Taking the ferry to France from the UK or Ireland can be a much easier option than flying if you have a baby or toddler. Brittany Ferries departs from Ringaskiddy, Cork every Saturday at 4pm. Travel time is approximately 14 hours and you arrive in Roscoff in Brittany at 7am the following day. You can book a cabin with bunks and a travel cot can be provided for an extra €12.00. The cabins are small but comfortable and when you arrive, it will be set out like a living room. You just pull out the sofa into a bed and pull down the beds in the ceiling to set it up for sleep.
There is generally some entertainment for kids on arrival (great after a long drive/ wait to get onto the ferry) such as jugglers or puppets. There is also a small soft play area at the front of the ship in the restaurant seating area. This is ideal with toddlers as they can play while you eat or enjoy a drink. The play area includes a TV showing cartoons and tables with colouring. Kids will also love exploring the ship both inside and out.
There are plenty of food options for little ones including yoghurts, milk, juice, crackers, cereal and bread for breakfast (tip: avoid the sausages if possible). There are kids meals available in the evening of nuggets and fries and these come with a kids bag with toys, colours and jelly sweets inside. There are high chairs in the restaurant also. There is a shop on-board however, it mostly sells duty free and overpriced sweets and magazines so bring all you need with you.
When you arrive in France, you will queue for a short time to go through passport control which is all done from your car window. Brittany has a number of baby and toddler friendly hotels and campsites or you could travel further afield from here.