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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.

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”.

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.

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.”

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.
Cross-selling

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.”

A close eye on Oslo – Denmark routes

The recent increase in the COVID-19 infection rate in and around Copenhagen has been noticed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet), and we are now awaiting the outcome of the Norwegian Government’s next COVID-19 meeting about possible changes to their travel guidance.

“There is a risk that the Copenhagen area will be included in the list of countries and areas from which travellers will need to isolate for 10 days upon arrival in Norway, and we have received many questions about this from colleagues who are worried about the situation,” says Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes and Passenger.

“Our simple answer is that we do not know what will happen – we seldom do during these COVID-19 times. But we will keep a very close eye on the routes and continue to monitor booking numbers, sales and general development to see if there are developments we need to react to.

“For now, we believe that our measures on board, which now include face masks for staff, are robust and create a safe environment for our passengers and colleagues,” he says.

Covid-19: Denmark – Oslo: We are back

Crown Seaways leaving Copenhagen for the first time in more than three months

Sunny weather, happy people on the sundeck, and a shining blue and white Crown Seaways departing at 14:00 marked the re-opening of our Copenhagen-Oslo route.

DFDS served champagne to the guests at departure, and later tonight when Crown leaves Frederikshavn, Commercial Head René Juul and his staff will invite the Frederikshavn guests for a glass before midnight. Tomorrow they will serve champagne on the sun deck for all passengers sailing out of Oslo at 12.00.

Media were also well represented, with Captain Jens Knudsen in a live radio transmission while underway to Frederikshavn. In Frederikshavn, the city’s mayor Birgit Hansen will enter the ship along with Vice President Kasper Moos and media to welcome Crown and DFDS to Frederikshavn.

The lucky customer having made the very first booking was upgraded to a luxury Owner’s Suite cabin which was probably a very nice surprise for him.

We will be back with more information tomorrow when we have pictures from the event.

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.

Copenhagen – Oslo route resumes service on 25 June

Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways will start sailing again on 25 June from Copenhagen and  26 June from Oslo

Following the announcements from the Danish and Norwegian governments about the opening of the borders between the two countries, DFDS has decided to resume sailings between Copenhagen and Oslo. As both ships are laid up in Copenhagen, the first departures will take place on Thursday 25 June from Copenhagen and Friday 26 June from Oslo.

“We are very pleased that we are finally able to welcome our passengers back to the route. However, there will still be some travel restrictions for guests from Norway. We are investigating how these restrictions should be interpreted and administered.

Minimum staff and crew
“Those travel restrictions and the reduced on-board services dictated by our COVID-19 measures mean that we will start out 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.

I am sorry about this, as it means that many of you will remain on temporary leave for yet a while,” Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes & Passengers says.

Those crew members and shore-based staff who will be needed to start up services will be informed separately about this very soon.

“Those of you who do not hear from us this week will remain on temporary leave until further notice. This is driven by our need to ensure that we get a viable service and continue to benefit from the national support schemes. However, I want to express my gratitude for your continued patience and your support during the many weeks the route has been suspended,” Kasper says.

Will do our best
“I’m really looking forward to starting up the service after this long period of time without a route between Copenhagen and Oslo, and I am confident that together we can still ensure that our passengers can relax and enjoy their sea voyage while practising social distancing,” he adds.

Cruise routes suspension extended until 17 June

Crown Seaways and Pearl Seaways will continue to be laid up in Copenhagen. The same goes for King Seaways and Princess Seaways in Amsterdam.

BU Short Routes & Passenger have extended the suspension of our Amsterdam – Newcastle and Copenhagen – Oslo services until 17 June.

“Our ability to resume sailings is, as you know, very dependent on the national measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “If our passengers can’t cross borders, we can’t sail and therefore have no alternative but to extend the suspension,” says Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger.

“Our customer service colleagues are now working hard to inform our customers about this, rebook travel and handle requests.

“We are all very eager to start sailing again, and we are even receiving requests from passengers who can’t wait to get out to sea with us. However, there is little we can do until the relevant nations have reopened borders for travellers and tourists. Even though some governments have indicated they will make a decision about this before mid-June, patience is still required as we don’t know what they will decide. We also need both Denmark and Norway to open their borders before we can start sailing on the Copenhagen – Oslo route. The same goes for the Netherlands and the UK for the Amsterdam – Newcastle route.”

