CFO route suspended to 5 April

Further to the latest update from DK government on travel restrictions, our service between Copenhagen – Frederikshavn – Oslo will now be suspended up to and including 5 April 2021. Our next possible sailing will be from 6 April 2021.

Kasper Moos, Head of BU Group Passenger, says: “As the travel restrictions continues, we will extend the the lay-up period as well. The vast majority of crew members will still be sent home with pay as a benefit from the government’s aid package, which has been extended in parallel with the continued restrictions. A small group remain at work to maintain the cruise ferry until it resumes service.

We know that it is very hard for our colleagues who have been furloughed, and we look very much forward to welcoming you all back on work when we see the restrictions soften”.

Further details on the latest restrictions from the DK government will be updated here.

CFO route suspended to 28 February

Further to the latest updates from the Danish and Norwegian governments on travel restrictions, our service between Copenhagen – Frederikshavn – Oslo will now be suspended up to and including 28 February 2021.

Kasper Moos, Head of BU Group Passenger, says: “We expected the restrictions to be prolonged and have calculated with the extended period of restrictions in our forecast. During the lay-up period, the vast majority of crew members are sent home with pay as a benefit from the government’s aid package, which has been extended in parallel with the continued restrictions. A small group remain at work to maintain the cruise ferry until it resumes service.
We know that it is very hard for our colleagues who have been furloughed, and we look very much forward to welcoming you all back on work when we see the restrictions soften”.

Details on the latest restrictions from the Danish government are available here and from the Norwegian government here

Denmark-Oslo route further suspended

Because of updated travel restrictions announced by the Danish government on 8 January and Norwegian restrictions from early January, Pearl Seaways was laid up and the Oslo – Frederikshavn – Copenhagen route was temporally suspended from 10 January. On 13 January, the travel restrictions were prolonged by the Danish government meaning that the suspension will last until at least the 7 February.

Kasper Moos, Head of BU Group Passenger, says: “During the lay-up period, the vast majority of crew members are sent home with pay as a benefit from the government’s aid package, which has been extended in parallel with the continued restrictions. A small group remain at work to maintain the cruise ferry until it resumes service.”

The travel restrictions affect all travel in and out of Denmark, and the borders are closed to all entrants who do not have an “essential” purpose for entry. The suspension is therefore expected to last at least as long as the new restrictions apply.

Follow OFC Business Cruise on LinkedIn

With a dedicated Linkedin page connected to the DFDS Group page, Passenger Marketing is increasing awareness of the onboard propositions for our B2B passenger segment on the  Oslo – Frederikshavn – Copenhagen route that for example includes conference guests. 

Together with colleagues in the Campaign Marketing team, Nanna Isaksen and Vincent Bakker from the Marketing Distribution team will create and share content to increase awareness and performance while highlighting the great concept of what a Business and Conference Cruise can offer. 

The showcase page will support our core Business Cruise customers with content in Danish and Norwegian, before looking to expand into other languages as the segment mix grows. You can always click the “see translation” in the content and it will change to the language of your Linkedin settings.

It was an excellent display of collaboration in this initiative, both between colleagues in the Passenger Marketing team and working closely with those in the b2b conference area.

In absence of colleagues who remain on furlough, I would like to give a special thanks to Annika Hallsten for bringing this project to life and demonstrating an excellent ‘can-do’ attitude to something beyond the usual scope of her work.

By following the page, liking and commenting on the posts you can help us build the community furtherYou can follow the page here.

Agreement keeps Oslo ferry moving

The Metal Maritime union and DFDS have agreed on a negotiated solution for most employees on the two Oslo ferries. The agreement ensures that the ferries can continue to operate on this route, in spite of the Norwegian quarantine rules causing a decrease in passenger numbers. Regretfully, 26 servers will be redundant.

Covid-19 has had a severe impact on DFDS’ Copenhagen-Oslo and Frederikshavn-Oslo routes. Changing Danish and Norwegian entry restrictions have caused the number of passengers to fluctuate and fall. Most recently, a 14-day quarantine requirement for people entering Norway from Denmark’s capital region made the number of passengers plummet.

Now DFDS and the Danish trade union Metal Maritime have entered into an agreement about shorter turns on board and a pay reduction of 17,5% over a four-month period for their members on board. This group makes up the majority of the crew on the two ships on the routes, Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways.

“It is a very important agreement for the ferries. It helps us reduce costs and keep Pearl and Crown in operation over the next difficult months, securing jobs and travel opportunities to Norway under unparalleled difficult conditions,” says Kasper Moos, Vice President & Head of Business Unit Short Routes and Passenger at DFDS.

“Unfortunately, a number of conditions differ for the servers on board, and it has therefore not been possible to enter into a similar agreement with their union 3F. We are sad to say that this means that we have to say goodbye to 26 of the 68 servers on the route,” says Kasper Moos.

