Check in, luggage and assistance
Find out all you need to know about checking in, luggage allowances and special assistance
Getting your vehicle on board is easier than it looks. Our awesome crew are also there to help you every step of the way to make sure you have a safe and easy journey.
For a faster check in, keep your booking number handy. You’ll need it when you drive through the vehicle check-in. Once done, we’ll give you a boarding pass - that’s all you’ll need to board the ship. If you arrive before the drive-through is open, or you prefer to come inside the terminal, you can now check in faster by using one of the two new kiosks available in our passenger terminals. They’re easy to use and all you need is your booking number. Check-in closes one hour before your sailing.
If you want to change your booking or need any special assistance - e.g. boarding the ship or travelling with a pet – just let us know and we’ll be happy to help. Please remember any alcohol, musical instruments, sporting equipment or large bags must be left in your vehicle. For your safety getting on and off the ship, please wear something on your feet.
As you won’t have access to your vehicle during the sailing, please make sure you have everything you need for your trip in your hand luggage. You’ll be expected to drive your vehicle safely onboard, with the help of our crew. When boarding at night, remember to turn your lights off before you approach the ship's ramp, as to not blind our crew. Double-check your handbrake is on, put it in gear, turn your alarm off, and lock your vehicle. Easy.
Travelling by foot? You can check in faster by using one of the two new kiosks available now in our passenger terminals. They’re easy to use and all you need is your booking number. Once checked in, the kiosk will print your boarding pass - that’s all you’ll need to board the ship. Or, if you’d prefer, you can check in with the help of our awesome crew in the terminal. Check-in closes one hour before your sailing.
If you’re checking in bags, simply put one of our luggage tags on each item and take them to the bag drop zone. If you want to change your booking or need any special assistance - e.g. boarding the ship or travelling with a pet - just let us know and we’ll be happy to help. Please remember any alcohol, musical instruments, sporting equipment or large bags must be checked in. For your safety getting on and off the ship, please wear something on your feet.
When it’s time to board in Wellington, we’ll guide you on-foot from the terminal to our ship. There are several flights of stairs to board the ship. Let us know if you need assistance boarding. There is a lift available and we can transfer you on to the ship in our passenger van. We may use our passenger van if the weather isn't too flash, to keep you as comfortable as possible.
In Picton, the complimentary Bluebridge shuttle bus will transfer you between the ship and terminal (just a stone throw away).
Bringing your bike? You’ll also need to check in at least one hour before your sailing. In Wellington, we’ll guide you from the terminal to our ship. You can ride to the stern ramp but must walk your bike on and off the ship. No riding on the ship. In Picton, for your safety please cycle behind the Bluebridge shuttle bus when you’re getting on or off the ship. Your bike will be safely stored beneath the decks - out of the weather. We supply lashings to secure bikes to ship rails/brackets, and rags for padding, but recommend you bring your own. Our crew will be nearby if you need a hand.
We encourage you to bring your own tie-downs for motorbikes to ensure your vehicle is completely safe and secure during the voyage. A member of our staff will be on hand to provide you with assistance or advice if required.
Motorhomes and campervans
We welcome campervans and motorhomes and specifically cater for larger vehicles by offering plenty of space to turn around and park. You’ll be expected to drive your vehicle safely onboard, although our friendly staff members are always close-by if you need a hand!
For extra safety, please ensure you turn off LPG tanks, double-check your handbrake is on, put it in gear, turn-off your alarm and lock your vehicle. When boarding at night, remember to turn your lights off before you approach the ship's ramp so as not to blind our crew.
If you're a member of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association you're entitled to very special rates with Bluebridge. Visit the NZMCA website for more information.
If you find yourself feeling unwell due to motion sickness whilst on board here's some tips that may help:
- Sip water or get some ice chips from one of our friendly crew.
- Looks towards the horizon. Avoid reading or staring at objects inside the ship.
- Wear an ear plug in one ear.
Items available on board that help ease motion sickness:
- Sea-bands are acupressure wrist bands that help relieve nausea.
- Motion sickness medication like Tripease can help.
- Ginger can help. Try ginger tea or ginger beer.
Ask one of our friendly crew for assistance.
