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Sirena Seaways back in Klaipėda

Sirena Seaways departing from Klaipėda

After a five year-charter with Brittany Ferries, Sirena Seaways is back in Klaipėda where she arrived directly from the yard in Gdansk on Thursday last week. Sirena is replacing Liverpool Seaways on the Klaipėda-Karlshamn route where she will sail along with Athena and Patria.

Per-Henrik Persson, Route & Agency Director, says: “I’m very happy to welcome Sirena Seaways back to the Baltic. She fits very well into the network with good cargo and especially passenger capacity where she offers very generous and nice areas. She also has sufficient engine capacity, which will give us more flexibility. I sincerely believe that we, with our new combination of ships, will be able to take new steps and create a nice experience for our customers.”

With the addition of Sirena, we will from this week offer our customers nine weekly return sailings on Klaipėda-Karlshamn route.

Robertas Kogelis, Baltic Onboard Sales Director, adds: “The arrival of Sirena Seaways was highly anticipated in the BU Baltic, as we started preparations and adaptations of the Onboard concepts back in autumn 2019. The convenient public space arrangements enables DFDS to offer our customers enhanced dining and shopping options on two decks. With almost 200 cabins, including a selection for premium cabin upgrades or those travelling with pets, Sirena is the most spacious ferry in BU Baltic for both lorry drivers and regular passengers. There is a a Reading Lounge for those who wish to enjoy a quiet drink or just spend time with their favourite book with the Baltic sea view.”


Sirena Seaways


Sirena Seaways (left) and Patria Seaways in Klaipėda

Welcome home, Sirena Seaways

Picture taken on board Sirena Seaways at the Polish Remontowa Shipyard. Thank you to Captain Andrejus Simutis for sharing.

There is simply no place like home. After the end of a 5-year charter agreement with Brittany Ferries, Sirena Seaways will once again be back in business with DFDS after she returns from the drydock with an expected delivery on 10 April.

Yesterday, Sirena Seaways entered drydock at the Remontowa Shipyard in Poland where she will receive a total make-over.

Christian Bagger, Superintendent, says: “When Brittany Ferries took over Sirena, they named and rebranded her MV Baie De Seine as well as reconfiguring after their needs with new fenders and removal of walkways among others.

In drydock, we will revert some of these changes, for example adjusting the weather deck to accommodate more trailers (as originally designed). In addition, the construction crew will sandblast the existing coating off to prepare the surface for a recoating that will reduce the hull’s resistance through water to reduce the needed engine power and fuel consumption. We expect an official delivery on 10 April.”


Sirena Seaways back in 2006. Picture taken by Peter Therkildsen.

The return of an old celebrity
It is a very familiar face returning to us, as Sirena has a long history with DFDS. She is mostly known for her service on the former-DFDS route Esbjerg-Harwich where she started in 2002 and quickly became a beloved part of the journey until the closing of the route in 2015. Afterwards she was set in service on Paldiski – Kapellskar and Karlshamn – Klaipeda before Brittany Ferries chartered her in May 2015.

Sirena will return to a familiar scenery between Karlshamn and Klaipeda.

IT and Baltic Passenger Business Drivers collaborate in Klaipeda

From the left Laura Neimetaite (Product Owner), Abdul Arafh (developer), Mikkel Dam-Larsen (developer), Martin Bundgaard (developer), Mauricio Guevara Souza (developer), Ida Rasmussen (Business Analyst)

Last week six members of the Seabook scrum team named Passenger Ships, also known as The Doors, sailed with Patria Seaways on the Karlshamn – Klaipeda route to meet with BU Baltic Business Drivers.

The purpose of the trip was to map customer journeys on BU Baltic routes from purchasing a ticket to disembarkation, with focus on check in, boarding, accessing a cabin, and redeeming pre-paid services. The aim was to identify the process, hardware and software changes needed to roll out upgraded door locks with new technology.

In Karlshamn, Customer Service Manager Katrin Arvidsson gave them a tour at the Port of Karlshamn. During the tour, developers and check-in staff shared tips and experiences. As a result, developers took home a quick improvement to be implemented once they are back, whilst check in staff got a tip on how to get a printer up and running after a jam 1,5 to 2 min faster.

“There is so much knowledge to be shared and gained visiting locations that use applications supported by us” says Mauricio Guevara Souza, developer in the Doors team.


Passenger Ships scrum team on the tour in the engine room on Patria Seaways

Designing solutions together
“On Partria Seaways we learned about guest service center operations, observed navigation in the dark on the bridge, and were dazzled by the powerful and rough composure of the engine room. Thank you to all the staff members who took excellent care of us” says Laura Neimetaite, Product Owner in the development team.