“Even though the agreement means that we can keep the route operating and secure a lot of jobs on board and on land, we must recognise that it comes with a price. We are very sorry to have to say goodbye to 26 crew members who have put great efforts into securing the service and the route through a very difficult period. On the other hand, we are grateful that we have been able to find a solution with  Metal Maritime that means we gain extra time until the situation hopefully can take a turn for the better,” says Kasper Moos.

Following the temporary route closure from 15 March to 25 June, the route was reopened with a new sailing structure. This meant that the ships also docked in Frederikshavn en route between Denmark and Norway, so that the ships also served the Frederikshavn-Oslo route. And with a stronger focus on passengers with transport needs and freight customers, the reopening took place with a significantly reduced crew.

“This strategy has greatly helped to keep the ships sailing, and with the latest agreement with Metal Maritime, we have been able to find a joint solution to a big challenge – we are proud of this at DFDS,” says Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer.

New UK quarantine rules pose huge challenge

Photo by John Bryant

As a consequence of the increasing infection rates in the Netherlands and France, the UK has decided on new travel guidance. This means that passengers arriving from those and some other countries into the UK are requested to go into quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Especially on the Channel, this has immediately caused a surge in passenger numbers as many want to get back before 04:00 on Saturday when the new quarantine rules come into force.

DFDS reacted immediately and increased number of departures and passenger capacity on ferries on the eastern Channel for key departures to help as many as possible of those who want to return to the UK before the new rules apply.

“We have also created a range of emails, social media messages, announcements on the internet and other means of communication to inform our passengers about the quarantine rules so they are not caught in a bad situation,” says Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger.

He adds: “We have decided that our passengers on the eastern Channel and the IJmuiden – Newcastle routes can change their bookings free of charge up to 24 hours before departure, and now also offer our passengers the option to postpone their travel until September 2021 so their money isn’t lost if they can’t travel.”

“These are times when things change from day to day and from hour to hour. The new quarantine rules are not good news for us, but I am extremely encouraged by the way everyone has reacted to this. To everyone in Marketing, Sales, Operations and On-Board Services, HR – and everyone in Dover, France, Newcastle and IJmuiden: I Just can’t thank you enough for your hard work and huge achievement. It makes me really proud and it supports our customers and benefits DFDS when it is really needed,” says Kasper.

“And I hope that we will soon see the infection rate go down again so quarantine becomes unnecessary and travelling gets as easy as it should be.”

DFDS reacts to Hurtigruten case

Dear everyone

You may have noticed the recent news about the Covid-19 outbreak on the Norwegian Hurtigruten vessel (MS Roald Amundsen) that has caused intense focus and discussions in Norway and beyond about Covid-19 risks and measures that need to be in place when transporting people on ships.

We receive a lot of questions about this, from the press, passengers and you, our colleagues. This is a short update on what we are doing to keep our ferries safe for everyone.

New procedures and Covid-19 task force

We take this situation extremely seriously and already have a wide range of measures in place on our passenger ferries. We emphasise more cleaning, touchpoints are disinfected regularly and we have strong communication to passengers and staff about the need to use the hand sanitisers and maintain social distancing.

On ferries like ours there is plenty of space to achieve social distancing, whilst also enjoying shopping or a great meal aboard.

Unlike cruise ships, our ferries transport people for a relatively short period of time. While sailing and when the passengers leave, we have a dedicated body of cleaning staff making sure that our ferries are clean and fit for transporting our guests.

Passenger capacity is also reduced to limit the number of people on board at any one time so there is ample space to maintain social distancing.

If a case of Covid-19 should present itself on our ferries, we have clear procedures in place to handle them in a manner that protects our crew and guests so that the relevant person can be isolated and disembarked safely. We also alert the relevant authorities to ensure we handle such incidents in accordance with their recommendations.

Face masks for customers and staff

We recommend passengers wear face masks during entry to and exit from the ferries, as this is where we have seen that there is a risk of passengers not maintaining the necessary distance. In addition, on most of our routes customer-facing staff wear face masks or visors when not protected by plexiglass screens, and we will now extend this policy to our Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen route.

In light of Hurtigruten’s problems we have re-launched our COVID-19 task force, dedicated to coordinating best practice and improving our procedures, with yesterday’s decision to extend the use of face masks and visors to customer-facing staff on Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen being the first result of that work.

We all need to take this extremely seriously. I am sure that we will see further initiatives from the task force that will make our ferries even safer for our staff and passengers travelling with us. We are committed to doing everything we can to minimise the risk of the virus spreading on board.

Thank you for doing your utmost to help us provide safe transport services to passengers in these extraordinary times.

Kasper Moos

Passenger/BU Channel: DFDS adapts to Covid-19

On 29 June, DFDS announced several cost reductions measures to adapt to the new market conditions brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic. DFDS anticipated that this would in total impact about 650 colleagues across the DFDS organisation.

