I’ve made the trip between Holyhead and Dublin by ferry three times now. I like traveling by ferry, but I’ve always been wary of them. Remember when people got newspapers delivered? I swear, it seemed like every time I randomly opened the New York Times there was a small story about a ferry capsizing. I’m glad I no longer read actual newspapers – it’s safe to take ferries again.
Two ferry lines operate between Holyhead and Dublin. The Stena line and Irish Ferries. The timing has worked out such that I’ve taken the Stena line each time. I wanted to try the Irish Ferries. Maybe there will be a next time. If anyone from Ireland stumbles on this post and has taken both, please let me know if there’s a difference. They both seem safe, comfortable, and efficient to me.
It takes about 3 hours. Boarding is a lot less stressful than at airports. If you go this route, I recommend thinking about the itinerary a bit more than I did. There is a train station right there at Holyhead, but I think it’s the weak link in the chain. If you arrive in the evening and don’t want to stay in Holyhead, Chester is a great option. I stayed at the Pied Bull in Chester and can recommend it. Lots of good options. Holyhead might be great, too, but I like that feeling of making it a bit further. I don’t think that makes much sense, but there it is. If you’re a picky eater and don’t care for fried food, you might want to pack a sandwich or some snacks. I really liked the mushy peas and rice (they looked at me a bit funny).