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Ferry to Islay

How to travel to the isle of Islay by ferry

Fast Ferry
kintyre express
60,00

Kennacraig-Port Ellen

Scotland ⇔ Islay
2h 12 mins.
9,00

Port Askaig-Colonsay

Islay ⇔ Jura
55 Mins.
5,00

Kennacraig-Port Askaig

Scotland ⇔ Islay
1h 55 mins.
9,00

Getting to the Isle of Islay

Islay can be reached by ferry from both mainland Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

  • Most passengers that book a ferry to Islay depart from Kennagraig. From here, you can sail to Port Ellen or Port Askaig in two hours. 
  • The ferry from Northern Ireland departs from Ballycastle and is only suitable for foot passengers.
  • In addition, you can also book ferries to Islay from the neighbouring islands of Jura and Colonsay.
See on the ferry map below where the ferries to Islay sail. 

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Map with crossings to Islay

The ferry from Northern Ireland is a pretty fast connection, making Islay actually easier to reach from Northern Ireland than from most parts of Scotland. For the departure to Scotland, you have to get on in Kennacraig. And this departure port is located on the Kintyre peninsula where you have to drive quite a bit. It is also possible to take a ferry to this Peninsula, but that will take some extra time.

Departure from Mainland Scotland 

You can choose from two destinations when departing from Kennacraig. In terms of sailing time, it doesn't make a huge difference which one you choose.

Kennacraig-Port Ellen

Scotland ⇔ Islay
2h 12 mins.
Up to 3 times per day
9,00

Kennacraig-Port Askaig

Scotland ⇔ Islay
1h 55 mins.
Up to 2 times per day
9,00

Timetable, availability, and compare prices

Our online booking module makes it easy to find and book your desired ferry crossing to and from the Isle of Islay. All you have to do is enter your departure port, destination, and travel dates. The system will show you the best routes and possible alternatives. You can then choose the ferry that best suits your needs and budget. Have a great trip!

Departure from Northern Ireland

Apart from the larger ferry companies, you can take the Kintyre Express from Northern Ireland to Scotland. This is a small fast boat that is only suitable for up to 12 foot passengers. You can sail to the Isle of Islay as well as to the neighbouring Kintyre Peninsula.
Fast Ferry
kintyre express

Ballycastle-Port Ellen

1 Hour
Up to 5 times per week
60,00

Departure from Jura

There is a very short ferry ride available between Jura and Islay. This is a ‘turn up and go' service so you can't book this in advance. 

Feolin-Port Askaig

Islay ⇔ Jura
6 minutes
Up to 25 times per day
2,00

About Islay

Islay Scotland

Islay Scotland

Islay is located west of the Kintyre Peninsula and southwest of Jura Island. It is the southernmost island of the Hebrides (since the more southern Arran is not officially included in the Hebrides) and thanks to its location there is also a ferry service from and to Northern Ireland. This ferry service is a fast ferry that is only suitable for foot passengers.

The island is particularly known for the Islay malts Whiskey. This is due to its location, the spray from the sea, the unique peat and a pure water source on the island. There are 9 active distilleries on Islay.[1]Isle of islay, visitscotland.com As a visitor you can take a look at many Whiskey distilleries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most of the ferry crossings are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac). The ferry deparring from Northern Ireland is operated by Kintyre Express. 

In total, you can choose from five ferries. two crossings go from Kennagraig. This is the most popular route to get to Islay. You can also depart from Colonsay, Jura and Northern Ireland.

There is no direct ferry from Belfast to Islay. If you want to travel from Belfast to Islay, you can board a passenger ferry from Ballycastle. If you want to bring your car on the ferry, you can book a ferry to Scotland from Belfast and drive to Kennacraig. This is a 4,5-hour drive. From Kennacraig, you can travel by ferry to the Isle of Islay in approximately 2 hours.

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References
References
1 Isle of islay, visitscotland.com
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