On 21 July, we announced that we would start a consultation process with proposals to reduce staff in the passenger offices in Ijmuiden and Newcastle. 12 colleagues from the Care Centre and Sales operations will sadly leave our Ijmuiden office.

We are currently consulting with employee representatives on the 30 positions across the passenger agency function in Newcastle that are at risk of redundancy.

In Hamburg on 4 August we announced our intentions to downsize our passenger office there and individual consultations have commenced with the 9 colleagues who are unfortunately impacted.

And today, we announced the start of a consultation process in Dover and France, outlining proposals for a reduction in staffing levels onboard the vessels operating between Dover to France and within the Dover, Calais and Dieppe sites.

A total of 79 roles on the company’s three UK ships and in its offices in Dover are affected.

A total of 142 roles on French ships on Calais-Dover, Calais port and the offices in Calais and Dieppe are affected.

Ashore in Dover, this will affect:
HR & Crewing
Operations Support (Terminal Control)
Freight Reservations and Freight Administration
Onboard Services
Technical Organisation

All colleagues impacted have been contacted by their Manager and HR to advise what the next steps in the process are.

We very much regret that it has come to this. Many colleagues have worked hard under difficult conditions to keep business running and help our customers. However, the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting drop in passenger demand across all routes have made changes to the company’s structure necessary to reduce costs and protect jobs in the future. But we will work closely with staff representatives to find measures to mitigate the impact of this situation for our affected colleagues.

Kasper Moos, VP of Short Routes & Passenger
Gemma Griffin, VP of HR & Crewing

Covid-19: Newcastle – Amsterdam route resumes service from 15 July

Princess Seaways

Following the announcements from the UK government about the lifting of quarantine restrictions and the restart of travel to many other countries, DFDS is resuming sailings between Amsterdam and Newcastle. As both ships are laid up in IJmuiden, the first departures will take place on Wednesday 15 July from IJmuiden and Thursday 16 July from Newcastle.

In addition, our English Channel services between the UK and France are available again to holidaymakers from the 10th July. The Channel routes have continued to sail throughout the Covid-19 period for freight and essential travellers only ensuring the transport of vital goods to communities both sides of the channel.

Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes & Passengers says, “We are very pleased that we are finally able to welcome our passengers back to our routes between the UK & Continent. However, we will be running on significantly reduced capacity and reduced onboard services as part of our COVID-19 measures to ensure the safety of all staff and passengers”.

“These restrictions mean we will continue to evaluate staff and crew requirements whilst we monitor booking developments closely. Whilst some people will return to work very shortly, many of you will remain on temporary leave for a while longer and we will be in touch with all colleagues to keep them updated on next steps.

I want to express my gratitude for your continued patience and support during the many weeks this route has been suspended.”

Adapted onboard services
Services will be adapted onboard to ensure social distancing and the onboard catering offering has temporarily changed.

On the Channel services, we offered complimentary meals to essential travellers during the crisis and we are now extending that to all passengers and including it within the ticket price.

On the Amsterdam Newcastle service, all meals must be pre-booked before boarding and à la carte dining will not be available.  A reduced buffet service will be available, and all food will be served to passengers by our crew.

You can find out more about the new safety measures onboard here:

A new way to travel
Kasper Moos added, “I’m really looking forward to starting up the service after this extended period without a route between Amsterdam and Newcastle and welcoming holidaymakers back to our Channel routes. I am confident that together we can ensure that our passengers relax and enjoy their crossings while practising social distancing.”

Wonderful mood clips from the maiden voyage Frederikshavn – Oslo

Mirit Bisholt, Social Media Manager, and Mark Næstved Nielsen, Art Director, kindly sent us this fantastic video from the maiden voyage Frederikshavn – Oslo yesterday.

Many thanks for sharing this historical moment with us and letting us meet the very likeable couple Inger and Peter who, as the first passengers on the new route, were offered an upgrade to a luxury cabin and received a delicious surprise in the cabin.

DFDS opens Frederikshavn – Oslo

When DFDS reopens its ferry route between Copenhagen and Oslo on 25 June, the ships will also provide a service on the Frederikshavn – Oslo route. There will be daily departures on both routes.

By Peder Gellert, EVP, Ferry Division

As we have said before, a crisis also always provides new opportunities. One such new opportunity appeared in the Denmark – Norway ferry market when another operator’s sailings between Frederikshavn in Jutland and Oslo were permanently ceased from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

I am extremely pleased to inform you that, following careful investigation and analysis, we have decided to enter into this market and open a new passenger route between Frederikshavn and Oslo.

That we are able to open a route is – not least – due to the fact that we can benefit from synergies with the Copenhagen – Oslo route as the ships pass Frederikshavn every night, just a few miles off the port.

Therefore, from 25 June when the route reopens, our two popular Oslo ferries, Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways, will call at Frederikshavn enroute between Copenhagen and Oslo.

