This week, Flandria Seaways and her crew sailed through the long and busy Suez Canal on their way from China to Europe. This is Captain Joakim Dahlberg’s second time bringing one of our mega freight ferries home, and he has taken this great picture (above) on their way through the artificial sea–level waterway that connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
With endless banks of sand on both sides, our colleagues on board passed and also sailed alongside many cruise, container and cargo vessels. Their tonnage, water displacement and timing are all carefully calculated to enable safe transit while passing through the canal, which takes around 11 hours.
Flandria Seaways, Joakim and his dedicated crew are expected to arrive in Vlaardingen on 29 September.
Fitted out in Singapore
Earlier this month, and in accordance with tradition, Flandria Seaways also made an important stop in Singapore to be fitted out for service and stocked with a variety of essentials needed for her further voyages. Four containers filled with spare parts, stores, supplies and provisions were loaded onto Flandria as you can see from the pictures below, shared by Jesper Hartvig Nielsen and Peter Guldager.
Michael Klysner and Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen represented DFDS at the ceremony that marked the delivery of Flandria Seaways, our fifth mega freight ferry from China.
What a way to start the week for DFDS’ Newbuilding & Major Conversions division. Following the successful launch on Monday of our new freight and passenger ferry for the Baltic Sea, Flandria Seaways, our fifth mega freight ferry from Jinling Shipyard, was delivered to us today, 1 September.
Flandria will set sail towards Europe on Friday and reach Vlaardingen (via Singapore and Suez) in late September. She is expected to begin operating between Vlaardingen and Immingham on 5 October. Customers can look forward to a massive ferry that is 237.4 metres long and has capacity for 6,700 lane metres freight (equal to 450 trailers). They will also benefit from lower emissions per unit transported and flexible capacity to grow their business. With an unique ramp system with three independent stern ramps, it enables us to discharge trailers quickly and efficiently.
Delayed delivery due to Coronavirus
Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding & Major Conversions, says: “The finalisation and delivery of this ferry has taken somewhat more time than expected. The closed borders and strict quarantine requirements made it a really hard challenge to ensure that colleagues and crew members could travel to China and attend the sea trial in April and be ready to take the ferry to European waters once the delivery was complete. Getting visas and finding available flights from Denmark to China also proved to be a difficult process. However, we succeeded and after the crew had been in quarantine for 14 days, they were eager and ready to go on board the ferry and familiarise themselves.
“It has been an unusual process in unprecedented times, where we had to handle a lot remotely. On top of the impacts of the coronavirus, the shipyard also experienced severe flooding from the Yangtze River and its surroundings during July that raised water levels seven metres above normal, resulting in a production halt for more than a week. However, a big thank you to our great site team in Nanjing as well as the crew members for overcoming these challenges and we can now proudly add one massive freight ferry to the fleet.”
Flandria Seaways at Jinling Shipyard. Thank you to Jens Peter Baltsersen for sharing the photos.
Very soon, the sluice gates will open for the water flow and fill one of the building docks at the Jinling Shipyard in China to initiate the launching of our sixth and final mega freight ferry. The launch will mark the moment where the 6,700 lane metre ferry will be waterborne for the first time.
When the building dock is filled with water, tugboats will escort her out on the Yangtze River, where the site team and construction crew will do the final preparations prior to the sea trial.
Below you can see some photos from the building dock taken by Captain Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen. She looks quite impressive with the newly coated hull and construction crew beside for scale.
The (almost) complete site team at Jinling Shipyard
Pictures from the building dock. Thank you to Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen for the pictures:
In the picture, you can see the ‘Counter-Piracy Razor Wire Band of Brothers’, comprising the deck crew, midshipmen, and the deck officer. They wear protective gear while working with the razor wire which will make it extremely difficult for pirates to board the ship.
The fourth of DFDS’ six mega freight ferries, Humbria Seaways, is currently on her maiden voyage from Jinling Shipyard in China to northern Europe.
The ship is passing through two High Risk Areas, the Singapore/Malacca Strait and the sea surrounding the Horn of Africa, plus the southern part of the Red Sea. A major task for the crew is therefore to enforce DFDS’ Counter-Piracy Policy.
