One of the best ways to get from Northern Ireland to England is to take the Belfast to Liverpool ferry. You can travel as a foot passenger or with your vehicle and arrive in Birkenhead a stone’s throw from central Liverpool.
The Belfast to Liverpool Birkenhead ferry takes just 8 hours and costs from as little as £ for a foot passenger. Click here to book now with Direct Ferries.
Stena Line has two sailings every day from Belfast to Liverpool Birkenhead. There is a daytime crossing and an overnight crossing. The journey time is 8 hours and there is plenty to do onboard from cafes and bars to games and shopping.
I have taken the ferry from Belfast to Liverpool a few times in recent years as it’s a great way to travel between Ireland and England without flying. If you want to travel to the Republic of Ireland check out my guide to the Holyhead to Dublin Ferry.
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Stena Line Belfast to Liverpool Timetable
There are two sailings every day, a daytime crossing and an overnight crossing:
|Depart Belfast||Arrive Birkenhead||Duration|
|10:30 am||6:30 pm||8 hours|
|10:30 pm||6:30 am||8 hours|
Belfast to Liverpool Ferry Prices 2023
Here are the current Belfast to Liverpool ferry prices:
- Foot Passenger from £32 ($43) one way
- Foot Passenger from £45 ($60) return
- Inside Cabin from £60 ($80)
- Outside Cabin from £65 ($87)
- Car from £130 ($174)
You don’t need to bother with a cabin on the daytime crossing as there are plenty of areas for passengers to sit in the free lounges. However, you can upgrade to a cabin once onboard if you didn’t purchase one when you booked.
Each time I travel on the Belfast Liverpool ferry I get a foot passenger ticket with no cabin and just relax in the free lounges, outside on deck or at the bar (usually the latter).
If you take the overnight sailing then a cabin will make the journey more comfortable. You can book online, or upgrade on the boat. Click here to book a cabin with Direct Ferries.
How to Buy Tickets for the Belfast to Liverpool Ferry
You can purchase tickets for the boat from Belfast to Liverpool online through Direct Ferries or you can get a quote using the quote engine below. You can also purchase direct at the port in Belfast but you’ll want to do this well in advance. Click here to book online now.
There are two passenger terminals at Belfast Port; one for Cairnryan in Scotland and the other for Liverpool.
How to Get to Belfast Port from the City Centre
You can take the Translink Metro service 96 from Donegall Square West next to Belfast City Hall to the Stena Line terminal. The service runs every 20 minutes and the journey time is around 25 minutes.
You can also take a taxi which takes 20 minutes and costs around 10 to fifteen pounds.
Belfast Passenger Terminal address: Victoria Terminal, 2 W Bank Rd, Belfast BT3 9JN. Click here for directions.
Facilities at the Port
The port has toilets, a taxi telephone service and a couple of vending machines, but that’s about it.
Check-In Procedure for Ferries from Belfast to Liverpool
The check-in desk at Belfast Port closes one hour before departure. Make sure you arrive early to avoid missing your ferry.
There isn’t a sea border between Northern Ireland and the UK, but due to Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol, this may change at some point in the future.
There are no passport or customs checks and the boarding process is very straightforward. Simply go to the Stena Line terminal (address above) and give your name to the staff behind the check-in desk. They will then print your ticket and direct you to the ferry shuttle.
Whenever I do this trip it’s a quick and easy process from check-in to the boat.
About the Vessels
Stena Line operates two ferries between Belfast and Liverpool; the Stena Embla and the Stena Edda. Both ships are brand new (2020 and 2019) and can take 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.
Facilities on Board
- Information Desk
- Duty-Free/Gift Shop
- Restaurant (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Coffee Kiosk/Snack Bar
- Licensed Bar
- Clean Toilets
- Lounge Seating
- kids Play Area
- Amusement Arcade
- Outside Smoking Area
- Free wifi
There is a restaurant at the front of the vessel on the upper deck that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and other hot and cold snacks.
The restaurant is a canteen, so don’t expect fine dining, but it’s perfectly good fayre. I’ve eaten the cooked breakfast and fish and chips on board and both were the same quality as you’d find in a cafe on the mainland.
The restaurant and kiosk also sell cold snacks such as sandwiches and paninis. You can download the full restaurant menu here.
Meals start from about £8. Soft drinks from £2. I would recommend buying your own food which you can eat at any of the table and chairs around the boat.
The ferry crosses the Irish Sea and sails close to the Isle of Man with fantastic views of the dramatic coastline, cliffs and lighthouses. I’d definitely recommend going out on deck as you sail past to get some pictures.
Arrival at Liverpool Birkenhead Port
Address: Terminal, 12 Quays, Tower Rd, Birkenhead CH41 1FE. Click here for directions.
Getting into Liverpool from Birkenhead
A taxi to central Liverpool from the port at Birkenhead should cost £15 and take around 20 minutes. This is the best way to get from the port to the city as it’s not super straightforward with public transport (though I have done this a few times).
It’s just over one mile to walk to the nearest bus stop.
Check out my guide to the Cairnryan to Belfast ferry if you want to travel between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
There are two boats every day from Belfast to Liverpool. A daytime sailing at 10:30 am and an overnight sailing at 10:30 pm.
The ferry from Belfast to Liverpool takes eight hours. This is the same for both the daytime and overnight crossings.
You don’t need a passport to travel between Northern Ireland and the mainland UK on the Belfast to Liverpool ferry. However, I would recommend travelling with one as you may be asked for ID.
Taking the boat from Belfast to Liverpool is the best way to travel between Northern Ireland and the mainland UK as it’s a lot less stressful than flying. With two sailings every day, a scenic crossing and plenty to do on board, I’ll always travel this way. Click here to book now.
About the author:
Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has travelled to over 60 countries, lived in China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.
Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of Europe and Asia by train, bus and boat.
Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