A social distancing festive season

Let’s make the most of the rest of this year, whether we can set sail or not. Our love of all things travel continues with safe sailings, but if the time is not quite right for you to join us onboard, we’ve got some social distancing friendly activities you could do with loved ones inspired by Christmas in England and the Netherlands!

Christmas Eve

Not able to travel to see loved ones? Well it is the season of giving so why not prepare some festive treats you could share with neighbours and family members that are able to visit or at least wave from the window?

2020 has been the year where everybody learnt to bake, cookies, bread, biscuits, the pandemic has opened up everyone’s inner baker. Turn this new hobby into a festive experience, recreate fantastic Dutch-Anglo inspired treats:

Bake a taste of the Netherlands with Speculaas cookies, also known as Dutch Windmill Cookies.

Try out this fun recipe:
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
½ c brown sugar
1 ¾ c plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground white pepper
¼ c milk
¼ c sliced almonds for decorations

You could almost smell Christmas with these tasty treats! Social distance share these yummy treats, leave a couple at the door for family and friends and for those that can see with loved ones, these cookies taste even better with a hug.

For an English Christmas treat that the kids can really enjoy making, try Christmas biscuits:
Here’s a recipe we got from BBC foods:
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
100g/3½oz caster sugar
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
275g/10oz plain flour
To decorate
400g/14oz icing sugar
3-4 tbsp water
2-3 drops food colourings
Edible glitter


Christmas Day

An English must have is the Christmas jumper, get yourself in the festive mood by dressing up even if it is just to sit on the sofa with that second plate of Christmas dinner or decorate that all important tree at the last-minute – This year everyone deserves extra helpings, laughing and reconnecting with loved ones while decorating, watching Christmas movies or playing Christmas board games.

Here our some of our favourite Stena Christmas at Home activities:
1. Monopoly – Learn some popular places in London with this family friendly board game
2. Scrooge – This classic English story based on Charles Dickens’ 1843 story A Christmas Carol is a Christmas must
3. De Familie Claus – This Flemish-Dutch family friendly Christmas film will surely get everyone together in the living room after Christmas lunch.
4. Rummikub – A fun Dutch boardgame for all to enjoy can even be purchased online from the UK if you can’t sail with family this year

As the Dutch would say ‘Fijne Feestdagen’! Enjoy this day in whatever tradition makes you feel closer to the ones that matter most whether it’s playing a silly board game, wearing a silly jumper or simply being able to sit together for that all so important Christmas dinner.


Boxing Day

There’s nothing more Dutch than taking a family bike ride after two days of eating, this fantastic outdoor activity is not only great to do as a family but its also great way to squeeze in a healthy activity.

Country walks is a pastime loved by many Brits for those who are not so keen on bike rides. Meet up with others outside for a Christmas catch up with fresh air and plenty open space and explore local area. Appreciate local sites wherever you spend the festive season by bike or on foot.

Here are our top pick for outdoor Christmas fun:
1. Bike ride
2. Country walk
3. Christmas carolling
4. Visit your local town and enjoy the Christmas lights at night
5. And if we get a white Christmas, the outdoor fun becomes endless from getting out the sledge, ice-skating, snowball fights, building a snowman and so much more.

Whatever you do this festive season at home our at sea, we the team at Stena Line wish you a safe and happy Christmas.