Category Archives: Ferry

Shrewsbury Travel Branch Collects Christmas Gifts For Women’s Aid Charity

Generous-spirited people have got behind a gift appeal in Shrewsbury to help women and children spending Christmas in a refuge.

The Midcounties Co-op Travel branch, cooptravel.co.uk, in the town centre has asked colleagues, customers, local businesses and the general public to donate new toiletries, toys and clothing for the appeal.

Around 50 gifts have already been donated at the branch in Pride Hill and the collection continues until 12 December.

Organiser Kate Walmsley, Senior Travel Advisor, said: “The gifts will be wrapped and presented to our charity partner Women’s Aid who will distribute them to refuges in the region. We would like to thank everyone who has given so far; we have been touched by their support.

“I’m sure it will lift the spirit of the families who receive the gifts this Christmas to know that the community at large is thinking of them.”

The Midcounties Co-op Travel, a locally owned and independent business, is part of community retailer The Midcounties Co-operative. Midcounties is supporting charity partner Women’s Aid, the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children.

Its businesses have been raising funds and awareness to support the charity’s work nationally and eleven local services that operate within its trading areas, including refuges at Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Wyre Forest, Warwickshire, Wycombe, Oxfordshire, The Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire.

Colleagues are also giving their time to volunteering projects and getting involved in campaign work for Women’s Aid.

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Stena Line Launches New Car-Cation Campaign

According to leading ferry company Stena Line, if 2011 was all about stay-cation then 2012 is going to be about the Car-cation. Funny man and award-winning travel writer Dom Joly has been recruited as the face of the Car-cation campaign on TV and press across the UK and Ireland.

The Car-cation trend centres on using the family car as one of the main focal points of the holiday and the freedom it provides to bring unlimited luggage. Recent research has shown that the average woman takes at least eight pairs of shoes on holiday, not to mention packs twice as much needed for the trip. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for the rest of the family but luckily when travelling with Stena Line customers can add a roof rack for all the little extras at no additional cost.

Dom said: “I love travelling and I love my car… put the two together and it doesn’t get any better. It’s called a Car-cation. The Stena Line ships are
fantastic; first class service and stylish lounges with as much leg room as you want. There are cabins to relax in and even a spa. Best of all, when I’m away I can still keep in touch with free WiFi and I can even use my phone.”

Stena Line’s Head of Marketing Orla Noonan believes the Car-cation campaign will resonate with the public who are increasingly looking to reduce stress levels, especially around holidays. She said: “Ferry travel is one of the most relaxing ways to holiday. It’s such a unique, enjoyable and stress free travel experience. Our aim is to encourage people to reappraise the fantastic possibilities that travelling by ferry with Stena Line has to offer.

“Taking your own car on holiday gives you the freedom to pack more in and go where you want, when you want. What’s more, as Dom demonstrates in our new campaign, a Car-cation with Stena Line allows holidaymakers to enjoy a VIP travel experience,” concluded Orla.

To make a booking, customers can log onto www.stenaline.co.uk, call 08447 70 70 70 or visit their local travel office or agent.

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Stena Line Offers 12 Million ‘Kids Go Free’ Places In 2012

Stena Line is offering up to 12 million kids throughout the UK and Ireland the chance to travel for free in 2012 as part of an initiative launched by the leading ferry company to celebrate National Ferry Fortnight which runs until March 31.

Stena Line Ireland is offering children, up to the age of 15 years, free travel on all of its five Irish Sea routes, when a car booking is made during National Ferry Fortnight. In Great Britain there are approximately 11,226,300 kids of age 15 years and under and combined with those across Northern Ireland and Ireland this would equate to almost £30 million worth of free travel.

Stena Line’s Head of PR and Communications, Diane Poole, OBE hopes the 14 days of National Ferry Fortnight will help focus attention on just how far ferry travel has transformed in recent years as well as highlight the benefits of ferry travel, commenting: “National Ferry Fortnight is a great opportunity to bring the ferry travel into the spotlight. Taking the ferry really is the most relaxing way to travel and with so much to do your holiday really does start as soon as you step onboard.

