STENA Line has opened a children's creche on board the Koningin Beatrix ferry operating on the Irish Sea between Fishguard and Rosslare.
The creche, for children aged between two to eight years of age, is run by National Nursery Examining Body qualified staff and costs £2.50 an hour per child. If it is successful, the idea will be rolled out on other ships and services.
The move is one of a number of customer-care initiatives from Stena Line on routes to Ireland.
The children's play areas on the Koningin Beatrix and high-speed HSS operating from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire have been enlarged and there is a new children's cinema on board the HSS showing cartoons during the crossing.
A Stena Line spokeswoman said: "This is part of our on-going process of upgrading on-board facilities, but with the abolition of duty-free and the increase in competition on Irish routes it is important to offer the best services so passengers choose us."
In a separate development, Stena Line is chartering two freight/passenger ships to operate from Harwich to Hook of Holland alongside the HSS Stena Discovery. The vessels are being built in Sweden and will be launched in the second half of 2000, replacing three freight ships on the route.
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