STENA LINE FERRY TO HOLLAND
Harwich to the Hook of Holland is the shortest route between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Stena Line run to two brand new Superferries, Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica, between the ports – both offer a morning sailing and an overnight service.
You can either travel by car, or as a foot passenger by train. The station, Harwich International, is right next to the ferry terminal and services leave from Liverpool Street Station in London.
Check-in at both ports is simple and normally speedy. You're issued with your cabin key and any meal vouchers that you have purchased in advance. If travelling from the UK by train on the Dutch Flyer, passengers are also given their onward train ticket for Holland.
"The cabins are clean, very comfortable and surprisingly spacious...."
Staff are on hand from the moment you step aboard, to help guide passengers to cabins, all of which are accessible by lift. There is a choice of cabins on board and for those on day crossings, it’s possible to pay a small fee and upgrade to the Stena Plus lounge, which offers a comfortable space to relax without a cabin. The cabins are clean, very comfortable and surprisingly spacious.
There is a single occupancy option for disabled travellers with adapted facilities. Families also have the choice of 3, 4 and 5 berth cabins. There are “inside” and “outside” options – the latter has a window.
The cabins have a small shower, sink and toilet. Towels, shampoo and soap are also provided. There's a flat screen TV and in the Captain Class cabin a free mini bar is included.
There's no chance of oversleeping in the morning, as a gentle Reggae version of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is piped into the rooms- an effective way to ensure that everyone is up and ready to disembark.
Cabins are half price during the daytime sailing.
"...it's great to start your day already at your destination..."
There's an Info point where you can find out more about your onward journey in Holland and buy rail tickets. Wi-Fi is also available but we sometimes found it to be slow in the cabins.
Metropolitan Restaurant is a waiter service option. Starters from €7.99 and mains from €17.99. The 3 course menu is €28.99 and the children's option is €17.99. The food is good and the portions are too big if anything- most diners probably only need a main. There are vegetarian options such as onion soup and pasta dishes, and there is a limited choice of wines.
There's a self-service option (The Taste Restaurant) where the prices are similar to those at a motorway service station. There is a good choice of food here, and this may be the preferred option for passengers who don’t want a heavy meal just before bedtime. A breakfast buffet is served in the self-service restaurant too.
There are several bars around the ship and a great sun-deck to relax on. There's even a basketball court if you get a rush of energy.
You can watch a film at the on board cinema. There's a midnight showing on the overnight service and tickets can be bought from the Guest Services (Info) desk. There's also a TV lounge showing a range of news and sports channels, which is free.
You can upgrade to the Stena Lounge plus if you want a bit of peace and quiet. It has newspapers, complimentary hot and cold drinks and “nibbles”. The seats are, from experience, very comfortable but you may prefer to sit on the sun deck or lounge areas.
There's a duty free shop on board selling the usual selection of alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes and those odd toys and souvenirs seemingly only found on ferries. A casino operates during the sailing too if you're feeling lucky.
Kids are catered for too and there's a play area.
Although we sailed as guests of Stena Line we feel happy to state that the overnight onboard experience was excellent. We had good night's sleep and, if you can overcome being woken by jaunty music, it's great to start your day already at your destination.