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Courtesy Brittany Ferries Barfleur and Ian Kirk
There’s now one more way to travel to Spain. On May 5, 2018, the first ferry traveling from Cork, Ireland, successfully arrived in the city of Santander on Spain’s north coast. As The Evening Echo reports, the new ferry route will leave Cork on Wednesdays and Fridays and leave Santander on Thursdays and Sundays, for a total of two sailings each week.

Cork to Santander by Boat

For those on a trip including other sites in Europe, this promises not only a more relaxing way to move around, but also a more unusual way to travel. The route promises a probably drizzly, but dramatic voyage across the Celtic Sea and the Bay of Biscay, once swelling with whales and still one of the best places to spot cetaceans in European waters. Seabirds such as gannets are also common in the area. The trip takes 26 hours but, especially for those traveling by car, will make for a journey that’s 746 miles (1,200 kilometers) shorter than the journey through the United Kingdom and France, which has been the only option until now, The Irish Times reports. The 300–400 car passengers on the crossing have access to sleeping cabins. The vessel can carry up to 100 cars. The service is operated by Brittany Ferries; purchase tickets here. It seems the ferry is already a success, according to The Evening Echo:
“We’re delighted to see the customer demand for our new service, with our first sailing fully booked,” Hugh Bruton, General Manager, Brittany Ferries Ireland, said. “We are looking forward to welcoming passengers on board as we bring them to a very different kind of Spanish destination: a relaxing ferry journey from Ireland.”
The inaugural voyage looked like a lovely trip, based on one observer’s Twitter post:

Visiting Santander, Spain

Santander is part of the Spanish region of Cantabria. The area has been inhabited for more than a thousand years and is the site of some great architectural sites, including the Palacio de la Magdalena and the Cathedral of Santander, which dates to around 1200 CE. It was reportedly built on the site of older Roman structures. If you’re up for a beach day, check out El Sardinero beach, which has gorgeous temperatures during the summer of 75 °F (24 °C) on average. The beach’s golden sands stretch 260 feet (80 meters) inland and a long promenade along its entire length features restaurants, hotels, and the Grand Casino del Sardinero, which dates from 1916.
El Sardinero beach, Spain
El Sardinero beach in Santander, Spain, is named after the practice of fishing for sardines on the northern coast of Spain. Sardines are a specialty of the region. | Photo by Pedro Lopez
For unique places to stay, check out the Gran Hotel Sardinero. This gorgeous beachfront property opens up right onto the promenade, and you’ll be on the beach in less than one minute. White-painted terraces and elegant suites feature ocean views, and the hotel is right next door to the casino. In all, a stay here would make for one of the most elegant beach holidays Spain has to offer.
Gran Hotel Santander, Spain
The Gran Hotel Santander offers stunning views of El Sardinero beach and is steps away from the Sardinero Gran Casino. | Courtesy Booking.com
Booking.com
Tags : beachesCantabriaEl Sardineroferriesgetting aroundgetting thereSantandertravel tipstraveling
Erin L. McCoy

The author Erin L. McCoy

Erin L. McCoy is an award-winning photojournalist who holds an MA in Hispanic studies from the University of Washington. She's traveled to 20+ countries, five continents, and 45 U.S. states, but she's starting to lose count of how many times she's visited Spain.

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