Word of warning - the ferry from Dublin doesn't dock in Liverpool. The ferry terminal is on the other side of the river in Birkenhead.
If you catch the 22.00 ferry from Dublin in Friday 18th you will arrive in Birkhenhead at 5am on the 19th. I'm not sure there is a bus you can catch at that time in the morning so you would have to get a taxi from the ferry terminal and then through the Mersey Tunnel to Liverpool. Also, I'm not sure if there will be any taxi's waiting at the terminal so you might have to pre-book one which will probably mean phoning a taxi firm while you are still in Dublin.
You should get into Liverpool city centre by 6am but you don't say where you need to be by midday. There's not much to do in Liverpool city centre at 6am!
Therefore, it might be less hassle, quicker and cheaper to just fly from Dublin to Liverpool.
P.S. the ferry company you would need is Norfolk Line which is owned by DFDS.
Thank you for this, I am beginning to think the ferry (when you don't have a car) is looking rather difficult. I thought there might have been a very fast ferry as well as the overnight option but that also appears tricky. Your information has been most helpful, especially as we have never been to Liverpool before.
If you still want to travel by ferry you could fly from Dublin, or even take a ferry from Dublin, to the Isle of Man which is in the middle of the Irish Sea.
From Douglas in the Isle of Man you can catch a fast ferry to Liverpool, and the ferry actually docks at Pier Head in front of the Liver Building in Liverpool.
It might be more expensive to do it that way but is something to consider.
Running a fast Liverpool - Dublin would be rather silly as a train can easily outrun a fast ferry, therefore the fast ferry runs from Holyhead.
Combined train + ferry tickets cost £36 or less depending upon the choice of ferry, available at www.buytickets.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/ (and possibly some ofther train company websites) or british railway ticket offices. It is not cheaper to buy in advance, but they is a small risk of tickets being sold out.
stenna fast ferry dont run past sept 15th when they revert to normal ferry although irish ferries still run from dublin port to holyhead after this date ,as a further point to the last poster there was a high speed ferry dublin liverpool journey time city centre to city centre of 2/12 hours but it was done in by cheap flights , so it was still far quicker than train to holyhead then fast ferry, but Mr O,leary and ryanair with a flight time of 30 mins put paid to the fast liverpool/dublin sea route, so a fast ferry connection wasnt as silly as the previous poster said, another TA poster with no local knowledgeEdited: 10 July 2011, 14:51
Book in advance with Ryanair..I go to Liverpool once a month and by booking in advance my return fare is usually about 31 Euro..print off your boarding pass 15 days to 4hours before your flight and you only need to be at Dublin Airport an hour before departure. Flight is approx half hour and if you have luggage it is nearly always waiting by the time you get to the terminal building and half hour after that you can be in the centre of Liverpool on the 500 bus from directly outside!
Fare will be more if checking on bags.
Thank you to everyone - all information is much better than I was getting from a travel agent here in Sydney. We think Ryan Air looks like the best solution to our needs and yet before I posted my question we thought flying would be our last option. Many, many thanks.
By train and ferry, Dublin to Liverpool costs just 42 euros by fast ferry or 36 euros by ship with a SailRail ticket covering both the ferry and the train.
Book online at www.irishferries.com/ie/sailrail.asp
The 08:45 fast ferry from Dublin Ferryport will get you to central Liverpool at 14:16; The 14:30 fast ferry will get you to Liverpool at 20:15. Or there's an 08:05 ship. All via Holyhead. 40 minutes minimum check-in for the ferry.
No baggage limits or fees, no airport taxes, no bus or taxi from the airport to Liverpool centre.Edited: 11 July 2011, 14:59