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An Up and Coming UK Cruise Port

With Fred Olsen offering sailings in 2013 from Harwich, we decided to take a glimpse into the history of the up and coming port.

Meaning "military settlement, Harwich is a busy coastal town and international port found on the north-east Essex, just on the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell. can be seen on road signs and on various advertisements – including posters produced for London & North Eastern Railway promoting rail and sea services via Harwich.

A historically significant town and port …

Harwich has played a very important role in Britain's nautical history for centers – it was specifically appreciated in the 19th century by captains sailing ships looking for shelter.

In the second half of the 19th century, the Great Eastern Railway Company decided that the port should be transformed – this is how the world-class deep-water facility, Harwich International Port, came about.

Following the port's success, Great Eastern Railway wanted to expand its operations further – so created a whole new port on the marshland of Ray Island. The new port, Parkeston Quay, was officially opened in 1883 by Charles H. Parkes, Chairman of the Great Eastern Railway Company. Soon after, it became one of Britain's most important passenger ports – as it links England with Belgium and the Netherlands.

Through the 20th century and into the 21st, Harwich Port has kept its close connections with Europe. Today Harwich Port's activities include liquid and dry bulks, general cargo, containers – as well as being a thriving cruise business. And, with Fred Olsen offering selected sailings in 2013, Harwich Port just keeps growing and growing.

A new chapter in the port's history …

In 1998, Harwich International Port was taken over by Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd – the world's largest private port owner and operator. Since then, Harwich International Port continued to bloom. Today, Harwich is one of the UK's leading cruise ports.

A look into the historic town …

Historically important, as well as being one of the UK's most deep-water harbors, the old town of Harwich is a conservation area – it is here you will find a whole host of historical buildings, each with a tale to tell. Highly regarded for its architectural heritage, you'll discover many notable public buildings, including the parish church of St. Louis. Nicholas (1821) and the Guildhall of 1769, the only Grade I listed building in Harwich. On the quayside, the Pier Hotel of 1860 and Great Eastern Hotel of 1864 can be seen. These two buildings reflect the town's new found importance to those traveling – thanks to the arrival of the railway line from Colchester in 1854.

Other places of interest include the High Lighthouse, the Treadwheel Crane and the Electric Palace Cinema. One of the oldest purpose-built cinemas, the Electric Palace Cinema comes complete with its original projection room as well as a whole host of other original features. Other must see sights include the Old Custom Houses on West Street and a selection of Victorian shop fronts.



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