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Acciona Trasmediterránia – Arrecife to Cadiz

I’ve been quiet on my blog again for a while – we’ve been moving, and as a result  of the move have some advice to share with fellow animal lovers – If you’re thinking of travelling with dogs or cats between Lanzarote and Cadiz on the Acciona Trasmediterránia ferry  – DON’T!

We thought long and hard when we decided to bring our dogs to mainland Spain from Lanzarote. We looked at every detail. Our dogs are part of the family, they are neither accessories, nor are they dumb animals. It’s like having three toddlers, and I personally work on the principle of ‘Would I put my kids through that’?

So rather than the expense of doping them up and transporting them by plane, we were thrilled to find out that the Arrecife to Cadiz ferry allowed pets, and at only €36 per dog was an incredible saving on the cost of flying them. Result! We thought so at the time anyway. On the strength of this we called the call centre and booked after being told…

“Yes, you can see the dogs any time you want”.

“Yes, if you want to stay with them you can”.

There was no ambiguity with the responses from the call centre – we could stay with our dogs. I didn’t mind how uncomfortable it would be for us, I just wanted to make sure it was as stress free for them as possible. They didn’t ask for the move – it’s something we wanted, why should they suffer?

The outside ‘kennels’ – these are a couple of the better ones – many had doors missing.

So, the move time came and consisted of three trips. Two were to Cadiz and back for me with the car and our stuff. The third would be when I’d be returning to Cadiz with Elle and the dogs.

I hate boats, and I loathe boredom, so one 30 plus hour journey was more than enough for me, never mind having to do that three times. However doing the trip alone there and back would give me time to check out the facilities for animals. On the first trip I was horrified to find out that the kennels were below decks. They were filthy, and access was limited to very specific hours. These were…

08:00 – 09:00
15:00 – 16:00
20:00 – 21:00

Hardly what we’d been assured of by the helpful (English speaking) call centre.

I asked at the boat’s reception. “Not to worry”, they told me, if we wanted access we could use the outside kennels on the car deck. I checked it out, “God no”, I thought to myself. The outside ‘kennels’ were no more than a few, mostly broken, plastic travel crates, on frequently broken, wooden pallets. The Doors on all of the crates consisted of rusty wire. By this time I’m starting to worry, neither of these facilities were, in my opinion, even up to a standard suitable for transporting livestock, let alone members of my family!

I started to weigh up the pros and cons and decided that the only way we could bring the dogs on the ferry was to stay outside for the whole journey in one of the decks that allowed dogs. Both on the journey out, and the journey back, I asked a number of staff members, all of whom said (I’m paraphrasing) that if I was stupid enough to want to, I could stay outside, night and day, with the dogs for the duration of the journey. I picked out a few possible spots to settle and left the boat thinking – though not ideal – I’d worked out how we could stay with the dogs on our final trip.

The day came, we boarded the ferry, and were promptly accosted in the reception area and made to give them a €15 deposit for three locks for the kennels. Okay, maybe that’s their policy – maybe they have to allocate a kennel, used or not. We headed out to the dog walking deck and tied the boys to the railing and were pulling out some old bedding to make them comfortable, when we were approached by an officer.

Below decks – restricted access, and dangerous levels of heat and fumes.

He insisted that we take the dogs down to the (soon to be sealed) kennels. We were given no option, despite our protests that we would take them out to the car deck kennel area. He told us the dogs were too big, and again insisted that we go downstairs. With no option we did. We were being FORCED to lock our dogs up despite the various assurances we’d had from the call centre and various staff on my two previous trips. I felt sick. I knew what was coming – we went down and shut the dogs in. It was disgusting, it was dangerously hot and the fumes down there were terrible. Within moments I was dripping with sweat. You can only imagine what it would feel like especially for a large dog like Pepper, who by now was, without exaggeration seriously distraught and distressed. Billy and Guido were only slightly better than him. We couldn’t leave him like this, I knew it would mean he’d never be the same dog – it was proving that traumatic for him! I was close to tears (yes, really), I was also close to persuading Elle that they needed to be out, and if necessary we’d be insisting they remove us and our car from the ferry Rain Man style…

We were saved by a conversation with a German couple who also had large dogs – two of them. They were also not happy with the circumstances and were in the process of taking the dogs out to take to their car; we did the same and promptly went into hiding that night and the following one. Luckily our car was on the open deck so we were able to take this option – had it been locked in the lower decks I really do think we’d have been off that damned boat.

