First new freight customer from Frederikshavn

On Thursday 25 June, we had the first sailing from Frederikshavn to Oslo with Crown Seaways. A day of celebration. Not only the passengers were looking forward to the reopening with the new additional call in Frederikshavn but also the Freight market had been waiting in anticipation.

Kasper Svenningsen, Managing Director, Ferry Norway, says: “We have received a lot of requests on the new Frederikshavn-Oslo route resulting in many new quotations and agreements. The very first booking was made by our new customer, DS Stålkonstruktion AS, who we welcomed on board on the first crossing.”

DS Stålkonstruktion handles the production of steel constructions from the drawing board to installation at the building site. However, they also do their own logistics operating specialized trucks with cranes that can carry overlength dimensions up to a total of 30-35 meters.

“It was a great pleasure to welcome Torben Larsen, Assembly Manager from DS Stålkonstruktion. He had taken the time outside of the office to personally drive the first truck on board in Frederikshavn and he was also the first Freight customer driving ashore in Oslo. On the crossing we had the opportunity to discuss freight and logistics, sharing knowledge and setting the scene for the future cooperation” says Kasper.

If you, like DS Stålkon need freight transportation between Frederikshavn and Oslo, feel free to visit this page for more info.

From left: Torben Larsen, Assembly Manager, DS Stålkonstruktion, and Kasper Svenningsen, Managing Director, Ferry Norway

Torben Larsen driving the first truck on board Crown Seaways in Frederikshavn


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.

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

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.”

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.”

Are your books gathering dust?

Then you can donate them to an initiative which helps our guests and the environment at the same time.

Line Nors Frandsen, who is Concept Manager in BU Short Routes and Passenger, is behind the initiative, and she says: “We want to make a bookcase where people can exchange books on board Crown Seaways and Pearl Seaways. Many of you may be familiar with the concept which has gained popularity in recent years. Guests may either borrow a book or exchange one for one of their own.”

“We hope that our guests will welcome this opportunity for a good read while taking in the beautiful sea view when looking up over their reading glasses. To get the project going, we need 100-150 books, so we are reaching out to our colleagues in the hope that you may have some pre-loved books on your shelves that you might want to donate. Any genre and language will do, however, we would prefer languages that match our passenger mix, so books in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Japanese or English.”

If you have one or more books that you no longer read, you may hand them in to Line Nors Frandsen at DFDS House. She sits in the back of the room on the 2nd floor North, or to Linda Palmquist in the marketing department in Norway, who is located on the 2nd floor, Vippetangen, Skur 42. On board the vessels, you can hand in books to Business Leader Accommodation & Service.

The bookcase will be in the back of the area where Espresso House is located. Check it out next time you are on board the Oslo ferry.

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.

Peter Harletun from Crown Seaways wins first prize in wine contest

Peter Harletun on the right with his teammates Clas Runnberg and Marie Vigetoft from Gustibus Wine & Spirits Academy in Malmö. Photo: Raphael Cameron

If you have ever visited the Red & White Wine Bar on board Crown Seaways, you might have been served by Peter Harletun. And then you would probably have noticed that besides being a very kind sommelier, Peter has a great passion and an outstanding knowledge of wine.

A few days ago, Peter won the Roodeberg Vision contest together with his two teammates. He says: “I am a student at the Gustibus Wine & Spirits Academy and as such, I participated in the blending contest. The task was to create a new Roodeberg blend (a famous South African wine), which had the iconic taste of the classic Roodeberg wine but added a new dimension to it. It was a great experience and winning the contest was of course amazing.”

The jury were very enthused by the blend created by Peter and his team and described it as classic, complex and elegant but with a vibrancy to match.

As first prize winners, Peter and his teammates can now look forward to a trip to South Africa in November. Here they will assist in producing their own blend from scratch. The wine will later be sold in Sweden in magnum bottles.

Peter will graduate as a sommelier in December, but he already plans to continue his studies to gain a Diploma, a qualification that is second only to the Master of Wine.

Alexander Englund, Business Leader in Food and Beverage, says: “We are so proud of Peter and hope to get to taste his winning wine when it gets to Sweden. Peter is highly valued both by customers and colleagues for always being extremely kind and helpful so all of his colleagues on board Crown are really happy for him.”

Crown Seaways crew perform evacuation exercise

The crew of Crown Seaways carried out an evacuation exercise in the Copenhagen terminal. It went very well, and we can continue to be confident in the capability of the vessel and her crew to handle such a scenario


While we often carry out fire drills and other safety exercises with our crews, it is also very important that we test our ships’ evacuation systems and that we comply with the international regulations that require these tests to be carried out every other year.

