Ireland-France route ready

The three ships have arrived in Dunkerque for berth tests and supplies. First departure will be from Rosslare on 2 January.

DFDS’ new route between Ireland and France is getting ready for its first departure. In just a few days, on 2 January at 14:00 (Ire time), a fully booked Optima Seaways will set sail towards Dunkerque – only to be followed by an equally fully booked Kerry departing at 23:00 ex Rosslare on the same day, whilst Visby will depart from Dunkerque towards Rosslare at 23:00 CET.  Its all happening on Saturday.

Kerry arrived in Dunkerque on 27 December and both Visby and Optima Seaways on 28  December for berth tests and the obligatory EU-inspection, that is to ensure that the ships comply with EU regulation before they are allowed to start operating.

Optima Seaways and Kerry are currently en-route to Rosslare in preparation and standby.

In addition to this, the ships were busy taking on stores, with catering supplies for a DFDS branded service and other supplies needed.

Route Director Aidan Coffey has invited Irish TV and newsmagazines for Optima’s departure on Saturday and French and European TV and media for the arrival in Dunkerque on Sunday 3 January.

Due to Covid restrictions, in both Ireland and France, the launch will be a press only event.

Aidan is supported by the busy teams at Rosslare, Dunkerque and the Cork booking office in preparation for a successful launch.

The pictures show the ships after arrival in Dunkerque for inspection and provisions, some sent by Torben Carlsen CEO, who received the pictures of Visby from French photographer  Julien Carpentier, and some were sent to us by Aidan Coffey with the assistance of colleagues in Dunkerque. In the background you can also see DFDS’ Dover-Dunkerque vessels in the port that has developed Dunkerque, into a true DFDS hub.

Covid-19: Minister thanks DFDS

Robert Courts, Minister for Aviation & Maritime.

Shortly before Christmas, the French Government closed the border for passengers and lorry drivers entering the country from the UK because of a mutant coronavirus found in the UK.

Due to an agreement with the UK, the borders opened again on Tuesday 22 December for passengers and drivers who could present a negative Covid-19 test. However, only 144 lorries made it to the ferries before Christmas as the lorries were prevented from getting to the port because of logistical problems caused by testing and blocked roads. This meant that about 4000 vehicles and their drivers were caught up on the M20 motorway and the former Manston Airfield where lorries were stacked.

Filip Hermann, Head of BU Channel, says: This was a terrible situation for the drivers, not least because the port is normally closed on 25 December. But after having received requests from the UK Government and the European Commission at noon 24 DecemberDFDS decided to keep sailing. This was only possible because crew members and operational staff ashore voluntarily and nearly immediately decided to work when they should have been enjoying Christmas with their families.

The extra sailings did help, and today 27 December, the number of waiting lorries is down to a few hundred.

I am personally moved by the dedication of our colleagues to make a real difference for our customers and the communities of which we are part, and I thank everyone working in BU Channel for stepping in at extremely short notice to help the drivers get home and ensuring the flow of goods,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS. 

Minister thanks on Twitter 

The UK Government is still advising lorries not to Come to Dover unless they have a negative Covid-19 test, and yesterday, on 26 December, Robert Courts, Maritime Minister, sent our colleagues a thank you for their efforts by means of a video on twitter, which you can watch here.

Newhaven and Newcastle were also affected by the situation and had to work with freight customers. 

DFDS continues operating its Channel ferries during Christmas to support freight drivers

Since France opened its borders for freight drivers with a negative Covid-19 test as at midnight on Tuesday, DFDS has had capacity to ship up to 4,000 trucks across the English Channel on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. However, due to the logistical issues that have prevented freight getting to the port, we have unfortunately only been able to transport 144 trucks out of Dover.

We understand that this is very disappointing for drivers who are currently stuck in queues or at the Manston lorry park, and the company has already added extra sailings to its schedule today to help more drivers get home.

Christmas Day is the only day of the year that the port of Dover is closed. However, at noon today we have received a formal request to operate sailings from the UK government and authorities in the European Union to help to resolve these extraordinary set of circumstances. We are in the process of finding volunteers in our staff who are able to work at short notice, so we can offer up to 30 sailings on 25 December in addition to the extra sailings performed on 24 December.

“In this way, DFDS is playing its part to try to clear the backlog of trucks and our number one priority is the welfare and repatriation of everyone who is dependent on its services. We appreciate the generous support of our colleagues who are leaving their own families on Christmas Day to help the drivers come home,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

On those extra sailings, DFDS’ six Channel ferries will only carry trucks from Dover to France and bring no cargo back to the UK.

