Night ferry from Hoek van Holland NL to Harwich UK 8 August 2022 ~ Part 1

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Here's a random group of photos of arriving at the Hoek, boarding the ferry and departing. Although we had a cabin which is mandated for a night crossing I forgot to photo anything onboard and no time to photo arriving in Harwich. We make the return crossing in November and if anyone is curious about the interior just ask and we'll do our best.

Departure was 22:30 arriving at 06:30. With the 1 hour time difference it was a 9 hour crossing, I believe the day crossing is faster/shorter.

Weather was fine, warm and clear, as good as it gets in this part of the world. We expect a different crossing in November.

The ship we'll be sailing on
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Our camper in the fairly small pre loading area
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Rail station on the left, Stena complex on the right
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Models of some of the ships in the Stena fleet in the passenger waiting area
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Spacious, clean and comfortable waiting area
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On our way to border control opposite Europort
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About to board
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Europort a huge and very busy maritime and trade area
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Seen that name on another ship somewhere...
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Night ferry from Hoek van Holland NL to Harwich UK 8 August 2022 ~ Part 2


The bow of a Rhine type barge



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The rest of it
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Really starting to board
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Huge space inside
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Bags left in cabin, now on deck as we are about to leave
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Loaded and ready to go
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This place is non stop
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More of the same
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Near the mouth of the estuary
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Did Europort ever look more purposeful and beautiful
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Willbridge

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Enjoyable and informative photos! I think I posted my April 1970 photos of this same trip before, so I'll spare them this time, but these brought back wonderful memories of the railway ships and the boat trains.

I checked in my battered Ausland Kursbuch and the scheduled running time westbound in 1970 was 6½ hours on the day run and 7½ on the night run.
 
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Wow, it feels like your journey is finally underway (even if all you are doing right now is importing the camper van into the UK).

Post pandemic and post brexit it is a bit more complex than that Jennifer. The camper has to come back here to France on 7 November to finish small jobs on it, completely clean inside, outside and underside ready for US entry and then packed for the trip. We will probably sail from Liverpool so will return the camper to the UK again.

We had to take it back to the UK on the 8 August as it is still UK registered and are not allowed to keep it here with us permanently, only 90 in 180 days under Brexit rules. Still it gives us time now to tidy up the homestead ready for a long absence.
 
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Glad to know this is still operating. Makes you feel like it’s a real journey to leave the continent and head for U.K.

Is there still a connecting train, as we enjoyed in 1989.

Spot on, a real crossing.

At both the Hoek of Holland and Harwich there are portside rail stations connecting directly into the ferry terminals. Direct from central Rotterdam to the Hoek and from London to Harwich. I think most trains from London need a change at Mannigtree but there may be the occassional direct trains. Manningtree is a pretty riverside village to explore, now also a very desirable place to live since the pandemic.
 

PeeweeTM

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Is there still a connecting train, as we enjoyed in 1989.
Sorry, no trains on the Dutch side anymore. The line was converted into a kind of interurban line of the RET transit system of Rotterdam.
At Schiedam you can transfer to trains or continu on as the interurban continues as subway into the Rotterdam city centre, but not to the main station. But you can connect again with real trains at Rotterdam Blaak and Alexander.
 

cirdan

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Sorry, no trains on the Dutch side anymore. The line was converted into a kind of interurban line of the RET transit system of Rotterdam.
At Schiedam you can transfer to trains or continu on as the interurban continues as subway into the Rotterdam city centre, but not to the main station. But you can connect again with real trains at Rotterdam Blaak and Alexander.
A real shame that.

It was always so exciting to arrive at The Hook and see the huge variety of trains there, including international trains for Germany and Switzerland. Some of them mixed consists with cars from two or even three countries.
 
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Sorry, no trains on the Dutch side anymore. The line was converted into a kind of interurban line of the RET transit system of Rotterdam.
At Schiedam you can transfer to trains or continu on as the interurban continues as subway into the Rotterdam city centre, but not to the main station. But you can connect again with real trains at Rotterdam Blaak and Alexander.

