Every now and again I remember and miss the years I sailed on monthly basis on VAL DE LOIRE, she will always be a special ship for me, 57 times I had the immense pleasure of sailing this fantastic ship, today still cruising for DFDS as the KING SEAWAYS, the vast majority of my trips on the ship were from Plymouth to Santander or the other day round, we were "pals" sailing the Bay of Biscay and the memories and stories we share are unique and unforgettable, there is always a great deal of emotion and sentiment to write a few words about VAL DE LOIRE, today I remembered her once again after checking her progress on Marine Traffic, she is now at Gdansk undergoing a refit, also at Gdansk is another very special ship to me, the BRETAGNE, still sailing for BRITTANY FERRIES.
"STENA BRITANNICA" is a mega cruise ferry operated by STENA LINE on the Harwich to Hoek Van Holland route, seven hours is the time she needs to cross the North Sea, the ship can cruise at a maximum speed of over 22 knots but she needs, normally, an average of only 16 to do the trip. Recently the ship has been to her biggest refit since she was introduced in 2010, during this period of dry dock, apart from the usual maintenance, new scrubbers were installed to comply with the new environmental legislations, she was also painted with a sort of "green waves" on her upper superstructure, in my opinion she looks really smart, the "green waves" not everybody's cup of tea, but she looks much nicer live than in photos, most importantly, the ship emerged from the refit with a message of reflection and union "CONNECTING EUROPE FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE", a simple message of reflection for all Europeans in times of uncertainty. "STENA BRITANNICA" still looks a very elegant cruise ferry, the scrubbers hardly changed her looks, the huge size of her funnel could easily accommodate the new filters, the new funnel top, hardly changes her profile, The ship is seen here departing Hoek Van Holland at 14.00 hours C.E.T. time on the 19.11.2016
STENA PLUS LOUNGE is a quite room on board super ferries STENA HOLLANDICA and STENA BRITANNICA, for an extra charge, about £14 at today's currency, this is the place to work, relax or keep up on that book, free refreshments newspapers and magazines are part of the package, very civilized atmosphere, these photos were taken today aboard the HOLLANDICA, 18.11.2016
What a contrast to the previous entry, photos taken from the "STENA HOLLANDICA" arriving at Hoek Van Holland, despite strong winds and force 7 and plus, the ship arrived on time, it was actually a comfortable ride for the not so many passengers on this crossing. Photos 18.11.2016
This morning despite the cold, the weather was so favourable for photography, beautiful clear blue skies with a wonderful light, a fabulous setting view from on board a fabulous ship, the 2010 built "STENA HOLLANDICA", the ship departed at 9am with ETA Hoek Van Holland at 5.15pm. Photos 18.11.2016
"PRINCESS SEAWAYS" was built in 1986 as the PETER PAN, today the ship is owned and operated by DFDS on the Newcastle to Ijmuiden route, she sails from North Shields, six miles north of the city of Newcastle in the evening and gets to Ijmuiden about 25 miles from Amsterdam the following morning, together with KING SEAWAYS these ships operate a daily service connecting the UK with the NETHERLANDS. The photos selected for this "post" show the ship arriving at Ijmuiden and were taken on the 27th of October 2016. I have sailed this year five times on the ship, she is a fabulous cruise ferry offering passengers an excellent service, throughout the ship there are marvellous exhibits of former DFDS ships, she has a proper ship's ambiance, I can't get enough of her and her sister, the KING SEAWAYS.
"AUDACIA" is a Pipe Layer ship operated by ALLSEAS, she was originally a bulk carrier built in 2005 and later converted to her present role, she arrived at Ijmuiden in Holland mid October for a refit that will last until March of next year, she is docked at the "Felison Cruise Terminal", the ship has a G.T. of 52000 with a crew of over 220 people, at present she has only 30 crew members working on the ship for the maintenance taking place, "AUDACIA" is operated all over the World. Photos 27.10.2016