“All of our ships boast excellent facilities including Curious George themed play area, Teen Town, free movies, choice of restaurants and bars, free Wi-Fi, an onboard shop with great savings on fragrances, spirits and lots more.

“We continuously invest in our routes and services and over the next 14 days we want to highlight the benefits of travelling with Stena Line and encourage people to take advantage of our fantastic kids go free offer.

“We are offering around 12 million kids go free places to children aged up to 15 years when car travel is booked between March 17 – 31 for trips to be taken until January 5, 2013, so it really is an offer not to be missed,” Diane said.

As well as ferries to Ireland, the Stena Line Kids Go Free offer also includes the ferry company’s North Sea route between Harwich and Hook of Holland. Lars Olsson Stena Line’s General Manager for travel on the North Sea said: “It is now very difficult to find a good value family holiday during the peak holiday periods and we wanted to create an offer that would really encourage families to travel with us.

“Both Holland and Ireland are great family holiday destinations and the family-friendly facilities onboard our ships mean that the holiday starts the minute you get onboard.”

To find out more or to make a booking, travellers can log onto www.stenaline.co.uk/nff, call 08447 70 70 70 or contact a local travel agent.

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New Stena Line Superfast Ship Arrives in Loch Ryan Port

Stena Line’s Superfast VII ship has arrived at her new Loch Ryan Port home in Cairnryan in preparation for the opening of the new ferry route between Scotland and Northern Ireland on November 21st.

Superfast VII will be joined by her sister ship Superfast VIII at their new purpose built 27 acre Scottish port that will also encompass a brand new 1,500 square metre passenger and freight terminal. The ships will be the largest ever to sail between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The new port, new route and new ships are part of a £200M rolling investment programme, one of largest route investments ever made by Stena Line, which also included the construction of a new Belfast Port and terminal facility that opened in June 2008.

Stena Line’s new Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan is approximately seven miles north from its current home port of Stranraer and will commence scheduled services for freight and leisure customers on November 21st.

Paul Grant, Stena Line Route Director said: “When we start our new route timetable on November 21st, it will be from one of the most advanced ports in the UK. Loch Ryan Port is the culmination of years of planning by Stena Line and it will provide our customers with a world class facility. But the new port is only half the story. We will also be introducing two of the largest ships ever to have sailed between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Sister ships Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will complete the crossing in 2hrs 15mins with a level of comfort and range of facilities unrivalled on the Irish Sea. The new ships will even have their own Pure Nordic Spa which will include a Jacuzzi and sauna for use by Stena Plus customers. At 203 metres, the new ships have the capacity to accommodate 1 200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units. The new ships have been reconfigured to ensure that our leisure and freight customers have both been catered for. Specifically with our freight customers in mind, we have ensured that the new Superfast ships have no height restrictions with over 5 metre clearance to ensure they can accommodate the largest freight units on UK roads.

“We are delighted that our new port has been designated a National Project by the Scottish Government and are currently working with the government to look at improvements to the road infrastructure to and from the port to help the new facility maximise its full potential in terms of overall journey times between Scotland and Northern Ireland,” he concluded.

Stena Line’s new Cairnryan to Belfast route will have 10 scheduled sailings per day between Scotland and Northern Ireland at launch rising to 12 from December 5th.

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Stena Line Sails Away With Top Ferry Accolade For 19th Year

Stena Line has been voted the top ferry company for a record 19th time at the annual Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards. The ‘Best Ferry Company’ award was presented to the ferry company at a glittering awards ceremony at the Slieve Donard Resort in Newcastle in October.

Northern Ireland Travel News has been organising the awards for the past 20 years. This year’s ceremony was hosted by TV personality Eamonn Holmes and was attended by over 450 VIPs from the local travel and tourism industry.

Paul Grant, Stena Line Route Director collected the award on behalf of the company. He commented: “I am absolutely delighted that Stena Line has won the Best Ferry Company title for the 19th time and all of us are very proud that our commitment to improving our services has been recognised once again.”

“Although this is our 19th win, it’s every bit as important as our first success in this prestigious ceremony. The travel industry is used to seeing innovation and high levels of customer service so when they say once again that we are the Best Ferry Company it underscores that the high standards we set ourselves lead the industry,” said Paul.

