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Interrail & Stena Line discount

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Quakkerillo

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23 Jan 2015
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Next month I'm going on my yearly interrail trip through the UK, and this time I'll also be using the Stena Line to/from Belfast.

I understand that you can get 30% discount on the tickets with an interrail, but that it can only be booked at the port according to the interrail website (Hoek van Holland - Harwich however can be booked by phone).

I asked Stena Line on Twitter, and they advised me to arrive at least 2h before departure of my sailing (which will be Birkenhead - Belfast departure on Sunday the 11th of September at 22:30), but due to a bit of a slow reply, and not giving an answer to my second question, I decide to ask here to see if there's more advice to be gained here.

Is there no other possibility to book the Stena Line beforehand? They have an office in London classed "Marketing Only", so with my stops in London, Plymouth, and Cardiff, it seems that Harwich or Ashford would be the only places where I could potentially book, but I'm not quite sure if it'd be worth the hassle of even trying to go there, let alone the cost.

If I were to book upon my arrival at the port in Birkenhead, arriving at Birkenhead H.S. at 19:06 from Chester, can I be sure that they'll have room for me? I've never used a ferry as a foot passenger, let alone one that takes 8h to complete. I understand that the use of a cabin is not necessary - unlike some other overnight sailings I've looked into before - but I'm not sure how much room there is for the rest, and how busy it will get.

Lastly, is the price for a ticket a fixed price, or does it fluctuate? Because if it rises when the ferry gets more bookings, I might just opt to book asap anyway and pay a non-discounted price to avoid that the rising costs end up being more than the 30% discount I'd get.

Thanks for any help in advance on my personal 'sailrail' combination.
 
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JohnB57

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26 Jun 2008
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Can't comment on the discount, but the saving would be £9 so maybe not worth the risk.

The Sunday departure is at 22.00.

Although I've never done the overnight sailing, unless your budget is just too tight, I would go for the cabin. In fact, even on the day crossing, I'd book a cabin. You'll be on board for maybe ten hours and although the Lagan and Mersey are fine boats, they're far from cruise liners and the boredom sets in pretty quickly. Wi-fi is a bit hit and miss and you might be stretched to find somewhere to, well, stretch out. Also, you'll be turfed off before Belfast has warmed up so be sure your onward travel plans fit in with that.

I travel to NI quite a lot and use the ferry only when I have to. Easyjet wins hands down most of the time.

Sorry I can't help more on your main question.
 

Camden

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30 Dec 2014
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I see FlyBe do flights for just over £20 to Belfast City from Liverpool. I recall there is a free mini-bus from there that takes you to Sydenham station, which is just one or two stops from Belfast Central.
 

Hadders

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It really isn't that far to walk from Belfast City to Sydenham. I've done it in the past.
 

bkhtele

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28 Nov 2009
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482
Location
Swindon
Unless you travel on a peak holiday day you will have no difficulty getting on board the ferry. Cabin would be 50:50. You could upgrade to stena plus for a bit of extra privacy plus free nibbles. If you like ferries it is a good journey. If you have no onward journey plans it is an early arrival in Belfast.
Head to Great Victoria street bus/ train station & you will be able to get breakfast/coffee etc nearby. Remember to take ID licence or passport it makes it easier if asked.
 
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