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Ferry to Portugal from Ireland

The most ideal way to travel to Portugal by ferry from Ireland

Rosslare-Bilbao

Spain ⇔ Ireland
18 Hours
From: 227,00

Rosslare-Santander

Spain ⇔ Ireland
32 Hours
From: 227,00

Travel to Portugal by ferry from Ireland

Many people are seeking options to travel to Portugal by ferry. While there is no direct ferry from Ireland to Portugal, there are now two direct ferries from Ireland to Spain. The first sails to Bilbao in Northern Spain, from where you can easily travel by car or public transport to Portugal. The other ferry also departs from Rosslare but sails to Santander.

Brittany Ferries only started sailing recently on these tourism-oriented routes.[1]Pet-friendly cabins, tapas and boutique shops: Onboard the new ferry from Ireland to Spain, Euronews

There are 2 weekly sailings from Rosslare to Bilbao and from Rosslare to Santander. On this page, you'll find more information on the ferry from Ireland to Portugal via Spain.

There is not a good alternative to this ferry, except for flying. You could sail from Ireland to France and then drive to Portugal but this is a long trip without the convenience and comfort of travelling by ferry for most of your trip.

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The best ferry routes from Ireland to Portugal (via Spain)

If you're considering traveling by ferry from Ireland to Portugal, we believe these are is the best routes to take. It's possible to bring your car on the ferry. Our preferred connection is the direct ferry from Rosslare to Bilbao or Santander, which are both quite straightforward.

The alternatives are routes from Ireland to France, for example, Dublin-Cherbourg or Cork-Roscoff and then drive to Portugal.

Travel tip for trips to Portugal: Book early

As there is only a single connection from Ireland to Portugal via Spain, you won't be surprised that the boats fill up quite fast, especially during peak season the packing decks are sold out fast. Book far in advance and avoid high costs.

Your best options for the ferry from Ireland to Portugal

Ireland to Spain – Rosslare to either Santander or Bilbao

Both these ferries are a great way to travel from Ireland to Portugal. Santander is closer to Portugal so this might be your best option from the two. 

Rosslare is located in the South of Ireland, and Santander is in the North of Spain, just west of Bilbao. And a 6-hour drive to Porto, Portugal.
 
Rosslare is just a 2-hour drive from Dublin and about 4 hours from Belfast.
 
All sailings will enjoy at least one night on board. On the return trip, it is often a 1-night crossing. You'll leave Ireland for Spain in the evening or Sunday and will arrive in the morning.
The ferry from Ireland to Spain is also a good connection for travelers to the South of France.


Ireland ⇔ Portugal via Spain

1 brittany ferries

Rosslare-Bilbao

Since early November 2022 onwards the ferry from Ireland to Spain and vice versa started sailing sailing. The direct ferry between Bilbao and Rosslare is ideal when you want to travel to Spain and want to bring your own transport or want to enjoy an early start to your vacation. You can either sail with a one-night or two-night crossing from Rosslare to Bilbao with Brittany Ferries. there are 2 crossings back and forth every week on this connection.

From: 227,00
Read full review
2 brittany ferries

Rosslare-Santander

Brittany Ferries now also sails from Rosslare to Santander in the northern region of Spain. An ideal option to start your vacation to Spain or Portugal.

From: 227,00
Read full review

Option 2: From Ireland via the UK to Portugal via Spain.

The option above seems to us as the most logical choice but to offer tourists and travelers some alternatives we've looked into other options. There are 3 crossings from the UK to Spain. So you can also decide to travel via the UK to Ireland. 

From Portsmouth, two ferries leave for Spain: Portsmouth-Santander and Portsmouth-Bilbao. From Plymouth (Devon) you can also sail to Santander. So if the ferry from Rosslare is overbooked, or you want to sail to Santander, you can opt for one of these routes,

When you do go sailing from the UK, you first have to find a suitable ferry from Ireland to the UK[2]Ferries from Ireland to the UK, FerryGoGo.com to get to the port of departure.

In case you're wondering about the prices, these are comparable with the crossing from Rosslare to Bilbao.

Ireland ⇔ UK ⇔ Portugal

Plymouth-Santander

England ⇔ Spain
20 Hours
Up to 2 times per week
From: 361,00

Portsmouth-Santander

England ⇔ Spain
28h 30 mins
Up to 2 times per week
From: 273,00

Portsmouth-Bilbao

England ⇔ Spain
31h 30 mins
Up to 2 times per week
From: 585,00

Option 3: From Ireland via France to Portugal

This is another alternative you can consider for a trip to Portugal from Ireland. Traveling from Ireland first to France by ferry and then from there travel further down to Portugal. This could be an ideal scenario if you want to combine France or Spain in your vacation or trip to Portugal and have somewhat more time. 

Your route would then be either from Cork to Roscoff, Rosslare to Cherbourg, Rosslare to Dunkirk or from Dublin to Cherbourg. So if you would like to incorporate a visit to France into your trip to Spain this would be a reasonable alternative. Or if you just don't want to spend too much time on a ferry. 

If you want to save a bit on the ferry costs this could be an option too. But keep in mind that you will pay toll fees on the French roads + extra miles on the meter.

Ireland ⇔ France ⇔ Spain

Rosslare-Dunkirk

France ⇔ Ireland
24 hours
Up to 5 times per week
From: 400,00

Roscoff-Cork

France ⇔ Ireland
14 Hours
Up to 2 times per week
From: 66,00

Cherbourg-Rosslare

France ⇔ Ireland
18 Hours
Up to 4 times per week
From: 189,00

Cherbourg-Dublin

France ⇔ Ireland
19 Hours
Up to 5 times per week
From: 278,00

Travel and to do in Portugal

Portugal is a popular vacation destination, there is a lot to see and taste 🙂 Try local delicacies such as the Vinho Verde wine, Pastel de Nata with your morning coffee, or Francesinha for lunch that helps you through the day. 

Or visit and see vibrant cities such as Porto, Lisbon, and the Algarve region. These cities and regions offer a lot to see and do for various travellers. Porto and Lisbon are beautiful in that both have a unique historic centre with many terraces, shops, restaurants, and lively squares with many people.

The Algarve region feels more like a big vacation resort with cosy beach restaurants and somewhat smaller historical Portuguese cities.

In this Southern part of Portugal, you can enjoy sun, sea, sand and, of course, Vinho Verde, fresh barbecued fish, and beautiful scenery. A lot of people in Portugal do speak English. 

Portugal has it all.

FAQ: Ferries to Portugal from Ireland

Not there is not, there are however two direct ferries from Ireland to Spain. The most logical ferry for Portugal would be the ferry from Rosslare to Santander which is direct crossing from Ireland to Spain. An ideal start of your vacation / trip while enjoying all things on board of the British Ferries vessels. From Santander it's only 6 hour drive to Porto, Portugal. Public Transport might be a good alternative.

In summer / peak season you'll probably pay around €550 – €600 for 2 persons and a car on this trip to Portugal. So around £470 – £510 for a return trip of 2 persons with a cabin and a car.

This would be the most direct one, so Rosslare – Santander or Bilbao. The alternatives, so travelling via either France or the UK to Spain will cost you a bit more time.

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2 Comments
  1. Thanks for the guidance here FerryGoGO! Great to know how to travel all the way to Portugal from Ireland 🙂 (Long trip by ferry)

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