“We are moving into a very important time for Stena Line’s operation between Northern Ireland and Scotland. On November 21 we are scheduled to start our new Belfast to Cairnryan service which will also see the introduction of two new vessels, Stena Superfast VII and Superfast VIII, the largest ships every to have sailed between Northern Ireland and Scotland,” he continued.

“In the summer we also added the Belfast to Liverpool and Heysham services to our route network. Along with our purpose built Belfast Port in VT4
which was completed in 2008, the overall investment is in the region of £250M, a resounding endorsement of our confidence in the future of Belfast as the regional hub for both freight and passenger traffic,” he added.

Stena Line is the market leader on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes from Ireland to Britain, including Belfast to Cairnryan (launching 21 November), Belfast to Liverpool, Dublin Port to Holyhead, Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard. The company carries approximately two million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year, more than its rival ferry operators combined.

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Stena Line Completes Integration Of Liverpool And Heysham Routes

Stena Line has just completed the full integration of the Liverpool and Heysham routes which it acquired from DFDS. Since approval for the purchase of the routes was given in June, a major systems integration project has been underway to integrate the new routes onto Stena Line’s Irish Sea business.

The addition of the new routes brings the total number of Stena Line routes on the Irish Sea to six including Stranraer-Belfast, Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire/Dublin Port and Fishguard-Rosslare.

Stena Line Area Director Michael McGrath said: “Integrating a £40M business takes a lot of planning and teamwork. To do it in a matter of months has been a fantastic achievement and I’m delighted to confirm that both the Liverpool and Heysham routes are firmly established and integrated within Stena Line’s day to day business operations.”

Obvious examples of the integration are the livery on the ships and the signage at the terminals. Behind the scenes there has been a colossal amount of work carried out to ensure that all Stena Line’s booking, pricing, financial and marketing systems and procedures have been applied to the new routes so that no matter when, where or how its customers book and use the new routes they will be a seamless part of the Stena Line business model.

A lot of preparation work has also been carried out with our freight and travel trade customers bringing them up to speed on the use and benefits of the new systems and ensuring a smooth transition takes place. According to Stena Line, the feedback to date from customers has been very positive and the company is looking forward to the new routes being fully fledged members of the Stena Line family.

“On the Irish Sea we now have a formidable range of options for our freight and travel customers with an expanded choice of routes, sailings and ships,” continued Michael McGrath. “In fact, our customers can even choose to go out with us on one route and return on another one of our routes as part of a seamless booking system – that’s real customer choice,” he concluded.

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Stena Line Awarded ‘Best Ferry Operator’ Accolade

Leading ferry company Stena Line has clinched the title of ‘Best Ferry Operator’ at the prestigious ‘Travel Bulletin Star Awards 2011’.

The ‘Star Awards’ are one of the most widely celebrated trade award programmes in the UK with voting conducted exclusively by the travel industry’s ‘true experts’, the travel agents, to recognise and reward excellence across the travel and tourism industry.

Ross Carson, Sales & Ancillary Revenue Manager was thrilled to collect the award at a glittering gala awards ceremony in London. “It is always great to win an award but when the accolade comes direct from travel agents themselves it is extra special,” said Ross.

“To be awarded ‘Best Ferry Operator’ by Travel Bulletin is an endorsement of our continued commitment to the travel trade and an acknowledgement that across the board, Stena Line is ahead of the competition,” he continued.

“With a lot of exciting new developments on the horizon in terms of port, ship and route improvements, this is a position that we hope to continue and expand.

“We will continue to work with the travel trade to ensure that Stena Line provides as much support as we can to them and their customers. This was a great team effort across the company and I am delighted to accept the award on behalf of Stena Line,” he concluded.

This November (2011) will be a watershed month for Stena Line with the launch of a new port, new route and new ferries. For the best part of the last 2 years, Stena Line has been working on developing a 27 acres site 8 miles north of their current port location in Stranraer, constructing a purpose built port and terminal facility which will see the company relocate to Cairnryan and establish a brand new route between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

As well as the new port and new route, Stena Line will also be introducing two new ships onto the service, the largest ships ever to have sailed between Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Stena Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will be equipped to accommodate 1 200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units and when the service starts in November they will provide up to 12 daily departures between Cairnryan and Belfast with a reduced
crossing time of 2hrs 15min.