However, it will still be two separate routes as no voyage will be offered exclusively between Copenhagen and Frederikshavn.

Daily departures are planned from Copenhagen at 14:00 and from Frederikshavn at 23:30, with arrival in Oslo at 9:00.

There will be daily departures from Oslo at 12:00, with arrival in Frederikshavn at 22:00 and in Copenhagen at 09:00.

We will later evaluate the schedule to ensure it is adapted to our passengers’ need and the new situation in which passengers from Norway must document that they have booked accommodation for minimum six nights outside Copenhagen before they are  allowed to enter Denmark.  We are still looking into this to fully understand what it means to our service.

We will start up with the minimum number of staff required for operational start-up, and will monitor booking development closely and change manning on board and ashore when needed.

When the borders reopen
Kasper Moos’ teams from the Passenger department are working hard to get ready for the opening. They are planning the on-board services, operations, sales and marketing, so it all fits with the new requirements we expect to see on the new route and following the COVID-19 change in travel behaviour.

I assume there will be greater demand from customers with a transport need, especially on Frederikshavn – Oslo where we expect to welcome many guests who travel on holiday in their own cars to visit summer houses or to continue on to other countries. But of course, our goal is to provide all our guests with a great service and experience on board. We will offer what customers demand in a post-coronavirus era, with plenty of room for the individual to stay safe and with a focus on cleaning and hygiene.

DFDS has a history in Frederikshavn
Some of you may also know that DFDS in fact has a strong history in Frederikshavn. For a long time, we owned the Frederikshavn Shipyard and, even more important, from the very beginning of DFDS, we operated a route between Frederikshavn and Oslo until 1974 – at times with other ports included in the schedule.

Ship enthusiast may recall ships Aalborghus that was renamed and served the route under her new name ‘Frederikshavn’ in the 1930ies. She had a capacity for 25 cars -which may not seem like a lot today. And then, Akershus that serviced the route from 1965 as DFDS’ first real car ferry with a capacity for 800 passengers and impressive 150 cars.

So, after a few decades of absence, I am extremely pleased to say that we are finally back in Frederikshavn where we have found important synergies between the new route and our Copenhagen – Oslo route, which is needed after the expensive COVID-19 suspension of the route.

Covid-19: The Copenhagen – Oslo route suspended

New national measures to delay spread of Covid-19 means we have to temporarily suspend the Copenhagen-Oslo route.


Following the introduction of new national measures intended to delay the spread of Covid-19 virus, DFDS suspends sailings on the Copenhagen-Oslo route temporarily.

“We had hoped to be able to continue with the changes we had introduced to meet the Danish government’s measures, but now the Norwegian government has introduced measures which means that passengers will have to quarantine for 14 days upon entry into Norway if they have been outside the Nordic countries in the period after 27 February. We fully understand the precautions that have important health and social goals. In order to live up to our responsibilities to support the measures, we see no alternatives to suspend sailings until 1 April as a minimum,” says Kasper Moos, VP, Short Routes & Passenger.

The last departure from Copenhagen will be Saturday 14 March, whilst the last departure from Oslo will be Sunday 15 March.

“We have to continue for a few days to ensure that the guests who have been on a ski holiday to Norway or city holiday to Denmark get reasonable time to get home or change their travel plans,” he says.

Affected employees will be informed as soon as possible

Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer, says: “Unfortunately, with this temporary route suspension, we will not be able to avoid that it impacts our colleagues on board. We are very sorry about this. Our skilled and dedicated staff have worked hard to ensure that the route has been able to continue until now, and that our guests have been able to enjoy a good travel experience, even under the very difficult conditions they have worked under in the past weeks and months.”

“We have to inform about the route closure now so that our customers have the opportunity to change their travel plans. Unfortunately, this means that we have not yet had the opportunity to evaluate what this exactly means for each individual employee. We are now in contact with the relevant trade unions and staff representatives to find the best possible solutions to the difficult situation, and we will of course inform the affected employees as soon as we are able,” she says.

Customers are being informed

DFDS is now working hard to contact the customers who have booked a trip during the period to inform about the route suspension.


Passenger to implement Agile around core teams to improve performance

Declan Walsh and Kasper Moos have been working with Passenger to put lean and agile structures in place that are conducive to great teamwork, improved productivity and shorter time to market.


The Passenger organisation is fully on board with the Win23 strategy, and now with a new agile structure to drive productivity and increase revenue.

Declan Walsh, Business Development & Strategy Director & DIO and Kasper Moos, VP and Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger have been working with the wider Passenger organisation to put lean and agile structures in place. The concept is well known, and the general idea is for this to lead to great teamwork, improved productivity and shorter time to market.

Core teams working small projects

The structures are built around core teams for Copenhagen – Oslo, Amsterdam – Newcastle, Baltic Routes and Eastern Channel, with Western Channel in progress. As shown in the illustration below, these core teams have cross-functional responsibilities to address challenges and issues on their routes without the need for intervention from Passenger Management.

