Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
neilcvx

European causeway and Stena superfast 7

Recommended Posts

Had a nice weekend away in Northern Ireland we went out on European causeway on the 10 30 sailing from Cairnryan just as well we hadn't booked the 730 sailing as it had been cancelled, we were going on a cycling holiday and on this particular route the foot and bicycle passengers go on a bus and the bus stays on the boat was a busy sailing particularly the relatively small public areas with 3 bus loads of South Koreans taking up a lot of space European causeway is a spectacularly dull ferry with next to no outdoor space and poor choice of public seating I will leave it at that apart from the fog horn going of a lot,

After a wonderful couple of days cycling from Larne to Cushendall then Cushendall to Belfast we arrived at Belfast port and entered the terminal waited about 5 minutes before we were escorted out to board the ship by cycling on after a short wait in a car lane to let 200 odd motorbikes on we cycled on board the noise from the bikes was spectacular as the bikers tied there bikes down we were directed to a small cupboard at the bow of the ship and left our bikes in there , we spent most of the crossing at the Met bar at the front got some edible food from the taste restaurant and ate it in the met bar as the restaurant was full, Superfast 7 is a great ship with loads more features than EC, was a smooth sailing and she never seemed to be making an effort to move at all a good sailing , disembarking was great my father was convinced we would be last off but I came out the storage cupboard a member of staff made eye contact with me then came across "When I wave at you after the doors down cycled right out the gates and get on the cycle path then I will start letting everyone else off" great service. Was a short cycle of about a mile from the Stena port to the P&O port where we had left the car.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130746383@N04/

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

Had a nice weekend away in Northern Ireland we went out on European causeway on the 10 30 sailing from Cairnryan just as well we hadn't booked the 730 sailing as it had been cancelled, we were going on a cycling holiday and on this particular route the foot and bicycle passengers go on a bus and the bus stays on the boat was a busy sailing particularly the relatively small public areas with 3 bus loads of South Koreans taking up a lot of space European causeway is a spectacularly dull ferry with next to no outdoor space and poor choice of public seating I will leave it at that apart from the fog horn going of a lot,

After a wonderful couple of days cycling from Larne to Cushendall then Cushendall to Belfast we arrived at Belfast port and entered the terminal waited about 5 minutes before we were escorted out to board the ship by cycling on after a short wait in a car lane to let 200 odd motorbikes on we cycled on board the noise from the bikes was spectacular as the bikers tied there bikes down we were directed to a small cupboard at the bow of the ship and left our bikes in there , we spent most of the crossing at the Met bar at the front got some edible food from the taste restaurant and ate it in the met bar as the restaurant was full, Superfast 7 is a great ship with loads more features than EC, was a smooth sailing and she never seemed to be making an effort to move at all a good sailing , disembarking was great my father was convinced we would be last off but I came out the storage cupboard a member of staff made eye contact with me then came across "When I wave at you after the doors down cycled right out the gates and get on the cycle path then I will start letting everyone else off" great service. Was a short cycle of about a mile from the Stena port to the P&O port where we had left the car.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130746383@N04/

 

I Know what you mean about the bikers. The first time a group of us went to watch the TT, 1985, they put us all in an old rail shed at the Pier Head prior to boarding the Mona's Queen, around a 1000 bikers started up all at once, the noise and smell was amazing... There was me on a semi knackered Suzuki ER 50 with a sheared kick start with a tent on the back next to all of the Dutch and German superbikes and tourers with panniers, tank bags and beautiful girlfriends. I was 17 and hooked!

I did it better 5 years later on an Eddie Lawson replica Z1100R with matching racing green wheels, leathers and bone dome... Proper poser!!  We left from Heysham that year, I think we went on Ben-my-Chree, similar to Commodore Clipper, can't remember. Anyway enough of the trip down memory lane...

Great pics Neil, nice one matey9_9

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Jonno uploaded the video of them boarding now , got a lot of nice photos on the trip too it is a lovely island with friendly people.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 16/05/2017 at 15:18, neilcvx said:

Had a nice weekend away in Northern Ireland we went out on European causeway on the 10 30 sailing from Cairnryan just as well we hadn't booked the 730 sailing as it had been cancelled, we were going on a cycling holiday and on this particular route the foot and bicycle passengers go on a bus and the bus stays on the boat was a busy sailing particularly the relatively small public areas with 3 bus loads of South Koreans taking up a lot of space European causeway is a spectacularly dull ferry with next to no outdoor space and poor choice of public seating I will leave it at that apart from the fog horn going of a lot,