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Stena Line To Introduce A New Level Of Onboard Facilities

Stena Line has confirmed that its two new Superfast vessels, which will be introduced on the company’s new Cairnryan to Belfast service in November, will have a Nordic Spa onboard to offer passengers a totally unique travel experience.

Stena Superfast VII and Superfast VIII will be the largest ferries ever to sail between Scotland and Northern Ireland and are currently undergoing extensive upgrades in Poland by specialist cruise ship outfitters. When complete, they will be the first Irish Sea ferries to offer passengers the opportunity to relax and indulge in a Pure Nordic Spa during the 2 hour, 15 minute crossing.

The spa will contain a sauna and Jacuzzi which will be exclusively available to Stena Plus and Premium fare passengers.

“We have established a reputation for providing a very high level of customer service so the prospect of offering our customers the opportunity to unwind in a Pure Nordic Spa at sea has really got our staff excited about giving our customers an even better travel experience,” said Stena Line Route Director Paul Grant.

“We plan to make the facility available to our Stena Plus customers and are confident that it will enhance our premium service offering even further. Although the new ferries will have a crossing time of just 2hr 15mins, our customers will still have enough time to relax and unwind and enjoy their journey even more than before.

“We are always looking at innovative ideas to help improve our offering to customers to ensure that their journey with us is a truly enjoyable experience in itself. The introduction of our Pure Nordic Spas is one such idea and one of a host of on board facilities which are dedicated to leisure and business passengers,” he added.

Stena Line’s new Cairnryan to Belfast route is scheduled to launch on 21 November. The new Superfast vessels will make 12 crossings per day and
each of the ten-deck ships can carry up to 1200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units.

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Stena Line Announces Super Ships To Shape Future Of NI Ferry Travel

Stena Line has announced the refurbishment of two giant ships that the company will be introducing on the Irish Sea later this year.

The identical ‘sister’ ships ‘Stena Superfast VII’ and ‘Superfast VIII’ will be the biggest ferries ever to sail between Northern Ireland and Scotland and will undergo a refit programme at the Remotova shipyard in Poland which the company claims will ensure that they are the most modern, comfortable and best designed ferries ever to ply the Irish Sea. The ships will carry passengers on Stena Line’s new Belfast to Cairnryan route route which launches in November

Stena Line has appointed specialist marine outfitters MJM Marine from Newry, a company with considerable experience in the global cruise ship industry, to ensure that the new ships are fitted out to the highest standards in order to provide customers with a unique top quality ferry travel experience.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Route Director, said: “In November this year we will be launching a new purpose built port and terminal at Cairnryan in Scotland which will herald a new route for our Northern Ireland to Scotland service and we will also be introducing two identical ships onto the route, the biggest ever ferries to sail between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It will be a huge milestone for this service and the culmination of an ongoing investment programme which started with the construction of the new terminal at VT4 in Belfast back in 2008. The combination of the new port and ships will enable Stena Line to reduce the journey time to 2 hours 15 minutes and will provide a level of quality, comfort and facilities never before seen on the Irish Sea.

“Not only that, the fact that the two ships are identical, allied with our already excellent customer service, means that customers are guaranteed a consistency of top quality on board service and facilities that we haven’t been able to offer before, another great advantage for passengers and freight drivers.

“That’s why we have appointed specialist marine outfitters MJM Marine who have a wealth of experience in the cruise ship industry and will play a vital role in enabling us to offer customers the best possible ferry travel experience,” he added.

“The ship layout will also be changed to accommodate our freight customers and I’m delighted to say that for the first time on the route, there will be no deck height restrictions, which means that we can accommodate virtually any load our freight customers have. We believe that this, alongside the fact that we sail direct from and to Belfast with easy access to the motorway system, will provide us with a unique competitive advantage in the market,” concluded Mr Grant.

Jonathan Guest, Managing Director of MJM Marine said: “We take immense pride to be involved with these prestigious refits and view it as an endorsement of MJM’s knowledge and experience of working with Stena on their Irish sea routes.”