My whole point is that Acciona Trasmediterránia are misselling their product. Despite many assurances we were unable to stay with our dogs on the ship. We spent a lot of money with this company because of these assurances – only to find the reality very, very, different. As I said earlier would I put my kids in such conditions – no. Would I put my dogs in such conditions – no. I would not even put my worst enemy’s cat in this place. Acciona Trasmediterránia you should be ashamed of yourselves!

1. The facilities are appalling
2. You are not providing the service you are selling

Either, you are misrepresenting your product, or your staff are unaware of the claims you are making, or they are choosing not to apply whatever policies are in place to suit themselves.

I will NEVER use your company again. And, I will strongly recommend to any pet owner that considers their dogs or cats anything above the level of livestock, that they find alternate means of transport for their dogs and cats between Cadiz and the Canary Islands.

I’m disgusted, and my blood is still boiling!

50 Responses to Acciona Trasmediterránia – Arrecife to Cadiz

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  • Alan says:

    Having recieved no response to my emailed complaint this was today sent to Acciona Group via email with a request to forward to the named parties. Hard copies to follow when I’m next at the post office.

    CC: José Manuel Entrecanales – Chairman
    Juan Ignacio Entrecanales – Vice Chairman
    Pío Cabanillas – Chief Global Brand and Marketing Officer

    Dear sirs,

    Firstly, please let me apologise for having to contact Group Executives directly. I can not find anyone on the Acciona Trasmediterrania website to whom I can voice a complaint. Of course I have complained to them via the form on the website – I have not had a response, nor has the service I have received from the company given me any indication that I may expect one at any time.

    Secondly I’d like to apologise for my having to write in English (necessary to communicate my disgust with Acciona Trasmediterrania). I have provided a machine translation, so I hope either you are able to read English or make sense of that.

    Here we go. I have had the misfortune to use Acciona Trasmediterrania on three separate occasions recently whilst moving from the Canaries to mainland Spain. Twice I did the journey by myself with a car, and on the third occasion with the car, my wife and three dogs.

    I found my first return journey alone to Cadiz adequate, I had expected little and got little. The service was mildly satisfactory and I tried not to notice the poor standards of cleanliness, though the seriously unhygienic conditions in the male toilets on all three journeys were impossible to forgive.

    However poor the company’s general standards are, my real concerns are about the third trip on which we were accompanied by our dogs. In simple terms I was lied to, and the treatment of animals on your boat is appalling.

    We called to check the arrangements for dogs prior to booking and were told we could see them any time we wanted; we were told we could stay with them if we wanted to. It sounded great. It was exactly what we were looking for.

    I first made the journey alone, as I have said, and checked out the facilities. The kennels below decks had extremely limited access – not what I was told, and there is no way I would wish to leave my dogs there, I checked out the kennels on deck – they were filthy and in a terrible state of repair, most being unusable. I was beginning to feel we had not been told the reality of the bad facilities. Your call centre staff made everything sound great – it certainly was not.

    I did not want to subject my dogs to either facility, so, seeing the dog walking areas I asked a number of members of staff on the outward and return journey before boarding with the dogs whether I could just stay outside there for the entire journey with my animals. All but one said yes, the other wasn’t sure. On this basis alone I decided I would make the trip – I had been having my doubts! I would not have made the journey had I known what was to come.

    On the day of departure we boarded the dogs having decided that we would be staying outside on deck with them. We went outside, tied them on the dog walking deck and began to settle in. We were followed out by a sullen looking officer who insisted we take them down to the kennels on a lower deck. We refused; I had been told this is not necessary. He insisted. We said we’d take them to the (badly maintained) kennels outside. He refused. He made us go down to the kennels where we found highly distressed dogs, unbearable levels of temperature and terrible fumes. It was disgusting and it was dangerous. Thankfully, I found a way around being forced to mistreat my own animals – others didn’t.

    The choices we had been given were not there, so; either;

    • Your salespeople do not know the rules and are selling people like me something that is not real
    • Or, your ship’s crew are ignoring your policies and forcing all animals down to the hold for their own convenience.

    Since this appalling journey which has to rank amongst some of the worst experiences of my life I have read about dogs dying on this journey, and I have written up my experiences in the hope I can persuade others not to risk their animals to the conditions on your boats.

