Ferry Cruising - Mini-trips to Europe
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No longer just a means of transport, modern ferries are
more like cruise lines, with entertainment, great food and comfortable cabins.
So if you want to sample life at sea, try a mini cruise on a ferry. Here are
some attractive options.
Portsmouth to Spain
Brittany Ferries sails from Portsmouth to both Santander
and Bilbao. The crossing takes 24 hours but time will fly by on board the
luxurious ships. There’s a choice of eateries; light bites are available from
bars and cafes, there’s a good self service restaurant and for a more
sophisticated experience, there’s fine dining too.
You can take in a movie, have a dip in the pool, shop
‘til you drop or relax in the sunshine with a good book. For kids there’s a
play area, video games and child-friendly restaurants.
Cabins range from twins and doubles to four berth family
rooms. There are accessible cabins for those with disabilities and even
pet-friendly accommodation. All cabins have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning
and are available throughout your journey.
Fancy staying a night or two in Spain before returning? Make
your own arrangements or try one of Brittany Ferries’ holiday offers.
Stretching out around the bay, Santander has excellent
beaches, restful gardens and great restaurants, ideal for a relaxing short
break ashore. Brittany Ferries offers Santander cruise & stay breaks. For more information visit
www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/offers or call 0871
Hull to Rotterdam
P&O Ferries’ overnight crossing takes around eleven
hours and you need to be on board around two hours before departure so you have
plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s facilities before getting a comfortable
night’s sleep. Enjoy live bands and cabaret in the show lounge, dance the night
away in the disco or try your luck in the casino. Take in a movie or relax with
some drinks in one of the comfortable bars. For kids there are colouring-in
pads and a play area where they can tire themselves out.
Feeling hungry? Then head to The Kitchen, an
all-you-can-eat buffet. If you want more traditional dining then try The
Brasserie and sip a glass of wine while you choose between delicious options
such as whole lobster, sirloin steak or sea bass. Maybe the beer battered fish
and chips takes your fancy or Lancashire Cheese souffle tart. You’re spoiled
When you’re ready for bed then you can enjoy your
reserved accommodation. A standard cabin with toilet and shower is included in
the ticket price but you can upgrade to larger cabins and ones with windows.
The top-of-the-range Club Cabins have colour TV and tea and coffee making
facilities. There are also accessible cabins for wheelchair users.
Rotterdam mini-cruises include coach transport between the port and the city centre, giving you
over seven hours to explore this delightful and historic city before the return
sailing. For more information visit www.poferries.com or call 0800 130 0030.
Aberdeen to Orkney & ShetlandThe islands off the north coast of Scotland offer an
unforgettable mixture of amazing scenery, culture and history. Northlink Ferries offers a unique opportunity
to experience all this, together with a chance to try out your sea legs, and
fresh air doesn’t come much fresher!
There are nightly sailings from Aberdeen to Lerwick in
Shetland – with four of these sailings going via Orkney’s capital, Kirkwall.
Take your time, there’s so much to see.
Whilst on Orkney, visit the Standing Stones of Stenness,
a Neolithic monument built between 5,400 and 4,500 years ago. The village of
Skara Brae was inhabited from roughly 3,180BC to 2,500BC, making it older
than the Pyramids, yet these stone-built houses had furniture such as
cupboards, dressers, seats and central fireplaces, even primitive toilets and
drainage. See the wartime Churchill Barriers built largely by Italian prisoners
of war, and the beautiful Italian Chapel they constructed for their worship.
There are so many unique things to see you might stay longer than intended.
Lerwick is Shetland’s capital. Developed in the 17th
and 18 centuries it has many shops, restaurants and attractions for visitors
such as Fort Charlotte, dating back to 1665, and the bronze age Clickimin Broch.
Travelling in style and comfort,
Northlink’s ferries offer a cinema, bars, restaurants, shops and free internet
access. For a touch of luxury why not book the Magnus lounge? There are a range
of two and four berth cabins on board or you can opt for a sleeping pod. They resemble an over-sized airline seat with a large table,
adjustable lighting and a USB socket. Once reclined, you can sleep without
intruding on the space of the person behind. For more information visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk or
call 0845 6000 449.
Harwich to the Hook of HollandStena Lines offers two sailings a day from Harwich to the
Hook of Holland so you can choose between daytime and overnight sailings for
the six hour crossing. Stena’s super-ferries offer a la carte and casual
dining, a bar, cinema, and a sun deck where you can relax and enjoy the sea
air. Kids are well catered for with many kids’ favourite items on the menu,
plus a play area and a basketball court to keep them occupied. There are over
500 en-suite cabins with designer beds, flat screen TVs, de-luxe shower
fittings and, in ‘Captain Class’ cabins, a free mini-bar.
Want to stay a little longer? Amsterdam, Antwerp and
Utrecht are within reach and if you don’t want to drive, the train station is
close to the ferry terminal and cities such as Rotterdam and The Hague are in
easy reach. Hotel packages are also available. For more information visit www.stenaline.co.uk
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