Built in Germany in 2002, the new Stena Superfast vessels will each be able to accommodate 1200 passengers, 660 cars or 110 freight units and will operate up to 12 daily departures on the Cairnryan to Belfast route all year round.

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Stena Line Signs Deal with the Belfast Giants

Stena Line, the largest ferry company on the Irish Sea, has signed a sponsorship deal with another giant, the Belfast Giants, in a two year title sponsorship deal. The Stena Line Belfast Giants will take to the ice in August for a special pre-season Hockey Fest Weekend at the Odyssey on 27th and 28th against the Nottingham Panthers and will play their first competitive home game at the Odyssey against the Sheffield Steelers on 3rd September.

Stena Line’s area director, Michael McGrath, said: “The Belfast Giants are much more than an ice hockey team. They are an outstanding example of how a professional sports organisation can mesh with the community. Winning trophies is always the measure of sports teams but it doesn’t show their contribution to their community. The Stena Line Belfast Giants provide excellent family entertainment; work with schools and youth organisations across Northern Ireland and through the Giants Foundation they are dedicated to making a positive impact in the community. Stena Line is proud to be associated with them through this title sponsorship.”

It’s quite fitting that Stena Line is teaming up with the Stena Line Belfast Giants at this time as we prepare to introduce two of the largest ferries ever to sail between Northern Ireland and Scotland when we open our new route and port in Cairnryan in November 2011. The two Superfast vessels will be another two giants to add to the Stena Line team.

Todd Kelman, General Manager of the Stena Line Belfast Giants, added: “We are delighted to be onboard with Stena Line as our title sponsors for the next two years. Stena Line have been great supporters of the Belfast Giants’ community programmes over the years and their commitment and support will enable us to go out and build a winning team for Belfast. Stena Line has always believed in what we are trying to do for Northern Ireland and they are an organisation that we are very proud to be associated with. There are a lot of synergies between both teams and we are looking forward to working together and see if we can sail away with this year’s title.”

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Stena Express Returns to Fishguard to Rosslare Route

The Stena Express Fastcraft has returned to Stena Line’s Fishguard to Rosslare route on its summer schedule and will operate until Sunday September 4.

The vessel, which caters for up to 520 passengers and up to 120 cars, boasts a Stena Plus ferry lounge, Metropolitan Grill and Barista coffee house, free Wi-Fi and an onboard shop which offers a wide range of gifts, jewellery, spirits, confectionary and fragrances.

Stena Line Communications Manager, Eamonn Hewitt said: “The Stena Express has commenced its annual summer service on the Fishguard to Rosslare route to assist with the additional demand over the busy summer period.

“The vessel will complement our Stena Europe Superferry, offering customers three round trips daily on the route and boasts excellent onboard facilities giving passengers the chance to sit back and relax as they travel.”

Customers can forget about cramped leg room, baggage charges and putting the contents of hand luggage in a plastic bag and enjoy the freedom of sailing with Stena Line and packing as much luggage as they want into their car. Once onboard, customers can sit back, relax and enjoy the ferry crossing, with a great choice of restaurants and bars, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the Irish Sea or pick up something in the onboard shops which offers great savings on fragrances, spirits and lots more.

Stena Line offers a fantastic choice of routes from Britain to Ireland including Fishguard to Rosslare, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, Holyhead to Dublin Port and Stranraer to Belfast.

For more information customers can go to www.stenaline.co.uk, call 08447 70 70 70 or visit their local travel agent.

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Stena Line buoyant with new routes clearance

Stena Line has expressed its delight at the announcement that its acquisition of the DFDS routes from Belfast to Liverpool (Birkenhead) and Belfast to Heysham has been fully approved by the Competition Commission.

The acquisition, which amounts to approximately £40M investment, will enable Stena Line to improve its service on the Irish Sea by offering several different alternatives for transportation between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and will improve service and frequency for passengers and freight.

