We had a visit to Duinrell Theme Park in Holland planned, with a family of six we decided to drive to Harwich and take the ferry across to The Hook of Holland and then drive across to Duinrell in Wassenaar. The reason we chose this route was a great recommendation from friends that Stena Line operated this route and they were the best when it came to Ferry journey’s in the North Sea.
Anyway – we drove down from the North of England leaving at 3:00pm and arrived somewhat tired at Harwich Ferry Terminal around 9:00pm, a reasonable journey although we were delayed by roadworks on the M6. All I can say is I was looking forward to boarding relaxing with some good food and having an uninterrupted sleep during the crossing to hopefully feel refreshed for the onward drive to Wassenaar.
We had arrived pretty early and when we booked in at the terminal, we were told sailing would be at 11:00pm and boarding would start as soon as the ship was ready, approximately 10:30. We drove to the loading point to wait, but in what I thought was a helpful gesture the loading guys waved for us to start loading so less than 30minutes after arrival we had boarded, that’s great service in my book.
We were on overnight journey and had reserved two cabins for the six of us, a four berth outside cabin and a three berth outside cabin, that way we would have a view leaving and entering port.
We were directed to our cabins by the most helpful of staff who couldn’t do enough for you, the cabins were spacious airy with comfortable and roomy beds. Staff are always happy to provide extra duvets and towels if needed. The showers are great, better than many I have come across in the UK, lots of hot water and plenty of elbow room.
Food - So, all showered - lets head off down to the restaurant for a meal and a beer or wine. The menu in the onboard restaurant had a superb choice that catered for all including vegetarian choices. These included a choice of starters, beautifully prepared mains, and great desserts to finish off your meal.
The drinks choice was comprehensive, I had the fish and chose an excellent Pinot Grigio. The service was some of the best I have had – again recommended without a doubt.
Time to Set Sail – talking to the staff we were informed that the journey may take a little longer than usual because of bad weather and the Captain may have to navigate some rough sea, so with that we retired to our cabins slightly concerned.
In our cabin we settled down watched TV for a while and enjoyed a lager and some snacks from the complimentary selection. The ferry had left Harwich and the engine noise was non-existent, the only way you knew we were at sea was by looking at the coastal lights going by and the slightest of vibration from the ship.
After a good night’s sleep we woke by the ships address system informing us that the ferry would be docking in forty five minutes a little later than planned due to the weather, if the weather had been bad we never felt any of it in the cabin – brilliant crossing, hats off to Captain and crew.
Time for a shower and breakfast. Breakfast was as you would expect, coffee, fruit juices, cereals, and a choice of hot food, well worth booking sets you up for the day ahead.
Unloading - time to clear the room and get ready to offload, this took no time at all, well organised procedure and we were off within fifteen minutes of loading our car – Amazing Stena Job Well Done.
We just want to thank everyone on board Stena line for their hospitality it was amazing, the cabins where so spacious and comfortable, the food was exceptional, and the crew were so nice. I would definitely recommend – an easy Five Star Rating from us.