Declan Walsh: “We are evolving the responsibilities of these core teams so that they are also responsible for defining development objectives and deploying resources.”


Development objectives are small, narrowly defined projects that will improve the proposition for any given route, and in some cases for Passenger as a whole. Projects run for four to eight weeks with people typically allocated to work on them one day per week in parallel with their usual duties.

“The output can be a new strategy. Other times it might be a new proposition for a prioritised target micro segment, and in other instances it might be some analysis or a tool that allows better decision making,” Declan says.

When a development objective has been completed, it is handed over to the Core Team so that they can assess and test what value can be generated from the development objective, resulting in a Win23 contribution that is tracked in the same way as other Win23 initiatives.

Example: Copenhagen – Oslo route project

VP and Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger Kasper Moos says: “The completed project Copenhagen – Oslo: Seniors in Q1 & Q4 is a perfect example of this. The objective was to utilise unused capacity during the week on Copenhagen – Oslo in Q1 and Q4, and seniors are one of the few micro segments that can travel when that capacity is available.”

The development objective was led by Senior Campaign Manager Rikke Welløv with team members from OBS, PDM and Partnership, who allocated 20% of their time in a month, and worked together in a collocated manner two half days a week.

Rikke says: “Work included running customer surveys to determine what that micro segment wants and then designing supporting propositions and campaigns. The output of that work is currently being tested so that we can see what impact this could have on the Win23 strategy.”

Super users train as sales software go-live nears

Amsterdam–Newcastle sales staff met for a workshop in IJmuiden to continue training for the roll-out of the LS retail sales software


Our on-board sales teams play an important role in the success of our passenger routes, and the roll-out of the sales platform LS Retail is a very important upgrade to support sales. With the Newcastle–Amsterdam route getting close to go live, the crew is on top of it.

In December, 18 crew members from King Seaways and Princess Seaways gathered in Ijmuiden to continue their training to prepare for the changes to the on-board sales system. They also met fellow super users from the Channel and the Business Driver from the Baltics Rokas Budrevicius, who is assisting with the implementation.

Andy Watkins, Business Driver for the Channel routes and for the Amsterdam–Newcastle route, says: “When we prepare for a roll-out, this kind of training is very important so that our staff are knowledgeable and prepared. New and enhanced systems help our staff perform better and improves the customer experience.”

After the three days of workshops the group could return to King and Princess to train their colleagues on board, and they were eager to do so.

“There has been a great atmosphere in the group. People have really adapted to the knowledge sharing and the idea of being a community that will help each other whenever someone needs support. It has also been fantastic to see how the group has increased their motivation since their first training in September. With this attitude and approach, the implementation will be a success,” adds Marianne Hagen and Michael Bergmann from the team implementing the LS Retail Super User organisation.

Flowers to the crew on board Crown Seaways

Martin Mansnerus, Chief Officer on board Crown Seaways, receives a bouquet of flowers from a very grateful passenger

A few days ago the crew onboard Crown Seaways had the pleasure of receiving a very beautiful bouquet of flowers from a particularly grateful passenger.

Martin Mansnerus, Chief Officer on board Crown Seaways, says: “We received a bouquet of flowers from a grateful Norwegian passenger who was evacuated from Crown Seaways during the night of 3 December.

It was an elderly man who had problems with his breathing and pulse so we assisted him with medical treatment and as always contacted Radio Medical. In cooperation with the doctor from Radio Medical it was decided that he should be evacuated. So during the night a helicopter was requested from Trollhättan in Sweden and the helicopter took him on board via a spinboard connected to a cable as we are not able to land a helicopter.

It was a very nice gesture to send us flowers and it always warm our hearts when our passengers show their gratitude for what we do.”

Local children Sail with Santa

DFDS recently held an exclusive ‘Sail with Santa’ event for local families as part of the UK charity Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas appeal.

The event took place on King Seaways at the Port of Tyne and saw over 200 children and their families attend a specially arranged Christmas party. Activities on board included Christmas entertainment, face-painting and a festive meal prepared by the chefs. Children also got the opportunity to meet the Captain, several Disney Princesses, Captain America and the main man himself, Santa Claus.

Guests were invited to the event by Cash for Kids, a children’s charity with regional bases across the UK, established to improve opportunities and provide life-changing experiences for young people across the UK. Sail with Santa offered hundreds of local children from disadvantaged backgrounds or with life-limiting illnesses the chance to enjoy some festive fun.

Lucy Chambers, Brand & Content Specialist, says: “We’re incredibly proud to have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children in our region. The Sail with Santa event spreads plenty of Christmas cheer and provided a fun day out for local children and their families.”

“Huge thanks to everyone in the Newcastle office and onboard King Seaways who helped organise the event. Our very own Chris Whitfield even dressed up as Captain America for the occasion!”

