Harwich to the Hook of Holland with Stena Line
Last week, the lovely team at Stena Line took me on a European road trip! Myself, the PR and two other bloggers spent three days traveling through and exploring Germany and the Netherlands along the international Dollard route - but of course they had to get us there first.
Stena Line are a ferry company with two super ships that make the journey to Holland and back twice daily. They sorted us out with a rail and sail train ticket for the Britannica, which is one of the two largest Superferries in the world. Our ticket included a cabin for the overnight sail and our train tickets from London to Harwich and a train on the other side in the price - a grand total of £158 return.
I met the girls at Liverpool street station and after a snack run we got on the train at just after 7.30pm and arrived at Harwich station around an hour and a half later. I really enjoy being on an overground train because I love watching the world go by. The journey was made even more enjoyable with mini bottles of prosecco and getting to know the girls I was going to be spending the next few days with.
The train arrived straight into the ferry terminal right on time at 9pm but sadly, the same can't be said for the boat - it was a couple hours delayed leaving Holland so wasn't going to arrive for a while. Luckily the departure lounge was a comfortable place to wait with a cafe and easy access to toilets, plus the football was on so no one actually wanted to leave until that had finished anyway.
When the time came, we went quickly through security and straight onto the ship, it was very easy. By that time, it was getting late so we rushed up to our cabins to drop off our luggage and then went straight to the restaurant for dinner and had a three course meal for €32 at the Metropolitan Restaurant. As it cost extra, it wasn't very busy which was nice and the food was much nicer than I remembered from ferry crossings in the past. I really enjoyed the salmon starter and the milk chocolate panna cotta topped with cream and summer berries for dessert. So delicious.
The cabins reminded me very much of those on a cruise just smaller, I suppose that should have been obvious but I dont really know what I was expecting. The bathroom pods were exactly the same and the way the bunk beds pulled down from the wall was exactly the same too, it was actually quite reassuring for me as it was something familiar from past cruise holidays. What I haven't had on a cruise ship for a very long time though was a lovely huge port hole to look out of so that was an added bonus.
We had a breakfast buffet in the morning before departing the ship. Again Hook of Holland port actually doubles as a station so you don't gave to go far to catch a train. We hired a car at the other end and made a start on hour three hour onward journey. Did you know there's no speed limit in Germany? That and the fact that it sounded like Julie hadn't updated her iPod since 2010 made for a very entertaining ride!
That's it for this post! Keep up to date with my blog posts to see what we got up to when we arrived at our destination!