    I have also discussed international standards with a friend who works as a Chief Engineer, who told me that the internationally accepted standard is;

    1. For short sea crossings dogs have to be in cages in designated areas, usually where owners are allowed access to them, but not always.
    2. Longer crossing (6 hours plus) Dogs have to be either in cages in designated areas, or on leads in a designated dog walking area accompanied by their owner.

    Should number two be correct – I should have been allowed to stay on the dog walking deck.

    Further discussions with my friend have also seem to have highlighted at least one major safety issue and breach of maritime regulations, that I will in due course be reporting to the relevant maritime authorities in both Spain and Italy.

    I await your company’s response with interest.

  • ACCIONA Trasmediterranea says:

    In Acciona Trasmediterranea we strongly appreciate all opinions from our customers and would like to thank you for giving us yours.

    In this case we must to apologize for the information you have received from our Call Center about the conditions of animals travelling on board our boats, and very specially for no having provided the quality of service that you have the right to expect from our company.

    We would like to inform you that we have already gave all the information about the complaint to our Manager of our Call Center Service, in order to adopt all the neccesary measures to the respect.

    Attending to the compromise of quality acquired with our customers, with this date we have taken the indications for refunding in your account the amount relevant to the animal tickets.

    Thank you for your time and comments and we trust that despite all, you continue travelling with ACCIONA Trasmediterranea.

  • Alan says:

    If you think this will appease me, you are mistaken. Allow me to reiterate some of the key points. It is not just your call centre that is the problem here.

    1. I was misinformed by the call centre, yes. Are they aware of how bad the facilities are in order to be honest with customers? This is at best a training issue, as I believe your staff are not at fault, they can only pass on what they are told.

    2. We were forced to sleep outside in the car and not permitted to use the outside kennels (which were in a state of major disrepair anyway).

    3. I had also asked staff on the boat on my two previous journeys who had also assured me that we could stay on the dog walking deck if we chose not to use the kennels below decks – which I deemed to dangerous to my dogs based on the heat and fumes in that environment.

    4. On boarding an officer insisted we go downstairs – from what I had been told by the call centre and other staff on-board this is not your policy and we should have had choices open to us. I believe this was for the convenience of your crew and nothing more.

    This all made the entire journey stressful and unpleasant for myself, my wife and the dogs. It was a terrible experience and I remain disgusted at the treatment of animals, your poor service and appalling facilities.

    On discussing with a friend who is a Chief Engineer, he told me the accepted international standard for the transport of animals is;

    “For short sea crossings dogs have to be in cages in designated areas, usually were owners are allowed access to them, but not always.

    Longer crossing (6 hours plus) Dogs have to be either in cages in designated areas, or on leads in a designated dog walking area accompanied by their owner.”

    Can you confirm this is, or is not correct? Our discussions also highlight another major safety issue I have not, as yet, mentioned here.

    Additionally your website claims “Your pet is one of the family and as such, when we know when travelling, you want to do the best. So in collaboration with the Fundación Affinity…”

    Who are they, and when did they last monitor your facilities and arrangements?

  • Alan says:

    Update: They have refunded the ‘animal fares’ as they suggested, which has quite surprised me. But of course NONE of the real issues have been dealt with in my opinion… Still not happy – I might have been impressed by a full refund, or indeed no refund at all had they promised to take some proper action. When I started this, refunds were not in anyway part of my reasons for doing so.

    Still not happy and would still advise all pet owners to avoid the Acciona Trasmediterrania ferries like the plague.

    Acciona Trasmediterania – if you are reading this, I would be happy to discuss this privately with you should you wish to contact me directly. I’d welcome the chance to talk with someone who has some influence with suggestions as to how you could (vastly) improve your service.

    Somehow, my guess is that as far as Acciona are concerned this is now closed. It’s not.

  • Alan says:

    Update: I’m going to go quiet on this for a while now as today I have had a phone call from a senior manager at Acciona.

    At this point I’d like to thank them for taking this seriously, and think it only fair to give them the opportunity to see through the matters we discussed. I was impressed with the phone call and the way forward proposed. I’ll reserve final comment until I see what happens over the next month or two.

  • Henry Partridge says:

    Very good information, thanks Alan. Please keep us updated. I want to take my dog over but not prepared to if this is how he’ll be treated.