Irish Sea Area Director Michael McGrath said: “We are naturally delighted to have been given the green light by the UK Competition Commission and will now engage in a process of evaluation and integration in terms of the wider Stena Line business. We have always believed that the DFDS acquisition would make a perfect fit for our business and our customers and we are looking forward to implementing our extended route network on the Irish Sea. We believe that the acquisition also strengthens Belfast as a key transport hub within our route network for both freight and tourism traffic.”

As part of the deal Stena Line will also acquire four ships from DFDS which will include the chartered Lagan Seaways and Mersey Seaways on the Belfast-Liverpool route and the freight carriers Scotia Seaways and Hibernia Seaways. This will bring the number of Stena Line routes on the Irish Sea to six, adding to the existing Stranraer-Belfast, Holyhead-Dublin, Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard-Rosslare ferry routes.

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Stena Line Announces Measures To Deal With Ash Cloud

Stena Line is preparing to assist travellers in crossing the Irish Sea following the UK Met Office prediction that another ash cloud will reach the UK, with the potential of throwing thousands of peoples travel plans into chaos.

As people nervously watch the progress of the ash cloud as it heads towards Europe, Stena Line has increased its web capacity, brought in more staff to deal with customer enquiries in its call centres and has additional crew on standby to ensure it will be able to efficiently help any stranded travellers if Britain should once again become a no fly zone.

Last year, the arrival of the ash cloud, which affected global airspace for up to six days, saw Stena Line experience an unprecedented 350% increase in hits to its UK and Irish websites where visitors can view ferry timetables, up to date ferry sailing information and book ferry tickets online.

“We are currently working hard to prepare our services for the possibility of increased passenger numbers so that we can ensure we can do our best to assist with peoples travel requirements,” said Stena Line Communications Manager Eamonn Hewitt.

“Last year the situation with the ash cloud and cancelled flights caused people a lot of stress and inconvenience. Our plans are now in place so should the situation arise again, we are able to accommodate as many people as possible.

“We want to ensure that not only do people get safely to their destinations but that they get to see the best of ferry travel. When we have the opportunity to welcome new customers onboard we want them to experience all of the benefits of travelling by ferry – the convenience, space, no baggage restrictions, hassle free check-in and so on which could influence their future travel decisions,” Eamonn continued.

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Stena Line Celebrates National Ferry Fortnight

Stena Line, the leading ferry operator, has announced it will be offering 15 per cent off bookings made between 14 and 28 May 2011, for travel completed by 8 January 2012 to mark the Passenger Shipping Association’s third annual National Ferry Fortnight.

The offer is valid for all vehicle types, “dutchflyer” (rail and sail) and foot passenger bookings, as well as all elements of booking from cabins to pre-booked meals and Stena Plus lounge access.

The 15% discount on travel to Holland offer means a family of four (two adults, two children aged four to 15) can save£24.90 on the lead-in price for a return crossing to Holland with their car and includes unlimited luggage allowance.

The same family would save £35.10 for a return to take Stena Line’s “dutchflyer” (rail and sail) option, which includes rail travel from any National Express East Anglia station to any NS rail station within the Netherlands.

The offer includes travel on the two largest Superferries in the world, the Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica, which launched in May and October respectively last year. Departing twice daily, crossings with Stena Line from Harwich to the Hook of Holland take approximately 6.5 hours with a choice of day or night sailings in each direction.

National Ferry Fortnight has been arranged by the Passenger Shipping Association to help consumers learn about the investments that ferry companies make in order to improve the travelling services for passengers. It also celebrates the benefits of traveling by ferry, highlighting the unlimited luggage allowance, onboard space and facilities and absence of surcharges, lengthy pre-departure check-in times, taxes and queues. The fortnight runs from 14th May till the 28th of May 2011.

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Stena Line Recommences Service On Holyhead To Dun Laoghaire Route

Stena Line has announced that the HSS Stena Explorer will recommence service on its Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route on Friday April 1 until Tuesday September 13 to cope with the additional demand over the summer period.

The reintroduction of the HSS Stena Explorer will provide Stena Line with the ability to handle higher volumes of foot passengers as Dun Laoghaire Harbour provides passengers with an adjacent Dart connection straight to Dublin City and the surrounding area.

The vessel which caters for up to 1500 passengers and 350 cars, boasts the Metropolitan and Barista coffee bar, Stena Plus lounge, free Wi-Fi, free movies and an onboard shop which offers a wide range of gifts, jewellery, spirits and fragrances.

