Our story

RIFL is a small company of 22 Island and mainland employees. We have a dedicated and hardworking team who all go the extra mile to ensure all sailings run on time and comply with MCA certification.

Our aim is to provide a reliable and enjoyable ferry service between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle for islanders and visitors.
We are very fortunate to live and work in such a beautiful place, and we hope that you also will get to experience the warm welcome and charm that both the Rathlin island and ballycastle communities are so proud of.
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Our Ferries

We have 2 ferries operating between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. These waters are known as the Rathlin Sound or the Sea of Moyle and many vessels of all shapes and sizes frequent them. Both Ballycastle Harbour and Rathlin Island Harbour are busy ports, especially in summer months  and we often see cruise liners, yachts, tall ships, sail boats, fishing boats, kayaks and even reproduced viking ships. RIFL’S vessels are:

Rathlin Express (RE)
Passenger only vessel
25 minute crossing time
Summer capacity - 97 passengers + 3 crew
winter capacity - 38 passenegers + 2 crew
Bicycle capacity x 6
dogs on leads welcome
limited disability access

Spirit of Rathlin (SOR)
Passenger & vehicle vessel
(vehicle restrictions apply)
35 minute crossing time
Summer capacity - 141 passengers + 4 crew
winter capacity - 42 passengers + 4 crew
bicycle capacity x 6
dogs on leads welcome
disability access with accessible toilet

Explore the beauty of Rathlin Island today

the RIFL Team

We have a small team of 22 dedicated and enthusiastic staff, some originating from Rathlin Island and some from Ballycastle, Isle of Barra, Belfast, South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

Each role in the company is essential to the smooth and safe running of the service and everyone works together to make sure that we provide an enjoyable experience to anyone who travels with us.

We continually maintain and improve our skills and training and all of our team are certified where required. We have completed first aid training, dementia friendly training and welcome host training.  We have also enjoyed some language classes which we feel will help us improve our service and the experience for international visitors.  We will also be completing JAM (Just A Minute) training.  The JAM card was developed for anyone experiencing a communication barrier and helps tell others they Just Need a Minute discreetly in a non-verbal way.