This is a question we get asked a lot. The ferry crossing across Lough Swilly is marked on the Ordnance Survey maps for the area, and even on some of this years tourism maps.
Unfortunately, as I write this in July 2015, the ferry is not running. It has been off all this year – but I believe will be back again next year. The short crossing between Buncrana and Rathmullan has been on and off for years, and even when it is running seems more inclined to be closed due to weather than its counterpoint in Lough Foyle.
In May the Donegal County Council advertised for applications for the licence to operate this route, with a closing date for June 2015. They have run this advertisement again now, with a new closing date next week. Hopefully they will be successful in finding an operator, as the council have promised to provide some subsidy to the running costs.
If it is started again it will most likely be run by the Foyle Ferry, as it was them who previously operated this route. The crossing is short, and was very reasonably priced – especially for foot passengers with bikes! It is a great way to get across to Rathmullan as it means avoiding Letterkenny, and some busy main roads.
In the meantime, the ferry across the Foyle from Greencastle to Magilligan is still going strong; I feel inspired to write a piece about that soon too. If there is any news on the Swilly crossing I will be sure to come and update this piece! Until then folks, you will have to stick to the roads I’m afraid.