“As we informed earlier, working groups are already looking into which changes a post-Covid-19 operation will require in the market and on board. However, one thing is certain: When the borders reopen, we can offer one of the safest means of travel. There is plenty of space for social distancing on those large ferries, and passengers have their own cabins. We will of course continue to comply with all recommendations for using public areas and restaurants, including extra cleaning and disinfecting touchpoints to protect the health of both passengers and colleagues.”

DFDS donates food from Pearl and Crown

With the Copenhagen – Oslo route temporarily suspended, Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways are now sitting empty at the terminal in Copenhagen. No ongoing ferry services unfortunately mean no guests to serve and as a result, no meals to prepare. Both ferries had a large volume of food on board that would not be used. Some of the food was due to expire within the coming weeks and throwing it away was naturally not an option. So, some of our colleagues in Copenhagen acted quickly and found an opportunity to make something good out of a bad situation. 

Stine Rysgaard Jensen, Content & Brand Specialist, says: “We contacted a local youth shelter, RG60, and ‘Fødevarebanken’, a Danish organisation that fights against food waste and helps distribute meals to socially vulnerable people. Both organisations were very happy to receive the food, as this will serve meals for the people who need a helping hand. The food was arranged to be picked up from the ships, and is now on its way to help people in these difficult times. A big thank you to the crews on board Pearl and Crown together with others involved for their contribution and work to make this a reality”.

Oslo – Copenhagen colleagues sent home with pay

Danish aid package for business means that crews on Pearl and Crown can be sent home with pay. A small group of crew members will continue in order to prepare the ships to be laid up. Staff who are sent home to contribute with a week’s annual leave.

As announced last Friday, Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways will be laid up in Copenhagen. This is a consequence of the temporary suspension of sailings on the Copenhagen – Oslo route because of the Danish and Norwegian entry restrictions that have been introduced to protect the countries against the spread of Covid-19.

Naturally, the laying up of the ships has major consequences for a ferry route as a workplace and as a business. Therefore, we are incredibly relieved that, in record time, the partners in the labour market have succeeded in agreeing on an aid package that will greatly benefit the employees on the Copenhagen – Oslo route.

The aid package, which currently runs until 9 June, means that the vast majority of crew members can be sent home with pay during the lay-up period.

The crew members who are not sent home must help get Pearl and Crown ready to be laid up. They include parts of the operating and catering crews.

The crews were briefed about this today at meetings on board.

Land-based staff are also affected
The cancelled sailings will also affect colleagues on land. Although it has been extremely busy to adapt the business to conditions that have changed from hour to hour, while also ensuring good communication with customers, there will gradually be less work ashore. Therefore, some of the employees at the terminal and office in Copenhagen will also be sent home with pay during the temporary route closure. We will provide more information about this as soon as possible.

Contributions from employees
The Danish government and the labour market partners have agreed that those who are sent home with pay must themselves contribute by taking a week’s annual leave, and that they must also be available to be called back to work when the need arises.

I am incredibly pleased that in this way we can pause the workplace until the situation has normalised. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you aboard and ashore who have ensured that our ships have been sailing steadily and safely, and customers have received the normal good service, even under the very difficult conditions of the Covid-19 crisis.

Best regards
Torben Carlsen
CEO

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.

 

See the new-look Crown Seaways

Crown Seaways has returned to her usual route, Copenhagen – Oslo, after a month in dry dock at Fayard Shipyard in Denmark. During docking, the cruise ferry’s facilities were renovated. A new shore-power system and a scrubber were also installed, as we shared with you last week.

This week, Route Director Kim Heiberg invited colleagues on board to gain a first-hand impression of the improved and updated facilities that we will be offering our passengers travelling on the cruise route.

Kim says: “I am very happy with the new look on board Crown. This is the result of hard work from every colleague on board, and fantastic cooperation with Technical Organisation and Procurement. With these improvements, we wanted to make a clearer distinction between the ways the various restaurants and bars differ from one another, as they each offer a unique atmosphere, and I think we have succeeded in doing so. Now both our cruise ferries are sailing with a fresh, updated look that will undoubtedly create a better travel experience for our customers.”

Please take a look the pictures below showcasing some of the new, updated looks on board the cruise ferry, and kindly provided by Christofer Adolfsson.


