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Ferry Travel - Newcastle to Amsterdam– DFDS Seaways

Still utterly sick of spending time in airport cattle pens Travel Editors, Hugh Taylor and Moira McCrossan, decided to drive to their winter headquarters near Rome. To avoid the long drive to the south of England they booked a place on the Newcastle to Amsterdam crossing with DFDS Seaways.

Princess Seaways

It’s 4.30 in the afternoon and we’re sitting in the Compass Bar on board Princess Seaways. I’m looking into the business end of a Harvey Walbanger and we’re both feeling it’s like the start of a holiday.

It’s been a fraught few days getting the car packed and the house cleaned for our house-sitter. But nowhere near as fraught as in previous years when we’ve been flying to Rome. Rushing about, paring down what we were going to take, weighing suitcases, to make sure we are not over the limit and worrying about what might happen to the guitars.


Then there’s the journey to the airport, finding a place to leave the car for a few months, checking in, dropping the guitars off at the outsize baggage drop and then into the interminable cattle pens, going through security, taking off boots and belts, removing laptops from bags and then trying to get through the scanner while holding on to my trousers to prevent them dropping at my ankles.
I used to love air travel but now find it an ordeal so in future, unless it’s a very short hall, short duration flight, we are opting for a more sensible means of travel. In the case of Continental Europe that means either Ferry or the train through the tunnel.


One of the advantages of getting on a bit is the fact that you can take your time and regard travel as a leisure pursuit. So that is why we were now on board the DFDS Seaways overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam. We’ve used the south coast ports to cross to France but for those who live in Scotland or the North of England, the option of traveling from Newcastle cuts out a lot of stressful driving. The only concern we had was whether or not we would get good nights sleep.


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I’m pleased to report that it was the most wonderful of travel experiences. From the moment the car drew up to the check in booth at the car park I knew we had made the right choice. I never even got the chance to enquire where I went on board to book for dinner as I was asked if we wanted to book, told us the options, then sold us the tickets.
We were on board and parked in minutes, then found lots of crew available to show us where our cabin was. We were on the 9th floor, right at the front, behind the Bow ( sharp end), with a fantastic view. So we dumped the overnight bags and went exploring. We found the restaurant and reserved a table for dinner at six. Kompas BarThe shops don’t open until the ship sails but the Kompas Bar was open so in we went, discovered the great selection of cocktails and thought why not? Besides we had plenty of time until dinner until I discovered that the ship worked on Continental time and so our reservation for dinner was actually five o’clock in old money. So just time to freshen up a bit and head for the restaurant.


The buffet was incredible. What a choice of foods from roasts to veggie options and everything in between. The food was well coDinner on boardoked, beautifully presented and the staff were on hand and attentive. More importantly we never had to wait any time at all to get our drinks replenished. I will confess to having made a total beast of myself but held back just enough to enjoy a delicious dessert topped with ice cream.


Afterwards we had a stroll through the on-board shop where I discovered two crew-members with a rather splendid selection of Single Malts. They invited me to try some samples and it would have been terribly impolite to have refused. They were very knowledgeable about Scottish Whisky and in return for the samples I took it upon myself to educate them on the fundamental difference between whisky distilled in the Highlands and Islands and that produced by Lowland Distilleries. Then I spied a bottle of Glenfarclas Cask strength at a really decent price and was for buying it. “ Why don’t you buy two”, said one of the lads. I laughed but then he pointed out the special offer they had and it was not just two bottles of the same but any two from the extensive display. So I captured a litre of Aberfeldy as well. And the prices were amongst the best I’ve seen in a long while.


iterior Pricess Seaways

There were a few good films showing in the cinema and I rather fancied going to see one but we’d had a couple of stressful weeks, a with a long drive ahead of us and after the feast and the drinks I was ready for bed. So checking out the cinema and the on board nightclub will have to wait for the return trip.


And yes we had a grand sleep, woke refreshed, had a light breakfast of coffee and pastries and in no time we had disembarked, gone through immigration and were on the road south.

Arriving in Amsterdam







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