She continues: “We kept passengers in focus throughout the process of designing the improved experience that the new door locks will enable. Whilst minimizing check in time, overall costs, and ensuring process consistency across routes were, similarly, crucial parts of the puzzle”.

With their focus, engagement, and open mindedness in the session, BU Baltic Business Drivers’ Linas Lesauskas and Gintaras Laucius and key user Kristijanas Kiseliovas as well as the development team were key to producing the desired outcome.

“I believe that transparency and communication between IT department and business owners is the key to success when designing such high impact solutions and choosing technologies. We were happy, that the development team decided to come and see the business on site” says Linas Lesauskas, Business Driver for onboard sales.

“It took us 1,5 days to design the desired customer experience for both freight and tourist passengers given the capabilities of the new door lock technology. It was a long but rewarding process, that not only provided clarity of the scale and specifics of required technical and process changes, but even more importantly, their implications and impact“ explains Gintaras, Business Driver for ports and check-in.


Working on the customer journey map for Business Unit Baltic routes. Left Kristijanas Kiseliovas (Terminal Operations Supervisor), right Linas Lesauskas (BUB  Business Driver for on board services)

“The trip from setting foot in Karlshamn, experiencing onboard customer journey, walking through freight and passenger check-in in Klaipeda, to being locked in a room for 1,5 days with business drivers has been invaluable. Only when business challenges and realities are fully explained and understood can the best IT solutions be designed” says Laura.

DFDS and Port of Karlshamn commit to the future

Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director for Klaipėda – Karlshamn: “Contract signed between DFDS and Port of Karlshamn formalises partnership for the next 10 years.”

 

In December an important deal between DFDS and Port of Karlshamn was signed for the development of our future business together.

The signatures formalise a partnership for the next 10 years in Karlshamn that includes mutual commitment to enabling a continued development and growth of DFDS ferry services at the port. Port of Karlshamn will now launch investments in order to accommodate larger vessels and volume growth.

“We are of course very pleased to have this contract. We see this as a confirmation of a good partnership and that Port of Karlshamn is seen as a strategic logistics node for DFDS A/S and the development of its network in the Baltic,” says Mats Olsson, CEO at Port of Karlshamn.

“Now we will launch investments totalling SEK 150 million – about EUR 14 million – which is the largest in many years. The expansion programme includes, for example, a third ro-ro berth, the widening of another, dredging, expansion of parking areas and queuing areas for accompanied and unaccompanied vehicles. We will have some co-funding from the EU, which signals that Port of Karlshamn and the DFDS route Karlshamn – Klaipėda are considered to be an important link for trade between Sweden and the neighbouring countries on the eastern Baltic.”

Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director for Klaipėda – Karlshamn, says: “The extensive newbuilding programme at DFDS includes two ro-pax vessels intended for the Baltic Sea routes, a total investment of about DKK 1.75 billion. With a length of 230 metres, a freight capacity of 4,500 lane metres and capacity to carry 600 passengers, these vessels will be a very welcome addition in the Baltic Sea.

“The effort and investment by Port of Karlshamn are very positive. It will secure our possibility for a continued development of a route which is of strategic importance for trade and DFDS. We have a very good co-operation with the port and we look forward to developing our mutual business for a long time to come.”

 

Source: Shippax.com

Route Director Aleksej Slipenciuk to head Kiel, Fredericia and Oslo (freight) agencies

Aleksej Slipenciuk will be Director of BU Baltic’s Kiel and Fredericia agencies, as well as the freight agency in Oslo, in addition to his role as Route Director Kiel ‒ Klaipeda. He will report to Anders Refsgaard, VP & Head of BU Baltic.

Aleksej Slipenciuk will take on responsibility as Director of BU Baltic’s Kiel and Fredericia agencies, as well as the freight agency in Oslo, in addition to his roles as Route Director Kiel ‒ Klaipeda and Klaipeda – Copenhagen – Fredericia.

“I am very pleased that we can now introduce a permanent management of those agencies, following Jacob Andersen’s move to Rotterdam and Lars Hoffmann’s to Turkey. I am equally pleased that Aleksej has accepted this huge task, for which he is better suited than anyone I can think of. As a Route Director for the Kiel ‒ Klaipeda route since 2017, and with previous route responsibilities on his C.V., he brings extremely valuable experience with our customers and markets to his new job. He is well-known and respected by customers and colleagues alike, he is a very good manager of people, and good at setting a strategic direction, keeping a firm course and spreading trust and confidence in DFDS.