After a wonderful couple of days cycling from Larne to Cushendall then Cushendall to Belfast we arrived at Belfast port and entered the terminal waited about 5 minutes before we were escorted out to board the ship by cycling on after a short wait in a car lane to let 200 odd motorbikes on we cycled on board the noise from the bikes was spectacular as the bikers tied there bikes down we were directed to a small cupboard at the bow of the ship and left our bikes in there , we spent most of the crossing at the Met bar at the front got some edible food from the taste restaurant and ate it in the met bar as the restaurant was full, Superfast 7 is a great ship with loads more features than EC, was a smooth sailing and she never seemed to be making an effort to move at all a good sailing , disembarking was great my father was convinced we would be last off but I came out the storage cupboard a member of staff made eye contact with me then came across "When I wave at you after the doors down cycled right out the gates and get on the cycle path then I will start letting everyone else off" great service. Was a short cycle of about a mile from the Stena port to the P&O port where we had left the car.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130746383@N04/

 

Next to no outside space on European Causeway?  She has outside space running almost the full length of the ship on both sides of the main passenger deck, plus an upper deck area around the funnel which is well signed.  How much outside space do you want on a ship that only takes 400 passengers?

It was Northwest 200 weekend so no surprise about there being a lot of motorbikes!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stand by what I said the outside space on the side was small and the access to the upper deck was blocked off, I don't know how many people were onboard but it was enough to make it feel cramped and lack seating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, neilcvx said:

I stand by what I said the outside space on the side was small and the access to the upper deck was blocked off, I don't know how many people were onboard but it was enough to make it feel cramped and lack seating.

It's a P&O habit - on the Dover ships the areas outside crew cabins tend to be roped off to give them peace and quiet leaving only a small part accessible to the public.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasthe smell of people smoking that made pretty much all the outside space of limits to me lung cancer isn't high on my short break wish list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, neilcvx said:

I stand by what I said the outside space on the side was small and the access to the upper deck was blocked off, I don't know how many people were onboard but it was enough to make it feel cramped and lack seating.

ANY vessel will feel cramped when approaching its passenger capacity, and you did chose to travel on what was a busy weekend.  The Superfast's aren't very pleasant either when nearing capacity - I know from experience!  I honestly find it hard to believe there was a lack of deck space even if the upper deck was roped off (something I find surprising as P&O have made much of opening up the area and adding additional seating there - the area further forward probably was restricted so the crew can get some rest).  In 17 years of service this is the first time I have heard any complaint of a lack of outside deck space on Causeway or Highlander.  In any case, Im not sure why anyone would have wanted to spend much time on the outside deck last Saturday (which I assume is when you travelled given the cancellation) - it was a miserable day!  I was on the opposite sailing from Larne to you and stayed indoors where it was warm and dry apart from when getting the necessary pictures.  There are much larger vessels with less outside deck space in any case.  Now the vessel we sailed on, EUROPEAN SEAWAY, is a vessel that does lack outside deck space, which is hardly surprising given she was built as a freight vessel.  You would definitely have been disappointed if  you had travelled on her!

Anyway, i'll let people judge for themselves.  In this drone pic (from flickr), the longest outside deck is the one accessible to passengers on both sides, though it is gated off from the lifeboat/FRB back (as shown in the second picture from Scott Mackey's excellent flickr page).  I'm not sure how they could provide much more outside deck space to be honest!

P&O European Causeway RoRo Ferry 2European Causeway

The ships do have inferior passenger facilities to their Stena counterparts, but in their defence the crossing is significantly shorter and their passenger certificate a third of that on the Superfasts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought there was only about 25 minutes difference in the sailing times there were only 4 motorbikes on board European causeway according to a crew member , I always like to spend time on deck unless it's freezing cold which it wasn't but it was hard to get away from the smoke on her outside decks, to be fair I would sail on her again if she was priced competitively the Stena ship is just a far nicer experience.

Here's a photo to show the closed off section on deck 4 and a phot of her in the distance taken from Superfast 7

IMG_0372.JPG

IMG_0462.jpg

Edited by neilcvx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair I'm seeing a lot of outside deck space and only a couple of people there.  The area around the MES which is roped off is only a few metres in any case, with very little actual open space forward of that point (see the drone pic).

Unfortunately on these routes, what the timetable says and when the ships actually leave and arrive are often two different things.  It isn't unusual for P&O to complete their crossings in little over 90 minutes (and arrive early, or on-time after leaving late), Stena on the other hand have a tendency to leave early and arrive late - up to 15 minutes early/late in some cases adding up to 30 minutes to the actual crossing time!  Generally with P&O you will be driving off the ship and on dry land by the timetabled arrival time, with Stena less so.

If you come across again you may want to look into some of the short-stay return fares Stena offer (such as the 30 hour return on foot for £30) if you can manage to have Belfast at the start and end of your itinerary.  It should work out much more cost effective.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the Stena ship was going to be late as it left Belfast so slowly but it arrived on time , both super smooth sailings to be fair, the ride from Larne to Cushendall was lovely and scenic if a tad windy and the ride through the Glens to Belfast was perfect.

https://www.strava.com/activities/984382209/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1494691095

https://www.strava.com/activities/985993342/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1494770560

https://www.strava.com/activities/985809446/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1494764660

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×