The day came to a close with a special performance of ‘Let it Go’ by the Princesses, complete with snow! Every child left the ship with a gift from Santa, a special passport full of Princess autographs and magical memories of a festive party with a difference.

Children celebrate onboard King Seaways with the Captain, Santa and his elves.


Merida from Brave enjoying a dance onboard.


Sleeping Beauty signing autographs.


The Captain and staff onboard King Seaways feeling festive.


Captain America greets our guests.


New Seabook super users

Workshop in Oslo trained colleagues in the Seabook tool

In late November, a new group of super users emerged from a two-day workshop in Oslo, where they were trained in the mastery of Seabook. The group consisted of representatives from back-office functions, Yield Management, System Product Management, Marketing, Web and IT Support.

Marianne Hagen, the workshop coordinator, says: “This was the first time we mixed participants from the operational and sales side of the business with the support and back-office functions, including newer arrivals. It was inspiring to see how knowledge was shared across departments and gave a better understanding to all about how best to collaborate.”

“We thank all the participants for their engagement and feedback during and after the workshop. Thanks also to the Oslo office for letting us use their meeting facilities, which produced a great setting.”

Passenger: Head of Field Sales and Head of Sales Operation now appointed

Janet Donaldson and Richard Stone

In October 2017, the Passenger organisation transformed into a global functional structure with the aim to grow specialisation and meet future expectations and demands from customers in a more and more digitised and complex world.

In 2019, Global Sales and Customer Care merged into one organisation and became the global functional structure announced earlier this year. This created new management positions of which two are now being filled after an extensive and thorough recruitment process.

Janet Donaldson, currently Sales and Project Manager in the UK, will as of 2 January take responsibility for the Sales Operation function for all markets. She will work with the team to grow specialisation and expertise for the benefit of our customers. Some of the key tasks will be to align and optimise customer request handling, back-office processes, procedures and systems and copy best-practices between geographical areas.

She will ensure close collaboration to realise commercial synergies in the way we work. Janet joined DFDS in 2003 and has since then held a number of positions, giving her in-depth knowledge of how we operate including strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in processes and systems. Janet will continue to be based in Newcastle.

Richard Stone joins DFDS as Head of Field Sales
Richard Stone will join DFDS on Monday 13 January 2020 to take on the position Head of Field Sales. For the past 10 years, Richard has held the position Director of Intl. Leisure Sales at Scandic Hotels, the largest hotel chain in the Nordics with a total of 280 hotels. He has previously worked for Gullivers, Tumlare, Borealis Destination Management and therefore holds relevant knowledge from the customer side.

10 years ago, Richard joined Scandic Hotels to take the company from a decentralised sales approach to building a global functional structure with the purpose to build expertise and align sales processes across hotels and markets. Richard has extensive knowledge of the leisure segment, the market, the customers, and also brings outside experience and best-practice of how to implement a functional sales structure in a consumer-facing business.

Richard is British and lives in Copenhagen with his family. He speaks and understands Danish and will be based at DFDS House.

Global Sales & Customer Care Director Casper Puggaard says: “Janet and Richard are the perfect combination and match for the two roles, Head of Sales Operation and Head of Field Sales. They have the experience needed for us to succeed with a global functional sales organisation in Passenger. They form a unique team of extensive DFDS knowledge and relevant external inspiration and best-practice from a related industry. I am very excited to get them onboard and to continue our journey ‘from Good to Great’, which will benefit both customers, routes, and thereby DFDS.”

“Richard and Janet will join the new Global Sales & Customer Care leadership team, which as of January 2020 consists of Thomas Møller, Lynsey Chappell, Viktorija Kaminskiene, Catharina Hallberg, Janet Donaldson and Richard Stone. Please join me in wishing Janet and Richard a warm welcome and best of luck in their new positions.”

Check-in staff at the Karlshamn office Wear Waste

The Karlshamn check-in staff in their new uniforms

Every year, enormous amounts of plastic end up in the sea. And as traditional plastics do not decompose and the decomposition process for biodegradable plastics takes a very long time, the world’s oceans are increasingly turning into landfill sites. This is having devastating, long-term effects on marine life.

The Karlshamn office has recently bought new uniforms for the check-in staff, partly made of plastic waste from the sea!

Simon Johansson, Sales Coordinator, says: “As we work on and near the sea, it is very important for us to contribute to reducing litter and to help clean up the seas in the best way we can. 53% of the fabric in our new uniforms is made from recycled plastic from the sea.”

According to the manufacturer of the uniforms, only 5% of the plastic in the oceans is washed up on the beaches, while the rest remains in the sea. If this trend is not broken, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Looks good, Karlshamn!


Changes to commercial organisation on King and Princess Seaways

We have been working for some time now with a new commercial structure which was implemented as part of the Project Starlight recommendations. The role of Floor Manager was introduced in order to bring more focus to the customer experience onboard the Amsterdam – Newcastle and Copenhagen – Oslo routes.