Carrying dangerous goods
All dangerous goods must be declared prior to check in. If you are travelling with dangerous goods you will be required to complete a dangerous goods declaration manifest.
Please take time to familiarise yourself with the following dangerous goods limits. If you have any questions about the goods that you are carrying, please contact us.
*Diesel with a flashpoint of over 60C can be carried with a limit of 500 Litres
**Flashpoint refers to the temperature where the vapour of a flammable liquid will ignit
|Drive-On Vehicles||Walk-On Passengers|
|Batteries-limited to less than 250L (measured by the volume of the battery case)
Other Corrosive substances-limited to less than 5kgs (solids) or 5L (Liquids)
|Corrosives cannot be carried on board|
|Gases||Flammable Gases-limited to less than 50L water capacity.
Max cylinder size 25 Litres
Non-flammable, non-toxic gases limited to 90L water capacity
Scuba dive tanks limited to under 200L water capacity
|Flammable Gases-limited to 25L water capacity.
Max cylinder size 25 Litres
Non-flammable, non-toxic gases limited to 25L water capacity
Scuba dive tanks limited to 50L water capacity (4 Cylinders)
|With a flashpoint** below 1C limited to less than 5 Litres
With a flashpoint between 1C and 60C limited to less than 100 Litres
Examples: Paint, Petrol and Kerosene
|With a flashpoint** below 1C limited to 1 Litre
With a flashpoint between 1C and 60C limited to 5 Litres
Examples: Paint, Petrol and Kerosene
|Up to 5kg or 5L of certain oxidising materials may be carried-please call 0800 844 844 if carrying this product||Cannot be carried on board|
|Up to 5kg of certain flammable solids may be carried-please ring and check if you are carrying this product.||Up to 1kg of certain flammable solids may be carried-please ring and check if you are carrying this product|
|Up to 10kg or 10L of certain oxidising materials may be carried - please ring and check if you are carrying this product||Cannot be carried on board|
|Toxic Substances||Up to 5kg or 5L of certain toxic substances may be carried-please ring and check if you are carrying this product||Up to 1kg or 1L of certain toxic substances may be carried-please ring and check if you are carrying this product|
|Radioactive Materials||There are no exclusions when carrying this product-it MUST be properly declared and a Dangerous Goods Manifest completed. Please call 0800 844 844 to get a form emailed to you for completion. The form will need to be received 24 hours prior to the sailing you are travelling on.||Cannot be carried on board.|
|Infectious Substances||Portable toilet effluent, septic tank wastes and sewage screening sludge. Up to 100 Litres or one portable toilet.||Cannot be carried on board|
Limited to certain small arm cartridges, hand flares, smoke flares, distress flares and signal cartridges only with a limit of 50kg gross weight including packaging. Please contact us by phone if carrying any of this class of product
Note Fireworks are prohibited.
Limited to certain small arm cartridges only with a limit of 2kg gross weight including packaging.
Note Fireworks are prohibited.
|Dry Ice||Articles that present a danger during transport not covered by any other classes.
Up to 5kg or 5L of certain miscellaneous substances may be carried-please ring and check if you are carrying this product*.
|Articles that present a danger during transport not covered by any other classes.
Only diesel with a flashpoint of over 60C can be carried up to 10L
Our checked-in luggage allowance permits up to a maximum of two bags (up to 30kg per bag) per passenger. If you need to take additional luggage or items this is available from $10/bag. Please note there is no luggage limit restriction for passengers taking vehicles as luggage will remain in your car.
Please consider other passengers when bringing your hand luggage onboard. We advise keeping your hand luggage to one small item no heavier than 7kgs (plus a handbag) per passenger.
Other over-sized stuff
We take all sorts of awkward-sized items across the Strait like skis, surfboards and musical instruments for $12 per item. You should check them in and we will transport them to ship and store them beneath the decks, inside and out of the weather.
We're unable to check-in canoes or kayaks as they won't fit in the luggage truck. For safety reasons, we can only carry kayaks and canoes if they are lashed to the roof of your vehicle or on a trailer towed by your vehicle. To find out more contact us.