Stena Line’s Communication Manager Eamonn Hewitt said: “We look forward to welcoming the HSS Stena Explorer back on the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route which will provide customers with even more reason to cross the Irish Sea during the summer months.

“The vessel, which offers excellent onboard facilities, will complement the timetable on Holyhead to Dublin Port route as it offers customers a mid-morning departure from Holyhead and a lunchtime departure from Dun Laoghaire.”

The HSS Stena Explorer will operate one round trip per day with a 10.00am ferry sailing from Holyhead and a 13.15pm sailing from Dun Laoghaire. Customers have the opportunity to upgrade to Stena Line’s premium ferry fare for an additional £20 which includes advance boarding and disembarkation and entry into the Stena Plus lounge where passengers can avail of complimentary snacks, beverage and newspapers.

Stena Line is the market leader on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest ferry fleet and the widest choice of routes from Britain to Ireland including Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, Holyhead to Dublin Port, Fishguard to Rosslare and Stranraer to Belfast routes. The ferry company carries over two million passengers on its Irish Sea routes each year.

Stena Line Predicts 100% Increase in Indian Tourists to Mainland Europe

Stena Line, one of the world’s largest ferry operators, has announced it is predicting a 100 per cent increase in Indian passengers in 2011 on its twice daily ferry service between Harwich and the Hook of Holland.

Some 10,000 Indian tourists travelled the route between Harwich and the Hook of Holland in 2010 and 20,000 are expected to travel it in 2011 as Indians holidaying in Europe are trying to avoid the Air Passenger Duty (APD) costs that would be incurred if they chose to fly back home from the UK.

India is in the APD band C which means that the tax has doubled at the end of 2010 to £100 for standard class passengers and to £150 for premium passengers. Indian tourists who traditionally travel around on a trip to Europe are deliberately planning their itineraries to avoid flying back to India from the UK to prevent paying the newly increased charge.

Lars Olsson, general manager of Stena Line said, “Whilst I am not condoning the hike in APD, there has definitely been a huge upturn in traffic for Stena Line, particularly from the Indian market, who are ensuring they create a comfortable and relaxing itinerary that means they do not have to fly back from the UK.”

Stena Line offers six hour overnight and daytime ferry crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland, aboard the largest Superferries in the world, the Stena Line Hollandica and Britannica, which were launched in 2010.

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ChannelFerries.co.uk Delivers Bargain Ferry Tickets for Autumn Breaks

Lots of Brits are looking to get away for a break this autumn and they can do so on a budget thanks to the great value ferry ticket deals available from ferry comparison website ChannelFerries.co.uk. The site right now is home to great value deals on ferry tickets to many top places around the continent.

With the kids back at school many people are taking the opportunity to head to the continent for a break and the dedicated ferry website ChannelFerries.co.uk can allow them to do so while still watching the pennies. Tourists and travellers can head onto the website and pick up the best value ferry deals around thanks to the site’s search and comparison functionality.

To be had right now on the ChannelFerries.co.uk site is a massive choice of money-saving and budget-beating deals to enjoy an autumn break. The site is offering savings on the Folkestone to Boulogne ferries route which helps people head over to France to enjoy a booze run or to just enjoy a bit of the French countryside and culture.

ChannelFerries.co.uk offers people the very best ferry deals around with numerous top name ferry lines and providers including Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries, P&O Ferries, Stena Line Ferries, Hover Speed Ferries and others. Users of the site can currently log on and get their hands on deals like cheap Harwich to Gothenburg ferries deals to help them get away to Sweden for a break with a difference.

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Stena Line Experiences North Sea Coaching Upsurge

Stena Line experienced a significant upsurge in coach travel on its North Sea route to Holland during the first half of 2010. The ferry operator carried 36.6 per cent more coaches on its route between Harwich and the Hook of Holland than during the first half of the previous year.

The second quarter of 2010 was particularly strong, with Stena Line transporting 38 per cent more coaches than during the second quarter of 2009. The growth in coach traffic between Harwich and the Hook of Holland has continued into the third quarter, with Stena Line reporting a 55.7 per cent year-on-year increase in coach crossings during the month of July.