Having now worked with this structure onboard King and Princess Seaways, we have concluded after a thorough evaluation, that it is not the optimum way for us to be organised on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route, because we simply do not have as many outlets onboard our vessels as the Pearl and Crown do.

We have therefore decided that we will do a small restructure onboard where the following will take place:

The Chef de Cuisine will be retitled as Business Leader Head Chef – and will no longer report to the Business Leader Food and Beverage, he will report directly to the Commercial Head.

This will free up the Business Leader Food and Beverage to focus on the customer experience front of house.

One Floor Manager will be refocused to concentrate on Food and Beverage, reporting to the Business Leader Food and Beverage. This will ensure we deliver excellent customer experiences in our bars and restaurants onboard.

This means that there will no longer be a requirement for one Floor Manager position on both King and Princess which means we need to find alternative positions for four of our colleagues.

We are pleased to advise that two of our affected colleagues have already been assigned to vacant Floor Manager positions on the Copenhagen – Oslo route, and we are currently in direct discussions with the other two on various alternative opportunities across the DFDS Fleet.

It is important to note that this change will only take place on the Newcastle – Amsterdam route and the position of Floor Manager will continue on the Copenhagen – Oslo route.

We wish everyone great success in their new or adapted roles.

Teun-Wim Leene, Route Director Amsterdam – Newcastle and
Kasper Moos, VP and Head of BU Short Routes and Passenger

Whodunnit? Who was the murderer?

On 1 November, Princess Seaways was the venue for a dastardly Murder Mystery mini-cruise which the UK sales and groups team organised with Red Herring Events.

Janet Donaldson, Sales & Project Manager, BU Short Routes and Passenger, says: “Red Herring approached us earlier in the year with an ambition to take a group to Amsterdam whilst entertaining them with a fabulously well-played murder mystery on board. So on 1 November, we set sail with 50 passengers taking part in the murder mystery and with many more of our customers curious about the night’s proceedings.”

The premise of the story is Hugh Edwards, the famous novelist and third cousin of the Earl of Rochester, who is travelling to Amsterdam with his new wife and former secretary, Florence Archdeacon. Their recent marriage created something of a scandal in the press, given the 40-year age difference. Love, it seems, knows no barriers. Unfortunately, it seems death also knows no barriers as their honeymoon plans are far from the expected marital bliss. Just as the ship leaves port, an unknown man is found dead in a steward’s cupboard. With the boilers stoked and the great ship already underway, there is little to be done but telegraph the police, who ask that the body be put into cold storage until the ship returns.

Questions abound. Who was the dead man? Why was he killed? And, with it likely that his murderer is still on board, are any of the passengers safe?

Janet says: “After the announcement of the initial murder of the Steward, Trevor Fitzpatrick, suspects were interrogated on the first night. Characters were placed around the ship for guests to ‘interrogate’ to solve the mystery. Our on-board team then delivered a letter under cabin doors during the first evening explaining that Florence Archdeacon, the newly married wife of Hugh Edwards, was missing and presumed dead, and this was later confirmed by the other suspects. It also contained some puzzles which helped passengers open a locked box on the second night. This contained a clue that Imelda Fitzgerald was a German spy, not an American dancer as she initially stated.”

“What came out on the second day of interrogation was that Hugh Edwards came back to his cabin to discover Florence dead in bed. In a panic he turned to Gerald to help him as he was worried that his writing career would be tarnished by this scandal. Gerald agreed to help him throw Florence’s dead body overboard because Gerald gave Florence Valium to help with her nerves that night and was worried he might have accidentally killed her. While Gerald and Hugh were throwing poor Florence overboard, the sand-loving archaeologist Laurence saw them and agreed to stay silent if they funded his work in Egypt – so they did!”

So, who was the murderer? The participants of the mini-cruise now know but who do you suspect to be the murderer? Write your guess in a comment to this article and Janet will tell us who the murderer was in a few days’ time.

Sales and Accounts Receivable teams learn from each other

The idea for a workshop arose through daily cooperation and general questions. King Seaways brought the Poznan teams to Newcastle.


So many benefits come from sharing knowledge between teams and locations, from improving current processes to learning new methods and gaining new insights.

For that reason, Sales and Accounts Receivable teams from Newcastle and Poznan met in Newcastle in early July for a knowledge-sharing workshop. The aims of the meeting were for the teams to get to know each other better, to improve understanding of the E2E (End to End) process for the passenger business, tasks dependencies and how these impact on both teams performing successfully.

Over three days, participants went through the different stages of working with customers, from sales and invoicing to query-solving and payment collection. The teams agreed that the sessions were very useful and much needed.

Monika Elsner-Zak, OtC Team Leader, Group Accounts & Tax, says: “Thanks to this meeting, working as one DFDS we will be able to be more efficient in our daily work, more successful in receiving payment for providing services on time, and improve processes that reduce business risks related to financial issues for our customers.”