  • Alan says:

    Best of luck whichever method you use Henry. Still waiting for Acciona to get back to me – but my contact there did say November to be fair. I certainly will come back here with the results of my talks with them.

  • Henry Partridge says:

    Thanks Alan that’s brilliant. I’m looking to autumn next year so hope your efforts produce some results, wouldn’t be happy taking him under these arrangements. I’ll watch out for your news with great interest.

  • Alan says:

    Being fair to Acciona here, the senior manager I spoke to seemed very keen to talk with me further once he had had the opportunity to see the boat for himself. Hopefully some good will come of this in the long term. I’ll be back with the results when we have had that conversation.

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  • No response as yet Alan?

  • Alan says:

    Had an email last week to inform me that my contact would be getting back to me soon.

  • Excellent!!

  • alangnwAlan says:

    So, yesterday evening I had my second conversation with the executive from Acciona. As good as their word… my contact has, since our initial call, been and looked at the boat.

    Two immediate improvements have been made as a result;

    Firstly, the number of visiting times allowed to the kennel has increased from three to five.

    Secondly, The company has committed to improving cleanliness and hygiene in the kennel area.

    These improvements in themselves would not be enough to persuade me to do the journey again; nevertheless I have to say from the attitude of my contact and the fact that some changes have been made – this is being taken seriously.

    It was a lengthy conversation, during which we discussed some other changes the company is looking at for major improvements in the transport of animals on the service – one or two of which may be enough to persuade me to use the service again someday. Obviously, as I appreciate, major changes take some time to implement, but it is my impression that the company is keen to improve.

    We have loosely arranged to meet up in the new year, so perhaps some more news on this one then!

  • Henry Partridge says:

    Well done Alan, they realise you are a serious person with a genuine complaint and hopefully they will improve things. Worryingly the crossing I was looking to do with them (Barcelona to Palma Mallorca) used to be rated very highly but now anecdotal evidence on the net suggests that has gone downhill: probably due to change of vessel. Mainland Spain is easy, just take Eurotunnel, drive slowly through France and Spain and there you are. The problems come when the final destination is an island, and that is the case with us too.

  • Alan says:

    Ease of travel with the dogs was, amongst a number of other reason, one of the deciding factor in our move to the mainland.

    I understand the facilities on the boats vary. Unfortunately the Canaries – the longest crossing at 30 to 36 hours – seemingly has the poorest facilities in the fleet.

    I am heartened though that they seem keen to make some improvements and are looking at the situation seriously.

  • Ken says:

    Hi Alan,
    I read with interest your troubles, we too are moving to Spain from Lanzarote in about 2 months and we are taking our cat, (a lot smaller than your dogs) BUT ! just out of interest do you have any info as to the cat on the ferry, where they are kept, cage size, and of course cleanliness of the place etc.
    Would appreciate any info or thoughts. Hope you are settled in now ok……

    Ken

  • Alan says:

    Hi Ken,

    Cats are kept in the same area as the dogs. The yellow cages you can see above. Although I’m not suggesting this of course as it’s against the rules ;), you may be able to keep it in the car if you are lucky enough to be on the open deck or sneak it into a cabin.

    With just one cat though it may be easier to have someone put it on a plane for you. Something I’d consider if we had less dogs (the cost of the ferry is much less for an animal) and had to do the journey again. Perhaps a couple of hours of discomfort outweighs thirty hours of discomfort. I guess much depends on the temperament of your cat?

    However, on the upside, though obviously I haven’t seen it yet, I am assured by may contact at Acciona that they have improved cleanliness, and increased the visiting arrangement to the area to five times a day as opposed to the three which was in place when we did the journey.

    The company are looking at another potential changes which would satisfy me, but I can’t see that coming about in time for you. Hope this helps.

    Where are you moving to?

  • Alan says:

    Well, I have to say. I am impressed! I have just received an email from my contact at Acciona detailing a number of changes in the pipeline, some very major, that have been instigated partly because of this post and my subsequent complaint.

    I do not feel yet that I am able to outline the changes as until initiated the company may consider them commercially sensitive.

    I’m looking forward to a time very soon when I can create a new post showing just how professionally and sensitively I feel they have dealt with me. In spite of my initial anger, Acciona Trasmediterránia the company has now turned me into a huge fan!

