The UK has so many great options for travelling to Ireland or Europe by ferry. The ferries are regular and have lots of facilities on board. Booking online is normally gets you the best rate. You can also save money by choosing an early morning or late evening/night crossing.
Remember when booking your ferry that we can't give out the vehicle's registration number in advance. It's not a problem, though. Just enter either "CAR HIRE" or "TBA" into the registration box when making your online ferry booking and provide the number when you get to the port.
Here are some of the best options for crossing into Ireland and Europe:
Stena operate ferries from the UK to Ireland and Holland. Their fast catamarans run from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire across the Irish Sea and from Harwich to the Hook of Holland across The Channel. The port of Dun Laoghaire is just south of Dublin and is a great alternative to the main Dublin Crossing. Dublin's port is right in the centre of the city so you're first bit of driving in Ireland will be through the centre of its capital city!
Stena Line benefits from running the most routes across the Irish Sea and helpfully offeres "open jaw" tickets, allowing you to cross to Ireland on one route and cross back via another. This can help you avoid doubling back on yourself.
P&O operate the popular Dover - Calais crossing as well as routes to Holland, Belgium and Ireland. The Liverpool to Dublin crossing is pretty slow and we would suggest driving to Holyhead and taking a ferry from there. The two routes between Scotland and Northern Ireland can sometimes be cheaper than the crossings into the Republic of Ireland.
EuroTunnel operate the car-carrying train service from Folkestone in England to Calais in France. The trip takes just 35 minutes.
A great option for direct ferries to Spain and North-West France
DFDS run a Dover to Dunkirk route as well as the only ferry from the UK to Denmark
Maps reproduced with kind permission of AFerry
You can compare all ferry crossings to and from the UK with AFerry.