No travellers from the UK

In a bid to stop a mutant strain of coronavirus crossing their borders, several nations have banned passenger travelling from the UK. This also affects DFDS and our customers.  

France has decided to ban all kinds of passengers via sea, including lorry drivers, from entering the country from the UK within at least 48 hours from late Sunday. This means that we can only transport unaccompanied trailers from Dover and Newhaven, and even though the border is open for drivers towards the UK, there will probably be gradually  fewer travelling with us as they won’t be able to get back again.  

The Dutch government has banned passengers from entering Holland until 1 January, but still allows lorry drivers to enter the country. This means that the freight traffic continues on all routes. However, normal passengers won’t be able to travel from Newcastle to IJmuiden, but they can still travel with us towards the UK. Passenger traveling was already very limited due to the existing coronavirus restrictions. 

Freight routes unaffected
As DFDS ferry routes from Brevik, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Cuxhaven, and Rotterdam (Vlaardingen) are freight routes only and only carry unaccompanied trailers, all those routes will continue to operate as usual.  

The entry restrictions for passengers from the UK is very new, and things keep changing all the time. Therefore, we will keep you updated about changes to this as soon as we can. 

Banned flights from the UK? 
France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands have all said they will halt flights arriving from the UK. 

The Czech Republic has imposed stricter quarantine measures for people arriving from Britain. 

Flights due to leave Newcastle Airport and head to Amsterdam on Monday have been cancelled. The DFDS ferry between North Shields and Ijmuiden in the Netherlands has also suspended passenger travel. 

Which other countries have implemented travel bans?
Turkey and Morocco have announced they will be suspending air travel from the UK, while the official Saudi Press Agency reports Saudi Arabia is also suspending international flights for one week. 

El Salvador is barring entry to anyone who has visited the UK in the preceding 30 days. 

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said  from midnight Sunday, Canada was putting a 72-hour stop on flights from the UK. 

OFC: Strong freight performance

The Oslo – Frederikshavn – Copenhagen route was relaunched in week 25 with the addition of Frederikshavn. Following this, the route experienced a great development in freight volumes and from week 40 to 45 volumes were even far ahead compared to last year.

From week 45, the route unfortunately had to temporarily lay-up 50% of the tonnage due to the pandemic and travel restrictions between Denmark and Norway.

“This left us with a rolling schedule and only half of our freight capacity, however, already after two weeks the freight figures were back on track and delivered volume ahead of last year. We are happy to see the trend is still pointing upwards – a fantastic achievement” says Freight Manager Lars Kristian Haugen.

He continues: “After a big disruption to our service, I am very proud to see our customers being very loyal and adapting quickly to our new schedule. All customers are still using the service and our biggest problem now, is to have enough capacity to offer.”

Loyalty earned through collaboration
“You cannot just expect this kind of loyalty. It is something that was earned through hard work and dedication from everyone involved” says Kasper Hægeland Svenningsen, Managing Director, Ferry Norway.

“The operation on both sides of the water, the sales force, the people on board and the fantastic cooperation between Passenger and Freight. Together we overcome many obstacles at the moment. A huge thanks to everybody. We are ready with a great platform when the service is back to normal!” says Kasper.

Kim Heiberg, Route Director, says:”It is extremely pleasing to see all the hard work and collaboration by the DFDS family has paid off to the benefit of the route. I am really looking forward to welcoming Crown Seaways back in operation to fulfil the full potential”.

DFDS re-shuffles Baltic ships

Optima Seaways will join the new Ireland-France route during January, and Patria Seaways will move from the Paldiski-Kapellskär route to replace Optima on the Karlshamn-Klaipeda route. There will be no changes to crewing or flag.

After Christmas, Optima Seaways will be moved to DFDS new route between Rosslare in Ireland and Dunkerque in France to help out during January 2021.

On the busy Karlshamn-Klaipeda route, she will be replaced by Patria Seaways from the Paldiski-Kapellskär route where Sirena Seaways will be able to maintain the necessary capacity for the expected volumes at the beginning of the new year.

“The ships will both maintain the Lithuanian flag and current crews, and we have already informed our many customers about the change,” says Anders Refsgaard, VP and Head of BU Baltic.

“One of our strengths is our ability to change ships on the routes at short notice, and deploy ships in accordance with our customers’ needs and flow of goods. At the end of January, Optima is planned to return to the Karlshamn-Klaipeda route, and Patria to the Paldiski-Kapellskär route,“ says Anders Refsgaard.

