Flight-free travel: France and Ireland announce new combined train and ferry tickets

The combined ferry and train ticket hopes to encourage environmentally friendly travel between the two countries.
The combined ferry and train ticket hopes to encourage environmentally friendly travel between the two countries.   -   Copyright  Vidar Nordli-Mathisen
By Rebecca Ann Hughes

A new combined train and ferry ticket will make it easier to travel between France and Ireland next year.

French and Irish authorities announced they are launching a ticket that can be used in both countries.

The initiative is part of a push to encourage “green mobility” between France and Ireland.

Tickets will be available by summer 2023, they said

What is the new combined train and ferry ticket from Ireland to France?

While visiting France, Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined French president Emmanuel Macron in announcing the new ferry and train ticket.

In a joint statement, the two leaders said the combined ferry and train pass would be ready by summer 2023.

“The objective will be to allow, in particular our young people, to travel between our two countries thanks to a green, simple and reasonably priced deal,” the statement said.

Full details about the ticket are still to be released. But it is likely to be a similar scheme to the Franco-German ticket that offers discounts on trains between France and Germany for young people.

More details about the Franco-Irish initiative should be available in January.

How to get from Ireland to France by train and ferry

Currently, passengers travelling between Ireland and France have to buy separate tickets for different legs of the journey.

Tickets for the French trains, Irish trains and the ferry must be purchased individually.

These can be booked on the two countries’ national rail sites, SNCF in France and Irish Rail in Ireland, and on the Irish Ferries site.

The new Ireland-France pass will allow travellers to purchase a single ticket to cover the three modes of transport.

This will not be a multi-journey pass like the Interrail system, the leaders have explained.

A push for more flight-free travel

The combined train and ferry ticket is the latest in a series of European initiatives to encourage more travellers to opt out of flying.

Several new sleeper trains have been announced for 2023.

Austria's ÖBB Nightjet network is adding a Zurich to Rome train via Milan and, in 2024, an overnight train connecting Berlin, Paris and Brussels, and a route between Zurich and Barcelona.

European Sleeper is launching a connection from Brussels to Prague via Amsterdam and Berlin that is expected before the end of the year.

Portugal has unveiled plans for a nationwide network of high speed trains that could halve journey times between the country's major cities.