We’ve had a pretty easy time moving around Europe so far. The trains are generally frequent and convenient, plus I feel better about my carbon footprint versus flying everywhere. And with so much luggage, the train has been much cheaper than even the budget airlines.
Belfast to Glasgow was different. There isn’t a train that runs from the ferry port to Glasgow. There also isn’t a car rental place there, not that I want to drive over here again. We almost decided to fly, but the plane was a small one, and that doesn’t do well for our flying anxiety, even if it only 45 minutes.
After one last search we found Hannon’s Belfast to Glasgow Express. You get on their bus at Glasgow bus station and take that to the ferry. Once on the ferry, you get off the bus and enjoy the two hour ride across to Scotland. Upon arrival in Scotland, you get back on the bus and it goes directly to the bus station in Glasgow, a two hour drive. The best part is that you load your luggage in Belfast and leave it there until you get to Glasgow.
The Stena Superfast ferry was really nice. A basic ticket included access to the all the main areas: two bars, a few restaurants, a movie theater, a gaming room, and duty free shopping. There was a separate pet area that was completely separate, as well as a kids play area. We were warned it would be pretty choppy but it wasn’t at all. You could barely tell you were on a boat.
They also had a full service spa. I didn’t know that in time or I would have spent the whole two hour trip there. They offer massages, nails, and other services. You can also book a pass to use the Jacuzzi and sauna.
Like the ferry from Wales to Ireland, this ferry also had upgraded areas. There was a lounge upgrade, with reclining seats, as well as cabins with beds so you could sleep during the journey. This ferry runs basically all day and night. When you book the ticket through a third party like we did, you can’t upgrade until you are on the ship. Unfortunately, all upgrades were sold out when we boarded. Thankfully, the common areas were really nice so it wasn’t a big deal.
We had a light breakfast on the ferry from the main cafeteria. By the time we were hungry almost everything was sold out but The Husband had a sausage bap (sandwich) and I had some fruit and yogurt. Both were very good for a ferry. I also had coffee, which comes with unlimited refills. That was great, until we were on the two hour bus ride with no bathroom breaks.
Pro tip: Don’t throw out your coffee cup. You need it for the refills
At only £44 each, it was a great deal. We didn’t have to pay extra for our luggage which made it much cheaper than even Easyjet. The journey is just under six hours, which is much longer than a flight. But I checked the usual flight times for Belfast to Glasgow/Edinburgh and they were mostly delayed by at least 30 minutes. Add in security and baggage and it’s probably about the same travel time. Plus the view was gorgeous on the ferry and on the bus to Glasgow.
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