    I say it again, I am very, very impressed!

  • Me at Gmail says:

    Great progress, well done. Lets hope they go through with the plans, look forward to hearing about them. Did they give you a timescale?

  • Alan says:

    Not been told a specific time scale, but I can say that some measures are already being rolled out – others will take a few weeks.

  • Me at Gmail says:

    Brilliant. Watch this space eh?

  • Alan says:

    Definitely. I will post as soon as I am able.

  • Thank you for all this information. So many shocking stories and it is important for everyone to know before they book their tickets. I really felt for you and your family facing this problem and with no choice but to use one boat or another! we are thinking of travelling to Minorca for a couple of weeks at Easter – only travelling from Barcelona – but reading all this is making me think again and perhaps we will stick to the mainland for now. looking forward to hearing what happens next. Well done for your effective complaints. Kate

  • Alan says:

    Thanks for the comment Kate. I’m looking forward to being able to praise them for some of the measures they have taken in the near future. I would add that throughout my discussions with them I have been told that the facilities vary across the fleet, I only have the experience of the one boat, the ship on that route may be better. If you are still thinking about it I’d suggest talking to the call centre and asking them what the specific arrangements are on the boat you are thinking of using, they should be able to tell you, or at least pass you on to someone who can. I’d hate to think that you’d miss out on a planned trip based only on my experience if the Barcelona ships are better.

  • Andrea Davis says:

    Hi Alan, I brought 2 cats over on this company’s ferry from Cadiz to Lanzarote. The experience was very traumatic. I took them out of the car in their individual carriers and went down the corridors with the crowd to some kind of reception area. Everyone was filtered through and there were staff (standing like doorman) blocking off several doorwarys so you all had to go the same way. One of the staff saw my cat boxes and told me to follow him.I was taken right down into the bowels of the boat. The noise was incredibly loud (like an engine throbbing)and the fumes horrendous. There were some wire mesh cages 3 high and several along for dogs. Some dogs were already in them and were crying, barking and urinating.I was told to put my cats in one of these amongst all the dogs!! I started crying and said I couldn’t as they would die of trauma. I tried to get them to let me take them into my cabin and promised not to take them out of their cat carriers, but this is against company policy. They said the only other option was to put them in the outside on deck cages as there were no dogs in these as they were not being used (due to the unfit state of repair of them). I had a look at them and they were directly exposed to the baking sun and had no shelter. They were literally falling apart travel carriers on were right by all the cars, which people were coming and going from. Again, I knew that they would completely dehydrate, plus be very cold during the night, and would be afraid because of people visiting their cars. They were already panting and mewing. As I had just brought them over from Portsmouth to Santander on a Brittany Ferry where they had remained in my car for the 18 hour crossing I insisted on being allowed to put them Back inside my car (which was on one of the indoor decks). I had to speak to the captain regarding this and I had to just about beg to be allowed access to them. A member of staff took me down to the deck, unlocked it and gave me about 10mins to feed them, cuddle them and sort out their litter tray. I had 2 visits during the 36 hours. I can verify the truth in what you have said absolutely having seen it with my own eyes. I too was mislead in that I was told that there was a seperate area for the cats and that I would be able to visit them at any time etc etc. I am very pleased that you took the time and trouble to complain. I had intended to but didn’t know where to start. I really hope they follow up what they have said they will do. There must be a good few hundred of us who have had this terrible experience. I was horrified when I read in your comments that some dogs had actually died. This could easily have been my 2 cats or your dogs!

  • Alan says:

    We were very lucky that we managed to sneak back past the ‘security’ and had our car on the upper outside deck. I could not have let my dogs travel in those cages or surrounding conditions. Others did the same as us, and we could see clearly a number of people in cabins had hidden their dogs and cats.

    I can not say publicly yet what measures are being taken, but I am assured they should all but rectify the problems you, I and others have had on this route.

  • Alan says:

    Last week I met with one of the directors and a senior manager from the company in Almeria. I’m very impressed with the continuing efforts they are making in terms of facilities for pets – Click here to read about it on our Spain Buddy website.

