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UK holidays: Ferry holidays see surge in popularity as Britons ditch overseas holidays

This year has been whirlwind for the travel and tourism sector which has seen an unprecedented drop in revenue. The coronavirus pandemic, which sent the UK into lockdown in March, shocked the world and saw most countries impose stringent travel restrictions. But as the coronavirus cases fall, travel appears to be back on the cards both domestically and internationally.

Ferry holidays appear to be on the up as one of the best-equipped sectors of the travel industry.

One ferry company, Stena Line, has just recorded its best booking week for passenger travel in July and August.

Like camping and caravan holidays, ferries offer travellers the chance to travel safely and apply social distancing rules.

Ferries also offer fresh air which is continually circulated around shops and a range of new hygiene protocols to give passengers peace of mind.

READ MORE: Simon Calder says flying and social distancing is ‘not compatible’

UK holidays: Ferry holidays boom as Britons head for staycation spots in the UK (Image: GETTY)

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UK holidays: This year has been whirlwind for the travel and tourism sector (Image: GETTY)

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director predicted that 2020 would be the “year of the staycation.”

He said: “With growing optimism that the current restriction on non-essential travel will be reviewed in the weeks ahead, more and more of our customers are making preparations to take a well-earned break to visit family, friends…or just travel to the places they love to be.”

He continued: “2020 looks like it will be the year of the staycation or as we say the year of the car-cation, and we are fully prepared to help our guests max out safely on their enjoyment and relaxation, as soon as they board our ships.”

Mr Grant also said that Stena Line has worked hard to try and make ferry holidays affordable.

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He added: “In these challenging economic times, we have also worked hard to provide great value, with fares from only £109 single car and driver, on our ex Belfast, Cairnryan, Holyhead and Fishguard sailings.

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“It has been an extremely difficult time for everyone over the last few months so the opportunity to get away from it all, literally, may well be embraced as never before.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator in the Irish Sea with services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard.

There are 238 weekly routes between Britain and Ireland.

UK holidays: There are 238 weekly routes between Britain and Ireland (Image: GETTY)

Industry body, Discover Ferries researched holiday trends and found that 73 percent of consumers want to travel in the UK and Europe this summer.

The company also said that ferries allow people to travel with their own cars, motorhomes, campervans or caravans.

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With camping, caravans and motorhomes all seeing a huge spike in interest, ferries could become an even more popular choice.

Emma Batchelor, director of Discover Ferries, says: “From day trips and staycations to European breaks, not only does ferry travel give passengers that feeling of escape but it offers a broad range of destinations where social distancing comes naturally.

Staycations (Image: EXPRESS)

“With an abundance of wildlife and beautiful sites in and around our coastlines and waterways, there has never been a better time to head off the beaten track and explore the flourishing nature on our doorstep.

“With wide public areas, open deck space and, on some routes, private cabins, ferry travel naturally lends itself well to social distancing.

“Additional Covid-compliant measures have been put in place to help keep passengers and crew safe and we hope this guide for socially-distant breaks will inspire the holidaymakers keen to travel this summer.”

Discover Ferries’ members operate over 80 ferry routes across the UK, Ireland and British Isles.

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