The buffet restaurant Seven Seas now has a new look for the buffet, with a better display and greater flexibility to improve the dining experience.


In Sjø, the installation of a new noise-reducing wall will ensure a cosier atmosphere, and the look and feel of a gourmet restaurant.



Refreshing and reupholstered sofas and chairs have made the Columbus Nightclub and Sky Club bars look modern and welcoming.


The conference areas have also been updated with a new look.

In addition to the above updating work, improvements and refreshed looks have also carried out to the standard commodore cabins, a new VIP Euro Room, the on-board shop, Wine Bar and Little Italy, as well as the Explorer Steakhouse.

Crown Seaways ready for shore power

Crown Seaways at Fayard Shipyard. Photo taken by Peter Therkildsen

The Copenhagen – Oslo route has just taken another step towards a more sustainable power supply when in port.

Throughout January, Crown Seaways was on an extended New Year break as she was drydocked at the Fayard Shipyard in Denmark. The dry docking was in line with planned maintenance and a major refurbishment investment to improve Crown’s facilities. This included updating the restaurants and bars, public areas and cabins with a fresh, new look. As planned, Crown also had the fittings installed to enable the ship to receive power from shore.

Kim Heiberg, Route Director, says: “Crown Seaways is now ready to connect to the shore-power facilities in Oslo and shut down the auxiliary engines while in port as soon as the connections are made to the ship. Pearl Seaways was fitted out for this in January 2019, and is already receiving shore power in Oslo.

“I am also pleased about the agreement we signed with Copenhagen Malmö Port in October, according to which they will establish shore-power connections in Copenhagen. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020. When this is ready, both ships will receive power from shore in both ports.

“We get daily questions from our passengers about what we are doing for the environment, and now we show in a very visible way that we care and do something about it. It has also been a wish among our neighbours in Copenhagen for a long time.”

Copenhagen – Oslo: Click and Collect wine purchases

Click & Collect allows our guests to reserve wine purchases online before departure. They collect and pay for the purchases on board in the Tax Free shop.

In accordance with pillar D of the WIN23 strategy – Create more value for passengers – Cruise Route Management is now introducing Click & Collect wine for customers sailing on the Copenhagen – Oslo route. The initiative is in cooperation with the DFDS wine supplier, Kjær Sommerfeldt.

Head of Travel Retail, Morten Veirup, says: “This service allows our guests to reserve wine purchases online before departure. This way, they can get inspiration on the website, consider carefully what to order and do it comfortably at home and avoid sold-out goods. They collect and pay for the purchases on board in our Tax Free shop.”

Kim Heiberg, Cruise Route Director, says: “This is an exciting initiative that we hope our customers will appreciate. Tax-free shopping is very attractive for our guests and it is a substantial revenue source for us.”

Visit the Kjær Sommerfeldt Click & Collect website here

DFDS Norway wins travel award

Acclaim for our passenger business with award for ‘Best Ferry Company with Traffic to Norway’

 

Big congratulations are in order to our Norwegian passenger business, which has just added an award to its collection.

The Norwegian Grand Travel Awards were given out late last week, and DFDS Norway took home the honour of winning the category ‘Best Ferry Company with Traffic to Norway’.

Kim Heiberg, Cruise Route Director, says: “I am equally humble and proud on behalf of DFDS Norway as they receive this much-deserved award. Playing into this, I am sure, is that our latest reporting figures for guest satisfaction are at the highest level ever.”


“A huge thanks to our Norwegian team, Global Sales and Business Sales, and everyone who has contributed to the travel agencies in Norway in selecting DFDS to win this category. Excellent work by all,” says Kim.

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.”

DFDS hosts ‘Future & Tech’ conference on board Pearl

Business Sales Nordic from BU Short Routes & Passenger offers conference and meeting services to companies and institutions on board our cruise ferries, Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways sailing on Copenhagen – Oslo.

Together with DBTA (Danish Business Travel Association) and the crew, they hosted a conference on board Pearl where the theme was ‘Future & Tech’. It included a packed programme of speakers with inspiring information, such as Amadeus (global booking system), American Express business travel, FCM Travel, Lufthansa Group as well as SAP Concur that were giving exciting talks on AI (Artificial Intelligence), Chatboots and basically the potential of the travel industry.