  • Nicoletta says:

    Hello Alan
    Thank you for your feedbacks. I truly appreciate your effort to change the situation and the positive results !!!
    “Be the change you want to see in the world”!
    I will move to Lanzarote in 2 weeks and will travel with my car and my dog from Italy. I see there is a new boat, from Huelva to Arrecife. The good thing is that it takes 25 hours and not 31 to reach Arrecife. Do you know anything about it? I mean, how is the dog’s situation on that boat?
    If you have any information, they are all very welcome, thank you !
    Nicoletta

  • Alan says:

    Hi Nicoletta, Sorry to say I can’t offer any information on the Huelva route as that route is operated by Naviera Armas. My only dealings have been with Acciona on the Cadiz route (http://www.spainbuddy.com/travelling-with-dogs-acciona-trasmediterranea-ferries-an-update/). Have you booked yet? Where are you heading to in Lanzarote?

  • Nicoletta says:

    Hello Alan, thanx for your fast reply! I didn’t book yet the boat, will do these days, hopefully the situation for my dog will be OK… I choose this route as it is shorter… all my decisions about this move are concerning my dog Sardino’s well being (thats why I decided not to take a flight ) . We will start our journey from Italy on the 30th Nov, and arrive in Lanzarote on the 8th Dec! Playa Blanca.
    Thank you for your help , let us know if and when you will be on the island of fuego !
    Happy greetings, will let you know how the journey with Naviera Armas goes

  • Alan says:

    Hi Nicolette, I haven’t seen the facilities on the Naviera Armas so I can’t talk about them. I was told they are not great, but that’s only heresay. It might be worth looking into them and asking about the facilities. Having seen the new facilities (and knowing there is 24 hour access to the dogs) on Acciona, were I making the journey again with dogs I personally would go for the longer journey for these reasons.

    We used to live in Playa Blanca as you may perhaps know. Will look you up if I’m back for a visit at any point.

    Don’t know if you’ve found one of our other sites – http://www.lanzaroterelocation.co.uk – you might find some of the information about Playa Blanca and living on the island useful.

    Do let me know how you get on with the journey, and best of luck with the move!

  • Gunther says:

    Hi,
    Thanks Allan for the good information. I now understand why there isn’t any detailed information about it on the websites of the companies …
    I am in Spain now and would really like to go a month or longer to La Gomera visiting friends.. With my Dog..

    I Cannot open your website “spainbuddy” .. I think it’s because of the internet here .. Can you please post the info here on this website that you made available on
    http://www.spainbuddy.com/travelling-with-dogs-acciona-trasmediterranea-ferries-an-update/ ???…

    Nicolette, How were the conditions on the boats of Naviera Armas ? .. I was also thinking to take that one because it’s shorter…

    However, I think I will have to stay on the mainland of spain anyway 🙁 .. I can never let my old dog get through such circumstances.. Even if they are “so much better” now .. I cannot leave him in a cage since he is Dog-Aggressive and “Human-Defensive”… 😛
    It’s really sad.

    The only option for me is if there is an area where I can be with him all the time.. Keeping him on a lead.. But that does not exist I suppose ?? ..
    In that case.. The only option left is to hide him in the car.. But how is the temperature in the parking below deck ? I have a van .. So I think it is not possible to place it on the deck upside ..

    Gunther

  • Gunther says:

    Thank You for all your efforts Alan. It’s really nice of you and good results, but .. When I now look for a ferry to canaries from Cadiz on http://www.trasmediterranea.es/en/ .. They say I get the Albayzin.. Not the Murillo.. Do you know why that is ? .. The boats did not yet change ?

    I am in spain now with my dog and wanted to go to la gomera for 6 weeks this weekend… But now I don’t know :(.. My dog is old and aggressive towards strangers (dogs & human) .. If I can stay with him on a lead in a “dog area” it would be good..

    Nicoletta how was your experience with Naviera Armas ? Anyone else experiences with the route from Huelva or with Naviera armas in general?
    Thanks

  • Alan says:

    Hi Gunther, In answer to your question I have no idea why it might be showing at the Albayzin. Perhaps the best thing is to call their call centre. I haven’t heard anything to say it isn’t the Murillo. Perhaps it’s an error or a temporary change for maintenance. Do let me know I’d be interested to hear what you find out.

    To the best of my knowledge the Acciona ferry only hoes as far as Tenerife so you might need to have a look at the facilities on the ferry options between there and La Gomera (Arams and Oleson).

