Raising The Standard

Taking Your Camper Van on a Ferry

Traveling to England, France, Corsica, or Sweden soon? Want to explore the picturesque locations in your campervan? Then you’ll soon be in a situation where you’ll have to take a ferry trip. And fret not, your beloved camper van will be allowed onboard too.

But taking your camper van on ferry will require some preparation so that the journey is hassle-free and comfortable. In this detailed post, we’ll provide some handy tips, guidelines, and insights to help you make the most of your experience.

Why Take Your Camper Van for a Ferry Adventure?

In most maritime countries, certain locations are such that they can only be reached via a ferry ride. With ferries, you can traverse water bodies, explore remote locations, and connect different territories that might be inaccessible otherwise. And millions of travelers every year visit such locations without leaving their camper van or motorhome behind.

Here are some of the top reasons to take your campervan with you on a ferry adventure-

Travel the Way You Want

Any avid camper would agree the biggest advantage of traveling with a camper van is the flexibility and freedom it offers. You are free to customize the itinerary the way you want, make impromptu stops, and enjoy your preferred locations the way you want.


With your camper van on the ferry, you won’t have to book accommodations or struggle with packing and unpacking at all the different locations you visit. The van is your cozy home on wheels. And not to forget the monetary savings this can offer.

Scenic Routes

Most ferry adventures, especially at popular tourist spots, are designed as such to provide travelers with breathtaking views of the islands, coastlines, and other natural wonders. You won’t be able to experience these places the way you would on a ferry through any other mode of transport.

So, how do you plan your ferry trip with a camper van? Here’s everything you should know-

Pre-Boarding Preparations

Pre-Boarding Preparations

You need careful preparation and planning for taking your van on ferry. Here are some tips on how to plan it right-

Know the Ferry Routes and Schedules

The first step is to research the ferry routes that suit your travel itinerary. You can check the various companies offering van adventures on the chosen route, their availability, cost, schedules, and other booking requirements. Remember that it is always better to make the required ferry bookings in advance, especially if it is a popular tourist spot in the peak season.

Check Camper Van Limit

More often than not, ferries have certain limitations on the type, dimension, and weight of the camper vans allowed onboard. Thus, it makes sense to know such limitations before you make any bookings. Also, note that some ferry companies have additional restrictions for LPG camper vans. If you do have an LPG van, ensure you check if the selected ferry company has such restrictions.

·   Insurance and Documentation

It is mandatory to have all the camper van documents, including van registration, insurance, and necessary permits for taking it onboard a ferry. All of these details are generally available on the ferry company’s website. If not, you can always get in touch with the company to know their requirements. If you’re traveling with a pet, do check the company’s policy regarding the same.

All Aboard: Taking Your Camper Van on Ferry

Ready to board the ferry? Here are some useful tips to ensure everything is seamless and organized-

Arrive Early

No matter how much you’ve read about the boarding procedure, things can go wrong when you’re actually doing it. Thus, it is always better to reach the ferry terminal well before the departure time. This will provide you with sufficient time to settle in and get yourself familiarized with the boarding procedure.

Follow Instructions

Follow Instructions

The ferry staff will provide all the instructions you must follow during the trip. Ensure you listen carefully to avoid any safety hazards. You’ll also be guided for taking the van onboard the ferry. When driving the van onboard, ensure you keep a safe distance from other vehicles and passengers.

Keep Everything Secured

The rolling and pitching of the ferry when navigating through the waters can wreak havoc inside your van. So, ensure everything inside the van is stowed securely before the ferry departs. All the cabinets, doors, and drawers should be locked so that they don’t swing open during the journey.

Safety During the Journey

Always adhere to the safety guidelines of the ferry and avoid wandering into restricted areas. Know the emergency procedures and the location of life-saving equipment you might need in case of an emergency.

After Reaching Your Destination

The real adventure begins once you reach your destination. Here are some tips to make the experience memorable-

Book Campsites in Advance

It is always better to book campsites in advance to avoid the last-minute rush. Popular campsites can get crowded during the peak season. So, make the necessary bookings close to the destination before you even reach to ensure a hassle-free stay.

Explore the Location

Explore the local activities and attractions after reaching your destination. Thanks to the internet, you can easily find details of everything you’d like to do after reaching the destination. Be it local sightseeing, surfing, or hiking, immerse yourself in the experiences and culture of the region.

Know the Local Regulations

Be aware of any specific regulations regarding camper van parking and camping. Overnight van parking and camping are restricted at certain locations. You can use the internet or talk to the locals to better understand the regulations.

Always Stay Connected

If it is an off-beat location, ensure you have adequate means to stay connected. While these places have their charm, you should know how to communicate with other travelers and local authorities if the need arises.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Taking Your Camper Van on a Ferry

Let’s take a look at some other important details related to taking your camper van on ferry-

1.  Sleeping on the Ferry

Sleeping on the Ferry

Can you sleep in motorhome on ferry? It depends. Most ferry companies do not allow passengers to stay or sleep in their camper vans. They offer a wide range of accommodations, including dormitories, suites, and cabins. And even if the ferry does allow you to sleep in your van, you’ll have to inform them about the same in advance.

So, you can talk to the ferry company before making your bookings to see whether the option to stay in the vehicle is available. It is generally recommended that you book accommodation onboard for longer crossings. If the ferry trip is only for a few hours, you might choose to camp in your vehicle.

2.  Food Onboard

Ferries generally have self-service snack cars, café, and restaurants as long as the trip is not very short. For adults, there is often a cocktail bar, especially if it is a longer trip. Some of them also have ice cream bars for the kids.

But again, you’ll have to check the facilities available onboard before you make your bookings. If it is an overnight trip and you’d like to enjoy a memorable experience, it’d be wise to invest in a ferry that offers these facilities.

3.   Camper Van Safety on a Ferry

Another common question people generally have is “Are cars tied down on ferries?” Yes, the camper van or any other car you’re traveling in is generally tied down to ensure stability and safety during the trip.

Once the vehicle is parked in the designated spot, the ferry staff will secure it to the ferry using various methods. Wheel chocks, brackets and hooks, straps and tie-downs, etc., are used for securing your vehicle onboard a ferry.

4.  Items Allowed Onboard

Unlike aircraft, there are generally no restrictions on liquid items onboard a ferry. So, you’ll be allowed to carry food, drinks, and even most of the household items. However, some dangerous goods like excess fuel for the van are not allowed on ferries.

As for items like oxygen cylinders for medical reasons, you’ll have to check with the ferry company if it is allowed onboard. Ensure you only carry things that are allowed onboard to avoid any issues while onboarding the ferry.

Enjoy a Unique Experience by Taking Your Camper Van on a Ferry

Camping enthusiasts would agree a camper van or motorhome takes your outdoor adventures to the next level. Even if the trip involves a ferry ride, you can take your camper van on ferry to enjoy a unique experience. From scenic routes to remote islands, this mode of travel offers a unique experience filled with freedom and flexibility.

Now that you know the basics of taking your campervan on a ferry and answers to common questions like “Can I stay in my car on a ferry?” use this information to your advantage and plan the trip accordingly. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, fuel up your camper van, and set sail for an experience of a lifetime!

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