So week one in Spain, and it was definitely a long week of traveling. After looking at all our options to travel here, because we wanted to bring our dog with us, we finally settled on a newly inaugurated Brittany ferry service taking us directly from Cork/Ringaskiddy to Santander.
The trip takes approximately 26 hours, and offers people traveling with dogs, dog friendly cabins for the crossing. Once I read this I knew it was the way we would be going. We also opted to take the bikes with us, so the total cost for the car, cabin, bikes outbound and return sailing came in at €1,295.00. Initially it seemed like a lot until I weighted up the costs of sailing to UK, driving across, then the channel tunnel and then the drive through France to Spain. And, with Missy being able to stay with us for the entire trip we were sold. We left on the 2nd sailing between Cork and Santander, and all being said it went mostly smoothly, we did leave a little late as the Ferry arrived from France a little late.
Going through the passport control with Missy had me a little nervous, as I really had no idea what to expect. Basically, Missy received all the shots she needed from when she was a puppy, kept up to date on her passport. Then 24 hours before we left Missy was given the tick and echinococcus treatments needed to go to Spain, her passport was filled in and her chip tested to make sure it was working ok, then finally an over all health check to confirm she was ok to travel, again verified in her passport. When we arrived at passport control, before driving through to the boat, we were asked for all passports, handed a scanner to check Missy’s chip, it read the number and the official checked it against the documents, a sticker was placed on the car window to indicate we were traveling with a dog, and we drove on through to the loading lane we were assigned, it was all really straight forward. No need to worry at all. We also went through passport control in Santander, this time there no need to scan Missy’s chip again, it was just a visual confirmation for all of us.
So back to the Ferry, our lane, with all the dogs, was the last to board the ferry and once parked up we were met by one of the crew who took us through to the designated dog cabin area. At this point in the paper work everyone was told to make sure that their dogs had a muzzle on when out of the car or the cabin, and I can honestly say we were the only ones who actually put a muzzle on our dog, no one else did and nearly everyone complained either that their dog’s didn’t like it or didn’t need it. Eventually everyone did put on the muzzles and we started upstairs towards our cabins, when one of the smaller dogs did snap at Missy. Obviously in an unusual environment the fur babies can get a little frightened.