Stena Line’s history with Holland stretches back to 1988. The Harwich to Hook of Holland route was historically owned by the Dutch Royal Family; however, Stena Line bought the SMZ Crown Line Holland and incorporated it into Stena Line’s route to Holland in 1988.
In 1990, Stena Line’s acquisition of Sealink British Ferries meant that the company doubled in size, which in turn heralded major changes in the European market. As the world’s largest shipping company Stena Line also acquired a few smaller Dutch shipping companies in the same year.
Over the years Stena Line gradually changed profile – becoming Sealink Stena Line, then Stena Sealink Link before re-branding as Stena Line (UK). In 1997 the Stena HSS Discovery was launched, making Stena Line’s Harwich to Hook of Holland as the fastest direct route to Holland from Britain.
In 1998, the merger of P&O and Stena Line saw the new company expand its passenger and freight traffic in Europe. Stena Line became a privately owned company in 2001. Since this time, the Harwich to Hook of Holland route has been Stena Line’s only direct passenger route from the UK to continental Europe.