Stena Line cruise from Hoek Van Holland to England - An Awesome Experience
We had a tough time deciding what was the best way to travel with a baby from Amsterdam to London, by train via Belgium and Paris, an overnight coach or flying. The train would be pricey, the coach would be tiring, flying would be too much with a baby already, read our experience in last post HERE. With the new addition to our family, roughing it out on the move wont be suitable anymore.
Probably, we stumbled about Amsterdam to London Rail and Sail deal during our research, we read passengers experience and reviews and it appeared to be the best option, we booked Stena Line Cruise return ticket from Hook of Holland to London. Harwich was the port in England, then by train from Harwich to London central - Liverpool Streel station was included in the fare.
We landed at Schipol Airport at night and took direct train to Hoek Van Holland with one change at Schiedam Centrum near Rotterdam. The port located literally just beside the train station. An overnight cruise, the ship leaves the port at 10pm and arrives at 6am next day, passenger must buy the cabin for the night journey. When we arrived at the port there was no one until 7pm when passenger starts getting in when boarding opened. Getting to the ship was simple and checking in was quick and easy, so much nicer than an airport. No queuing or rushing to get seats !
|1. Inside cabin view towards North Sea 2. Immaculate spotless cabin with porthole window 3. Stairs and foyer between decks 4. Hallway to cabins, similar to hotel|
We sailed from Hook of Holland to Harwich and returned three days later. Both ships were absolutely spotless and modern, on the outward ship our room was the 2-berth inside cabin without window. On the return journey we had the outside one with a large viewing porthole. This room was booked by mistake with an additional 10 euros during booking, we wanted to cut cost. But boy we didn't regret that whatsoever !
Double decker cabin was clean and spacious (and had the most amazing shower ! ). Cabin also has TV showing British programs with one channel showing a real time video of an outside moving ship. We slept like our baby on both journeys. It was very smooth and quiet sailing. The staff were immaculately presented whose majority of them were Filipinos. Must be such a ripped off if you're Filipino and traveled on this ship, you're easily be mistaken as the staffs not the passenger !
There were plenty of space in common area at deck 9 to lounge indoor and outdoor. Not to mention with free wifi and big screen tv at the lounge. The booking process was easy as was the boarding and disembarkation.
It was such an awesome experience! Flying is so stressful and tiring compared to this as an option. Flying get you places sooner but with this we saved a 2 nights accommodation by sleeping in a moving ship. Woke up at Harwich Port at 6am and got straight on the waiting train. Perhaps the best bit is that you end up in the center of London - not some regional airport that takes hours to get to/from.
I will definitely be doing this again from England to Ireland or to European main land the next time we embark on our holiday !