Harwich is a major port city in the UK (Essex England). The port (officially "Harwich International Port") also serves as cruise port to London as it can handle the world's largest vessels. The port is located on England's east coast and is one of the Haven ports (UK's largest cargo shipping seaports) - together with Felixstowe, Ipswich, and Mistley.
Port Harwich is on River Stour's south bank, approx 1 ml (1,6 km) upstream from Harwich town (population around 18,000). As cruise port, Harwich is a major turnaround port for round-trip departures from UK on Baltic Sea (Norwegian Fjords, Scandinavia and Russia) and British Isles (Around Britain) itineraries.
However, in recent years, the more prefferable departure ports in the UK are Southampton, Dover and Tilbury-London. Large-sized cruise liners used to call regularly at Harwich during summer. The port's 2016 statistics showed only 12 ship calls (lowest ever number since the cruising service started). Among the main reasons for that is the lack of modern cruise passenger facilities.
In 202 (on July 13), at the cruise port was held the christening ceremony of the Royal Caribbean ship Brilliance of the Seas (godmother Marilyn Ofer).
Currently, the port is used mainly by the Stena Line offering regularly scheduled ferry services to Hook of Holland (southwestern Holland, on Netherlands' west coast). Until 2014, DFDS Seaways ferries operated regular services to Esbjerg Denmark.
Harwich port offers as facilities 4 ro-ro (ferry) berths, a pier (formerly dedicated to the High Speed Ferry HSC HSS Discovery / former Stena Discovery), extensive railways links (low-speed track sections), approx 0,16 km2 (0,06 ml2) car park area out of a total of 0,42 km2 (0,23 ml2) parking area for over 1000 semitrailers.
Harwich cruise terminal
Harwich cruise ship terminal is easily accessible from London. It can be reach by car / bus via the roads A12, A14 Road and A120. Travel time if using railways is approx 1 hour (Harwich International Station to Victoria Station). The closest airport is Stanstead (approx 80 km / 50 ml). Travel time from the cruise port to London's airports Heathrow and Gatwick is over 2 hours.
Harwich Cruise Terminal
As cruise facilities and amenities, Harwich port offers:
- taxi rank, rent-a-car (Europcar Car, Van Hire)
- dedicated parking (capacity 600 cars and 60 coachs / tour and shuttle buses), Car Park Pay Station, passenger lift from car park
- covered gangway (passenger bridge)
- pre-boarding lounge (300 seats), restrooms (including babychanging room and disabled toilets)
- Quayside Cafe (bar, also selling alcoholic drinks and gifts), Internet Cafe
- 24-hour tourist information point, Royal Mail Post Box
- currency exchange machine, Rail Ticket Counter
- Electric Vehicle Charging Point, Luggage Trolleys
- 7 phone booths, 1 photo booth, 1 ATM, vending machines
- The terminal's Visitor Centre is open seasonaly (May through September).
- Within 10-min walk from the cruise port are located several retail shopping outlets and a pub restaurant.
- Note: Some of these facilities are at the ferry terminal (adjacent to the cruise terminal).
Taxis leaving from the cruise port go to Harwich-Doverourt, Colchester, Ipswich, London, and also to the airpots Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow. taxi rates vary between GBP 8 and 235, depending on destination and number of passengers (up to 4 or 6).
Harwich Ferry Terminal (Stena Line)
Stena Line's ferries MV Stena Britannica and MV Stena Hollandica operate between Harwich and Hook of Holland. The route was started after a GBP 375 million investment by the ferry company in port infrastructure and facilities.
Both Stena superferries were launched in 2010 and are among the world's largest (538 cabins, 1376 beds, 230 cars, 300 cargo vehicles). Each ship has 2 bars, 2 restaurants, shop, Stena Plus lounge, casino, video gaming area, cinema, internet room, meeting room, news room lounge, kids play area, Barista coffee bar, sundeck / outdoor bar, helipad, free Wi-Fi shipwide.
Ferry travel time between England and Holland is 6 hr 15 min. Stena Line's ferry schedule also includes overnight cruising.
Harwich tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- The Treadwheel Crane: at the waterfront after the Green. The Treadwheel Crane is for two men and its UK’s unique. It is project of preservation of the Harwich society. This type of crane has been used since the times of the Romans. It is at its present place since 1932 and it is almost with its original conditions.
- The Hanover Inn: the most “traditional” pub to visit.
- The Alma Inn: great food and drinks from the local Harwich Town Brewing Company.
- Harwich Maritime Museum: located in the Harwich Green old town are. The building used to be a lighthouse.
- Roughs Sands Fort: great relic from the wartime. It dates from 1942. The Roughs Tower was constructed in Tilbury Dock.
- Beach: the beach of Harwich is awarded for its cleanliness, they have the “Blue Flag” standard.
- The Redoubt Fort: the round fort dates from 1810. It was built to defend the port and the area from the invasion of Napoleon. You can also visit the Redoubt Museum.
Port Harwich cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Harwich, England. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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