National Ferry Fortnight runs from today until May 20.
So why not set sail on one of these family-friendly adventures?
With easy-to-get-to destinations all around Europe, here are four of the best options.
Brittany Ferries runs from Portsmouth to Le Havre, a French port celebrating its 500th anniversary this year
Portsmouth to Le Havre
There’s no better time to visit this French port, celebrating its 500th anniversary this year, with events all summer. Visit on July 6-9 to catch a spectacular street party run by Royal de Luxe, famous for their enormous marionettes.
Returns with Brittany Ferries (brittany-ferries.co.uk, 0330 159 7003) from £65 adult and £35 child.
Liverpool to Belfast
Popular Belfast attractions include the Titanic Belfast museum and the Crumlin Road Gaol, but don’t miss HMS Caroline, the last surviving ship from 1916’s Battle of Jutland.
Returns with Stena Line (stenaline.co.uk, 08447 707070) from £20 adult and £15 child.
Adrenaline junkies should visit Amsterdam-Noord – home to the A’DAM tower (pictured). Head to its rooftop to fly 330ft (100m) above the ground on Europe’s highest swing
Hull to Zeebrugge
Zeebrugge is just 12 miles from Bruges, and it takes less than two hours to get to Brussels by train to see the Comics Art Museum, with exhibits dedicated to Smurfs creator Peyo, and Hergé, who brought us Tintin.
Returns with P&O Ferries (poferries.com, 0800 130 0030) from £137 return per cabin.
Harwich to Hook of Holland
Take the ferry and train to Amsterdam, where the refurbished Hotel Pulitzer, housed in 25 historic canal houses, makes a beautiful base. Adrenaline junkies should visit Amsterdam-Noord — home to the A’DAM tower. Head to its rooftop to fly 330ft (100m) above the ground on Europe’s highest swing.
Returns with Stena Line from £72 adult and £36 child.