Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
den herraghty

FORSEA - Lunch Cruise Extended Version

Recommended Posts

 

 

At the request of another member here's an expanded version of my recent post in Other Ferries

I’m just finishing a week off work and, as usual, did some travelling. I didn’t have any “must do’s” on my list - apart from maybe travelling on Moby Corse. 

I know she has a limited season so wasn’t too surprised when I couldn’t find her on the Moby timetable.

 

Next idea was ferry hopping on the Konnigsee criss-crossing between Germany and Italy - but I couldn’t find flights that suited me so I decided to pursue my second favourite hobby flying!

 

I’ve got enough points already this year to keep my status with British Airways so I could look around and fly something different. First up was LEVEL - one of the low cost IAG offshoots - to Vienna. This was thwarted as they decided to cancel the route from the end of August - meh!!

As a result, some searching lead me to finding one of those offers which you have to look twice at and try to find out what the catch is. This was with Turkish Airlines from VIE to the Nordic capitals for £ 145 one way in economy (I know - I had to look up what that means) and worked the other way as well which was more suitable. Flying from Copenhagen offered the choice of two wide bodied aircraft and and a 2h30 minute transfer time in the new Istanbul airport which is why I found myself on a Norwegian Air International Boeing 738-800 conducting a bumpy landing into Copehagen Kastrup and the basis for this report.

 

I had no firm plans for my afternoon and evening in Copenhagen but knew that this would be the only opportunity to get some ferries in. Quickly through border formalities and on to the rail station I found that I had missed the hourly Oresundtag through train to Helsingborg so made my way to Malmo Central to see what I could pick up there. Sweden has re-introduced border controls when travelling to the country and on-board announcements indicate this - although there were no checks carried out in my carriage.

 

There was a Swedish Railways high speed train (SJ Snabbtag) departing 20 minutes after I arrived which gave me a chance to look round this rejuvenated station. The first time I was there it was very much run down and not a welcoming arrival into the country. Now it is thriving with several restaurants/shops and a lively vibrant feel. A comfortable journey ensued (aided by a beer from the Bistro) and I was soon alighting at Helsingborg transport interchange.

 

FORSEA is the current operating name for the twenty minute crossing to Denmark. There are three passenger carrying ferries:- Aurora af Helsingborg/Tycho Brahe (Swedish Register) and Hamlet (Danish Register - not unsurprisingly). All three are near sisters and the two Swedish vessels have a battery capability as advertised by large decals on the hull. There was a fourth freight only ferry - one of the Superflex class. During my crossings the vehicle decks seemed to be full.

 

For such a short crossing the vessels are very well equipped with a full service restaurant, cafe, truckers lounge, bar and duty free area. Tobacco sales are only permitted in the first ten minutes of sailing from Helsingborg; alcohol in the last ten (obviously the other way round on the return!). When I last travelled on the route (in the Scandline era) they advertised a lunch cruise so I enquired about this at the ticket office and was issued with a ticket costing 168 SEK. The normal return costs 95 SEK so its quite a good deal. Adjacent to the booking office in the terminal are notices indicating service times on board each of the vessels (although the one for Hamlet was missing). Midweek Aurora has ‘Waves’ restaurant open from 12.00 - with enhanced times on Tycho at the weekend. Fortunately Aurora was the next departure.

 

Embarkation is via a dedicated Passenger Access system onto the main passenger deck. Paper tickets are clipped whilst regular travellers utilise a swipe card reader. ‘Waves’ is situated on the upper passenger deck at the ‘Danish’ end of the ship with a seperate bar adjacent to the entrance. Warmly welcomed I was shown to a table overlooking the ‘bow’ and introduced to my Italian born stewardess.

 

I was offered the choice of the buffet or a la carte menu. When I explained that I had the buffet ticket and, presumably only one round trip to use it on, I was delighted to be told that I had as long as I wanted and to relax and enjoy the trip(s), So bottle of wine ordered  I settled down for two round trips by watching the passenger only ‘Perilla’ of Sundbusserne pitch her way across the sound. Both of my crossings were interspersed with heavy squalls and the occasional wave breaking over the harbour walls.

 

As well as myself, there were three other parties in the restaurant. An extended family adjacent to me, a group of four senior citizens and a large group having a celebration. When I asked if it was worth having the restaurant open I was told that this had been an exceptionally quiet day and that at weekends they were normally full.

