It’s not just trains that you can get cheap and free travel on: as British Rail once operated ferries under the Sealink brand, current rail staff are still eligible for “free” travel (as a foot passenger, port taxes still apply) between Britain and several European destinations. This includes Dover – Calais (£1.50 port tax), Harwich – Hook of Holland (£5 port tax)** and Cairnryan – Belfast (£5 port tax).
**Stena Line, who operate the Harwich – Hook of Holland route, require all passengers to book a cabin on overnight crossings – there’s no discount on the cabin element of the fare.
Be aware that these deals can only be had on routes that were formerly Sealink-operated. They don’t apply on other crossings, even if the ferry company is a direct successor of Sealink.
You’ll always need to book in advance to take advantage of these fares, and usually by phone. On some routes these tickets are quota controlled, so it’s worth making sure there’s space for you before making any firm plans.
Got a car?
If you’re bringing a car, there’s usually a discount for that as well. Sadly (but not surprisingly), it’s not quite as good value as the foot passenger deals on offer.