Henrik Møller, Strategic Sales & Key Account Manager, says: “Almost 90 corporate travel buyers and travel service providers attended the conference. The group of participants were rather impressed with the upgraded design and look of the terminal, as well as our disembarkation efficiency of offloading 1,150 passengers in just 10-15 minutes.

“At the Kick-off Coffee Session, which took place outside our Conference Auditorium, many participants said that they were further impressed with our conference facilities.”

Following the formal DBTA welcome speech, DFDS introduced our business on the Copenhagen – Oslo route that offers a great venue for conferences, kick-off meetings and events in a different and inspiring environment.

After the conclusion of the official programme, the Business Sales team gave all guests a guided tour around the ship to showcase the conference and meeting facilities on board. The Sales Team received a lot of positive feedback from the participants and the DBTA board, including 100 positive LinkedIn postings from the participants.

“We made a lot of new interesting sales opportunities and contacts during the conference, and I am excited to see what it can lead to going forward. The Business Sales DK Team consisting of Bente Poppelhøj Nielsen, Anders Christensen and myself, would like to give a huge thanks to all the staff on board Pearl, who did a fantastic, professional job to make this important key event such a success,” says Henrik.

New dog exercise area on board Pearl Seaways

18 November was a big day on board Pearl Seaways, when we were proud to welcome the first dog in the newly-constructed dog exercise area on deck 6.

Brian Blixt Jacobsen, Commercial Head, Pearl Seaways, says: “The exercise area is equipped with artificial grass and has both a fire hydrant and a small lamppost where dogs can cock their legs. Of course, there is also access to bags for ‘accidents’, as well as a rubbish bin to deposit those bags after use, so that the area can be kept just as nicely as in these pictures. In addition, 10 cabins have been adapted for dogs and their owners, and these ‘pet cabins’ are located up by the outside deck, where the dogs can be let out, allowing easy access to the exercise area.”

Pearl Seaways breaks fuel record

The new fuel consumption record is the seventh since 2012.

 

Thanks to efficient fuel-saving initiatives, optimised routines on board and favourable weather conditions, Pearl Seaways succeeded in beating the previous fuel consumption record on the sailing between 13 and 14 November.

The record is the seventh since the first record was noted back on 25 January 2012. It now stands at 19.2 tonnes of Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel for propulsion only for a single journey between Copenhagen and Oslo.

Well done, Captain Johnny Andreasen and the crew.

See below the records for Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel proudly posted on the bridge on Pearl Seaways.

Global Sales creates awareness in Asia

Casper Puggaard, Global Sales & Customer Care Director, together with Tommy Brink and Jessie Halkjær from the Global Sales International Team, travelled to Asia to attend workshops with travel agents and tour operators in order to strengthen the business for 2020. They also interviewed candidates for the ITAC-programme (International Trainee Academy Certification).

Every year, DFDS carries 135,000 overseas guests on board Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways on the Copenhagen – Oslo route. More than half of these come from Korea, China and Japan, and make a significant contribution to the route, as they typically pay higher seafare prices than other segments, and have a significantly higher onboard spend.

Global Sales is responsible for building and maintaining relations with travel agents and tour operators all over the world to attract customers to venture onto the Copenhagen – Oslo route while travelling in Scandinavia. In early November, Casper Puggaard, Global Sales & Customer Care Director, together with Tommy Brink and Jessie Halkjær from Global Sales International, went to Asia to create more awareness of all DFDS Passenger routes, with a focus on CPH – OSL which carries the majority of our Asian guests.

Casper Puggaard says: “The travel agents and tour operators are looking for crossings to build into their package journeys for the 2020 season and beyond. To help with this, we attended several workshops hosted by the Scandinavian Tourist Board in China and Korea, where all the Nordic hotels, airlines with routes to the Nordic countries, Nordic tourist attractions and Nordic ferry operators participated, meaning that both commercial partners and competitors were present.

”Due to the importance of the Asian market for the Copenhagen – Oslo route, even greater cultural knowledge and understanding are needed on board to meet the needs of these valuable passengers. The ITAC-programme 2020 will recruit eight to ten university students from Korea, China and Japan, who will work on board Crown and Pearl from April to October as part of their university degree in tourism. It is great that we can collaborate with Global Sales and HR Recruitment Manager Josefine Jönsson in this way to recruit international trainees, as the trainees have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and the onboard spend,” says Kim Heiberg, Route Director.