 

The buffet itself seemed a little uninspiring - that may be because I joined the ship at 14.10 two hours into service and the other diners were using the a la carte service - but there was the usual Nordic selection of cold cuts; salmon and dill sauce; fried fillets of fish; a meat option - not entirely what it was though! - potatoes/veg; brie and a rather moreish cake. Two questions here:- Are you supposed to eat Brie with the ‘skin ‘ on and is three pieces of cake ‘just to make sure I like it’ too many?

 

The ‘thumps’ of the ship meeting the waves on the departures from Denmark were more pronounced - enough to make the glassware and crockery rattle - and the movement gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling of being at home. (I spent 20 odd years on and off afloat and just love being in a ship in lumpy seas). 

 

During the call in Helsingor the food had been cleared away and my stewardess enquired if I wanted another bottle of wine - stating that the buffet would be upgraded after 17.00. At 285 SEK a time I politely declined and settled my bill. As we arrived in to Helsingborg I noted that the Hamlet was still alongside when we should have met her in mid channel, the vessel being ten minutes late on a twenty minute frequency.

 

Disembarkation was swift and the Border Control point was closed so it was another hassle free entry into Sweden. Twenty minutes later and the ticket machine had relieved me of 56 SEK for my final crossing of the day. Foot passenger wise this was rather quiet - but the vehicle deck was full. A sub one hour train trip and I was back in Copenhagen for a night stop and my eagerly anticipated Turkish Airlines flights.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this, that it was not tooooo long and may have given you some travel ideas!

 

Den 




 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

24 minutes ago, den herraghty said:

I’m just finishing a week off work and, as usual, did some travelling. I didn’t have any “must do’s” on my list - apart from maybe travelling on Moby Corse. 

I know she has a limited season so wasn’t too surprised when I couldn’t find her on the Moby timetable.

---

FORSEA is the current operating name for the twenty minute crossing to Denmark. There are three passenger carrying ferries:- Aurora af Helsingborg/Tycho Brahe (Swedish Register) and Hamlet (Danish Register - not unsurprisingly). All three are near sisters and the two Swedish vessels have a battery capability as advertised by large decals on the hull. There was a fourth freight only ferry - one of the Superflex class. During my crossings the vehicle decks seemed to be full.

For such a short crossing the vessels are very well equipped with a full service restaurant, cafe, truckers lounge, bar and duty free area. Tobacco sales are only permitted in the first ten minutes of sailing from Helsingborg; alcohol in the last ten (obviously the other way round on the return!). When I last travelled on the route (in the Scandline era) they advertised a lunch cruise so I enquired about this at the ticket office and was issued with a ticket costing 168 SEK. The normal return costs 95 SEK so its quite a good deal. Adjacent to the booking office in the terminal are notices indicating service times on board each of the vessels (although the one for Hamlet was missing). Midweek Aurora has ‘Waves’ restaurant open from 12.00 - with enhanced times on Tycho at the weekend. Fortunately Aurora was the next departure.
 

Interesting review, thanks for posting.

Moby Corse has just finished her season on the Genoa-Bastia route and took over the Livorno-Bastia route last week from the Moby Vincent without a gap in service so should have been visible in the schedules.

The Tycho Brahe is actually a Danish ship (in fact she was the last ever DSB ferry) and was always obviously so on board; the Aurora, notionally a twin sister, had her interiors designed by Robert Tillberg but they don't seem to have worked out how to deal with a modern, quite small, passenger ferry so she was full of the absurd ornamentation with dainty little window blinds and jarring decor that Tillberg Design threw at the cruise ships they designed around the same time. The Tycho Brahe in contrast was in the DSB modernist tradition and much the better for it. Both now share the look of their Stena-era refits although the Tycho Brahe still retains her astrology themed vestibules and stairwells.

Interesting, and good news, if the Tycho Brahe's restaurant has reopened as it's been closed for a few years; I thought it was always the best of the three so hopefully they persist with that.

The Superflex (Mercandia IV) also has a Stena interior which generates a bit of cognitive dissonance when you're used to the usual perfunctory Superflex fitout (that may admittedly have counted as luxury in 1980s Sunderland).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HHV

Thanks for your comments.

I have indeed got it wrong about the restaurant on Tycho Brahe (as well as her nationality!)

I've just checked the FORSEA website and the restaurant I saw advertised in the terminal was LAT 56 (Hamlet). Really sorry about getting your hopes up that TB's restaurant had re-opened.

As for Moby Corse, I'll remember that information for next year.

Thanks again

Yours Aye

Den

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...