Feedback gathered by Irish Ferries from interviews with passengers shows that many now see ferry-based motoring holidays as a means of recapturing some of the values that have been lost in the rules and regulations now being imposed on travellers by airports and airlines.
Citing the pace of modern life, in which many families no longer even dine together and have little opportunity to sit down and talk and share experiences an increasing proportion of people are coming back to the view that a holiday by car, whether to Britain or Continental Europe, could be the key to a more enjoyable family life.
Research shows that parents today want more from a holiday than the simple fact of being away together. In this regard, the Irish Ferries survey reveals that a leisurely voyage by sea, followed by the freedom which a car provides to meander from place to place, meeting new people and exploring new places, is being preferred to a dark-of-night departure by air to a single resort location.
This trend is particularly evident in families where both parents are working and where - with ever longer commuting distances - the time available to spend together is reducing.
As Irish Ferries head of passenger sales Declan Mescall puts it: “Summer holidays and Christmas are the two occasions in the year when parents have the chance to chill out with their children.
“Cruising away on a motoring holiday ensures they will bond better and build up memories they can share forever. Travelling by ferry they can escape the rat race and experience a more graceful and gracious pace of life,” he said.
Other factors which ranked high in passenger preferences included the freedom which having a car provides in terms of being able to go where one pleases, the absence of luggage restrictions and the avoidance of intense security vetting.