Eastern Channel teams look back on a busy high season

The crew from Calais Seaways, who are also in the final for the Team of the Year award!

The summer period is always a very busy season for our BU Short Routes & Passenger colleagues, and this year they have plenty of achievements to be proud of.

Steve Garner, Customer Experience Manager of BU Short Routes & Passenger, says: “Lots of preparation goes into getting ready for the high season, from welcoming new colleagues to supporting the extra volume of passengers on board and ashore, and launching new seasonal products in our outlets on our vessels. It’s all hands on deck in all areas of our organisation, and it’s all go, go, go!”

“We have the great privilege of meeting so many wonderful customers who have chosen to make DFDS part of their annual holiday. Between 15 July and 2 September, we welcomed 1,114,995 tourist and freight passengers and a total of 414,156 vehicles at our port and on board our ferries sailing on the Dover ‒ France routes.

Our check-in staff were ready to greet them all with big smiles. In most cases, this is our customers’ first human interaction with DFDS, as 80% of bookings are made online, so first impressions count, and our teams at the port ensure that the service delivered is positive and memorable, in order to leave an permanent and positive impression of DFDS,” says Steve.

The high season has been a great success, but sometimes things can go wrong and this can have an impact on both customers and services.

“We had to cancel 14 out of 2612 sailings due to a technical problem but mostly was due to extreme weather conditions which hit the English Channel on 9 and 10 August. We also experienced a heat wave, with temperatures rising to above 30c in the UK, which makes working conditions difficult, but our teams powered on. Delft Seaways lost its air conditioning on one round-trip, but the crew acted swiftly and offered free ice cream and water to our guests to ensure they were as comfortable as possible.

Colleagues from France came to Dover to help on the assembly lanes for the busy exits, and similarly our UK colleagues travelled to France to support with the busy returns. A big thank you to all our customer-facing teams on board and ashore for their continued teamwork and dedication. We are also extremely excited to have two teams from our Eastern Channel Business in the final of Team of the Year Award, so that is something else to celebrate. Congratulations and good luck to Freight Sales and Calais Seaways,” says Steve.

Jesper Christensen, Operations Director of BU Short Routes & Passenger, is also very grateful for the good work by all the teams at Eastern Channel over this very busy summer.

He says: “Our teams have plenty to celebrate and be proud of. We have received great feedback from our customers about our staff and services on board and ashore, and we have also seen a positive response to the launch of our new Horizon Pizza & Pasta food concept and the Pirate Island Children’s Activity Packs issued at check-in. Our passengers have also praised us on the extra attention we have provided to pets travelling with us onboard and on both sides of the Channel which is extremely positive.

Our Customer Entertainment associates have entertained our junior guests, and the new birthday celebration activities have been well-received. Average turnaround times remained on target and our fuel consumption has also remained at a very respectable level too. Great achievements all round! The senior management team and I would like to thank all our teams on board and ashore for their continuous hard work and dedication over the busy holiday period.”


September 6, 2019