.

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Pets Liability Disclaimer

 

Stena Line cannot accept responsibility for any of the links from this web site, nor the content thereof. The links are provided purely for your benefit and Stena Line is not responsible for inaccuracies in the information provided.