“DFDS has implemented all the security measures recommended by national and international specialists within the Counter-Piracy area. One of these is defending the ship with razor wire to make boarding extremely difficult. Another method is placing sandbags in the right places to protect the crew if they are attacked by pirates,” says Finn Bay, who is First Officer on board and responsible for the security measures.
“Most of the razor wire has been installed by the shipyard in China, but there are still several tons of sandbags that have to put in place by the crew before going through the High Risk Areas.
“In just a few days, after the ship has left the High Risk Area in the southern part of the Red Sea, the crew will start to dismantle all the razor wire and remove the sandbags, bringing the ship back to her normal state before she passes through the Suez Canal.
“We have also organised relevant drills with the crew before entering the High Risk Areas. It appears that everybody feels reassured by security being enforced. It goes more or less like this: We don’t worry, and we can stay happy because we know what to do, and we do what is expected of us.”
Much to do on board
The temperature has been around 30o centigrade during most of this work. The whole crew, including the engine department and the galley, has moved huge amounts of stores to all over the ship. These were taken on board in Singapore and comprise all kinds of stores, from furniture, refrigerators, oil drums, engine spare parts and tools, gym equipment to pencils, TVs, water, soft drinks and food. Everything must be put in place and be ready for use as soon as possible.
On to number five
“After Humbria Seaways’ arrival in Vlaardingen I will not be staying long, as I will be sailing with the next new mega freight ferry from China. However, it has been a pleasure to serve with this crew and not least with the fantastic ‘Counter-Piracy Razor Wire Band of Brothers’,” says Finn.
The editors are equally pleased with this exciting story, and for keeping our colleagues and ship safe.
It is great to start not only a new year but even a decade with a delivery of a new and impressive ferry. On 7 January we took delivery of our fourth 6700 lm Ro-Ro ferry from Jinling Shipyard in China. The ferry was handed over to us at 15:08 Chinese time, which due to the “8” is a lucky time(!). The time in Denmark was due to the time difference 08:08, which is an even more lucky number!
On 8 January we did the traditional flag change where the Danish flag was hoisted. HUMBRIA SEAWAYS is now being made ready for departure from Jinling Shipyard, which depending on weather conditions will take place soonest possible. On the homebound voyage HUMBRIA SEAWAYS will call Singapore for taking onboard a few containers of Owner’s supply as well as bunkering. We are looking forward to welcome the ferry in Vlaardingen in February.
As mentioned above it is our fourth mega ferry from Jinling within 11½ month. We have two more to go and they are expected to follow in March and by end of October this year.
Please enjoy the photos from the various ceremonies and the dinner with the project and site teams
Thanks to everybody involved for a great job done.
Director, Newbuilding & Major Conversions
Last Saturday, our fourth mega freight ferry officially left the construction phase as she ventured out on the busy Yangtze River for sea trials.
Under realistic conditions, the crew evaluated and oversaw the freight ferry’s performance regarding speed, maneuverability, equipment, systems, and safety. Today, the 6,700 lane metre vessel returned safely to the shipyard after a successful and smooth sea trial.
Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager for the six newbuildings constructed at Jinling Shipyard says: “Departing for sea trials is always both exciting and thrilling as it is the final chance to ensure that the vessel and all the systems are operating normally before the delivery to DFDS.”
Congratulations to the site team and the construction crew for yet another milestone reached in our newbuilding adventure.
Our fourth mega freight ferry departing from Jinling Shipyard for sea trials.
Busy times on the Yangtze River outside the Jinling Shipyard.
We have just received a phenomenal video of Hollandia Seaways with guest appearances by her sisters.
Last week, the third mega freight ferry departed for her maiden voyage home to Europe and she is presently just south of South Africa with the crew in high spirits.
The voyage is going according to plan and she is expected to arrive in Vlaardingen on 22 November and Gothenburg 25 November.
Thank you to Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager, for sharing great pictures along with a fantastic video showing Hollandia starting her maiden voyage and leave Jinling Shipyard.
Following a successful hand-over to DFDS, three out of six mega freight ferries have now been delivered to DFDS. We are very excited to share with you that Captain Thomas Stephensen and his crew are currently safely leading our fleet’s newest addition, Hollandia Seaways, to her new home on the North Sea.
Unlike Ephesus and Troy, which switched to the Turkish flag when they arrived in Istanbul, Hollandia will remain under the Danish flag during her service.