“I think we are lucky that we have been able to fill such a key position for our business with an internal candidate of Aleksej’s calibre, and I wish him all the best in his new and challenging role. I am also confident you will all support him the best you can in making the new management structure a success for BU Baltic and DFDS,” says Anders Refsgaard, VP and Head of BU Baltic.

Aleksej Slipenciuk (49) was born in Omsk, Russia, and graduated as a Marine Engineer in St Petersburg. Following some years at sea, he joined DFDS Baltic Line in Klaipeda in 1996 as a booking agent for the Klaipeda ‒ Fredericia ‒ Copenhagen route. Since DFDS acquired the Lithuanian shipping company Lisco, he has had a number of operational roles and route director responsibilities for the Klaipeda – Karlshamn and Kiel – St. Petersburg/Ust Luga routes. He was an MD for DFDS in St. Petersburg for five years until he was appointed to his current position as Route Director Klaipeda-Kiel in 2017.

Aleksej will be reporting to Anders Refsgaard, and as his office will be in Kiel, he will soon be moving to Germany.

The change takes effect from now, and agency staff were informed at staff meetings earlier today.

Temporary engine trouble for Patria meant delay to Karlshamn

As one of the main engines shut down, Patria Seaways was delayed en route to Karlshamn as a repair crew went onboard to resolve the issue.

 

On the evening of Sunday 28 July after departure from Klaipėda, one of the two main engines on Patria Seaways shut down as a safety measure when an oil mist detector went off.

The situation was brought under control and posed no danger to the 19 crew and 177 passengers on board. The vessel was manoeuvred by a bow thruster and anchor, and two tugs were called to assist by towing her to nearby Klasco.

“Superintendent Vladimir Babuchin assembled a team that quickly and efficiently repaired the engine en route to Karlshamn,” said Captain Andrej Zamkovoj, Director of Operations. The ferry departed from Klasco under the power of a single main engine.

Vaidas Klumbys, General Manager, PR & Communications, BU Baltic, said: “Vessel speed powered by a single main engine is around 12 knots, so it was possible to continue the voyage even with one of the two main engines out of service.”

Eventually the engine was back up and running, with a delay to the arrival in Karlshamn of around six hours.

Passengers on Baltic routes can now choose a healthy menu

From left to right: Sofija Kočmariova- Cook Assistant; Juozas Rinkevičius – Chef; Vaidas Krūmas – Food & Beverage Manager, BU Baltic; Ugne Radzevičienė – nutrition expert; Lorena Tumėnaitė – Cook Assistant.

Inspired by the growing number of customers with special dietary needs, the BU Baltic on-board service team has launched a healthy menu for customers ordering à la carte. The new health-conscious menu will be available at the beginning of the peak season as an alternative option for individual customers and groups travelling on the Klaipeda – Karlshamn and Klaipeda – Kiel routes.

“A survey conducted in Lithuania in May showed that 62% of our passengers are likely to choose an option from a healthy menu if the price and size of the dishes are similar to those on the regular menu. This result has strengthened our determination to be prepared before the peak season. To that end, we invited Mrs Radzeviciene, a well-known specialist in progressive nutrition, who prepared the menu options without gluten, lactose, eggs and other animal products. Dishes like these might be preferred by vegetarians, vegans and others who tend to focus on a healthy lifestyle,” says Vaidas Krūmas, Food & Beverage Manager, BU Baltic.

To help the staff become even better at preparing delicious and healthy meals, individual training courses have been held with Mrs Radzeviciene on board all BU Baltic passenger ships. Furthermore, this has not only been beneficial to our customers, it has also turned out to be very beneficial to the crew, who have learned more about healthy living.

“We are very happy with this new initiative, and we are looking forward to develop more new opportunities that can help us adjust to the current trends and satisfy the aspirations of our guests,” Vaidas Krūmas says.

Have a look at some tasty examples from the menu and read the full menu right here: Healthy Meniu_GB_BUB’2019.


Chickpeas Tower – chickpeas pancakes with almond cream and mushroom sauce


Green protein – spinach, avocado and tofu

Optima Seaways opened Klaipėda’s Parade of Ships with fireworks

More than 60 ships took part in the Parade of Ships 2019 in Klaipėda, which was begun and concluded by our ferries on the route with horns and fireworks

 

Every year a parade of ships delights the gathered crowds of Lithuanians and tourists in Klaipėda. This was the 10th time the Parade of Ships was organised and the third in a row where DFDS ferries had begun and concluded the 60-ship parade with horns and fireworks.