“For some of the staff from Poznan, this was their first opportunity to go on board a DFDS vessel. This was a great adventure which helped them understand the passenger business even better. Thank you to the King Seaways staff and bridge officers for their warm reception.”

Training: How to meet our International guests

What you may consider to be neutral may be perceived as rude by someone else. And what you consider to be the right behaviour in a specific situation may cause eyebrows to be raised by people from another culture. Culture is a very powerful factor in encounters between people from different parts of the world, and therefore also in the encounters between our staff on board and the many Asian guests we are very happy to welcome every year.

“We service 135,000 guests from countries such as South Korea, China and Japan, and we expect numbers to grow in the years to come. Therefore we need to keep improving our cultural understanding of their way of interacting with us, so that we replace the risk of frustration with positive interest and satisfaction among our guests, as well as our staff who work hard to deliver a first-class service,” says Kim Heiberg, Route Director.

Cultural awareness training
And support is at hand: in recent months, 264 colleagues in the Cruise Route organisation participated in cultural awareness sessions facilitated by Véronique Havrehed and Emma Nordström from Training & Development. The focus was on main cultural dimensions, how cultural differences affect our behaviours, sharing best practices and on concrete actions to constantly improve our offers and services to our international guests.

“It was very well-received. Our colleagues working on shore in the port office and on board in the Guest Service Centre, accommodation, shops, restaurants and bars were all deeply engaged in the discussions, asking questions, sharing their experiences and discussing practical ways to improve communication and smooth interactions with guests of different nationalities,” says Emma.

The training was led by Véronique, who spent 17 years working and living in Asia, and has facilitated many training sessions on cross-cultural collaboration in her career. She was supported by Emma Nordström who has over three years’ experience of working on board Pearl Seaways and King Seaways, and has conducted leadership and service training for the cruise routes in recent years.

Ferry Division: new BU Short Routes & Passenger

The routes Dieppe-Newhaven, Dover-Calais, Dover-Dunkirk, Copenhagen-Oslo and Amsterdam-Newcastle will along with BU Group Passenger be combined in the Ferry Division’s new BU Short Routes and Passenger that will be headed by Kasper Moos.


BU Group Passenger, BU Channel and the Oslo-Copenhagen route will all be gathered in a new Business unit, BU Short Routes & Passenger, which will be headed by VP Kasper Moos. This unfortunately means that VP Brian Thorsted Hansen will leave DFDS.

Since we established BU Group Passenger in 2017, everyone has been working hard to make the new business unit a success. Whilst introducing the new ways of working, our BU Group Passenger colleagues have succeeded in fulfilling many of our ambitions and proven the value of a global sales organisation

However, we have also seen some challenges that have affected sales and business in some areas, not least as regards the link between local business and the global organisation. Therefore, we need to strengthen our focus on local needs, and the close cooperation between Ships, Sales, Marketing and Yield & Revenue Management.

With this aim, we have decided to bring almost all of our passenger activities under a single management by combining BU Channel (including Amsterdam-Newcastle), Oslo-Copenhagen and BU Group Passenger into a new business unit called BU Short Routes & Passenger.

BU Short Routes & Passenger will be headed by VP Kasper Moos.

As BU Group Passenger is merged into the new Business Unit, this unfortunately means that Brian Thorsted Hansen will leave the company. Brian has done a great job under difficult circumstances, and we owe him thanks for his contribution to DFDS. I wish Brian all the best in the future.

Reporting lines

Kasper Moos will continue to report to me.

Kasper will maintain his office in Dover, and everyone currently reporting to Kasper will continue to do so. In addition, the following will as of today report to Kasper:

Kim Heiberg, Route Director, Copenhagen-Oslo
Pete Akerman, Global Marketing Director
Casper Puggaard, Global Sales & Service Director
Lucas Stefan Kragh, Yield & Revenue Management Director
Declan Walsh, Business Development & Strategy director and DIO
Bente Berg, Finance & HR Manager, Administration & Business Support Norway (50%)
There will be no other change of reporting lines.

BU Baltic will continue managing and operating all Baltic Sea routes using BU Short Routes and Passenger as its global sales agency.

I am confident that Kasper (43) is the right person to manage the new BU. His career started at A.P Moller-Maersk as a ships officer and continued in DFDS where he has long proven his management skills, first as a Crewing Manager, then VP and Head of Technical Organisation and most recently as Head of BU Channel. This has prepared him in the best possible way for his new challenging task as Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger.

I very much look forward to working with Kasper on growing our passenger business, and I know that every one of you will do everything in your power to support him.

Peder Gellert, EVP and Head of Ferry Division


As BU Group Passenger is now part of BU Short Routes and Passenger, Brian Thorsted Hansen will leave DFDS.

Ferry Division’s new BU Short Routes and Passenger will be headed by Kasper Moos.