  • Nicoletta says:

    Hello Alan and Gunther
    here I happily share my very good experience with Naviera Armas : my dog Sardino and me took the boat from Huelva to Lanzarote last december . 26 hours of journey . We have had a wonderful experience . On the deck of the boat there is an area (quite big) where dogs are allowed to stay on the lead with their owners , how long they like . Since the weather was good when we travelled , I slept with Sardino on the deck . He never stayed in the cage , not a single minute , but all the time with me . There are also cages but you are not at all forced to put your dog there ! I have seen also people who has put their dog in the car for the night time . In the garage the temperature is very fine ( not too hot and not too cold ) , so that’s an other good option ( I would have done it if it would have been colder outside on the deck , but since it was very nice weather I slept outside with my dog , really nice ! ).
    Just be aware that in the boat there could be quite many dogs and owners , the outside dog area could be quite frequented (that’s how it was when we travelled ) , so if your dog is aggressive with other dogs and people this could be a bit annoying … just take it in consideration .
    I am grateful to Naviera Armas , it is a very good boat for travelling with dogs and I definetly recommend it !
    Good luck and have a good journey !
    Nicoletta

  • Gunther says:

    Extremely nice Nicoletta!!!! You really make my day.. I tought I could not go because such an area would probably not exist 😛

  • colette chesters says:

    Hi Nicoletta

    I will have to transport my 3 dogs from,Tenerife to Spain and I am travelling alone so don`t know if I could stay with them the whole time. After your post will chose the Naviera Armas.

    Did you see the kennel area? What were the conditions like? How big are the kennels?

    I have a big fella 60 kilos and out of my 3 he is very insecure and can get frightened (due to ill treatment before I got him) My other 2 deal with most things I suppose I could sleep with him as you did you take a sleeping bag or anything?

    So glad for your post after seeing Alan´s experience was so worried!!!

  • Nicoletta says:

    Hello Alan , Gunther and Colette
    as I wrote I was also very worried about this journey but at the end it turned out to be a great experience !
    Yes I saw the Kennel area , it is in the same area where dogs and people are free to stay . It looked ok , the cages quite big , anyhow my dog and me never like cages… It could be a bit cold depending on weather conditions , if the dog is with you you can cover him . We slept on the deck with a big warm blanket and a small matress , the weather was good and the see calm , so it has been lovely .
    This is my experience .
    I hope this can help and relax , Naviera Armas is a good option for travelling with dogs . Good luck , have a good journey !

  • Hi Alan, Thank you for writing this, it’s prepared me for my journey as I would have been really upset if I’d have experienced the journey like you did.
    I’m traveling from Barcelona to Ibiza with my dog in the next week or so. Can anyone tell me if you have 24hr access to kennels. It’s an overnight crossing and I don’t want to leave him, he’ll be very nervous. Do you know if you can stay in your car with them during the crossing? I’ve never traveled by ferry so don’t know how it all works. Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated 🙂
    I need to book tonight or tomorrow.
    Thank you,
    Andrea

  • Alan says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I honestly have no idea about the Balaeric routes and what facilities they have. No car ferries allow you to stay with your car. I think the best thing you can do is give them a call.

    I do know that some time ago (for the Balaeric routes) they started to allow small – I’m assuming toy size – dogs on the fast boats in a carrier.

  • Gunther says:

    Andrea

    It’s never allowed to stay in the car. If you have van or something in which you can make the windows intransparant so nobody see you.. You can ofcourse stay in..
    But it can get hot … 😛 And if the boat crashes you will not be safed 😛

    It indeed differs from boat to boat. I went with Naviera Armas from Huelva to canary islands… On that boat, you had kennels on the upper deck and when you are on the upper deck your dog can does not have to be in kennel. However When I went from tenerife to Gomera that was not the case, I just left him in car, is only one hour. I would actually take the boat from Valencia to Ibiza, if I was you, because that is much shorter.

    Gunther

  • Stefan says:

    Andrea

    Last Summer I travelled with my dog (Violet) from Barcelona to Alcudia (Mallorca) on Balearia and back from Palma to Barcelona on Transmediterranea. As with everyone on here, Violet is at the centre of the family and treasured.

