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Enjoy some ferry festive cheer with Stena Line North Sea

With less than two weeks until Christmas, why not plan a last minute festive yet affordable winter getaway to The Netherlands with Stena Line North Sea. Be a savvy shopper and escape the madding UK crowds for some Christmas cheer at some of the best markets, outdoor ice rinks, and alternative festive locations across the Dutch region. With a range of activities suitable for all the family, it’s easy, convenient and good value to travel to The Netherlands by hopping aboard a day or overnight sailing from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. What’s more by travelling by car visitors can go further afield to some beautiful regions in Germany such as Aachen. Stena Line offers twice-daily, seven hour return crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland. Fares start from £59 one way for an adult and car. There is still some last minute availability on the ferry so book now to avoid disappointment!

Here is Stena Line’s top five ways to celebrate the Christmas season:

1. Enjoy the Christmas Circus

Celebrating its 250th anniversary, the World Christmas Circus held at Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam is set to be a show-stopping extravaganza of leaps and flips and showmanship. Great for the whole family, younger members of the family can laugh away at the clowns from all over the world or gaze in amazement at the talented and flexible acrobats, or be wowed by the galloping talented horse. Tickets start at €20.50 per person with shows available until 6 January 2019.

2. Visit an underground Christmas Market

As one of the largest and oldest underground Christmas markets in Europe, the Velvet Cave Christmas in Valkenburg welcomes those in search of the wow-factor. Boasting traditional Christmas markets, festive decorations, and a plethora of edible delights visitors can also enjoy mural paintings, sculptures, the unique 18th Century chapel inside the cave, as well as see Santa in this very original grotto. Visit until 30 December 2018

3. Feel like royalty this Christmas in Utrecht

The historic city of Utrecht offers the quintessential traditional Dutch Christmas. The festive ice rink is formed around an old steam train in the middle of the Train Museum and the city boasts two Christmas markets –Twijnstraat and Zelfgemaakte markets – where the aroma of traditional Dutch Oliebollen (fried dough balls) and Stroopwaffels fill the air. Whilst here, a trip to the region’s most famous castle is a must. Situated just outside of Utrecht, De Haar Castle is the real life fairy-tale castle with moats, drawbridges and towers galore. As the largest and most luxurious castle in The Netherlands, De Haar Castle dates back to 1391 and is the perfect backdrop for some traditional Dutch fare.

4. Be enchanted by Efteling theme park

 Located in the south of Holland, Efteling provides a unique fairy-tale atmosphere, natural surroundings and a wide range of thrilling attractions. At Christmastime visitors can relish the winter attractions, entertainment and incredible bonfires. What’s more there is no need to rush home – savour a delicious Christmas meal and spend the night in one of the holiday homes. With travel and stays for children under three years old completely free, make the most of family time at Efteling theme park. This December, a last-minute stay for a family of four starts from €311 for an overnight stay and access to the park.

5. Go ice-skating on Amsterdam’s famous canals – only for the daring!

As the temperatures drop in the Netherlands, everyone will be eagerly awaiting for Amsterdam’s famous canals to freeze over. Once a layer of ice forms on the canals, pumping stations are stopped and locks are closed to give the water opportunity to freeze and boats are banned from sailing on the canals. Visitors should head over to Prinsengracht, one of the city’s main canals. For a warm drink or two, skaters can enjoy a beverage at one of Amsterdam’s oldest cafés, ‘Papeneiland’. Should the canals not freeze over this year, there are still plenty of great places to get ice skating. Ice Amsterdam located in Museumplein is great for those not only wanting to practices their twirls but for those looking for a great ‘Instagrammable’ photo. Ice* has lots to offer including winter-themed games and events, such as Human Ice bowling and Dutch toboggan racing. Ice skating in Museumplein starts from €11, including skates. Available until 3 February 2019

For more information and to book visit www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland or call 08447 707070

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For further press information please contact: Sophie Barnes, Frances Shondé or Helen Coop, Four Travel, Tel: 020 3697 4200/ email: [email protected]

Notes to editors:

Every year more than 500,000 people cross the North Sea between the UK and Holland with Stena Line, the largest ferry operator in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

In the UK alone Stena Line, which operates Europe’s most comprehensive route networks, offers four daily crossings on its Harwich to Hook of Holland route as well as over 30 daily crossings on its various routes to Ireland providing fast and efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.

Stena Line North Sea’s social media updates are available at @StenaLineUK and www.facebook.com/StenaLineUKtoHolland