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Daily Timetable

Depart Rathlin @ 09:00 & 15:00

Depart Ballycastle @ 10:30 & 16:00

Phone lines Manned everyday (see statement) and emails answered

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited

Update Statement 30/05/20 –

There has been no-one travelling to or from Rathlin Island since 24th March, except for essential workers, with these restriction in place and everyone’s cooperation we have been successful in keeping Rathlin Island virus free.

Following guidance received from Department for Infrastructure (DFI) today 30th May 2020, we are not able to relax these restrictions, however the situation is under constant review between RIFL, DFI and the Island Community.

We have elaborated on our essential travel to and from Rathlin to ensure all parties are clear on what essential travel is and what the conditions of travel are. (see below) 

Only essential travel will be permitted to and from Rathlin Island. We deem essential travel from Ballycastle as one of the following:

  1. Island Nurse
  2. Emergency Service to attend in an Island emergency
  3. Emergency repairs or Maintenance to Water, Electricity or Gas
  4. Ferry personnel travel to relocate ferries during periods of mandatory maintenance and surveys.
  5. Travel will be permitted for animal welfare issues.
  6. Delivery of controlled drugs.

Essential travel from Rathlin would be:

  1. Medical evacuations and essential hospital appointments which must be confirmed by a medical professional.

2.Ferry personnel travel to relocate ferries during periods of mandatory maintenance and surveys.

3.Travel will be permitted for animal welfare issues.

Conditions of travel:

  • Anyone travelling is encouraged to travel and stay in their own vehicle during the crossing. ONLY tend to their business on the Island and no unnecessary interactions with others.
  • Movement of animals to market or for treatment must be transported unaccompanied in trailer for collection on other side. Unless vet requires assistance due to the animals’ size. A vet treating an animal in Ballycastle has permission to board the vessel and tend to the animal inside the cattle trailer on the deck.
  • Mask must always be worn when travelling without vehicle. Social distancing must always be respected (this will be marked out on the seating)
  • Make use of hand sanitiser and washing facilities.
  • To reduce the number of possible points of contact on the vessel, Crew will take all unaccompanied vehicles on and off the vessel disinfecting on entry and exit.
  • Crew will take all deliveries to and from the slipway in Ballycastle.
  • Crew will continue to deliver to vulnerable residents on the Island and all other parcels will be left in the bus shelter for collection when notified to do so by RIFL.

Our ferry terminal remains closed completely to the public and PHONES WILL BE MANNED 9am-9.30am,& 11am-12.30pm & 3pm – 3.30pm. Email: info@rathlinballycastleferry.com

We thank all our crew, island residents, local businesses, and the public, who are helping us implement these safety measures to ensure that COVID 19 has as little impact and damage on both the Rathlin and Ballycastle communities as possible.

We still face an unpredictable and frightening situation and the outcome depends on each of our actions now.

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited will continue to work with government departments, agencies and the Public Health Agency to respond to, and plan for, this evolving situation, and remains committed to ensuring the Rathlin community is served and supported in this difficult time. 

Stay safe, be vigilant and Good Luck.

We look forward to seeing you all, hopefully very soon.

Thank you for your co-operation. 

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited 

Management and Staff

Welcome to Rathlin Island Ferry

Let us take you to Rathlin Island. A world away for a day!

Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd offers islanders, locals and tourists a friendly value for money ferry service from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island on the Causeway Coast and Glens route.  A world away for a day!

We aim to provide a safe, reliable, clean and effective service which meets the following standards:

  • Service reliability at least 100% (number of scheduled crossings made throughout the year as per the published timetable*).
  • Service punctuality at least 100% of all sailings leave within 30 minutes of the schedule time
  • Complaints dealt with within seven working days (target 100%)
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Things to do on rathlin Island
(Seasonal opening)

Bird Watching

The Atlantic puffins, razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes and more gather at the RSPB Seabird Centre Cliffs around April/ May.

Upside-down Lighthouse

The Seabird Centre and Lighthouse offers visitors a chance to explore a unique, fully operational ‘upside-down’ lighthouse,

Guided Walks

There are guided walking tours on Rathlin Island every Sunday from April to August. It's the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Cycle Hire

Rathlin Island has seasonal cycle hire, explore the island on your own terms. Its advisable to book ahead of time.

Bus Tours

The tour includes local history and information about Rathlin including the well known myths and legends.

Book your tickets now

Don’t miss out! You can easily book your tickets online

Rathlin Island Ferry Service

We provide a year round passenger and vehicle ferry service to and from the beautiful, historic island of Rathlin with its stunning rugged scenery, friendly local population and unique wildlife habitat. Tickets are available to purchase online, just follow the link below. Please note that vehicle restrictions apply and only a small percentage of spaces are available for online bookings.
If you’re interested in booking a trip to Rathlin Island don’t hesitate to get in touch using our contact form.

ballycastle sign

Ballycastle, The Causeway Coast

Ballycastle is located on the North Coast of Co Antrim, on the Causeway Coast and Glens scenic route. It is overlooked by Knocklayde Mountain (an extinct volcano) and has magnificent views of Fairhead, Rathlin Island, the Mull of Kintyre and the surrounding forests and valleys. The Ould Lammas Fair is held in Ballycastle each year on the last Monday and Tuesday of August and attracts thousands of visitors who visit the town to enjoy artisan markets, livestock sales, live music, fairground amusements and streets lined with stalls.

Ballycastle is known for it’s unique selection of boutique clothing stores, independent food stores, greengrocers, butchers, bakers, ice cream parlours, food markets and many other fabulous artisan craft stores selling locally produced food, gifts, homeware and art. Ballycastle Beach and Fairhead are iconic sights to see in Ballycastle. Guided Tours are available of Ballycastle Town and Fairhead, contact Ballycastle Tourist Information Office for details here https://discovernorthernireland.com/Ballycastle-Visitor-Information-Centre-Ballycastle-P9823/

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island (Raghery) is just six miles from Ballycastle across the Sea of Moyle on the Causeway Coast and Glens scenic route. Just six miles long and 1 mile wide it has County Antrim to the South, the Inishowen Peninsula to the West, Islay to the North, and the Mull of Kintyre to the East. The island once had a population of over 1000 but now has a current population of approximately 150. Most will visit for a day trip but many stay a night or two and several have fell in love with island life and have never left.

Details of everything to see on Rathlin can be found at http://www.rathlincommunity.org

So visit Rathlin Island and see if you can bring yourself to leave.


Rathlin Townlands

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our rathlin gallery