Before the beginning of the four-week voyage, a stop-over in Singapore was needed to prepare Hollandia for service which included a check-up by service technicians and to load several big containers filled with spare parts, stores and provisions. Peter Guldager, Senior Purchasing Manager, was once again on the spot to manage the loading and has kindly shared a video and picture of Hollandia arriving in Singapore.
“Right now, the plan is a test call in Vlaardingen on 22 November, perhaps an additional call in Immingham and then final arrival in Gothenburg. The calls in Vlaardingen and Immingham are still subject to making her arrival in time to Gothenburg,” says Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager.
It is incredible to think that we are already halfway through our order of the six mega freight ferries made with Jinling Shipyard back in 2016 and we cannot be the only ones in the north who are looking forward to seeing the giant up close when she arrives. We will soon share more specific information about where Hollandia will be entered into service.
After the delivery of the third mega freight ferry to DFDS, participants and crew took part in a traditional flag ceremony where First Officer Finn Henneberg Bay hoisted the Danish flag. As you can see in the picture above, some of her sister ships joined the ceremony at the Jinling Shipyard in China, so the participants could enjoy a spectacular view of our fourth and fifth mega freight ferries.
Just yesterday, the 6,700- lane metre ferry left the shipyard on her maiden voyage and set course for Singapore, to be fitted out for service and stocked with a variety of supplies and provisions.
Thank you very much to Senior Project Manager Jens Peter Baltsersen for sharing the pictures and for keeping us in the loop about progress at the Jinling Shipyard.
The team that handled the delivery of DFDS’ third mega freight ferry from Jinling in China. From left: of our own Ole Færge, VP and Head of Legal & Insurance; Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager; Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuildings & Major Conversions; and Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Corporate Port Captain.
Chinese tradition considers three a lucky number. However, we can assure you there was no luck involved in constructing our third mega freight ferry. This required precise planning and hard work.
With the construction phase now complete and the necessary paperwork signed, we are excited to announce that we can officially call the third mega freight ferry ours.
The delivery took place yesterday at 17:18 local time, when Ole Færge, Jens Peter Baltsersen, Jesper Aagesen, and Jesper Hartvig Nielsen were in China to take part in the handover ceremony.
Congratulations and thank you to the site team and construction crew for a great job done.
Second from left: Jens Peter Baltsersen, Jesper Aagesen, Jesper Hartvig Nielsen
Our third freight ferry from Jinling Shipyard went for sea trials last Sunday. The pictures show the ferry on the first evening of her sea trials, anchoring on the Yangtze River
Our colleagues at the Jinling Shipyard in China are as busy as ever. They are currently managing the construction of the third, fourth and fifth freight ferry and blocks for the sixth vessel are under construction with keel-laying expected to take place in October.
Senior Project Manager Jens Peter Baltsersen has shared some photos and information to provide insight into what is going on at Jinling.
Jens Peter says: “Our third freight ferry went for sea trials last Sunday. During the sea trials the entire ship is tested to ensure that everything is working properly and that all systems on board are functioning normally. Following the sea trials, final adjustments will ensure that the ferry is ready for delivery in mid-October.
The other mega ferries are still at the shipyard:
“Commissioning of systems on board our fourth freight ferry has started. The ferry was launched last month and has since then been laying at the outfitting pier as seen on the pictures above. Expected delivery is around 1 December.”
“Just over a month ago, the fifth ferry was merely a mega block waiting to be assembled and welded. However, as seen on the photo the progress is clearly visible now and the fifth ferry is quickly taking shape after her previous sisters. This week main engines were installed.”
The fourth of six of the mega freight ferries from Jinling Shipyard in China has now launched onto the Yangtze river.
And then there were four floating freight ferries from Jinling. The impressive building pace continues in China, where on 5 July they launched number four out of six from the Jinling Shipyard dry dock.
With the third freight ferry nearby and being busily prepared for her sea trials in August, and the mega block for the fifth having just arrived from Nanjing, the fourth had its debut in the water as the dry dock filled up and tugs helped her out onto the Yangtze river.
Jens Peter Baltsersen has shared pictures of the great moment for those of us in all locations waiting impatiently to get first-hand impressions of the huge ferries. Except of course for our BU Med colleagues, many of whom have already become acquainted with Ephesus and Troy.
