Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to the questions we are often asked regarding our boats, booking information and journeys. If you have questions not answered here, please contact our office or submit your enquiry using our contact us form.

About our boat

Q. What kind of boat is Kintyre Express?
A. It is a Stormforce 11 RIB.
Q. Do you have a toilet on board?
A. Yes.
Q. What size is the boat?
A. The boat is approximately 43 feet long.
Q. Do we have to wear a life jacket?
A. Yes, crew will help you put on a lightweight, un-inflated life vest that you will wear throughout. This is easy to wear and not restrictive.
Q. Will I be cold and/or uncomfortable on the journey?
A. Our cabin is centrally heated so you won’t be cold and our airline style seats are very comfortable.
Q. Where do we put our luggage?
A. We have a large luggage area below deck where staff will store luggage. Hand luggage can be brought with you into the cabin.
Q. Do you carry golf clubs?
A. Yes we do.
Q. Can I bring my bike?
A. Yes, we recommend you let us know when booking that you will be bringing it so we can ensure there is ample space.
Q. What’s the luggage allowance per person?
A. There isn’t any hard and fast rule but we would suggest that a set of golf clubs and suitcase is a good guideline for golfers.
Q. Do you take cars?
A. No, we are a fast passenger ferry. The nearest ferry port in Scotland that takes cars to Northern Ireland is Cairnryan to Belfast/Larne.
Q. Is there somewhere to charge phones?
A. Yes, there is a USB charging point at each seat.
Q. How many people can the boat carry?
A. 12 (excluding crew).

About the journey

Q. How long is the journey?

A. Journey times are very much weather dependent but it takes approximately 90 minutes between Campbeltown and Ballycastle and around 60 minutes between Ballycastle and Port Ellen.

Q. Will the journey be smooth or bumpy?

A. The North Channel, which is the body of water between Scotland and Northern Ireland is very tidal. Because of this the sea can get quite rough in places due to a combination of the tide and winds. However, on calm sunny days the journey will be very smooth.

Q. How bad does the weather have to be for you to cancel sailings?

A. Our experienced crew are always alert to weather and only cancel based on a combination of high wind speed, direction and tidal states as these will impact on sea conditions. While we do endeavour to let our customers know as far in advance as possible through close monitoring of forecasts, there are instances where things can change suddenly and late cancellations may be possible. In any instances where Kintyre Express cancels services due to weather, a full refund or alternative ferry departure will be offered.

Q. Do you serve refreshments on the boat?

A. No.

Q. Can we bring our own snacks and drinks?

A. Yes, but we ask that you dispose of any rubbish responsibly in the bin provided or give to our crew to dispose of. We would also advise against drinking very hot drinks as movement of the boat may result in spillages or scalding

Q. Can we stand or sit outside during the journey?

A. Only on departure and arrival in calm conditions. We would ask that you remain in your cabin seats during the journey.

Q. Do you provide sick bags?

A. Yes we do.

Q. Will the crew keep us informed during the journey?

A. Yes, the skipper and/or crew member will communicate with you throughout the journey to let you know points of interest, progress and interesting facts about the surrounding area.

Q. Can I use Kintyre Express if I am disabled?

A. This depends on the disability. A guideline is that we can accommodate a folded wheelchair on board but the passenger would require to sit on a seat during the journey and be helped off and on the boat on foot by our crew.

About our tickets and refunds

Q. Can we pay the crew for our tickets?


A. No, all tickets must be booked and purchased in advance.

Q. Are there senior and child fares?


A. No, the ticket price is universal for all, as our boat only carries a maximum of 12 passengers all seats are sold at the same price.  Please note that even if your child is an infant they must have a seat booked and paid for.


Q. Can we pay cash?


A. Only at our office in Campbeltown.

Q. Do we get a reduced rate if there are lots of us travelling together?

A. Not for the ferry. Depending on the numbers and availability, we would suggest you contact us for a quote for a private charter.

Q. Can a child travel on their own?

A. The minimum age for a child travelling alone is age 16.

Q. Do you sell tickets anywhere else except online?

A. Yes, you can buy tickets from West Coast Motors office and the Tourist Information Centre at the pier in Campbeltown.

Q. What’s your refund policy if I miss the ferry or have to cancel?

A. If you have to cancel, a full refund will be issued if we have received minimum 48 hours advance notice. Full details are in our terms and conditions.

About our destinations and onward journeys

Q. Do you provide information on public transport?

A. Our website provides useful links for local public transport.

Q. Do you have local taxi numbers?

A. Yes, please ask at time of booking, we can supply these for your destination.

Q. Do you organise whisky tours?

A. No but we can provide all the information you need to plan your own depending on which distilleries you wish to visit.

Q. Do you organise accommodation?

A. No but we can provide you with information for local tourist information centres who can book accommodation on your behalf.

Q. Do you organise car hire?

A. No but we can provide you with information on local car hire companies.

Q. Do you recommend any golf Courses?

A. There are lots of golf courses at our destinations and we can provide you with details of some of these.

Q. Is Campbeltown near Glasgow?

A. Campbeltown is 140 miles from Glasgow. The Citylink service 926 links Glasgow and Campbeltown and has several departures from each place per day.

Q. Can we do a triangle of travel from Campbeltown?

A. Yes, you can travel from Campbeltown to Ballycastle, then from Ballycastle to Islay and then back from Islay with Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to Kennacraig and pick up the Citylink 926 service to Campbeltown.

Q. Do you have the telephone numbers for the local tourist information centres?

A. Yes we do – Campbeltown 01586 556162, Bowmore (Islay) 01496 305165 and Ballycastle 0282 076 2024.

Contact Us

By telephone on the number below or, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can

(+44) 1586 555 895


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