Swiss Railways train in Zurich Station
RAIL/SEA/RAIL VIA HARWICH to HOEK VAN HOLLAND
On this route to mainland Europe Stena Line run both a day and a night crossing 7 days a week 365 days a year. It is also one of the few routes that is rail connected at both ports. It has become a little easier with the opening of the light rail (or metro) extension to Hoek van Holland Strand and the brand new through station at Hoek van Holland Haven.
On April 5th our correspondent disembarked from the night ferry at 08.05 and by 09.15 was on an Inter City train from Rotterdam heading towards Brussels.
Before you had a 500-meter trek to a temporary wooden platform, whereas now it is only 30 meters from the ferry terminal to the new station. A notice (only in Dutch) directs you there where you buy your RET chip card for the metro from a machine if you have not already ordered it online.
On a weekday, the metro trains are busy at this time of the morning, with people travelling into Rotterdam for work. If you know what you are doing, you can quickly change at Schiedam Centrum to catch a train up the coast to The Hague and Amsterdam or catch a frequent train into Rotterdam Centraal and continue east or south. If your final destination is Utrecht or Germany, you also have the option of continuing on the metro line to the modern suburb of Alexander and changing there to an Inter-City train.