Travel with pets to England

Take your pet on the Stena Line ferry to England.

To make your journey go smoothly you will need to be familiar with the EU and PETS rules and Stena Line's terms and conditions of carriage of pets (dogs, cats and ferrets). We also recommend that you seek advice on how to ensure your pet's wellbeing during the journey as this is your responsibility. All pets must either travel in your vehicle or in the onboard kennel. Pets are not allowed in the public areas or cabins onboard our ships for hygiene reasons. Please ensure that your dog has done his needs before you go onboard. If high distress, we have a simple outlet onboard our ships.

A maximum of 5 pets per vehicle or a maximum of 3 pets per foot passenger is allowed to/from England

General conditions of carriage on ships

To allow us to complete the necessary formalities please arrive at the port at least 120 minutes before departure if you are travelling on our Hook of Holland - Harwich route. For all other Stena Line routes please allow 60 - 90 minutes.

Before the crossing

Which pets does it concern?
A maximum of 5 pets per vehicle or a maximum of 3 pets per foot passenger is allowed. Guide dogs, dogs, cats and ferrets are subject to the EU pet passport UK Pet Travel scheme (PETS) rules and must comply to avoid quarantine in the UK. Your pet must be at least 15 weeks old to travel.

The ban of certain dog breeds
In the United Kingdom, there is a ban on the following dog breeds, the Pittbull, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. Please note, the ban not only affects pedigree dog but also all dogs that resemble them (cross-breeds). If a dog shows dangerous / aggressive behavior, the owner is liable for all damage caused and will be issued with a fine, or may be convicted for committing a criminal offense.

Assistance Dogs
Assistance Dogs travel free and are allowed to travel on the passenger decks and in the cabins with their owners as long as the dog is wearing its harness or jacket and passengers need to provide medical indication papers before travelling. Without these papers, the Assistance Dog will not be allowed to travel in the cabin along with the customer, it will need to be housed in the onboard kennels.

For customers travelling with an Assistance Dog in training you are kindly asked to inform our Guest Services.

Please contact Stena Line a few days before you travel on +31(0)174-315811 so that we can alert staff onboard the ship.

Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals
A Service Animal is an animal that is required to help guide or assist a disabled person(s). Stena Line allows Service Animals in cabins and in a designated part of the restaurant.

Emotional Support Animals, Comfort Animals and Therapy Dogs are not Service Animals and therefore will not be offered the same access by Stena Line onboard our ships. They will need to go in the kennel. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained are not considered Service Animals either.

Proof of Service dog: Passenger must produce an official certificate (a doctor's letter is not a valid document)

Passenger must ensure service animal or dog has relieved themselves before boarding. If distressed or in need of the bathroom, we have a simple outlet area onboard our ships.

EU pet passport*
Pet travel with dogs, cats and ferrets is bound by the conditions of the EU pet passport. The EU pet passport replaces all passports or other documents previously used for pet travel in Europe including the PETS document. The EU pet passport can be acquired at any authorized veterinarian after a microchip has been fitted and a successful blood test has been given. The following procedures must be followed:

* Non-EU countries can travel with an Animal Health Certificate.

Stena Line terms and conditions of carriage of pets
•  You are responsible for ensuring the animal's welfare during the crossing.
•  All pets must travel inside a vehicle or in the onboard kennel and remain there throughout the crossing.
•  We recommend that dogs should travel in the provided onboard kennel and Stena Line cannot be held responsible for any material or immaterial damage that may arise from not using our kennel facilities.
•  It is your obligation to ensure that all conditions for EU pet travel and the UK Pet Travel scheme (PETS) are met. Stena Line cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information given.
•  Should your pet not meet the conditions of the EU pet travel and the UK Pet Travel scheme (PETS) the animal is liable to be held in UK quarantine for a period of up to 6 months or be re-exported.
•  Stena Line is obliged as an accredited PETS carrier to verify your documentation on travel to the UK and will refuse the carriage of your pet if the documentation is in breach of the PETS rules.
•  If you are planning to quarantine your pet in the UK you will be fully responsible for all arrangements and cost associated with this procedure. You will need to produce the relevant documentation to Stena Line prior to carriage.
•  Stena Line cannot be held liable for any cost material or immaterial in connection with noncompliance with EU pet travel and PETS rules.


In the booking dialogue you indicate, in the "on board extras" step, whether you want to take your pet(s) in the car or in the kennel. Read here which costs you should take into account.

NOTE: Do not forget to provide us with your booking number, EU pet passport number and chip number after your booking. You can use the contact form on the website for this. Select "Other" as subject under "Nature of query".

Travelling by car with your pet
Travelling by car (5 pets max)

At check in you will receive a coloured hanger to identify that you are carrying a pet. This should be placed on your windscreen rear-view mirror and must remain there until you have cleared customs in each port.

When boarding the ship, we ask you to follow the directions from our staff closely. After boarding please report to the information desk on deck 9, there we will give you more information about taking your pet onboard Stena Line Ferries.

* All pets must be at least 6 months old.

Travelling by foot with your pet
Travelling by foot (max 3 pets)

If you are travelling on foot you must book the onboard kennel for your pet, your pet may otherwise not be permitted to travel.

After boarding please report to the Guest Service on deck 9, our staff will then help you to place your pet in the kennel. Children, travelling with a pet, must be 16 years old.

* All pets must be at least 6 months old.

Onboard kennel
Onboard pet kennelThere are a limited number of places available in the onboard kennel that must be booked in advance of travel. This can be booked at step 4 in our online booking system. Pets can travel inside your vehicle however, certain breeds of dogs are more sensitive to heat/poor air circulation in vehicles. We would advise owners to take extra precautions and to use the kennel facilities where available. Our Guest Service staff on board will direct you to the kennel for your pet.

As pets are not allowed in public areas and cabins. In case of violation you could be fined. The amount of the fine is € 150.

The kennels have the following dimensions:

- 2 medium kennels: deep 100 cm, high 64 cm and width 108 cm
- 7 big kennels: deep 100 cm, high 97 cm and width 94 cm
- 16 small kennels: deep 100 cm, high 65 cm and width 50 cm

At check in
You must declare that you are carrying a pet to Stena Line check-in staff. If your pet is a dog, cat or ferret: when travelling to the UK a member of staff will check that the EU passport has been completed in accordance with the PETS rules and read the microchip on your pet verifying its identity. If your documentation is in breach of the PETS rules Stena Line is obliged to refuse your pet to travel under the PETS scheme. If you are not the owner of the pet as mentioned in the pet passport, you should have a form with you from the owner. This is called a 'Declaration of owner not accompanying pet during journey'. Without this form you can not travel with the pet.

Download form » 

Visits during the crossing
TV monitoring of the kennel is available in all cabins.
We recommend that you make a short visit to your pet during the crossing to ensure its wellbeing. This can be arranged at the Guest Service on deck 9 where a member of staff will advise you when the visit can take place. Your pet may however at no time leave the vehicle or kennel.

After the crossing

After disembarkation in Harwich you may be subject to an inspection by DEFRA so please keep your papers close at hand.