The world’s most travelled man: Fred Finn Onboard with Stena Line Hollandica & Britannica
125 Years of Stena Line’s UK – Holland Route!
Stena Line UK – Holland route is kick starting its celebration of 125 years of getting passengers, produce, vehicles, pets and more from Harwich to the Hook of Holland with an interview with a very special guest: Fred Finn, the worlds most travelled man, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records! Throughout the next three months we’ll be sharing fun facts, interviews with influential people in the travel space, brilliant Stena Line throwbacks, insight to the Stena Line team, more about the Harwich to Hook of Holland sailing route and some of your stories so watch this space! To start this special period follow Fred Finn’s special story about his travel adventures and his experience travelling on our special route:
- How did you become known as the worlds most travelled man?
“When Concorde started flying from Washington DC on 25th of May 1976, I was on the first flight I still have the original very special leather hand luggage tag. As I commuted on Concorde and It was such a small fleet when I had done 150 flights the press took notice and then Guinness World Records met me in New York I lived in the USA then and eventually credited me with an entry into the Guinness World Records with 7 million miles in 1983.“
- How many countries have you visited in total (so far)?
“150 countries with Georgia being the 150th.“
- Where do you call home when you’re not travelling the world?
“I live in both UK and visit Ukraine where my wife is from and she has a home there.“
- How did the world’s most travelled man find ferry travel to Holland, what’s the main unique feature of ferry travel that really stood out for you?
“For me it was a fast forward in time from my time when I was at sea in the 1960’s how much had changed and how much was the same. How much cleaner the modern green ferries are. The ease of boarding by car, the reception very professional and the cabin was so comfortable. The ease off casting off and the docking at the Hook of Holland. The Stena Line Hollandica & Britannica are very big Ferries but handled so easily. Of course the restaurant serving full a la carte menu on such a short trip was a great experience, super food and super friendly service, not just in the restaurant but from all of the crew that I met, I got the impression that they all liked working aboard the ferries that I sailed on.“
- Travelling by sea is a unique way of getting over to Holland, you tend to have a bit more time during travel to do things or even just chill out, how did you spend your time onboard the Stena Line Hollandica & Britannica? What did you explore or do during the evening?
“To be honest, after a very long day of travelling, once I boarded I found that after a very enjoyable dinner and a walk around the deck on a very cold and windy night and with an early morning start I really enjoyed the comfort of my bed in my cabin and slept very well until the early morning call, all very relaxing.“
- What was your favourite spot on the ferry?
“Well I had a big surprise as I was invited the bridge to watch the ship arrive into the port at the Hook of Holland what an experience like nothing I remembered for my life onboard all those years ago, the bridge is totally enclosed the console with all the screens reminded me more of a 747 than any ship I had ever been on and the docking controlled from the wing of the bridge with pinpoint accuracy was amazing to see. It was a remarkable experience.“
- i Have you visited Holland before? What’s been your favourite place to visit and thing to do?
“In fact yes, I like Holland very much having visited Holland on a school trip in 1953. Holland therefore became the first country I ever visited and I have visited often since with fond memories.“
- ii How does Holland compare now to when you travelled all those years ago, it must have changed a lot from what you remember visiting as a teenager vs. adult?
“It has changed over the years, but also a lot of familiar scenes, I am still very fond.“
- Here’s a fun pop quiz question, do you know any interesting facts about ships?
Here are some of our fun facts:
*How do ships float? – A concept called buoyancy, when the weight of the water the ship displaces is equal to the lifting force, which floats your boat!
*A lot of objects and items on a ship have different names from its shore equivalent for example; There are no floors, only decks. No windows, only portholes. Hatches, not doors. Overhead, not ceiling. Bulkheads, not walls. Lines, not ropes. Stanchions, not posts. Bunks, not beds.
“While you call ceilings bulkheads, when I was at sea we used to call them deckheads and bulkheads were walls. Springs were wire ropes that helped the ship to dock“
- What would you say the main differences / advantages of travelling by ferry as opposed to other travel options?
“Ease of check-in, having your car with you, ports are not as busy as airports, more relaxing, walkabout, sit in proper restaurant to eat. Fresh sea air.“
- How was your experience with check-in and boarding?
“Check-in was quick, boarding once it was started was also quick and easy to follow directions.“
- How was your cabin?
“The cabin was comfortable, with shower, a toilet an en- suite, beds were comfortable, cabin was light clean and airy, with a great big porthole, nice wood panelling completed the ambiance of a great cabin. I think the crossing in many ways is too short to enjoy all the amenities that, these great ferries have to offer.“
- For those visiting the UK the place you call home, are there any places in England you would recommend people to pay a visit after their Stena Line Ferry trip over?
“Many places in UK deserve a visit of course London, then I always recommend Canterbury the cathedral city where there are still pilgrimages to this day, there is a very small and beautiful little church there called St Martins it has been in continual use since 549 making this church 600 years older than the Cathedral. I always take my guests down the Roman Road to Hythe one of the Cinque Ports in Kent. Catch the world’s smallest public railway the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, built in 1927, it runs a scheduled service to Dungeness around the coast. With delight full smack working steam engines.
Visit the village of Brooklands where the Church Steeple is on the ground next to the Church, that’s so it wouldn’t have been a guide to the ships of Napoleon trying to invade England. The next village of Snargate to the quintessential English pub the Red Lion, it has been In the same family for over 100 years.“
(Photos by Fred Finn)