Leaving Ireland with a pet is a nightmare.
Or, better, leaving Ireland with a pet and without a car is almost impossible.
We first called Brittany Ferries because we thought it was pretty obvious to travel by ferry back to France with our dog. I have spoken with someone in the Cork office and the answer has been something like: “Foot passengers can’t bring a dog on board, if you don’t know what to do, well, swim or stray it!”… and she hanged down the phone. Enough to be upset.
I tried with Air Lingus, the only company besides Ryan Air (not pet-friendly by policy) traveling at that time between Ireland and France, but they told that airplanes available to serve that trip were too small to accept pets on board. No way then.
Checked with almost all ferry companies from Ireland to France and it was impossible as foot passenger. Checked with all “rent a car” companies to see if I could rent one in Cork and drop it off in France and it was impossible as well.
We first thought to travel to Belfast, pick up a car in Cork, dropping it off in Belfast, take a ferry to Liverpool as UK ferries allows foot passengers to travel with pets and rent a third car to Dover where someone from my boyfriend’s family would have come to pick us up.
Finally we discover that Stella Lines ferries, serving from Rosslare to Fishguard in Wales, allowed foot passengers with pets.
We rent then a car in Cork, travel with a friend to Rosslare (so that pick up and drop off have been both in Cork), take a Stella Line ferry to Fishguard, rent a car there and take advantage of this forced trip to visit Wales. A stop in Cardiff sleeping at The Big Sleep Hotel, pet friendly, and than driving to Eastbourne (another big sleep in The Big Sleep Hotel) to be ready to drop off the car and take the ferry the day after.
My boyfriend’s family has been equally asked to drive from Paris to Calais, take a ferry to Dover, pick us up and then re-take the ferry back to France.
An odyssey but quite inconsistent in the end. Calling local authorities and ferry companies I discovered that if my Argo was not vaccinated against rabies but we were traveling by car and not planning to return in Ireland or in the UK, then he could have traveled outside the country without that much troubles.