I understand your point as you are differentiating between long distance trains and urban trains, I was generalising. When I first booked my trip to Harwich it was as a foot passenger with a ticket from Zwolle to the Hoek on a single ticket, changing at Rotterdam Alexander.

For the casual train rider it is all a train journey on trains of whatever type but as you write without the international long distance trains of the past arriving at the port.
 

Ziv

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I almost had a close encounter with the fast ferry out of Harwich back in 1994. It was Zero dark thirty and I was the helmsman for HMV Golden Hinde and I spotted a ship way off in the distance to the Southwest of us. I talked with the other crew that were on watch and we checked the radar. No sign of it on radar. The radar was "always" set to 12 miles so we figured it was an optical illusion and the ferry was further away than it appeared. But the lights remained behind the same part of the rigging so we were on converging courses and we were under power, not sail.
The three of us are looking at each other like, "Do we wake up the captain and get yelled at, change the course without permission and get yelled at or keep going?" I slowly changed course to go behind the ferry and shortly after that a huge blip shows up on the radar screen. Someone had found a way to re-set the radar to 1 mile instead of 12 miles and we had gotten too dang close to the ferry without giving way. The Golden Hinde was a wooden sailing ship so our radar return was tiny and our running lights were not all that impressive either.
This is the risk you take when you put three landlubbers in charge of a ship at night!
 
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I almost had a close encounter with the fast ferry out of Harwich back in 1994. It was Zero dark thirty and I was the helmsman for HMV Golden Hinde and I spotted a ship way off in the distance to the Southwest of us. I talked with the other crew that were on watch and we checked the radar. No sign of it on radar. The radar was "always" set to 12 miles so we figured it was an optical illusion and the ferry was further away than it appeared. But the lights remained behind the same part of the rigging so we were on converging courses and we were under power, not sail.
The three of us are looking at each other like, "Do we wake up the captain and get yelled at, change the course without permission and get yelled at or keep going?" I slowly changed course to go behind the ferry and shortly after that a huge blip shows up on the radar screen. Someone had found a way to re-set the radar to 1 mile instead of 12 miles and we had gotten too dang close to the ferry without giving way. The Golden Hinde was a wooden sailing ship so our radar return was tiny and our running lights were not all that impressive either.
This is the risk you take when you put three landlubbers in charge of a ship at night!

Was it THE Golden Hind?
 
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JontyMort

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I understand your point as you are differentiating between long distance trains and urban trains, I was generalising. When I first booked my trip to Harwich it was as a foot passenger with a ticket from Zwolle to the Hoek on a single ticket, changing at Rotterdam Alexander.

For the casual train rider it is all a train journey on trains of whatever type but as you write without the international long distance trains of the past arriving at the port.
To be fair, the overall result may be better, since a frequent tram link to Rotterdam coupled with onward trains from there is probably more flexible for most travellers - even if people like us find it less romantic.
 

JontyMort

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Spot on, a real crossing.

At both the Hoek of Holland and Harwich there are portside rail stations connecting directly into the ferry terminals. Direct from central Rotterdam to the Hoek and from London to Harwich. I think most trains from London need a change at Mannigtree but there may be the occassional direct trains. Manningtree is a pretty riverside village to explore, now also a very desirable place to live since the pandemic
Two through trains a day in each direction - connecting with the ferry, by the look of it. A splendid oddity of the morning train to London is that changing at Manningtree is quicker - because the through train is “all shacks”. Depends on the luggage, of course.
 
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Two through trains a day in each direction - connecting with the ferry, by the look of it. A splendid oddity of the morning train to London is that changing at Manningtree is quicker - because the through train is “all shacks”. Depends on the luggage, of course.

