20th April 2007


As our thoughts turn to holidays in far-away places, the Consumer Council has launched Plain Sailing - the essential guide to ferry travel to and from Northern Ireland.

Plain Sailing is a handy, user-friendly guide designed to sit along with tickets, passports and the other essentials you can’t afford to leave home without.  It contains everything you need to know about your rights and responsibilities when you sail.

Download Plain Sailing (PDF 2.36M)

Eddie Lynch, Head of Consumer Affairs at the Consumer Council said: “With more than two million passengers passing through Northern Ireland ports every year,[1]Plain Sailing could not come at a better time.  It guides you through every step of your journey, from leaving home to arriving at your destination port.  It outlines your rights and responsibilities at each stage of your journey including what to do when things go wrong and how the Consumer Council can help. 

“Most people enjoy trouble-free ferry travel, but others can experience difficulties from time to time.  It is important to have all the relevant information at your fingertips when there’s a problem and that is what Plain Sailing is all about.  Often, it’s only when things go wrong that passengers realise that they don’t have enough information to resolve the problem.”

The guide has lots of helpful advice for what to do before you sail, checking-in, on-board the ferry and what to do if things go wrong.  There's also a handy checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your journey.” 

Free copies of Plain Sailing are available on board Stena Line and Norfolkline ferries and at their terminals.  You can also get a copy from the Port of Larne or from some ABTA approved travel agents. 

If you would like more information on Plain Sailing or have an enquiry or complaint about ferry travel, contact the Consumer Council complaints team on 0845 601 6022 or [email protected]

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Susie Brown, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail,[email protected].  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.
  3. For more information, visit our website at

[1] DRD Northern Ireland Transport Statistics