It was Crown’s turn to put lifeboats in the water on Monday 10 September in the Copenhagen terminal. The exercise went without a hitch as the crew and equipment performed flawlessly.

The exercise began with one of the large lifeboats being lowered off the side of the vessel. Shortly after, a large hatch on the side of the ferry opened, and a Marine Evacuation System (MES) was deployed. An MES is a slide or chute attached to a floating platform, which enables crew and passengers to evacuate into life rafts. As it inflated, key personnel were the first down the slide to prepare for more to follow.

Two at a time, crew members slid down to the platform and were helped on their way, as personnel shouted, “elbows out!”. This is a technique used to control one’s speed on the slide.
The evacuated crew members moved from the platform to the inflated life raft and finally onto the lifeboat, and mostly, wet feet were avoided.

“Evacuation exercises with our vessels and crew are instrumental for keeping safety in our minds and our actions. The crew actually enjoy it in some ways, and it’s necessary for us to stay up-to-date with the procedures,” says Sune Jordt, Chief officer.

Take a look at some photos from the exercise.

A lifeboat is lowered from its position high on the ship. It has its own engine and can accommodate 150 people and sail them to safety

Around 10 minutes after the MES was deployed and inflated, a very loud siren went off, warning everyone on board the ship about the emergency exercise, and definitely some people ashore as well

The entire crew is involved in various ways. Here a group is watching the beginning of the exercise, as others have duties with the Marine Evacuation System or inside the vessel

Trainee programme on board Crown and Pearl concludes

Some of the trainees on board Pearl Seaways happily showing their certificates of a successful ITAC programme completion

Three months ago, 12 students from Asia joined the International Trainee Academy Certification programme (ITAC). They were given responsibility for supporting the crew on board Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways on the Copenhagen – Oslo route with even greater cultural knowledge and understanding about our passengers travelling from countries such as South Korea, China and Japan.

Last week, ceremonies on board Pearl and Crown concluded the programme and congratulated our trainees on a successful course.

Josefine Jönsson, HR Manager, is responsible for the ITAC programme and says: “During the three months the trainees did an excellent job in supporting the teams in the shop and various restaurants on board the cruise ferries. They also participated in different workshops to learn about DFDS and attended supplier visits to get insight into the products we offer on the ferries.

“For the students it was a huge cultural change to start work on the cruise route, so together with the managers on board, we put a lot of effort into preparing them before they arrived on board the ship. During the programme, we also gave them a lot of individual focus with ongoing performance reviews ensuring that the trainees would grow and develop during their time at DFDS.

“Every single one of our trainees has taken responsibility for the tasks in the programme, and it is with pride that we can report back to their university that all the students have successfully passed our ITAC programme.

“We are now collecting feedback from the trainees to improve the programme for next summer when we accept a new group of trainees.”

The trainees who worked on Crown Seaways during the programme were joined by part of the crew, who congratulated the trainees – seen with their certificates

Crown Seaways celebrates 25th anniversary since maiden voyage

A special anniversary calls for a celebration, and our ferries, like our colleagues, deserve recognition for 25 years of service. And what a time it has been for Crown, which on 26 July in 1994 began sailing between Oslo and Copenhagen, making a mark on both cities while carrying travellers, tourists and crew for so many great sailings and wonderful experiences.

Just in the last year or so, Crown has had many curious experiences to offer, from a weekend metal cruise, a floating trade fair, Chinese New Year celebrations, and sporting events on the big screen.

In January last year Crown received a facelift to share the updated colours of DFDS, and to match her sister Pearl.

Let’s congratulate her on the anniversary and wish for many more years of stellar service.

HR expands trainee programme on board Crown and Pearl to accommodate growing number of passengers from Asia

Josefine Jönsson (second from left) and some of the incoming trainees who will be working on board Crown or Pearl

In recent years, DFDS has experienced significant growth among our international guests, in particular guests from Asia, and this growth shows no sign of stopping. This year, we expect around 135,000 international guests, of whom 75,000 are from South Korea, Japan and China.
To accommodate this growth, DFDS has decided to expand the DFDS trainee programme, called the International Trainee Academy Certification programme (ITAC programme).