“We will ensure that you are continuously being updated on changes in the fleet,” says Anders.

Ferries in place for DFDS’ new Ireland – France freight route

Along with the chartered ferries Visby and Kerry, Optima Seaways will be ready to welcome lorries and their drivers on the new Rosslare – Dunkerque freight route. From 2 January, the route will enable customers to keep their freight transport within the EU and avoid the customs formalities that will apply to transport passing via the UK.

Yesterday we were able to show pictures of the new DFDS office and check-in facilities in Rosslare for our new Rosslare – Dunkerque freight route, which will start operating from Rosslare on 2 January.

“I am extremely pleased to present the three freight ferries that will soon be welcoming our customers’ lorries and their drivers. The three ships are Visby, Kerry and Optima Seaways,” says Aidan Coffey, Route Director.

“Visby and Kerry are chartered ships, including crews, and Optima Seaways is our own ferry, which currently operates between Sweden and Lithuania. A warm thank you to our Baltic colleagues and the Karlshamn-Klaipeda route for helping us with this.”

All three ships are proven and efficient freight ferries with capacity for up to 120 trucks and trailers, and drivers. The drivers will all be comfortably accommodated in their own COVID-19 safe cabins during the crossing.”

There will be six weekly departures from each port. The first departure will be on Saturday 2 January from Rosslare. Sailing time will be just under 24 hours.

“I am very grateful for the positive response to the news about the route, and the interest we have experienced among our customers who appreciate the opportunity to avoid the customs procedures, extra costs and waiting time that will be necessary for transport via the UK land bridge. Also, upon arrival in Dunkerque or Rosslare, the drivers will be fully rested and can continue driving immediately and be able to reach many major destinations within their legal driving limit.”

Kell Robdrup has been leading the work to establish the route that will eventually be part of BU Channel.

Built 2001 at Cantiere Navale Visentini, Italian flag
Length 186.50 m
Breadth 25.60 m
Draft 6.50 m
Speed 23 knots
Cargo capacity: 2,030 lane metres
80 cabins with 288 beds, all with private facilities
Max. cargo height 5.10 m

Built 2003 at the Guangzhou Shipyard Int. in China
Length 196.00 m
Breadth 25.67 m
Draught 6.40 m
Speed 26
Cargo capacity: 1,800 lane metres
92 cabins, all with private facilities
Cargo height up to 5 metres

Optima Seaways
Built 1999, Italy, Lithuanian flag
Length 186 m
Breadth 25.60 m
Draught 6.50 m
Speed 22
Cargo capacity 2,115 m lane metres
80 passenger cabins, all with private facilities
Cargo height up to 5.00 m

DFDS office in Rosslare ready

Port Opps Manager in Rosslare is Dwain Rodgers.

As we reported last week, DFDS will commence sailings on a new freight ferry route between Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland and Dunkerque in Northern France on 2 January.

The news about the route created a lot of interests among customers who saw an opportunity to avoid the customs procedures that will be necessary for transport via the UK landbridge. Also, upon arrival in Dunkerque or Rosslare, the drivers will be fully rested and can continue driving immediately and be able to reach many major destinations within their legal driving limit,” says Aidan Coffey, Route Director. 

“Things are progressing as planned, and I’m very pleased to share those pictures of our new Irish Port Office and Freight Check-in booth at Rosslare Europort. In the pictures you can also see Donna Lynch, our new assisting Port Operations Manager and Dwain Rodgers, our new Port operations Manager, who we know from his six years as a first officer on the Dover Dunkerque D Class’ ships.  

“Within the next days, we will also be able to present the ships for the route.” 

Donna Lynch, new Port Assisting Manager in DFDS new office in Rosslare.

The check-in both is also ready to go and welcome customers for the first voyage on 2 January.   

Freight up 17% in November

We have started to report monthly ferry volumes for freight and passengers to provide additional insight for investors and the general public into the development in volume trends.

November was a very busy month for freight, especially on the UK routes. Our logistics activities to the UK have likewise been very busy in November. When we look at the high growth percentages vs 2019, we should however recall that uncertainty about Brexit slowed trading down in November 2019.

Below is the numbers and text that was released as an investor news announcement earlier today.

Ferry – freight: Total volumes in November were 18% above 2019 adjusted for the closure of the Paldiski-Hanko route. The volume growth for routes calling the UK was 25%.

North Sea volumes were boosted by stockbuilding ahead of Brexit, especially on the routes between Netherlands and UK. Volumes on the English Channel were likewise boosted by the stockbuilding. Baltic Sea volumes were above 2019 adjusted for the closure of the Paldiski-Hanko route. Mediterranean volumes were up driven by the route between southern Turkey and Italy.