The best part is both stations are onlt a few paces from the ferry terminals, really easy transfer from train to boat to train
 

Ziv

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Was it THE Golden Hind?
She was the "realistic" replica built in Appledore England and launched in 1973. (There is a non-seaworthy barge of the same name but it is a tourist trap) HMV Golden Hinde circumnavigated the world and starred in a mini-series called Shogun. She then returned to the UK and operated as a museum ship that specialized in school group tours. Ten of us sailed her from Kingston on Hull to Ipswich and then on to London's Butlers Wharf in 1994 and 1995. A gentleman by the name of Roddy owned her and Captain Paul would skipper the sailing parts. Then we would tie up and do tours of the ship for a couple months. She is now a hulk that is no longer sea worthy and is "docked" in a spot ashore near St. Mary's Dock near HMS Belfast.
Sorry about the bad quality pictures, I scanned them manually for Facebook years ago.
The first one is us at Butler's Wharf with Tower Bridge behind us. Then there is a photo of most of the crew and then one of me at the wheel. I will try to find the one of the view from the main top...
 

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She was the "realistic" replica built in Appledore England and launched in 1973. (There is a non-seaworthy barge of the same name but it is a tourist trap) HMV Golden Hinde circumnavigated the world and starred in a mini-series called Shogun. She then returned to the UK and operated as a museum ship that specialized in school group tours. Ten of us sailed her from Kingston on Hull to Ipswich and then on to London's Butlers Wharf in 1994 and 1995. A gentleman by the name of Roddy owned her and Captain Paul would skipper the sailing parts. Then we would tie up and do tours of the ship for a couple months. She is now a hulk that is no longer sea worthy and is "docked" in a spot ashore near St. Mary's Dock near HMS Belfast.
Sorry about the bad quality pictures, I scanned them manually for Facebook years ago.
The first one is us at Butler's Wharf with Tower Bridge behind us. Then there is a photo of most of the crew and then one of me at the wheel. I will try to find the one of the view from the main top...

What an adventure, the opportunity to sail a 16th century replica. Why hasn't one of the UK major maritime agencies taken over the job of maintaining such a historic ship?

Thanks for the insight and history, very interesting.
 

MccfamschoolMom

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I once took the overnight ferry from Esbjerg, Denmark to Harwich, years ago. I had come to Europe with a group from my college, and stayed an extra month with relatives in Sweden and Norway. To get home, I had the student version of the Eurailpass, took the train from Oslo to Copenhagen, then another train from Copenhagen to Esbjerg, then the overnight ferry to Harwich, all covered with the Studentrailpass. (Once I got to Harwich, I had to buy a train ticket to get to Heathrow airport, then sit in line overnight to fly standby home the next day.)
 
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I once took the overnight ferry from Esbjerg, Denmark to Harwich, years ago. I had come to Europe with a group from my college, and stayed an extra month with relatives in Sweden and Norway. To get home, I had the student version of the Eurailpass, took the train from Oslo to Copenhagen, then another train from Copenhagen to Esbjerg, then the overnight ferry to Harwich, all covered with the Studentrailpass. (Once I got to Harwich, I had to buy a train ticket to get to Heathrow airport, then sit in line overnight to fly standby home the next day.)

What a varied journey, did you enjoy it? That crossing Esbjerg ~> Harwich was known to be quite (very) rough at times, did you experience that?
 

MccfamschoolMom

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What a varied journey, did you enjoy it? That crossing Esbjerg ~> Harwich was known to be quite (very) rough at times, did you experience that?
I had taken conversational Danish through the local community college in high school, and 2 years of Norwegian in college, so I was able to chat with native Danes in the next seats -- who thought I was Norwegian! Found out the hard way that bananas (purchased from a mini-mart in the Copenhagen train station) did NOT travel well - they got quite mushy by the time I ate them. I think I slept OK on the overnight ferry to Harwich. (I was only 20 at the time, and this was a VERY long time ago, so that part doesn't stick out.) Camping out in the standby line at Heathrow was a royal pain, as the floor was very hard; I was near the front of the line, though, and got to chat with a pair of travellers from Israel who were next in line behind me. Don't recall exactly how I got home to Mom & Dad's house after the flight, though; they might have picked me up, or I might have found public transportation (either a bus to the commuter train to Kenosha, WI, or one of those "airport shuttles" that would go all the way to Kenosha).
 
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