It is truly exciting to follow the building of these 6,700 lane-metre vessels and we congratulate the site team and construction crew on this successful launch, leaving just two launches to go.
Summer is upon us but that does not stop our hardworking site team and construction crew from delivering huge ferries to us. Jens Peter Baltsersen has today shared fresh shots from Jinling Shipyard in China.
They show our third freight ferry being relocated by tugboats to the outside of the pier and she is now undergoing final preparations towards sea trail in August.
Additionally, later this week on 5 July, the fourth freight ferry will launch and be positioned where the third ferry was berthed until today.
It is full steam ahead at the Jinling shipyard in China. Our site-team have delivered two freight ferries and are working on the following three. Construction will soon start on the sixth and final ferry on the order placed with the shipyard. It can be a little bit difficult to keep track of the progress from the sidelines. Luckily, Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager, has shared some pictures of the four freight ferries in their various stages perfectly illustrating the construction process from steel plates to an almost complete ferry.
Jens Peter says: “Construction is progressing well and follows the schedule very nicely. Earlier this week, Frane Pilic, Site Manager from OSM Ship Management, pressed the button to start the steel plate cutting for our sixth and last freight ferry that is expected to be delivered in Q4 2020. There is still some way to go, but it sure feels special to prepare the construction of the last freight ferry.
We are also seeing quite some improvement regarding two specific issues concerning the protection of equipment and housekeeping on board the ferries under construction, issues that have been focus on from the beginning of the construction phase. The yard has picked up on these important areas which is very positive.”
A lot of lane metres sailing through the Suez Canal with the massive sand dunes on each side
Our second freight ferry from Jinling Shipyard has now reached the Mediterranean Sea after 15 days of sailing from Singapore with an expected arrival at the Port of Pendik tonight.
Captain Joakim Dahlberg says: “The voyage was mostly smooth sailing with some minor difficulties that we managed to take care of. Immediately after docking from Singapore, we experienced the first rain of this voyage, a very heavy tropical rain, however throughout the voyage the weather was mostly pleasant though some days were awfully hot with more than 43 degrees accompanied by sunshine and clear skies.
“We also got the opportunity to see some curious whales that had been following us during the day but unfortunately they refused to break surface long enough to get good pictures.”
Joakim has kindly provided us with some great pictures of our freight ferry sailing through the impressive Suez Canal last Saturday.
“The passage through the canal was quick and we were lucky to be the first in the convoy. Last Saturday at 15.45, we arrived in Port Said, located at the end of the Suez Canal, and an hour or so later we were outside the buoyed fairway on open sea and stopped one of the engines to begin slow streaming again at about 10 knots. Today we will be dropping anchor outside the harbor of Pendik tonight at about 22:00 CET” says Joakim.
The second of our six freight ferries from the Jinling Shipyard arrived in Singapore before the weekend and was fitted out for service in just 14 hours
Completing a freight ferry like our newbuildings in such short time is a masterwork of engineering, and following the milestones for each vessel coming out of the Jinling Shipyard is a great pleasure. On 8 May the second freight ferry was delivered to DFDS, and she has now as part of the ‘delivery voyage’ made the important stop in Singapore to be fitted out for service and stocked with a variety of essentials needed for her further sailings. That starts with the voyage to the Mediterranean.
It takes a significant start-up package for a ship of this size to have its stores filled and made ready for service. To start with, you need about a thousand tonnes of fuel and 125,000 litres of lubricating oil. Add to that a wide selection of tools, IT-systems, screens, fitness equipment and much more, totalling close to 150 pallets. All this was completed in 14 hours after a great effort from all involved.
There was a team from DFDS present at the dock to greet the crew upon their arrival from China and to help coordinate loading and installations. Peter Guldager, Senior Purchasing Manager in Operational Procurement, headed the effort of loading a variety of materials onto the ship together with the crew.
Peter Guldager had a very personal and physical impression of the ship’s size. In addition to his sore legs, his phone’s fitness app registered that he walked 30,000 steps (about the length of a half-marathon) and climbed 34 flights of stairs while coordinating the day’s work.
Poul Daugaard, Systems Developer, organised the IT-installations, of which there were many. “Four employees from IT were on site to install equipment coming in, with the two of us from Denmark, one from the UK and one from France, and the teamwork couldn’t have been better,” he said.