Ferry – passenger: Total number of passengers in November 2020 was 80% below 2019. The decrease reflects a continued negative impact from travel restrictions related to Covid-19, especially on the two cruise ferry routes. In the Baltic Sea, passenger numbers were considerably less impacted.


Lighting Christmas

It is Christmas time, and we can prove it. Watch this fantastic video about lighting the famous Christmas tree that, with the help of DFDS, has come from Norway to Trafalgar Square in London for a beautiful lighting ceremony. It is the ultimate sign of Christmas at DFDS.

Usually, our colleagues invite children from schools and other groups to the Nordic Terminal in Immingham to welcome the huge Christmas tree that arrives from Norway on a long trailer on board our ship. This year, COVID-19 got in the way. Instead, this great video tells the story behind Norway’s gift to the UK. It covers cutting the tree, transporting it by trailer and ferry to Immingham, and then  on to Trafalgar Square for a beautiful and touching lighting ceremony.

Enjoy this perfect interview with Andrew Byrne, Ferry’s Managing Director in Immingham and the greetings from the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the Norwegian Ambassador to the UK, and – not least – the many people involved in making the lighting ceremony such a beautiful and spectacular celebration.

DFDS is the World’s Leading Ferry Operator

We are thrilled to announce that DFDS has been awarded World’s Leading Ferry Operator for the tenth consecutive year at the World Travel AwardsThis follows our win earlier this year of Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator. 

The awards recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry and winners are decided by votes from the public and travel industry professionals. 

Peder Gellert, Executive Vice President & Head of Ferry Division, says: “We are delighted to be named ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ at the World Travel Awards 2020. This year has been a huge challenge for the travel industry and this award reflects the hard work of DFDS staff across EuropeIt is a testament to our teams onboard and ashore who work incredibly hard to provide our passengers with the best possible service.” 

Voted for by both the public and industry professionals, this award means a great deal to us as it comes from those with first-hand experience of our service and our people. This year, they have continued to place their trust in us and in return, we are committed to offering a reliable means of travel with outstanding customer service. Our Travel Guarantee is our commitment throughout 2021 to take our customers where they need to be, whatever the circumstance.’’ 


New direct Ireland – EU route

The new route will offer customers in the Republic of Ireland and on the Continent the opportunity to transport their goods directly to or from other EU countries without customs formalities, additional costs and possible waiting times.

On 2 January 2021, DFDS will commence sailings on a new freight ferry route between Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland and Dunkerque in Northern France.

The route will be serviced by three ropax ferries, each with a capacity for up to 125 lorries and their drivers in single cabins.

There will be six weekly departures from each port, with a crossing time of 24 hours.

Remains in EU’s single market and customs union
“We are extremely pleased to offer customers in the Republic of Ireland and on the Continent the opportunity to transport their goods directly to or from other EU countries without the customs formalities, additional costs and possible waiting times that the end of the Brexit transition period will bring about for road haulage passing through the UK,” says Peder Gellert, EVP and Head of the  Ferry Division.

Driver Friendly and close to major destinations
Upon arrival in Dunkerque or Rosslare, the drivers will be fully rested and can continue driving immediately and be able to reach many major destinations within their legal driving limit.

“For the vast Irish export to continental Europe – e.g. the Agri export worth ~€ 5 Billion per year together with other high value and time sensitive commodities  – the direct sea link will reduce the dependency on the UK land bridge and subsequent border crossings” says Peder Gellert.

New DFDS locations
To establish and develop strong, direct relations with the customers, DFDS offices will be opened in both Rosslare and Cork in Ireland. In France, the new service will be represented by our existing Dunkerque organisation.

From the Republic of Ireland, the route will be managed by Aidan Coffey as Route Director and Darren Mooney as Sales & Customer Service Director supported by Freight Sales Manager Declan Cleary from our Channel organisation

“Please join me in welcoming these new colleagues to DFDS. With their vast experience and DFDS’ position in the freight market, I am confident we have created a winning formula,” says Peder Gellert.

Great collaboration
“We are extremely grateful for the support we have experienced from the Port of Rosslare and the Port of Dunkerque. Their flexibility, professionalism and our excellent cooperation has enabled us to be ready with this service before the end of the transition period at the end of the year. We are confident that this service will benefit customers on both sides of the route,” says Kell Robdrup, SVP and Head of DFDS’ North Sea freight services. Based on his experience with the Irish market, he is leading the work to establish the route and make sure it comes to a good start.

