Dogs on a boat

Traveling by ferry in Spain with your pet

Tips for the best furry trip

Are you thinking of traveling with your pet by ferry in Spain? Explore our guide about pet-friendly ferries in Spain, read travel regulations and see vacation tips, to plan the perfect trip.

Small dog sitting by the window on board the ferry in Spain

Sea-gazing time for a small dog on board the ferry to Mallorca

Can I take my pet on a ferry in Spain?

You can travel with your pet on most ferries in Spain. All major ferry companies serving routes in Spain offer pet-friendly amenities for dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and other domesticated pets. You can easily catch a pet-friendly ferry from mainland Spain to the Canary Islands and the Balearic archipelago, selecting the relevant fare when booking your tickets. 

On board smaller vessels operating between the Spanish islands, there may not be provisions for pet travel, so make sure you check with the ferry company before planning your itinerary.

Good to know: Ferry companies in Spain implement different rules when it comes to allowed pet size and weight. We recommend that you get familiar with the relevant regulations, indicating size, type and breed in relation to pet boarding and accommodation.

Dog on a leash walking on the outdoor deck of a ferry in Spain

Fluffy dog taking a walk during a ferry crossing in the Mediterranean Sea

Are unaccompanied pets allowed on ferries in Spain?

It is not possible for your pet to travel unaccompanied on board ferries in Spain. To travel with your pet, you need to stay on board for the duration of the crossing and disembark together.

What documents do I need to travel with my pet by ferry in Spain?

When traveling by ferry in Spain with your pet, you need to bring your pet’s boarding pass and a valid health card. You may also be required to submit a recent vet certificate indicating treatment for parasites.

Good to know: For overseas ferry trips from Spain, there can be different regulations and required documents to travel with your pet, such as a pet passport.

French bulldog at the port of Barcelona watching as the ferry sails away

No need to leave your dog waiting at the port for you!

How much is it to travel by ferry with my pet in Spain?

There are different fares to travel with your pet by ferry in Spain. Some ferry companies allow pets to travel for free. Normally, the additional cost of traveling by pet is between 3€-15€ if you bring your own carrier. In case you book a pet-friendly cabin, the ticket price is higher.

Service dogs and emotional support animals travel for free, provided that you submit the necessary documents outlining any disability or health-related condition. Check our blog for more information about traveling with disabilities in Spain.

You need to declare your pet when booking a ticket, regardless of fare. The ferry company reserves the right to deny boarding if you haven’t secured a valid boarding pass for your pet.

Service dog helping a visually impaired person to the ferry terminal

Service animals can access all ferry spaces including lounges and seating areas

Where can my pet stay on board ferries in Spain?

There are various options for pet accommodation on board pet-friendly ferries in Spain. You can carry your pet in your own carrier or cage, as well as use the ferry carriers and kennels, depending on the size and breed of your pet.

Many vessels also have pet-friendly cabins, where you can stay with your pet with no need to have them on a leash. Pet-friendly cabins are normally equipped with linoleum floors, anti-odor mats, pet pillows, and drinking troughs, and can usually accommodate up to 2 small animals.

On board some vessels, there are also outdoor walking areas and designated play areas, where you can briefly walk your pet during longer journeys. If you want to visit the lounge, you need to make sure your pet is well-behaved and that you follow all safety regulations such as keeping them on a leash or in a carrier.

Tip: Some ferry companies such as Baleària have installed webcams in the kennel area, so that you check on your pet via an app at all times.

What ferries have pet-friendly cabins?

At the moment, the following ferry companies in Spain offer well equipped pet-friendly cabins: Baleària, Naviera Armas, Trasmediterránea, Grandi Navi Veloci, Grimaldi Lines, and FRS. Some ferry companies only allow pets in the cabin, provided they stay in the carrier throughout the crossing.

Good to know: Trasmediterránea and other ferry companies are equipped with first-aid kits for pets and they also provide access to a 24/7 vet hotline.

Dog and cat eating from the same bowl in a pet-friendly ferry cabin

A pet-friendly cabin is a better treat than regular treats!

Can I take my pet on a ferry as a foot passenger?

Normally, it is only allowed to travel by ferry with your pet as a foot passenger, provided that the animal does not exceed a specific size and it stays in a carrier. Some ferry companies allow you to visit your pet at the kennels or take them out for a short walk on the deck.

Good to know: All ferry companies require pet owners to have their pets on a leash at all times. Make sure you get familiar with the specific company regulations to plan your trip.

Cat comfortably sitting in a pet carrier lined with a soft mat

Your cat demands it feels comfy in the carrier during the journey

How do I board the ferry with my pet?

To board the ferry with your pet you need to either have them on a leash or carry them in a carrier. Pet owners may be asked to board and disembark last, to make sure the animal is not startled due to the crowd. The ferry crew will guide you to your cabin and seat, or show you to the kennels, where you can set up a comfy little home for your friend.

Where do dogs pee on a ferry?

Some ferries are equipped with dog-friendly cabins with anti-odor and water-proof mats, as well as designated peeing and pooping zones at the outside deck area. If your dog travels with you in a carrier or is allowed to walk around the outdoor dog-friendly ferry deck, it is your responsibility to clean after your four-legged friend and make sure they do not cause any damage. In case your pet stays in the kennel area, you may be allowed to visit in order to clean and take care of your dog or cat.

Tip: Use a special waterproof mat or towel to make sure the carrier stays dry and clean.

Happy ferret lying on a fluffy pillow

Bringing your pet’s favorite water-resistant pillow will help them stay comfy and clean

Is Spain a pet-friendly country?

There are many pet-friendly travel options in Spain. Most restaurants and cafes welcome small animals and you can also find pet-friendly hotels. Although many beaches and resorts do not allow pets, you can find some good options with some planning! Make sure you bring a health certificate and a pet carrier, which is obligatory to use in public transport.

What are the best destinations for pet-friendly vacation in Spain?

Formentera and Tenerife are two of the best destinations for pet-friendly holidays in Spain. If you wish to avoid crowds and enjoy perfect holidays with your dog or cat, the two islands are great as they offer plenty of space for exploration, a laid-back atmosphere, amazing natural landscape, and a variety of pet-friendly accommodation options.

From crowd-free beaches to all-inclusive pet-friendly resorts and luxury villas, you can plan the perfect trip for you and your pet.

Cat walking on a crowd-free sandy beach in Formentera

You cat will surely enjoy the remote beaches of Formentera in the Balearic Islands

Useful tips for pet owners traveling by ferry in Spain

Read the tips below to plan the perfect vacation with your pet in Spain:

  • Ferry travel can be a challenging experience for your pet. You can bring some toys, blankets and other familiar items that can help calm your small friend during the crossing.
  • It’s essential that you bring your own disposal bags, gloves and cleaning products to clean after your pet.
  • Ferry companies do not have any provisions for feeding. Make sure you bring treats and adequate food for your pet before boarding.
  • Ferryhopper suggests that you search for a vet at your destination in case your pet needs medical attention.
  • Have a look at the EU guidelines for traveling with pets to find out more about regulations and border-crossing.
  • Some veterinarians may prescribe medication for animals traveling by ferry to keep them calm and help them enjoy the trip in peace. Consult your vet before starting your trip in Spain.
  • Depending on the breed and behavior of your dog, the ferry crew may require that it wears a muzzle. Contact the ferry company to find out more about regulations for a dog-friendly ferry trip.