Securing great customer service with cultural knowledge and understanding
Josefine Jönsson, HR Manager, Cruise Routes, is responsible for the programme. She says: “The three-month programme on board Pearl and Crown will include 12 selected Asian students from various universities and business schools that offer tourism courses. The trainees will get ‘hands-on’ experience while supporting the crew on a wide range of assignments, including in the restaurants, shop and reception. This creates better links between guests from Asia and our colleagues on board, as the trainees will share cultural knowledge and insight. Additionally, the trainees will also be introduced to Nordic cultures and mindsets, while being on the frontline, meeting our international client portfolio face-to-face.”

Preparing the trainees for the voyage of a lifetime
“Starting work on board the ferries is a big change for anyone, let alone for people so far from home. We have therefore prepared a pre-boarding process to support the trainees and provide clear expectations before they arrive on board the ships. The trainees received pre-boarding material which describes the programme, gives an insight into DFDS and provides practical information about what they will be doing. Furthermore, the 12 trainees also participated in an ITAC workshop together with me, where we dug deeper into the organisation and culture, and took part in a ‘Yes We Will’ workshop facilitated by Training & Development,” says Josefine.

“I want to thank my colleagues Anne Boisen-Thøgersen, Tommy Brink, Kim Fuglsang and all the supportive leaders on board the ships. We have put this programme together to give the trainees the best possible experience with DFDS.”

During the ITAC program, the trainees will support the crew with even greater cultural knowledge and understanding

Architecture and Design students complete a field study on board Crown Seaways

A fresh perspective on our daily work can often be a good way to ensure continuous improvement. To get a different take on the operations on our Copenhagen – Oslo route, DFDS invited a class from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design on board Crown Seaways for a 3-day field study. The students identified communication and procedural challenges and opportunities in cleaning the cabins, the boarding process, the dinner experience and the Guest Service Centre among others.

During the voyage, the students used observation methods and conducted interviews with the crew and passengers. After the field study, the students produced nine reports identifying relevant challenges and proposed solutions. In total 116 specific challenges were identified and 79 of them had a proposed solution. Some of the solutions were unfortunately too expensive or not possible to implement and some of the challenges had already been identified and efforts were being made to overcome them.

However, the management on the Copenhagen – Oslo route has decided to continue with 37 of the identified initiatives, which is approximately 32% of all the initiatives. These initiatives will be investigated further, and a solution will be implemented on the route.

“It is always a pleasure to be rated and inspired by students while at the same time giving them the opportunity to work with real-life cases. This is truly a win-win situation for all of us,” says Kim Heiberg, Route Director.

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design has written an article describing their experience on board Crown Seaways called “What happens when 30 design students spend 3 days on a ship to do 9 simultaneous field studies”, and you can read it here.

The students identified relevant challenges and proposed solutions

New recruitment initiative to find the best new colleagues for Strategy & Consulting

Earlier this month, 12 talented students tackled one of DFDS’ key challenges of being digital in the logistics business. The students did not do our colleagues’ job for them but this was part of a talent acquisition program to find graduates who will be offered full-time employment contracts in the DFDS in-house consulting team, Strategy & Consulting.

Strategy & Consulting facilitated the case competition, where participants were all top-performing students from CBS and other top universities. They spent the whole day working on a case on board Crown and mingling with various junior and senior project managers from Strategy & Consulting.

Torben Carlsen, the soon-to-be CEO of DFDS, joined Valdemar Warburg, VP & Group Transformation Officer, and Filip Hermann, Director of Strategy & Consulting, in a panel of judges, and he awarded a mini-cruise on the Copenhagen – Oslo route to the winners.

Filip Hermann says: “The competition gave us a great opportunity to learn about the students and their ability to cooperate, problem solve and think critically. We also learned about the students’ cooking skills at a fun cooking activity with the canteen chefs at DFDS House.”

Will pasta-making be on the top of the agenda at the next group strategy meeting?

Torben Carlsen says: “This event is the first of its kind at DFDS, and I am happy to see initiatives that showcase new and engaging ways to attract and recruit talents. The students did phenomenal work, and I was very impressed with their ability to grasp the issues that we deal with at DFDS and find solutions to the case problem quickly”.

The students agreed that the case competition appealed to their interests and career prospects. Baran Ozan from the winning team said: “It was great that we were dealing with a real-life problem in the case and I am happy with what I learned from the process.”

Marketa Urbanova was also on the winning team. She currently works at DFDS in Digital Marketing on a maternity cover. “DFDS really went the extra mile for the candidates with a mix of company presentations, the challenging case and socialising, which underlines the values of the Strategy & Consulting team and of DFDS as a whole. This has assured me that DFDS is the place I want to dedicate my energy and time in the long-run,” she said.

