Ferries to be extended

EAST Anglia's car ferry link to the continent has been guaranteed until 2020 - but operators Stena Line have confirmed that it will now be just a slow boat to Holland.

EAST Anglia's car ferry link to the continent has been guaranteed until 2020 - but operators Stena Line have confirmed that it will now be just a slow boat to Holland.

The high speed Stena Discovery is being taken out of service on the route between Harwich and the Hook of Holland in January - a victim of high fuel prices which make it uneconomic.

But today ferry operators Stena Line confirmed it was extending its contract with the port until 2020 - and its existing traditional ferries will be extended to take more passengers and vehicles.

Stena Line is to spend £70 million on upgrade its superferries, the Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica. The vessels will be lengthened to 240 metres, and will be able to carry both freight and passengers.

This will guarantee a passenger route to Holland, twice daily, for the next fourteen years. The ferries will become the largest passenger and freight-carrying vessels in the world.

Chris Lewis, of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns Harwich International Port, said: “We are extremely pleased to see Stena's ongoing commitment to the Harwich - Hook of Holland route, and look forward to working with Stena for many years to come.”

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Pim de Lange, Managing Director for Stena Line, added: “We strongly believe in this route as being an important gateway between the UK and the Continent, for both passengers and freight traffic. In this respect, we see Harwich International Port as an important partner, and are happy with the service they provide to us and to our customers”

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