Lars Olsson, Stena Line’s commercial manager for travel on the North Sea, said: “2010 has been an exceptional year for Stena Line’s coach traffic and we’re looking forward to building on the growth that we’ve achieved so far.

“In April there was a hike in the number of coaches crossing and this was partly linked to the volcano-related restrictions on air travel from the UK at that time. However we’ve sustained these high levels of year-on-year growth, which we feel reflects the rediscovery made by travellers of the convenience of travelling to Holland by coach and ferry.

“In May this year Stena Line introduced the first of our two brand new North Sea Superferries, the size and onboard comfort of which make them ideal for coach travel to Holland. We’re also increasingly seeing Amsterdam considered as a major European hub for onward coach travel throughout Europe and we’re hoping to capture more and more of this market.”

Via EPR Network
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Stena Line Announces New Onboard Children’s Menu From Annabel Karmel

Stena Line has announced the launch of a new menu by Annabel Karmel MBE, one of the world’s most successful writers on children’s food and nutrition.

Annabel has sold over 4 million books worldwide and has become the expert in getting children, no matter how fussy, to follow a healthier diet. A selection of little people’s favourite dishes including Fruity Chicken Curry, Fish Pie, Spaghetti Bolognaise with hidden vegetables, Chilli Con Carne, Macaroni Cheese and Chocolate Sponge with chocolate sauce will initially be sold in all food outlets onboard Stena Line’s routes from Holyhead to Dublin Port and Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and in Stena Plus lounges on all other Irish Sea Routes, with a roll out to all other onboard food outlets in 2011.

Stena Line’s Head of Onboard Services, Jimmy Howey believes the new menu will allow customers to provide children with healthy and tasty food choices when travelling. He said: “We are delighted to launch the Annabel Karmel food range onboard our ships as the meals will provide parents with an easy way to ensure children can eat healthy, tasty food when travelling.

“At Stena Line, we pride ourselves on providing families with a stress free way to travel with dedicated children’s play areas and onboard cinemas on our ferries and this latest partnership with Annabel Karmel demonstrates our commitment at providing parents with healthy food options for little people.”

Annabel Karmel commented: “Offering parents the opportunity to give healthy and tasty food choices to their children is a huge bonus when travelling and I am delighted to be working with Stena Line in order to do this.”

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Stena Line Britannica to Launch in October 2010

Stena Line has announced that launch of the Stena Britannica, one of two of the largest superferries in the world, will take place in October 2010. Joining the Stena Hollandica on Stena Line’s North Sea route to Holland, the two ships will together offer the most modern ferry fleet in the world.

No expense has been spared in building the ferries of the future. The launch of Stena Britannica follows Stena Hollandica, which entered service in May, together representing Stena Line’s largest ever investment of over £375 million.

The ships will together sail the route between Harwich and Hook of Holland, offering daily day and overnight sailings in both directions. Onboard, there are 538 cabins, each fitted with Dux beds, the Swedish luxury brand beds also found in the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, and modern en suite bathrooms with Hansgrohe fittings. Larger windows provide a feeling of space and light, while extra touches, such as the complimentary Piper-Heidsieck Champagne in the Captain’s Class cabins, add to the first class service onboard.

A world away from the traditional ferries of years gone by, the Stena Line Superferriesoffer onboard services including free Wi-Fi for all, mobile reception throughout the crossing and satellite television in lounges and cabins. There are also buffet and a la carte restaurants, a cinema, bar, lounge, media room and internet corner. For families there are children and teenager zones, plus 12 kennels for dogs and a wooden-decked sundeck to allow passengers to relax outdoors during their journey.

Designed to have a low environmental impact, each Superferry is built in line with Stena Line’s Energy Savings Programme. Eco-friendly features on the new Superferries include catalytic converters, an improved hull design, highly efficient engines and better combustion rates, all helping to reduce environmental impact. The ferries have facilities to recycle glass, cardboard and food waste onboard, while solar film on all windows excludes up to 82% of the sun’s radiant heat, reducing the energy used by the onboard cooling system.

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