KING SEAWAYS seen departing Ijmuiden in September of 2016, the ship is now thirty years old, she has been in service with DFDS on the Newcastle to Ijmuiden ( Amsterdam ) route since 2016, she is now fresh from a refit at Gdansk, next week follow the blog for new "posts" as I will be boarding her again next week.
A few photos taken today on board ARMORIQUE during a voyage from Ouistreham to Portsmouth, the 8.30 am departure from the French Port, the trip was mainly in sunny weather and mill pond seas, a dense fog was also a presence for over two hours of the crossing, arriving on time though was never in question, in fact the ship arrived earlier, Portsmouth was also sunny and with mild temperatures for January. Aboard ARMORIQUE 24.1.2017
Ordered in 2006 "ARMORIQUE" left Plymouth to Roscoff on her maiden voyage on the 10th of February 2009, so within two weeks she will be eight years old. I am writing these words on my Hotel at Ouistreham, prior to embark tomorrow morning on the ship, I will be once again sailing on ARMORIQUE to Portsmouth, she is replacing NORMANDIE at the moment undergoing refit, this will be my first sailing on the ship from Ouistreham, sailed before several times, mainly when she was covering for BRETAGNE during the winter of 2015 on the Saint-Malo route, ARMORIQUE's main service is the Plymouth to Roscoff. the ship has changed since I last been on her, new scrubbers were installed, her funnel needed big changes to accommodate the filters, in the coming days I will upload new photos of the ship with special emphasis on her new funnel. The photos uploaded here show ARMORIQUE arriving Ouistreham this afternoon, 23.1.2017
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