Rail/Sail Frequently Asked Questions

See below for some more information on Rail/Sail packages. If you cannot find what you are looking for, shoot us an email and we would be delighted to help.


Q. What do Rail/Sail fares cover?

Rail/Sail fares cover the cost of the train to Holyhead and the ferry* to Ireland, all on one ticket for one inclusive price. Here at Railtours Ireland, we have added two hotel nights in a Dublin 3*/4* city centre hotel as well as transfers to/from Dublin Ferry* Port to/from your hotel.


* We use the Irish Ferries 14:10 sailing from Holyhead to Dublin.


Q. Can I travel one-way to Ireland and then make other arrangements for the return journey?

Our Rail/Sail packages cannot be altered, much like all our other tour products. All our Rail/Sail packages include return train & ferry* tickets, two nights accommodation in a 3*/4* Dublin city centre hotel as well as transfers to/from Dublin Ferry Port to/from your hotel.


If you wish to purchase your own Rail/Sail tickets, without the acommodation or transfers included, you can do so at one of the following websites: Trainsplit will allow you to reserve your seat from a seating plan on Avanti West Coast trains. Alternatively, you can purchase Rail/Sail tickets at Avanti West Coast instead, for the same price and also with no booking fee. However, you cannot reserve a seat through this means of booking, even on their own trains.


Q. Do I have to book this tour in combination with another rail tour, or can I just book this tour on its own?

This tour must be booked in combination with another rail tour. We have a wide selection of day tours and extended tours from which to choose. See here for our variety of rail tours.


Q. Is this tour guided?

No, the Rail/Sail element of this tour from location A in Britain to location B - Dublin Ferry Port - is self-guided, with the assistance of a personalised itinerary with travel times, instructions, etc. However, you will be greeted by our Railtours Ireland tour host upon disembarkation at Dublin Ferry Port and you will receive a transfer to your Dublin City hotel.


The Irish rail tour, booked in combination with the Rail/Sail package, will indeed be a fully hosted tour. All tour options can be found here.


Q. When I book this tour, how do I get my itinerary with travel times, travel information and instructions? How will I receive my train and ferry* tickets?

Upon booking your Rail/Sail tour package, we will contact you via the email address & contact number provided at check out to obtain some necessary details, such as your departure station, your full names, ages, etc. These details are necessary for booking the train and ferry* to/from Britain.


Once we have these details, we will create your personalised itinerary based on your departure point and send you this itinerary via email and post (if you wish). We will also post your Rail/Sail tickets to the address provided at check-out. We are available to assist you with any questions over email or phone.


Q. Where can I find information on the accommodation used for this tour and any other Irish rail tour?

You can find information and images of our Dublin, Galway, Killarney and Belfast accommodation here.


All accommodations used in Dublin, Galway and Belfast are a mixture of 3* and 4* hotels. We do our utmost to place guests in 4* standard hotels. However, due to critical hotel shortages in many tourists towns and cities in Ireland, during busy periods, we use 3* standard hotels.


Specific hotel requests are not possible. Accommodation is subject to availability in our partner hotels at the time of booking. See our general FAQs page for more information.


In general, B&B Guesthouse accommodation is used in Killarney town. However, when booking directly with us (either over the phone or on our website) you will automatically receive a free upgrade to a 4* hotel in Killarney Town centre if your tour overnights in Killarney.


Q. Is there a student discount on this tour?

No, there is no student discount on this particular tour. The vast majority of our tours (found here) have a 10% student discount. However, this particular tour does not offer a student discount.


Q. Why is this a better option than flying?

Well, it is definitely a personal preference for many people to travel by train and ferry* as opposed to flying; Many people simply find it less stressful, more comfortable and very enjoyable.


Furthermore, very often, it offers better value than flying. When comparing Rail/Sail from Britain to Ireland, you have to remember that on top of the cost of a flight, you will pay approximately £19 one-way or £32 return just for the train ride from central London to/from Heathrow, Luton, Stansted or Gatwick airports, in addition to the air fare. On top of that, there are the airline baggage fees, etc.


Also, Rail/Sail is a very convenient way to travel as these Rail/Sail fares are available at short notice and at peak times, too, when flights are expensive!


Q. Are there any baggage limits or baggage fees? Do I check my bags in? Are there left luggage lockers?

There are no baggage weight limits or baggage fees to worry about, as long as you don't pack an exceptional amount just to see how far you can push your luck!


You can take your bags with you on the train, placing them on the luggage racks above your head or at the end of the coach. At the ferry terminal, you check in your bags, so you're free to use the ferry's facilities without being encumbered with luggage. Then, upon disembarkation in Dublin, you collect your bags again from the carousel at the ferry terminal.


There are left luggage lockers at London Euston but not at Dublin Heuston station or Dublin Connolly Station.


Q. Can I stop off en route to Holyhead for a look around another town/village?

You aren't allowed to break your journey (in other words, stop off) with a Rail/Sail ticket, other than to make connections between trains or between the train and ferry*. So, if you want to stop off at another location, you'll need to buy a regular ticket from London to that location using Avanti West Coast, as well as a Rail/Sail ticket from this location to Dublin also using Avanti West Coast.


Q. Where can I find more information about Rail/Sail?

A superb resource for information on multiple and varied train journeys, including Rail/Sail, is The Man in Seat 61. This website offers a wealth of knowledge on everything about this journey, from how to book your tickets to the different sights you will see out the window while en route to Holyhead. If you need any further information you can check out the Irish Ferries website or the Avanti West Coast website.