Strangford ferry and coronavirus (COVID-19)
All cash collection onboard is suspended until further notice.
Contactless payment is available onboard by ferry SmartCard or credit/ debit card. Both can be read through vehicle windows to make sure of social distancing.
Face coverings must be worn (exemptions do apply) until further notice.
For return journeys, as usual, you will need to get and keep a ticket for use during the return trip.
If you need a ticket, let the purser know and it will be given to you. If not needed, tickets will be kept by ferry staff until the journey is completed.
Apologies for any inconvenience.
All unused SmartCard journeys which have expired on or after 23 March 2020 will be extended by one year - contact the ferry office to arrange an extension.
Transport for healthcare workers
There is free travel on public transport for healthcare workers. It only applies to:
- NHS or Health and Social Care workers who show their identification
- private care workers who must produce both identification and a signed letter from their employer
There is more information at this link:
There are a number of ticket types available:
Single and return tickets
Single and return tickets are available on deck.
Cars and other vehicles by length (fare includes driver only)
|Vehicle and driver||Single||Return (valid for one week)||SmartCard top-up (20 journeys)|
|Vehicle up to six metres in length||£5.80||£10.00||£50.00|
|Vehicle six to eight metres in length||£10.00||£18.00||£120.00|
|Long vehicles – each additional two metres in length for vehicles over eight metres (Note: vehicles towing trailer/ caravan will be charged at the proper total train length)||£4.50||£8.00||£54.00|
|Motorcycle and (first) rider||£3.50||£5.50||£31.00|
Occupants of a vehicle, other than a driver, will be charged at the proper passenger rate.
Vehicles with disabled driver or passenger
A concessionary vehicle fare is available on presentation of a Blue Badge held by either the driver or a passenger. The fare includes the vehicle and one person. Any other people in the vehicle will be charged at the proper passenger rate.
|Fare category||Single||Return (valid for one week)||SmartCard top-up (20 journeys)|
|Concessionary fare (occupants of a vehicle, other than the blue badge holder, will be charged at the proper rate)||£2.50||£4.00||Not applicable|
There is no charge for bicycles. Cyclists will be charged at the proper passenger rate. Cyclists must get off their bike and walk on as foot passengers.
|Return (valid for one week)||SmartCard top-up (20 journeys)|
|Child (five to 15 years)||£0.50||£1.00||£5.50|
|Child under five years||Free||Free||Not applicable|
|Concessionary ticket*||£0.50||£1.00||Not applicable|
|Concessionary ticket**||Free||Free||Not applicable|
|Group warrant adults#||£0.60||£1.20||Not applicable|
|Group warrant children#||£0.30||£0.60||Not applicable|
Note: *(Available on presentation of the proper valid Northern Ireland-issued SmartPass). Holders of either a Learning Disability, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Registered Partially Sighted or Refusal of a Driving License on the Grounds of Medical Fitness SmartPass.
Note: ** (Available on presentation of the proper valid Northern Ireland-issued SmartPass). Holders of either a Senior Citizens, 60+ Senior, War Disablement, Republic of Ireland Senior Citizen SmartPass (issued by Translink), or Registered Blind SmartPass.
Note: # Group warrants are available to groups travelling together and making a minimum of 20 single journeys or 10 return journeys.
20 Journey SmartCards
Strangford Lough Ferry Service has a SmartCard scheme for frequent travellers.
SmartCard journeys are valid for one year after the date bought. SmartCards cost £2.00 and are available from all top-up outlets.
|Category||SmartCard top-up (20 journeys)|
|Child (five to 15 years)||£5.50|
|Vehicle up to six metres in length||£50.00|
Vehicle six to eight metres in length
|Additional two metres||£54.00|
- there is a £2.00 charge for a SmartCard
- new SmartCards are not available on the ferry
- each SmartCard can be used for one ticket category only
- SmartCards can be topped up in multiples of 20 journeys, up to a maximum of 100 journeys
- journeys on a SmartCard are valid for one year after it is last topped up
- topping a SmartCard up will extend all valid journeys on the card for a further year
- the expiry date and card balance are printed on all tickets
- no refunds will be given for unused journeys
- when journeys run out on a SmartCard, the card can be re-used and topped up with 20 new journeys
Where to buy or top-up SmartCards
|Location||Opening hours||Payment methods accepted|
|Strangford Ferry Terminal, Strangford||
Closed until further notice
|All payment methods|
|Kevin Óg Newsagents, 15 The Square, Strangford||
7.30 am to 7.30 pm
|All payment methods|
|Centra, 91 High Street, Portaferry||
7.00 am to 10.00 pm Monday to Saturday
|Cash and debit/ credit card|
Lost, stolen or damaged SmartCards
There is an optional card registration scheme.
- no credit can be given for un-registered cards which are lost, stolen or damaged
- to register a card, you must complete the form provided when you bought the card and return it to the ferry terminal in Strangford
- allow five working days for registration
- the personal information provided on the registration form will be processed by Strangford Lough Ferry Service for the purposes of managing the SmartCard system only (non-personal statistical data may be collected and used to analyse usage of the service)
- personal information will be held securely and will not be given to any other bodies
- if a registered card is lost or stolen it can be disabled so that no-one else can use it (before a card is disabled, you will be asked to confirm the personal information provided when registering the card)
- any unused balance on the card when it is disabled will be transferred to a new card (a £2.00 charge will be made for the new card)
- to stop a card you must phone the Strangford ferry terminal on 0300 2007 898 or send an email containing the personal information provided when registering the card to firstname.lastname@example.org - the office is not open at weekends or on public holidays
- Contacting 08 and 03 telephone number
- allow one working day for a card to be disabled
Non-payment of fares
It is an offence to intentionally travel on the ferry without paying the proper fare.
Action may be taken to recover unpaid fares and repeat offenders will be reported to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Failure to pay the proper fare at the time of travel will result in a non-payment report being issued. You will be asked to provide contact details. If you do not provide the information requested, you may be refused passage.
Late payment will not be accepted on board the ferry.
Full fare must be received at the ticket office in Strangford within one week (SmartCards will not be accepted as late payment).
All passengers and cargo are carried under the conditions of carriage, available if asked for from Strangford ferry terminal.
SMS text message alert service
Passengers can register to receive SMS alerts about delays and service suspensions, and so on. Simply:
- Text 'FERRY' to 67300 to register
- Text 'STOP' to 67300 to stop
Receiving SMS alerts is free when in the UK. A registration/ stop text is charged at your network operator’s standard rate.
For information on disruptions to normal service, check the TrafficwatchNI website.
Who to contactYou should either contact the ferry manager at Strangford ferry terminal or the divisional manager at DfI Roads Southern Division.
The Department for Infrastructure aims to investigate complaints thoroughly and it would be helpful if as much detail as possible about date and time of travel and circumstances is given.
Written complaints will be responded to within 15 working days. A written reply will not normally be sent to a verbal complaint.
You may also email your comments on the Strangford ferry operation directly to DfI Roads staff using this email address:
If you would like to get a written response you will need to provide your name and postcode.