Norway 2018 Day 1 – Boarding the Ferry to Rotterdam
Ready to board the ferry
I’m so ready to get aboard the ferry to Rotterdam by now. To be honest, I personally struggle with standing in a queue with my BMW GS1200. It is so much more comfortable sitting in a car. Motorcycles are meant to move and not be stationary.
I’m progressing slowly down the line until finally, it is my turn to check in.
The Lady handling my boarding could not be any friendlier, so my mood is changing rapidly to more of an excited state. After getting all the documents and my cabin keycard, I’ve been advised to drive up the ramp to the check-in area near the boat. On my way, I passed a second officer who ensures you are going to the right ferry.
Check out Episode 2 – Boarding the Ferry to Rotterdam on my BMW GS1200
Crossing the Bridge
A thorough last official control of my documentation and I cross the bridge to enter the ferry. Again there is friendly staff to guide you to your parking area.
It is important to note that strapping down your motorbike is your job. There are ratchet straps ready for you hanging on the rails left and right next to your bike. The Staff is not permitted to secure the bike on your behalf. Just keep that in mind.
The one thing I didn’t take into consideration was packing my overnight gear in a separate bag, so I had no choice than to carry my top box with me into the cabin. Be aware the car decks will be in lockdown after departure so getting to your gear is a nonstarter.
Dragging my gear up the stairs to my cabbing was no fun either. I left motorbike helmet and gloves behind stapped to the bike. Walking in full gear with my tank bag and the top box is a bit of a challenge by itself trying to maneuver between families with prams and screaming toddlers. I was more concerned not to bump any of the little guys with my luggage than checking what deck I’m on. Needless to say, I got out of the lift on the wrong floor.
After getting my composure back, I made my way back to my deck on foot as there was no point waiting for the elevator.
On arrival on my deck, I did find a steward who kindly pointed me in the right direction, and I found my cabin without any problems. Walking down the very tight corridors with all my gear made me feel well out of place.
The cabin itself is excellent. No windows as expected. I booked the cheapest cabin what was on offer as I had to pay for the full cabin as I was traveling alone. Everything is immaculate, and you get a nice bathroom with shower and washing facilities. You couldn’t swing a cat at this space, but I’m not complaining as the bunk bed was very comfortable.
After storing my luggage away, I made my way around the ferry to see what is on offer. Looking for something to eat I found a restaurant on the 4th floor. I do remember that I could have booked the restaurant with the trip and would have saved 10% on the £30 I had to shell out instead. Ok, this includes the breakfast as well, so that’s me sorted in the morning.
The food was excellent. On offer was your typical roast dinner with all the trimmings or 3 different types of curry or you go continental with cured meats, and salads. The Staff was accommodating and helpful and cleaned your table in between courses.
After dinner, there was coffee and desert in great variety so that I can say in all honesty I was more than happy with the service quality what was on offer.
On the way back to my cabin, I explored the rest of the ships offers on shopping and entertainment. You find everything from bars, gambling, dancing, cinema, money exchange, a Starbucks and the usual duty-free shops on board.
I was ready to bail, so I was just as happy to go back to my cabin and call it a day.
One last thing of crucial advice.
Make a photo of your boarding card with your cabin number as it will come handy. There is no number on your cabin key, having a picture is preferably a handy backup just in case you forget.