Pearl and Crown Seaways in fierce competition

When you spend as much time with your colleagues as our staff do on board our cruise ferries, a healthy and caring work environment is essential to ensure smooth operations.

The crews work long hours in an often busy and fast-paced setting. This naturally leads to a great sense of community and creates exceptionally strong bonds among the crew during their time at sea.

Throughout recent months, different courses and workshops on board have been going on to encourage an even more supportive and caring environment on board, including various training and development courses, information meetings about employee care, and how to prevent addiction to drugs and alcohol, for example.

In early April, gender diversity workshops will also be facilitated by Training & Development.

Additionally, as part of the DFDS Moves initiative, our colleagues’ competitive spirit was tested in weeks 9 and 11 on the Copenhagen – Oslo route. Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways faced each other in a heated duel to see which ship could collect the most points in various challenges arranged by Champions of 2morrow, which specialises in supporting companies in health and well-being activities.

Trine S Kristensen, HR Recruitment Specialist, says: “Everyone had a blast, and enjoyed two weeks filled with health checks, friendly competitions and, most importantly, a lot of laughter and happy faces.

“The crews spend many consecutive days at sea, and they can’t simply go home after work. Your colleagues on board often become the ones you talk to after a bad day, so initiatives like these are always very welcome, as they create a good atmosphere and strengthen our relationships with one another.”

Digital door locks installed on doors for crew and staff areas on Pearl Seaways

Jacob Grønnegaard, Chief Officer on board Pearl Seaways, left, and Martin Lange, Business Analyst in IT Pax, right

During her recent stay in dock, new digital door locks were installed in the crew and staff areas on Pearl Seaways. Pearl is thus the first vessel in the DFDS passenger fleet to use RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology.

The new door lock system will be rolled out to all future passenger newbuildings and door lock replacements, and our new ro-pax vessels being built at the GSI Shipyard will have the new RFID technology and system installed. The system is also being considered for passenger cabins on board Crown Seaways and Pearl Seaways, but that relies on developing a mobile solution for opening doors and adding prepaid catering.

The staff on Pearl Seaways have now had their first experiences with the new Visionline system and they report that many procedures are now a lot easier to handle, and it is easier to gain an overview and get reports on the locks.

Martin Lange, Business Analyst in IT Pax, says: “This technology is a step in the direction towards even more digital interactions with our guests. Looking to the near future, we will be able to support our guests with a fully-digital boarding flow, where key cards can be provided in a mobile application.”

The project is carried out in close collaboration between IT Pax, Technical Organisation and staff on Crown Seaways and Pearl Seaways.

Jacob Grønnegaard, Chief Officer on board Pearl Seaways, says: “The current door lock system on Crown and Pearl is coming towards the end of its life, and is difficult to support and maintain. A new door lock system is much needed, as the reliability of the old system is very poor, causing many issues and resulting in wasted resources. This new technology allows a modern way of handling of keys on board, and provides a more intelligent management of access conditions. Additionally, it is a giant step speaking ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security).”

The new digital door locks

Video highlights from Chinese New Year celebrations on board Crown Seaways

Last month, we celebrated the Chinese New Year on the Copenhagen – Oslo route in collaboration with the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen.

For those of us who missed the fun and the impressive events on board, Chinese television has sent a short video showing some of the highlights from the day. Good times were had by our Chinese guests, the Chinese Embassy, DFDS representatives and the many talented performers, not forgetting the star of the show, the Pig.

These clips were shown to the Chinese public on 5 February, the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Pig, which initiated a celebration that lasts until 19 February.

We wish everyone in China and all other countries a happy and prosperous New Year of the Pig.

More pet-friendly cabins on Crown Seaways

The number of cabins allowing guests to bring their cat or dog has been extended to meet a considerable increase in demand from our customers.

For several years our guests have been offered the opportunity to take their cats and dogs with them when travelling on the Copenhagen – Oslo route, but many guests had a hard time leaving their beloved pet in the car.

Pets had to stay in cars or cages during the entire crossing, apart from some set times when they could use the sandbox or go out on deck, assisted by the staff.

Recently, the number of cabins allowing guests to bring their cat or dog has been increased.
Kim Heiberg, Route Director, says: “We have extended the number of dog-friendly cabins to meet a considerable increase in demand from our customers, and to make travelling with pets a much better experience. Having the dog in the cabin is much nicer for both the dog and its owner. Dogs may still remain in cars for those who prefer that, however. We are also looking into opportunities for extra pet-friendly cabins on Pearl Seaways.”