<p>Taking pride: Pride of Hull, one of the two ferries on the Hull-Rotterdam route</p>

Taking pride: Pride of Hull, one of the two ferries on the Hull-Rotterdam route

Ferry firm drops ban on under-50s taking ‘sailcation’ to Holland

Exclusive: Shipping line offered ‘the mini-cruises you love without the stress of going overseas’ only to 50-plus passengers

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 05 October 2021 15:50
Comments

A leading ferry company has removed a ban on under-50s taking what it calls a “sailcation” to the Netherlands.

P&O Ferries has been selling the trips to help fill cabins on its regular sailings between Hull and Rotterdam – by offering “non-landing” excursions to more mature travellers.

One disappointed younger prospective passenger, John Till, contacted The Independent, saying: “As I’m in my mid-40s I’m really frustrated by this, as I’d really like to go.”

The Independent understands that the age requirement has now been dropped. Mr Till said it was “great news” that he will be able to sail.

But the publicity for the trip remains the same.

“Over 50? We’ve come up with a way for you to enjoy the mini-cruises you love without the stress of going overseas,” the ferry firm says in its online promotion.

“Embark on a two-night on board experience like no other and enjoy a relaxing break out at sea, watch live entertainment, dine out at a restaurant, do a spot of duty-free shopping, or just sit back and chill as the world slides by.”

The price is £40 based on two sharing a cabin. Passengers depart from Hull at 8.30pm on day one, arriving at the Europoort on the southwest outskirts of Rotterdam at 8.30am next day.

They then remain on board throughout the 12-hour 30-minute stay. The company says: “Please note that the World Duty Free tills will be closed just whilst the ship is docked in Europoort, however you can still browse in store during this time and enjoy some brand activities also.

“Our staff will be happy to reserve orders during the day, available to then be purchased and collected once the sailing commences in the evening and tills reopen.”

The ferry home sails at 9pm and arrives in Hull at 7.30am next day.

Travellers are not required to navigate the current Dutch travel restrictions because they remain on board the ship while it is in the port.

But P&O Ferries does require a private lateral flow test to be taken on the day of departure, which is available at the port for £34.80, before the traveller boards Pride of Hull or Pride of Rotterdam for the return voyage.

Saga Cruises also has a lower age limit of 50 years, but this is believed to be the first time that a mainstream ferry company has imposed a restriction.

A spokesperson for the rival ferry firm, Stena Line, said it welcomed travellers of all ages.

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