Crossing the English Channel

Rotterdam Travel Blog

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Entering the Hook of Holland
 

It wasn't until morning that I realized the massive size of the Stena Hollandica. A wake-up call came at seven. I eagerly scrambled out of my comfortable cabin to gulp a quick buffet breakfast of bread, ham, and cheese with a cup of coffee, then explored the ship further. Deck 7 housed the cafĂ©, a restaurant, gift shop, theater, reception, game area, smoking lounge, bar, and more. It was a floating town. An outside area on Deck 10 overlooked semi truck trailers on the car decks far below. They were all parked  in five long rows, neat and orderly - clean and white like the ship itself. I didn't see any cars on the aft end at all. Orange lifeboats lined both the sides of the ship, suspended along Deck 8 or 9. The air was cold and winds strong but the sight was spectacular.

Towing the lines
Half a dozen other vessels headed our same direction; container ships and tankers, all funneling toward the Hook of Holland from all directions. We over-took one freighter off our starboard side. An industrial area came into view on the north side and we entered a long wide channel toward the terminal area. 

 

I stood by, outside on Deck 7, fascinated by the docking process. From the towering bridge - which looked like stubby wings extending a few meters wider than the ship - the captain was able to monitor the docking too. While three men heaved heavy ropes, another maneuvered the gateway toward the port side of the ship. Right on schedule, we disembarked onto a long enclosed walkway toward the terminal building. I stopped several times to photograph the Hollandica. It was a real thrill to travel on the ship.

 

After clearing Immigration into the Netherlands, the surprisingly few passengers walked to the nearby train stop. A short ride on the sprint train brought us into Rotterdam Centraal Station.

cneoridium says:
I'd love to ride on that thing! It's just a regular passenger ferry?
Posted on: Oct 03, 2009
rotorhead85 says:
For me it sure was - like a kid on a first airplane ride!
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
vulindlela says:
Wow, that would be a fun ride..
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
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Entering the Hook of Holland
Entering the Hook of Holland
Towing the lines
Towing the lines
Passing another ship
Passing another ship
Lifeboats
Lifeboats
Approaching Holland
Approaching Holland
Approaching the terminal
Approaching the terminal
Ship map
Ship map
Breakfast buffet
Breakfast buffet
Food City
Food City
Ship store
Ship store
Waiting gang-plank
Waiting gang-plank
The bridge
The bridge
Final docking
Final docking
Aft end of the ship
Aft end of the ship
Stena Lines poster
Stena Lines poster
The ship
The ship
Train stop near the terminal
Train stop near the terminal
Sunrise at the terminal
Sunrise at the terminal
Ship from the sprint train
Ship from the sprint train
Rotterdam Centraal
Rotterdam Centraal
Rotterdam
photo by: polvandenwirre