The route will eventually be part of BU Channel’s network to which accompanied traffics in the Channel and the Port of Dunkerque belong.

Our Rosslare-Dunkerque colleagues

Aidan Coffey, Route Director, has vast experience in construction & shipping route development & logistics, He holds a degree in Institutional Management and has gained experience as lead in the initial development of the Cork – Santander Ferry route and other routes.

Darren Mooney,  Sales & Customer Service Director, is former MD of Mooney International Transport. He has owned and managed a major fleet trailers and trucks with depots in Ireland and Belgium. He was distribution manager with R.M.F. freight forwarders and Warehouse and Distribution director for The Quinn Group.

From the Republic of Ireland, the route will be managed by Aidan Coffey (left) as Route Director and Darren Mooney as Sales & Customer Service Director supported by Freight Sales Manager Declan Cleary from our Channel organisation.

New contract with Danish Defence

On Tuesday 24 November 2020, Lieutenant Colonel Morten Kranker and Director Bo T. Nielsen for the Danish Defence and EVP Peder Gellert and Director Fleet Management Henrik Tidblad for DFDS signed an agreement. It means that DFDS must make ships available for maritime transport of military equipment when requested by the Danish Defence. In the picture are (from the left) Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Henrik Tidblad, Peder Gellert, Morten Kranker and Bo T. Nielsen.

When the Danish or German military participate in NATO or other international military exercises and operations, DFDS will make ships available for the transport of military equipment. An agreement on this was signed today, Tuesday 24 November 2020, by Lieutenant Colonel Morten Kranker and Bo T. Nielsen for the military and Peder Gellert and Henrik Tidblad for DFDS. 

Morten Kranker is head of the Danish Defence’s Joint Movement and Transportation Organization (JMTO), which provides strategic transport for the Danish Defence. Bo T. Nielsen is director of the ARK Project, a DanishGerman collaboration that ensures Danish and German military access to, and availability of, capacity for maritime transport in accordance with the nations own obligations to NATO.

The agreement, which has been entered into following a public tender for the task, replaces a previous agreement between the Danish Defence and DFDS and runs for a total of six years.

The agreement covers a total of seven roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) vessels. The ships will sail with goods on a daily basis on DFDS ferry routes and will be made available to the military when and to the extent requested by the Danish Defence. When the ships operate for the Danish Defence, they will be subject to the ARK Project in the JMTO. 

Morten Kranker is very pleased with the prospect of continued good cooperation in providing the required capacity for Danish and German forces as well as NATO. The Danish Defence carry out a number of tasks with the ships. For example, during the major NATO exercise Trident Juncture in 2018, Denmark was responsible for coordination, planning and delivery of a number of allies strategic sea ​​transport of equipment to and from the exercise. This was in cooperation with the Netherlands and using some of the ships.

Peder Gellert, chief executive of DFDS Ferry Division and member of the group management, says: I am both happy and proud to continue our successful collaboration with the Danish Defence ARK unit and the role that the agreement gives DFDS in a competitive publicprivate partnership that ensures that ships and resources are utilised optimally. 

“As a result of this cooperation, the Danish Defence have participated in a large number of international exercises, and military and humanitarian operations with DFDS ships, including the Danish-led UN mission to transport chemicals out of Syria and Libya, the UN ebola effort in East Africa, for which Denmark has gained great recognition, as well as a number of other important tasks.

I must also say that our crews on the ships and Fleet Management have made the task of entering into an agreement with the military significantly easier for us. Your service and seamanship on board – and by Fleet Management on land – have been of such quality that the military, as you know, has honoured the crew of Ark Futura with medals for their efforts in relation to Syria. We should all be proud of that at DFDS.

Ark Dania
 is one of the seven ships included in the agreement between DFDS and the military. The other ships are: Ark Germania, Suecia Seaways, Magnolia Seaways, Britannia Seaways and Finlandia Seaways. The last ship in the agreement will be one of several ships from the DFDS fleet, to be selected according to need.

DFDS welcomes Christmas Tree

Our colleagues in Immingham has welcomed a famous festive delivery to the port – the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree!

The tree is a token of gratitude from the people of Oslo, Norway, for Britain’s support and assistance during the Second World War, an annual tradition which began in 1947.

This year’s tree is about 23 metres tall and arrived at the Port of Immingham early on Saturday morning on board the DFDS ship, Ficaria Seaways.