Casper and Tommy interviewed 17 Korean and four Chinese candidates.


Jessie Halkjær, Sales Coordinator, participated in all the workshops and told the ‘DFDS story’ several hundred times. Here she is (in the blue shirt) at the workshop in Beijing, sitting at the table with a representative from the Scandinavian Tourist Board in China, talking to a travel agent about opportunities in 2020.


A workshop is a one-day conference at a large conference centre with 10-15 pre-booked meetings followed by 15-20 ad hoc meetings with travel agents and tour operators. Each meeting is a 20-minute ‘speed-dating’-session, where DFDS presents our routes and vessels.

Shore power in Copenhagen

Torben Carlsen and Barbara Scheel Agersnap, CEO of Copenhagen Malmö Port, sign a Letter of Intent about establishing a shore power connection in Copenhagen for our Oslo-Copenhagen ferries.

DFDS and Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) have signed a so-called Letter of Intent about shore power in Copenhagen. According to the agreement, CMP will invest in a shore based power connection that will enable the Copenhagen-Oslo ferries, Crown Seaways and Pearl Seaways, to receive power from shore based plants.

An onshore power plant reduces emissions of air pollutants such as NOx, SOx and particles, which goes hand in hand with both CMP’s and DFDS’s ambitions to contribute to a greener Copenhagen.

Work on designing the plant is now starting, and construction is scheduled to start in 2020.

Pearl Seaways was refitted for this at the beginning of 2019, and is already receiving shore power in Oslo. Crown Seaways will follow at the beginning of 2020

“We are very pleased that it will now be possible to connect the vessels to a shore-power installation also in Copenhagen for the benefit of our neighbours in the city and the climate. We look forward to working with Copenhagen Malmö Port and the City of Copenhagen to secure a more sustainable ferry service between the two capitals in the future.  It is also very pleasing that we can thus benefit fully from the quite heavy investments in on-aboard equipment which we have made to prepare the ships for receiving shore power,” says Torben Carlsen.

Kim Heiberg, Route Director, says: “I am extremely pleased with this. We get daily questions from our passengers about what we do for the environment, and now we show in a very visible way that we care and do something about it. It has also been a wish among our neighbours in Copenhagen for a long time. So this is a good day for the route.”

Trainee waiter Kristian Grøndal crowned Funen’s Champion of the Year

Kristian Grøndal demonstrating his skills in ‘The open Funen Championships 2019 for Trainees’

On the ferries on the Copenhagen – Oslo route, top titles and awards have been streaming in. Over the course of just a few weeks, we have been able to report on trainee chef Ann Cathrine Thorhauge Holm from Pearl, who gained a distinguished second place in a cooking competition, followed shortly afterwards by sommelier Peter Harletun from Crown, who came top in a wine competition, and now Crown can boast once again about a fantastic performance by trainee waiter Kristian Grøndal.

Alexander Englund, Business Leader Food and Beverage, says: “Kristian has recently come back from a training session, where he took part in ‘The open Funen Championships 2019 for Trainees’, where he was crowned Funen’s Champion of the Year.”

“The competition consisted of both a theoretical and a practical element where Kristian and his fellow competitors had to devise a five-course menu suitable for the season, and at the same time match the menu with appropriate wines. The best eight students were selected to go forward to the next round, and Kristian was one of them. They then had to turn their hand to flambéing and mixology, and Kristian won, and was thus named Funen’s Champion of the Year. It is a very great achievement and we are very proud of Kristian!”

Crown’s talented trainee waiter Kristian will soon be in the spotlight again because, on 20 October, he will be taking part in a Champagne sabrage and wine competition, and on 22 October he will be running for Young Chef.

“We wish Kristian the best of luck in both competitions. It is a pleasure to watch our young, talented students doing so well, and rather than pat ourselves too much on the back, we will just note that we have some unique settings in which to train our waiters. As a training venue, DFDS brings everything together: Espresso house, where they learn to work as baristas, five different concept restaurants with a buffet, two à la carte restaurants , Fine Dining and parties, and we also have a number of bars within Club, Pub and Disco. This means that our students gain a thorough knowledge of many different disciplines during their training, and learn how to put things into perspective,” says Alexander.