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Hopping over to Europe in a campervan has been a dream for many owners during these testing times.

From the first wild inspiration during lockdown to planning the route and packing the essentials before you depart, solid preparation is key to a smooth-running adventure.

Insurance for your campervan is an absolute necessity to guard against risks, particularly as overseas travel can make your van more prone to damage and theft, among other hazards.

One of the most exciting and popular ways to travel abroad in your campervan is on a ferry. Whether to Ireland, France, Spain, the Netherlands or Belgium there are a wealth of destinations open to the intrepid campervan explorer.

Indeed, with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still being felt across the world, people are ditching the traditional hotel getaway and instead opting for the comfort and security of a campervan.

However, at this unsettled time what are the rules on taking your campervan on a ferry and how have things changed? Read on to find out more.


Can I travel by ferry with my campervan?

Travelling with your campervan by ferry is a wonderful way to see the world and there are many options departing from ports all around the UK.

There are so many routes and providers offering different facilities and journey times to suit any destination, budget and timeframe. So, you’ll spend many hours pouring over ferry timetables before you come to your final decision.

Whichever route or provider you choose, to book your campervan’s space on a ferry requires some essential information first.

Making sure you give accurate measurements of your campervan’s dimensions is vital and can prove costly if you get it wrong. These are the measurements you’ll need:

  • Overall length – make sure you include any tow bars, bike racks or other fixtures. If you underestimate, you’ll be charged extra on checking in at the ferry port.
  • Overall height – you should know this measurement anyway, but also include any roof racks, roof boxes or satellite dishes you may have installed on your campervan roof.
  • Overall width – this shouldn’t be a problem but it’s good to have an accurate measurement in any event. Particularly if you have an unusual make of campervan or conversion.
  • Trailer measurements – if you’re towing a trailer then make sure to include these also.

If you’re travelling over to Europe in your campervan then give Motorhome Protect a call to check that you have unlimited EU cover as part of your campervan insurance policy.

A small ferry crossing a body of water on a cloudy day

What are the new health rules?

As with the whole travel industry, ferry companies have taken the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and have introduced extensive safety measures to keep all travellers secure.

With so many people still keen to travel abroad it’s important to follow the strict hygiene, social distancing and other COVID-19 measures put in place. These include:

  • Reduction in passenger numbers to enable social distancing.
  • More frequent cleaning. In particular of high contact areas, from door handles and light switches to table tops and the bar front.
  • Better ventilation of public areas with fresh air.
  • Increased availability of hand sanitisers and hand washing stations.
  • Extensive social distancing signage.
  • New staff safety measures and better availability of PPE if required.
  • Passengers are also required to wear face coverings on all ferry services running in UK territorial waters.
  • On longer crossings some passengers may benefit from travelling in a private cabin with en-suite facilities.

Ferry travel with a campervan naturally lends itself to such measures in view of the open spaces, access to fresh air, access to outside deck areas and the ability to arrive and depart in the safety of your own vehicle.

Regardless of where you plan to take your campervan on holiday this year, there are so many ferry routes around the UK, Ireland and over to Europe that you’ll be sure to find one perfect for your needs.


Quarantine measures

Despite the fact that campervan owners will be spending a lot of time outdoors and can easily isolate themselves from others travellers, they’re still subject to the same quarantine measures on returning to the UK from abroad.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against non-essential international travel except to countries and territories listed on a list of destinations exempted from quarantine rules.

The current exemption list and rules on quarantine are changing daily so be sure to check the government website for up-to-date information. 

What to do if you’re abroad in your campervan

Escaping the worst of the British weather and exploring the wonderful treats that Europe has to offer is a highlight of many campervan owners’ year.

Many will have returned to the UK when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. However, as lockdown and travel restrictions have been lifted, many campervan owners may have already headed off on their latest European vacation.

So, if the virus returns when you’re still abroad in your campervan what can you do?

  • Contact your ferry company to find out if your travel plans are affected.
  • Contact both your travel and campervan insurance provider to check what protection you have.
  • Follow local quarantine advice and comply with any measures until you leave or they’re lifted.
  • Minimise contact with other people, apart from buying essential supplies or obtaining medical treatment.
  • Check the Foreign Office travel advice for your location in case of any developments. You can sign up for helpful email updates to keep yourself well informed in this fast-changing situation.
  • If you become ill, contact a local doctor in the area you’re staying.

A large ferry crossing a fjord in Norway

Protecting your campervan at home and abroad

In such times of uncertainty, it’s difficult to predict every eventuality. But what you can do to protect yourself before you travel abroad is secure reliable coverage for your campervan.

The helpful team at Motorhome Protect wants you to experience a stress-free holiday and will work to arrange for you with the right best policy suited to your personal circumstances.

Specialist insurance policies can include the following:

  • Unlimited EU cover
  • Cover of camping personal effects for up to £3,500
  • Unlimited mileage cover

Don’t wait, get a quote for campervan insurance today.

Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.