Andrew Byrne (on the picture), Managing Director in Immingham, Ferry Division, says: “DFDS has been transporting the tree across the North Sea for more than 25 years. Everybody gets excited about this operation, it’s the start of the festive season and because the tree is so famous it gets lots of attention and our colleagues really want to be involved.

“It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and Christmas will be different  this year so the fact that we can continue this tradition and spread some joy is something we’re really pleased about.”

The tree will be transported to Trafalgar Square by road ready for a virtual lighting-up ceremony on December.

DK Ships: No UK shore leave

Following the UK government’s UK entry restrictions for travelers from Denmark after the discovery of a mutated Coronavirus in mink, DFDS has been in contact with the UK authorities about how to handle the entry restrictions and keep everyone safe.

“This means that ships calling at UK ports from Danish ports and vessels calling at UK ports with seafarers onboard who are resident in Denmark, traveling from Denmark or transiting through Denmark can be regarded as ‘safe bubbles’ provided that they have had a negative COVID-19 test immediately prior to joining the vessel. With ‘safe bubbles’ the UK authorities mean that the vessel can call at UK ports. However, shore leave isn’t permitted in the UK for those ships, ” says Gemma Griffin, VP and Head of Global Crewing.

“I regret that we have to impose such restrictions on seafarers, but if local authorities due to public health reasons refuse disembarkation of seafarers, then seafarers simply cannot go ashore on shore leave. We will intensify the COVID-19 testing so that the risk of seafarers being infected when embarking the vessels is even further reduced. More information on the testing will be communicated by Crewing Department,” Gemma says.

There are no restrictions on shore leave for other ships or seafarers.

DK-UK sailings continue

New travel restrictions due to mutated coronavirus will not affect sailings on DFDS routes.

DFDS sailings on Esbjerg-Immingham and  Copenhagen-Frederikshavn-Oslo won’t be affected by the recent lockdown of Northern Jutland and tightened UK travel restrictions, which were decided after the Danish government informed about cases with a mutated coronavirus spreading from  mink to humans.

“The new restrictions apply to people only, and our cargo on the Esbjerg-Immingham route consists of unaccompanied trailers that can continue being transported as usual;” says Emma Leam-Saville, Agency Director, Immingham.

“The only exception will be that we can no longer accept the 12 drivers on the Esbjerg-Immingham route which we have been able to ship before. The driver accompanied units we have, will need to be changed to unaccompanied cargo.”

“No driver who has been in Denmark during the last 14 days will be allowed to enter the UK on any of our routes,” Emma says.

The Oslo-Frederikshavn- Copenhagen route will continue as usual with one ship.

We will inform about how this will affect crew changes as soon as possible.

New berth well underway in Karlshamn

The expansion of the new berth in Port of Karlshamn is in full swing as you can see on the photos in the gallery. Thank you to Johan Stegerö for sharing the pictures. 

Work commenced in May 2020 and the brand-new berth is expected to be operational Q2 2021 to accept the two 230m long combined freight and passenger ferries that will arrive in summer of the same year. 

The reduction of the breakwater pier is almost completed and work on the new RoRo-berth is ongoing with piling and concrete. Construction of two new structural dolphins has also started, the extraction of rock from the seabed shall commence with blasting in the Port basin very soon. Installation of an automatic mooring system, a wide linkspan, dredging and piling and construction of shore-power station will be installed during next year. 

We are very much looking forward to the delivery of the new berth for our amazing new ferries! 

Covid-19: DFDS reduces sailings on Denmark – Norway

COVID-19: One of the two ships serving DFDS passenger routes on Copenhagen – Oslo and Frederikshavn – Oslo will be temporarily laid up due to tighter travel restrictions. Unfortunately, 20 waiters will be affected, whilst other colleagues will maintain their jobs as a result of trade union agreement, relocation to other ships, etc. 

Increasing infection rates and stricter travel restrictions have reduced further the number of passengers on DFDS passenger ferry routes on Copenhagen – Oslo and Frederikshavn – Oslo in recent weeks. 

With the worsening situation, there are simply too few passengers on board to maintain a full sailing schedule, and therefore we are unfortunately forced to reduce the service to one ship until mid-February, says Kasper Moos, VP, BU Passenger.

“This means that from 2 November, there will in principle be departures every other day from each port instead of every day. We will now inform customers about this via e-mails, social media and DFDS website. 

With the reduced sailing schedule, Pearl Seaways will be DFDS only passenger ship operating between Denmark and Norway, while Crown Seaways will be docked in Copenhagen until mid-February. 

Winning time
The laying-up of Crown Seaways will unfortunately have consequences for the number of employees on board.

