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.
June 4, 2020