BRISTOL in South West England is a lively city with a strong Maritime Heritage, it has been an important seaport for over one thousand years, BRISTOL's harbour has one of the most variable tidal flows anywhere in the World, the water level can vary more than 10 meters between tides, ships moored were beached in low tide, they were of a sturdy construction and the goods stored in their holds needed to be securely stowed, it has been said that the expression "Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion" originates from here, there is no proof however but evidence seems to be in favour of that. BRISTOL today is also home of the exceptional S.S. "GREAT BRITAIN", Brunel's masterpiece, considered to be the first true ocean liner, BRISTOL was also in the late 15th Century the base for voyages of exploration, John Cabot the most renown explorer/navigator associated with BRISTOL. Photos taken 29.8.2015
We have been spending some time on board "STENA BRITANNICA", this is the last entry for now, I will get back to the ship in the near future. All the passenger facilities are located on deck number 9, Guest Service with Bureau de Change, shopping area, bars, restaurants, internet place, kids corner and a Stena Plus Lounge, a quite room for some privacy where passengers have to pay an extra charge of 16 euros to use, highly recommended in case guests need to work or just seek some intimacy, impossible to find elsewhere when the ship is full. All the cabins are very comfortable en-suite with a TV and quite spacious, the ship has a very pleasant decoration, quite contemporary, unfortunately the outdoor space is very limited, not even a partial promenade deck is accessible to passengers, I am really fond of these superferries, they are elegant, comfortable, very smooth and stabe, impossible to travel in style though when the ships are sailing to full capacity.
Harwich in Essex is strongly linked with Maritime History, due to its position, the only safe anchorage between the Thames and the Humber, led to a strong Maritime importance, military and civil for centuries, Harwich became a naval base during the 17th century, photos 8.8.2015
There has been a Ferry Service linking Harwich with Felixstowe via Shotley since 1912, the service normally runs from Easter to the end of September, gladly the operation has been recently saved, read it here.Photos 8.8.2015
There are two Restaurants on board "STENA BRITANNICA" for a maximum of 1300 passengers, when the ship is sailing full, the A La Carte "METROPOLITAN", top two photos and the Self-Service "TASTE", on this trip I have tried the A La Carte and was reasonably pleased with the quality and presentation of the food, the Restaurant is on the small size, very wise to book in advance particularly during peak seasons, the total crew on board the ship is about 85 people, so they do a great job to deliver decent food, far from being elegant, the Restaurant can also be extremely noisy, the room is not secluded, it's located at the front of the ship together with the Self-Service Restaurant and the choice of music, pop/rock, it's not in my opinion relaxing for dining, it gives you a feeling of just been eating, as much as I like it generally otherwise. Photos, 8.8.2015