It means that we have to say goodbye to 20 waiters working on Crown. It is very unfortunate as they are all colleagues who have worked hard to help ensure continued operation,” says Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer and member of DFDS’ executive management.

“The other crew members in service functions on board are covered by an agreement on shorter turns and a pay reduction with the trade union Metal Maritime, and the ships technical operating crew can use accumulated overtime or be transferred to other ships. This means that we gain time until the start of the new year and so far can keep most of our very experienced employees, so we can quickly restart the route if the COVID-19 situation improves within a few months,” says Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer. 

Kasper Moos adds: I am very pleased to inform that we will be able to avoid redundancies in the passenger organisation ashore. We will be busy preparing campaigns and sales activities to be ready when travel restrictions are lifted. However, it will be necessary to redistribute some tasks and functions for a period of time to use our resources in a way that makes sense. You will be informed about this in more detail.”

LS Retail live on King Seaways

The LS team went on board King Seaways in the first week of October to prepare for the GO-live on 5 October. King will be the first ship to have LS Central as the operating system which is a step up from the Channel and allows us to have automatic table allocation with the hospitality module. This will enable us to be more efficient in the restaurant and turn tables quickly when needed.  

It also gives us other opportunities in the future with presales items. Having LS Retail across all passenger ships allows us to control inventory more centrally and allows us to leverage price with our suppliers and being a live system gives the Business Leaders the tools they need to manage stock levels effectively and thus reducing stock held onboard.   

Although Covid-19 is putting quite some restrictions in place for international travel, with the assistance of Jesper Christensen and HR Dover, the team managed to obtain the necessary paperwork to travel and carry out this essential piece of work. 

“We encountered a number of unforeseen technical difficulties upon go-live. Our IT support did a great job in rendering assistance to overcome these. LSR team was instrumental in addressing the numerous issues that kept coming up with full support and flexibility from the onboard staff. It was real and pure teamwork what I witnessed on board that ship,” says Laura Neimetaite, Product Owner in the Passenger Tribe.  

Niels Ryslev, Commercial Head, says that he is still impressed with the flexible and pragmatic teamwork with which the roll-out was executed and believes that despite some problems, it has been the smoothest  implementation of a Point of Sales system, he can recall in 32 years.

Peter Hoogendoorn, Project Manager, explains that with the completion of LS on King, we are now well prepared to perform the next roll-out on Princess Seaways which is planned for the first week of December, in order to have this finished before the Christmas period. 

Product Owner Laura Neimetaite adds: “Special thanks to the staff on board King Seaways for their unmatching hospitality and desire to adopt the new system. It was an absolute pleasure working with you, climbing that learning curve of the first implementation!  

“Equally so, a big thank you to Michal from Master Data for being the most effective and pragmatic business partner one would wish for, Andy Watkins for your mammoth efforts and countless hours and evenings put into this roll out, Finance, Procurement, EDI and Seabook teams for being such team players, and the LSR core team for your relentless dedication and professionalism in delivering such a comprehensive system all in one go. “

“It was breath taking seeing all that cross functional teamwork come together on a single sailing” adds Laura. 

New contract with Danish Crown

Torben Carlsen and Jais Valeur, CEO of Danish Crown, sign the agreement that extends DFDS’ and Danish Crown’s cooperation on the transport of meat from Esbjerg to Immingham until mid-2023.


DFDS’ sailings from Denmark to the UK are as old as the Danish supply of bacon for the infamous full English breakfast. Now we are certain that the export of bacon to the UK will continue out of Esbjerg for at least another 2.5 years.

Yesterday, Torben Carlsen and Jais Valeur, CEO of Danish Crown, signed the agreement on this at Danish Crown’s head office in Randers, Jutland. Torben was accompanied by  Peder Gellert, EVP of the Ferry Division, and Kell Robdrup,  SVP of BU North Sea South, who had negotiated the contract details.

“It was a very good day for DFDS. The meat export is a considerable part of our volumes on the Esbjerg-Immingham route and we are quite proud of being part of one of Denmark’s oldest export successes,” says Kell.

Due to the long standing and close cooperation with Danish Crown, it has also been agreed that DFDS will support Danish Crown with import customs services after the end of the Brexit transition period.

Loading record in Vlaardingen

Vlaardingen terminal

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the ships left Vlaardingen fully loaded. The many trailers caused delays on the roads leading to the terminal.

In Vlaardingen, they really look forward to welcoming Flandria Seaways, the fifth of the new mega freight ferries. She is scheduled to arrive from China at the end of September.

