Increasing numbers of UK holidaymakers are taking the ferry to the Continent or between the UK and Ireland, according to the latest figures from sector analyst Ferrystat.

The number of UK ferry passengers increased by 0.8% to 15.7 million in the six months to June, with the number of cars carried up 3.5%.

Routes between the UK and Ireland saw the biggest increase, with car journeys up 5.6%, reversing a long-term switch to low-cost flights.

Passenger Shipping Association director Bill Gibbons suggested passengers were reacting to the delays and disruption at airports.

He said: “Ferries are increasingly being seen as a more convenient, family friendly and a less stressful way to travel. It is often less expensive to travel by ferry than to fly during school holidays and there are no luggage restrictions or extra costs.”