Following the work and still carrying the temporary name, the ship departed at night time with a course set for Istanbul. Once there she will be renamed after a UNESCO heritage site in Turkey, just like her sister Ephesus Seaways.
The departure of one of our mega freight ferries from Jinling Shipyard is a story that we have told before, and will be telling four times again. However, we are still exited to, once again, bring one of the largest freight ferries to the Mediterranean Sea.
Two days ago, she was delivered to DFDS, and just this morning she departed for Singapore and is expected to arrive on Thursday.
“The delivery went smooth and we had a small session on board Thursday afternoon, celebrating the event in beautiful weather together with the crew, the site team and our broker BRS. All in all a good day for the project and for DFDS. The vessel is now on the way to Singapore and is reporting that things are working well onboard.
In Singapore IT and Peter Guldager, Senior Purchasing Manager, will be ready to support installation of IT equipment/network and owners deliveries/stores/spare parts and provision” says Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager.
Even though, she currently sails under “Belgia Seaways”, her name will be changed in accordance with our principle of naming our Mediterranean ships after UNESCO heritage sites in Turkey.
The hard-working site team at the Jinling Shipyard that supervises the construction of our vessels
Today, 8 May 2019 on 15.18 local time, the yard had done theirs, the paper work was completed, and the second of our new mega freight ferries from the Jinling Shipyard in China was handed over to DFDS at the yard.
The picture is from the signing today. We will soon be back with information about her journey to the Mediterranean where she will join her sister in the Turkey-Italy corridor.
It has been a while since we last showed you the progress of our newbuilding adventure, however this does not mean that the construction has slowed down in the slightest. A little over a month has only gone by since the keel-laying ceremony for the fourth freight ferry, and we can already show you a fast-growing vessel, as seen on the pictures kindly sent by Superintendent Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen. It is safe to say that the shipyard is only getting faster at making our giant ferries.
The second freight ferry has recently been on a successful sea trial and is now waiting to be delivered to DFDS with an expected ceremony within the next week. The third will sail for her first sea trial in August.
The unique ramp system with three independent stern ramps and internal ramps is coming along nicely
The third freight ferry from China had not been outside the dry dock for long before the site team and construction crew started the construction of our fourth newbuilding.
Today, the traditional keel-laying ceremony took place at the Jinling Shipyard to officially celebrate the start of construction of our fourth freight ferry. In line with Chinese tradition, a coin was placed under the keel and this time Chief Engineer Matti Thomsen (pictured below) was given the honour of sealing it as a symbol of luck throughout the construction process and while at sea.
The fourth freight ferry is expected to be delivered in the last quarter of 2019.
Following the finishing touches of coating on the hull and other preparations, the sluices opened and filled the drydock with water, making our third mega freight ferry waterborne for the first time.
Tugboats carefully escorted the vessel out onto the Yangtze River, completing a successful launch and as you can see in the pictures from today, she fits just as well in the water as her two sisters.
The next milestone in the newbuilding adventure will be the sea trial of the second freight ferry.
Congratulations to the site team and construction crew on another successful launch and once again thank you to Jens Peter Baltsersen for sharing the pictures with us.
In case you have forgotten how it looks when the construction crew float out one of our mega freight ferries, you can watch or rewatch this video.
Our third mega freight ferry in dry dock at the Jinling Shipyard in China
While the first of the six mega freight ferries is in Turkey and almost ready to be put in service, the sister ships are still in Jinling Shipyard at various stages of the construction process.
The site team and construction crew are doing a phenomenal job of building our ferries and it won’t take long before the whole shipyard is filled with ships for DFDS.
We have just received great pictures of our third freight ferry in dry dock getting ready to launch around 24 March.
Thank you to Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager, for sending the pictures.
Our newest addition to the DFDS fleet arrived this weekend at the Port of Pendik in Turkey February 23. We are very excited to have her home and it will not be long before she sets course for her first sailing to Trieste when she will be set in service from 9 March with an expected arrival on 11 March.
The freight ferry will soon be taken to the GEMAK Shipyard to get a rebranding and a name change followed by an official naming ceremony early march.
The grand scale of the ferry can easily be seen on below picture as it is side by side with one of our other ferries UN Arkdeniz.
Our mega freight ferry side by side with UN Arkdeniz