    We used the evening service out of Barcelona which left around 5pm and arrived after midnight in Alcudia. The kennels were outside under a canopy and very hot when we arrived. However, once the boat got moving there was a decent breeze and the dogs seemed quite calm. Officially you were not allowed to visit but no one observed this and you could visit pretty much as often as you liked. I stopped visiting in the end as Violet got worked up every time I turned up and seemed to be happy chilling out. The problem with open access was that kids started turning up and aggravating the animals by banging the outside of their crates and shouting at them for fun. My impression was that it was reasonably clean in the crates which were big enough for most dogs I would have thought.

    The car was on a lower deck and there was no question of leaving a dog down there in the car – it was meltingly hot. I don’t think a human being would have survived down there for 7 or 8 hours.

    On the way back, we left Palma on the overnight crossing which left at 11.30pm and arrived in Barcelona at 7am. This was with Transmed. The boat was a different configuration and overall I found it a better set up. We were parked on an open deck and the kennels were down the other end of the open deck under cover in a corner. The kennels were ok and you could borrow a padlock to lock up the door for a 5 or 10 euro deposit. As before the kennels were ok – not the standard of home but ok. I recall that the ventilation was good especially as they were situated down the other end of the open deck and imagine that once the ferry was moving there would have been a good breeze.

    On Transmed they allowed one visit about 2 hours into the journey. I asked my friend to visit as I did not want to disturb Violet myself. The guy on duty wasn’t very happy about being disturbed to permit dog access but my friend was allowed to visit and she said Violet was settled. There was one dog whining so loud we could hear it from the floor above which made it feel like they were all in trouble – but they weren’t!

    I was completely unrelaxed on both journeys and hated every minute of it but Violet was fine. She couldn’t wait to get out of the kennel and get back to be with us but she didn’t come to any harm.

    I would bring your own bedding, bowl, a familiar toy and a worn item of your own clothing to make the dog feel more at home.

    Personally I thought the overnight journey made more sense as it was cooler and the dog would sleep at night (even if I didn’t).

    I’m currently planning another trip this summer and I am apprehensive as the conditions aren’t great but it was ok and Violet came to no harm. She went jumping and bounding off towards the car which said it all really.

    They did tell me on Transmed that I could spend the night on deck with the dog which I did consider doing but I had no warm clothes and wasn’t sure what it would be like on an open deck in the middle of the night especially if we had got into a storm.

    I hope this helps. I am a nervous and obsessive dog owner so if I can do it, I’m sure you can!

  • Hi Stefan,
    Wow!! Thank you soooooo much for such an in depth reply.
    You have certainly put my mind at ease and given me a great insight into what to expect when I take Lefteye (my JRT) over to Ibiza at the end of the month.
    I can’t thank you all enough for all of you advice and sharing your experiences with me.
    I’ll let you now how we get on.
    Andrea x :)))

  • I will be travelling from Manchester to Huelva via the west coast of France through Portugal and a ferry to the canaries and over 4 months ( october to March ) I will visit Lanzarote, Gran Canaria,Tenerife and Fuertaventura in my BIG camper / motorhome and returning the same route. I’m hoping to stay with my dog in the vehicle, even if its in the dark with all curtains closed.
    If anyone wants to stay with their pet and is vaguely on my route I would like to offer the same. Wynnie

  • peter says:

    Alan
    Hello, I’m thinking traveling from Spain Huelva or Cadiz to Lanzarote on Naviera Armas 26 hrs or Acciona 31 hrs. with my dog and have been reading a website on taking Dogs from a passenger to Lanzarote … This is the website http://www.alangandy.com/acciona-trasmediterrania-arrecife-to-cadiz/

    The Acciona on the Cadiz route 31hrs has had complaints about poor dog conditions. Excess noise… Fumes etc.. Can you confirm to me that your route is fine for animals?????? Is the Naviera Armas the same company as the Acciona? Same management ??

    As I don’t want my dog to fly and the reasons I’m going by sea is I require my dog to be with me at my side in a cage . Or do you have pet friendly cabins? Does your boat have a lot better condition?

    This message I sent to all the ferries company’s …..

    Alan any changes with your talks or do you think the Navier Armas is better

    Peter

  • Lesley says:

    Peter

    Nearly two months on, have you had any reply? We have 2 labradors who are both real scaredy cats.

    Lesley

  • Milly says:

    Hi Does anyone else have experience of the Huelva to Arrecife ferry? We are hoping to take our small dog on this very. I just need to be assured that the facilities are ok.

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