She is needed because volumes seem to be building up for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, and this gave her sister, Hollandia Seaways, a great chance to prove the value of the huge capacity.

On Tuesday this week, Humbria left Vlaardingen for Immingham with some 435 trailers on board – the highest number of trailers ever loaded on a ship in Vlaardingen. And the following day, pressure was such that trailers were left behind when Gardenia departed the port fully loaded with 260 trailers.

“Pressure was so great that we couldn’t get all the trailers through the terminal in time so departure was delayed, and I heard that it caused a slow-down of traffic on the motorway leading to the terminal,” says Jacob Andersen, Managing Director of the Ferry Division in Vlaardingen.

Jacob Andersen

“I am very pleased that we get those big ships as we really need them now, and I am confident that the challenge of getting the trailers through the terminal will be solved when we get our new, modern gate and we complete the expansion of the terminal area.”

“I am very pleased that we get those big ships as we really need them now, and I am confident that the challenge of getting the trailers through the terminal will be solved when we get our new, modern gate and we complete the expansion of the terminal area.”

“We couldn’t have done this without the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues in Vlaardingen, at the gate, in the terminal, in the booking department and on board – in fact everywhere.”

Freight grows on Frederikshavn – Oslo

Few routes have been as hard hit by COVID-19 as those between Denmark and Norway. Now it is evident that the decision to include Frederikshavn in our sailings between Copenhagen and Oslo was a wise one: Even though business continues to be challenged, week 36 exceeded last year’s freight result for the route, and September may be the first full month to do so too. And this is due mainly to our success in attracting freight volumes to our new Frederikshavn – Oslo leg.

“This was done in fierce competition with other transport corridors so a warm thank you to our operations colleagues in Copenhagen, Oslo and on board for delivering customer services that make the difference,” says Lars Kristian Haugen, Freight Manager for the route.

Last Tuesday, we even had a milestone worth celebrating: 1,000 units were shipped to/from Frederikshavn.

A lot of hard work has been put into developing sales and creating cross-selling across the network. With strong support from Erik Jisland in Gothenburg, Christian V Pedersen in Denmark and Thomas Ipsen in Germany, we have already attracted major new customers and see potential for breaking records in the future,” says Lars.

Kasper Hægeland Svenningsen, Managing Director of Ferry in Norway, says: “Thank you to everyone on the route, ashore and aboard, for taking such good care of our customers. Thanks also for great sales and booking numbers and for helping us fully utilise the capacity of the ships at peak departure times. Creativity and collaboration have been great tools for achieving this.”

Kim Heiberg, Route Director, says: “It is great to see freight moving in the right direction at a time when we are really challenged, and I am extremely pleased to be part of a passenger and freight team that accomplishes the impossible for the benefit of the route.”

Karlshamn prepares for the new ferry

The vision picture shows the port of Karlshamn after the expansion of the ferry port. Picture from Port of Karlshamn.

230-meter-long, a load capacity of 4,500 lane meter and 600 passengers. These are some of the specifications that make our two upcoming freight and passenger ferries from Guangzhou in China the largest of their type to have regularly operated the Baltic Sea. In summer 2021, the first ferry will be set in service and the Port of Karlshamn are already preparing for the arrival with a major investment of SEK 156million.

Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director in Karlshamn, says: “The Port is currently undergoing extensive construction of berths with extra capacity and 30-meter-wide ramps that are required to accommodate this large ferry. When the project is completed, the port will have three ferry berths, two of which have capacity for the new ferries”

“Every day, we follow the construction progress while working hard to operate the daily traffic without disruption despite dredgers, construction barges and other things in the same harbor basin. However, our colleagues in Karlshamn and on board the ships are taking this with great spirit and we are eagerly counting the days till the new ferry arrives in the Baltic network for the first time”

70% freight capacity increase on Immingham-Cuxhaven service

Our Immingham-Cuxhaven freight liner service is back to five weekly departures. We have also placed a second vessel on this route between the UK and Germany due to an increase in car volumes and freight. We transport all types of freight on this route; project cargo, driver-accompanied freight units, lift units and bulk cargo on roll trailers.

Welcome Belgia Seaways
As of July 6, Belgia Seaways joined Petunia Seaways on the route, increasing the overall freight capacity by more than 70%. Belgia Seaways was recently fitted with a new internal ramp but has not yet been dressed in DFDS colours.

“We are very pleased to get back to normality and offer an almost daily shipping option to our customers, “says Route Director Ortolf Barth.

Check out the July schedule