Items on the roof of your vehicle, e.g. a kayak, that are longer than your vehicle won’t be charged for the extra length as long as we’re able to safely park another vehicle under the overhang. If we’re unable to do that, please be prepared to pay for the extra length of the overhang.
All musical instruments must be checked in. Musical instruments aren't permitted to be taken onboard or played onboard.
Travelling with pets
If you're travelling with a pet, it's very important you let us know. While service dogs are permitted in passenger lounges, household pets are required to stay in your vehicle (or in one of our hire kennels) for the duration of the sailing. For tips to keep your pet happy and safe while travelling go to travelling with pets here.
Travelling with firearms or hazardous goods
All firearms must be declared when checking in. The same applies to any hazardous goods such as corrosive acids, explosives or flammable products including fireworks. See a full list of dangerous goods items here.
Our liquor licence means that only alcohol purchased on the ship can be consumed on board. Drinking of alcohol is not permitted in the terminals or on premises. All alcohol must be declared and checked in if you are travelling on foot i.e it cannot be carried as hand luggage.
If you're walking on with your bike, your bike sails for free. You can even get a discounted ticket if you join the Bluebridge Bike Club. We have bike racks on both ships, though our supply of lashings and padding is very limited so we recommend you bring your own preferred tie downs to ensure your bike makes the journey safely. One of our crew will be on hand if you need help.
The Straitsman has full wheelchair access in all areas, while wheelchair access onboard the Strait Feronia is more limited. Please check whether our services meet your requirements on 0800 844 844 (from New Zealand), +64 4 471 6188 (international calls) or email us at email@example.com
We offer free travel for service dogs and mobility dogs, who can access all public areas of our ships. Certified service dogs are able to accompany their owner into all passenger areas. Please let us know prior to departure that you’re travelling with a service dog and ensure you have certification tags or documents handy.
The Straitsman offers private wheelchair-friendly cabins containing height adjustable beds with large accessible en suites. All cabins come complete with bed linen and towels.
The cabins have two sets of bunks and one lower bunk has an electrically elevating bed, which at its lowest height is compatible with a wheelchair transfer. At its highest it’s a good height for an attendant carer to assist with changing or dressing. The head and middle of the bed are adjustable to support sitting in bed.
To book your own private cabin, simply add this to your online booking or let our team know when booking via phone. You can also ask at reception on-board before the ferry departs.
Please note that Strait Feronia cabins are more limited and do not have the same accessibility features. Please check whether our services meet your requirements on 0800 844 844 (from New Zealand), +64 4 471 6188 (international calls) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Travelling with Pets
To ensure your pet has a safe and stress free journey across Cook Strait with us, please read the following information.
LET US KNOW: It’s important that you let us know that you’re travelling with an animal as this can determine where your vehicle is parked.
Pets must either remain in your vehicle - with the windows ajar and water available - or in one of our vehicle deck kennels ($15 one way) for the duration of the sailing.
If you’d like to book a kennel, you can book online at the time of making your original booking, by calling 0800 844 844 or asking a crew member on the day of travel (subject to availability). If you’re travelling with kitten(s) or other very small pets, please ensure they’re placed in a crate or carrier inside the kennel. We also recommend bringing a water bowl and blanket or toy to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible.
Straitsman: 800mm W x 1200 D x 1000 H
Strait Feronia: 640mm W x 800mm D x 910mm H, also with 1 large kennel at: 800mm W x 1130mm D x 1040mm H
A few hints and tips:
- please exercise and toilet your dog prior to check-in, there are plenty of dog exercise areas and green spaces around Wellington and Picton. Visit https://wellington.govt.nz/services/consents-and-licences/dogs/exercise-areas or https://www.marlborough.govt.nz/services/dogs-and-other-animals/dog-exercise-off-leash-areas
- bring water and keep the vehicle windows down to ensure ventilation. In the heat of summer, the inside of vehicles can get hot (even in the shade). If in doubt, schedule travel for evening sailings or choose one of our well ventilated kennels.
- before you travel, please ensure your pet is happy being in the vehicle (or kennel) alone for an extended period. You won’t be able to visit the vehicle deck during the sailing.
For other information about travelling with pets please visit www.spca.nz.