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crechbleiz

Stena Hook - Harwich

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As usual with work, plan changes all the time. I will now be sailing from Hook of Holland to Harwich next week instead of sailing to Hull. I am booked on the Stena Hollandica overnighter. I would be grateful for any tips. My ticket says that boarding will start at 7pm. What time should I check in?

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That’s odd - Hollandica usually operates the afternoon sailing from the Hook.

Hope you have a good crossing - it’s one I definitely want to experience at some point.

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2 hours ago, crechbleiz said:

As usual with work, plan changes all the time. I will now be sailing from Hook of Holland to Harwich next week instead of sailing to Hull. I am booked on the Stena Hollandica overnighter. I would be grateful for any tips. My ticket says that boarding will start at 7pm. What time should I check in?

Hollandica runs on European time, Brittanica on U.K. time. Limited passenger space both inside & out as her first 8 decks are for vehicles. Food is the standard stuff with a small bar. self service and an A la Carte all crammed in together over looking the bow.

They'll allow you to "sleep" for an extra hour or so after arrival in Harwich although I doubt you will as the thrusters vibrate the ship like an earthquake when docking at around 0430.

Not a fan of either ship or the overnight crossing. I boarded her after a long drive from Kiel, one of the worst travel decisions I've made. Personally I'd do what I've done since, book a room at the Kuiperduin which is good enough for 1 night & 5 mins around the corner then travel back in the morning... or change your mind and head to Hull.

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3 minutes ago, jonno said:

Hollandica runs on European time, Brittanica on U.K. time. Limited passenger space both inside & out as her first 8 decks are for vehicles. Food is the standard stuff with a small bar. self service and an A la Carte all crammed in together over looking the bow.

They'll allow you to "sleep" for an extra hour or so after arrival in Harwich although I doubt you will as the thrusters vibrate the ship like an earthquake when docking at around 0430.

Not a fan of either ship or the overnight crossing. I boarded her after a long drive from Kiel, one of the worst travel decisions I've made. Personally I'd do what I've done since, book a room at the Kuiperduin which is good enough for 1 night & 5 mins around the corner then travel back in the morning... or change your mind and head to Hull.

They do have arguably the nicest cabins on any ferry to the UK though...

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By Stena standards the ships are great in my view and the overnight crossing not too bad with timings. Day crossings can drag a bit without a cabin.

Being purpose built and still in essentially their original configuration helps when compared to the somewhat butchered look and feel of some other Stena ships, especially their predecessors.

Breakfast in the self service is a bun fight, the purser on the Hollandica told us once that she couldn't bear to be in the place during and after if the crossing was remotely busy.

The a la carte is generally fine but again that's Stena standards not BF. As said above though the cabins are great.

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

Hollandica runs on European time, Brittanica on U.K. time. Limited passenger space both inside & out as her first 8 decks are for vehicles. Food is the standard stuff with a small bar. self service and an A la Carte all crammed in together over looking the bow.

They'll allow you to "sleep" for an extra hour or so after arrival in Harwich although I doubt you will as the thrusters vibrate the ship like an earthquake when docking at around 0430.

Not a fan of either ship or the overnight crossing. I boarded her after a long drive from Kiel, one of the worst travel decisions I've made. Personally I'd do what I've done since, book a room at the Kuiperduin which is good enough for 1 night & 5 mins around the corner then travel back in the morning... or change your mind and head to Hull.

So if I understand correctly, disembarkation will start an hour after the advertised arrival time?

Edited by crechbleiz

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51 minutes ago, hhvferry said:

By Stena standards the ships are great in my view and the overnight crossing not too bad with timings. Day crossings can drag a bit without a cabin.

Being purpose built and still in essentially their original configuration helps when compared to the somewhat butchered look and feel of some other Stena ships, especially their predecessors.

Breakfast in the self service is a bun fight, the purser on the Hollandica told us once that she couldn't bear to be in the place during and after if the crossing was remotely busy.

The a la carte is generally fine but again that's Stena standards not BF. As said above though the cabins are great.

I think I will opt for the a la Carte. I prefer quiet surroundings for my meals.

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4 hours ago, Gareth said:

....however, I see Britannica and Hollandica indeed seem to have switched.  I wonder how long ago that happened?

Hi Gareth, they switched the day after Boxing Day last year. Each year they switch runs between Xmas and New Year, although this year they didn't switch back.

I've been reliably informed the reason for the switch is to allow Brittanica more time for maintenance. Her new timetable means she will now spend a large part of the day alongside at the Hook before returning to Harwich in the early afternoon. This allows them to complete essential maintenance on board during the morning. The twins will switch back to their usual runs after Christmas this year.

Apparantly the new timetabling hasn't gone down well with the Brittanica's English crew. This surprised me as I thought it would be an easier schedule for them, especially given the longer night crossing to Holland and due to the fact the boat is completely empty of passengers until lunchtime!

Edited by Gunwharf
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3 hours ago, hhvferry said:

By Stena standards the ships are great in my view and the overnight crossing not too bad with timings. Day crossings can drag a bit without a cabin.

Being purpose built and still in essentially their original configuration helps when compared to the somewhat butchered look and feel of some other Stena ships, especially their predecessors.

Breakfast in the self service is a bun fight, the purser on the Hollandica told us once that she couldn't bear to be in the place during and after if the crossing was remotely busy.

The a la carte is generally fine but again that's Stena standards not BF. As said above though the cabins are great.

Personally, I rarely bother with Breakfast on any overnight crossing any more, apart from to Spain where you actually have time to eat and enjoy it. I've tried it on all the North Sea routes, and have found it far from the best way to start the day. I took one look at the buffet on the Stena Hollandica and instantly decided I'd rather eat when I got off...

Edited by Ryan_H
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4 hours ago, Ryan_H said:

They do have arguably the nicest cabins on any ferry to the UK though...

Really? I think they're industry standard for 2010. When you consider that the two of them are the most recent builds sailing from the U.K. they're no different to those aboard Armorique, Cap' Finistere or MSM. I think I've posted pictures of Hollandica's suites on here somewhere, I do prefer them to any other of the top end ones, They're also cheaper and far larger than P&O's Rotterdam ships which a have a pokey window about the size of a 21 inch LCD TV... one of them does have a bath though.

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