Germany-England-Netherlands

My wife and I with a week or less want to ferry from Germany (or Denmark) to Middle England (Harwich?), spend about four days visiting Cambridge-Oxford-London and then ferry back to Amsterdam. Rush decision. Please advise ferries/England, etc. Thanks.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2700 posts

Hi, Good that you are going by ferry. From Germany there is a ferry connection to Harwich. It's leaves from Cuxhaven (near Wilhelmshaven) to Harwich. It used to be from Hamburg to Harwich, which is the route I took. To get close to Amsterdam by ferry you need to go north to Newcastle, the dep point.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3509 posts

There are frequent trains from Harwich to London - Liverpool Street Station. http://www.greateranglia.co.uk/ It's a little more than an hour, usually with a train change in Manningtree. Newcastle is farther from London, over 3 hours by train. You'd be better taking Eurostar to Amsterdam with a change in Brussels. It's between 4.5 and 5.75 hours on the train, depending on the connection time.

Posted by charles
Port Royal, South Caro, United States
7 posts

Thank you all. Now thinking ferry from Hook of Holland, near Rotterdam, to Harwich then train to visit one day in Cambridge, then a day in Oxford,then a few days in London, train back to Harwich and ferry back Hook of Holland. (Time constraint).What do you think?

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2700 posts

Hi, Going by way of Hook of Holland to Harwich and vice versa is better, saves the trip to Cuxhaven and the ride up to Newcastle, that is, unless you want to see Northwest Germany...depends on your time factor.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

Hi charles, as your purpose is to see the grey waters of the North Sea, I guess that you want to see it in daylight? There are 2 sailings from the Hoek to Harwich, one in the day and one at night. The advantage of the night sailing is you get in to Harwich at 6:30 in the morning and can have a day ahead of you. The down side if you want to see the waves is that the boat leaves Holland at 22:30 M-F, 21:30 S-S, both well after dark, and arrives well before the disembarkation time of 6:30. So you won't see any of the water. That leaves the dayline sailing. It leaves Holland at a good afternoon time of 14:30 and is on the water in the daytime, arriving at 20:00. If this is a rush job, I'm pretty sure about the hours of daylight. If it were later in the year the days would be shorter. The problem with arriving at the port at 8:00 at night, and figure the best part of an hour to get off the boat and clear Immigration and get over to the train station - what then? Don't use RailEurope to try to figure out train times. The only show a portion of the available trains, and in many places only show those trains on which they can make a markup. Use National Rail Enquiries in the UK. If you made incredible time getting off the boat the very first possible train to Cambridge would be the 20:33 from Harwich International. It has only a 5 minute connection at Manningtree, a bit too close for my liking at that time of night, and one of 10 minutes at Ipswich; arrives Cambridge at 20 minutes to 11 pm. More likely is the 21:09, a slightly longer 7 minute Manningtree and then heading north to Norwich for an 11 minute connection to Cambridge. Arrival at Cambridge at 2 minutes before midnight. I've taken many Cross Channel ferries including that route but no more.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

Are you driving or a foot passenger? If you are a foot passenger, how will you get to Cambridge and Oxford? My guess is from London by train because there is no east west train line, and the A14 is a bear. If you are making those connections via London, the ICE to Koeln and ICE/Thalys to Brussels, and Eurostar direct to London would be faster and much easier.

Posted by charles
Port Royal, South Caro, United States
7 posts

Thanks. By foot, no car. Want to take the ferry (see the North Sea)from Hook of Holland.I see on the RailEurope site there is a train from Harwich to Cambridge with transfers in Manningtree and Ipswich.Would you advise against this? Would it be better to go on to London from Harwich and then do a side trip to Cambridge from London?
Basically, want to see Cambridge (reading says with a time constraint choose Cambridge over Oxford), London, train back to Harwich from London to catch the ferry back to Hook of Holland.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3509 posts

I only traveled once from London to Harwich with a change in Manningtree. It involved going down, then up, a flight of stairs to cross the tracks to the other platform. There were a goodly number of people with lots of luggage heading for a cruise ship and the train to Harwich was held up until everyone was aboard. Of course, one can't know for sure, but it does seem to be a reasonable practice since the transfer at Manningtree is the only rail connection from Harwich to the rest of England.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2700 posts

Hi, It's just as well that your choice of the ferry route is Harwich to the Hook of Holland. That connection to Cuxhaven has been dropped.