The fireworks were brought to Optima Seaways on Saturday morning on 18 May and prepared by the organisers to be let off in the evening during the event. Our captain and crew were instructed on procedures and everything went very well. The start and finish of the parade were scheduled to coincide with the departures of Optima Seaways and Victoria Seaways to Karlshamn and Kiel respectively, so playing this part in the parade causes no delay but a lot of joy.

“Since the cruise ship terminal was opened in the centre of Klaipėda in 2003, many new brand and service promotion opportunities have opened up for DFDS. All major events, concerts and more are now being held at the cruise ship terminal, attracting thousands of citizens and city guests. We never miss an opportunity to promote DFDS by sounding the ship’s horn or letting off fireworks when passing the terminal,” says Vaidas Klumbys, General Manager of Communication and PR for BU Baltics.

Optima Seaways dwarfs small boats in Klaipėda’s port as she departs for Karlshamn

Princess Seaways arrives in Central Klaipeda Terminal

From left to right: Kristijanas Kiseliovas, Terminal Operations Support Supervisor, Alvydas Macius, GM Terminal Operations, Robertas Kogelis, Linas Lesauskas, Onboard Project Manager greeting CKT guests ready to board Princess Seaways, Andreas Mulvad Jensen, Chief officer Princess Seaways, Michael Stig, Director for Group Marine Standards, Danial Vang, Captain Princess Seaways.

As communicated last December, Princess Seaways is about to start service on Karlshamn-Klaipeda route for a six week period to replace Victoria Seaways and Optima Seaways that are docked during February and March respectively.

Princess Seaways proudly arrived at berth in the Central Klaipeda Terminal (CKT) on this chilly windy February morning in Klaipeda, to undergo a Host State Inspection for the starts.

Robertas Kogelis, Terminal Operations Director at CKT and Onboard Sales Director for BU Baltic, says: “We are happy to welcome Princess Seaways in Klaipeda as she is being prepared for the first scheduled departure to Karlshamn on Saturday, 9 February. A project team of experienced professionals from Princess‘ crew, Marine Standards, Fleet Management, Technical Organisation, Onboard Sales and other departments have worked hard to get her ready for the task. Having Princess Seaways here will help us address capacity issues on this route, whereas our Baltic guests onboard will be introduced to a slightly changed type of experience of travelling with DFDS.“

Princess to help out on Karlshamn-Klaipeda for six weeks

It will be an unusual sight for people in Karlshamn and Klaipeda, when Princess Seaways arrives to the route as she looks very different from the usual ro-pax ferries operating on the route.

The reason for Princess’ arrival in the Baltic is a cooperation across BU’s to find the best way of compensating for lack of tonnage during docking periods. Therefore, Princess Seaways will take up service on the Karlshamn-Klaipeda route on 7 February for a six weeks period to replace ships that are docked during this period.

“I am really pleased that we have been able to organise this so we can continue servicing our customers on the route where we need the capacity during this time of year, and as she takes up her interim service directly in continuation of a maintenance docking, she was a good choice for this,” says Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director, Karlshamn.

This means she will be away from her usual Newcastle-IJmuiden route for two months from the beginning of February.

“There is less need for passenger capacity during this time of year. However, we will have a big task in ensuring that we service both our passengers and freight customers the best we can to mitigate the effect of less capacity on the route that will only be served by King Seaways during Princess’ absence,” says Kasper Moos.

Per-Henrik Persson, Route Director, Karlshamn

Fleet changes secure capacity after Regina incident

We do not yet know when the damage to Regina Seaways’ engine will be fully repaired, and this means she will be sailing with reduced speed until further.

“Therefore, we have decided a few changes to best ensure a continued good service for our customers,” says Aleksej Slipenciuk, Route Director, Klaipeda-Kiel.

From Monday 8 October:

Regina Seaways will start on the Klaipeda-Karlshman route were speed is less needed.

Athena Seaways will make a roundtrip on Klaipeda-Kiel on Saturday 6 October and stay on this route until further.

Patria Seaways and Maestro Universe will both be making two weekly roundtrips on Klaipeda-Karlshamn and one on Klaipeda-Kiel.

“I am very pleased with this as it secures our capacity, including the extended capacity until Christmas, which our customers need”, says Anders Refsgaard, VP and Head of BU Baltic.

Unusual shipment loaded onto Athena Seaways

As you know, no matter the size of the shipment, our colleagues will always find a way to get it across the sea. However, sometimes shipments require a bit of heavy machinery to get them loaded and unloaded.
That was the case last weekend when Athena Seaways transported a massive high-pressure tank from Klaipeda to Karlshamn. Weighing 12.9 tonnes and being 5.2 metres tall, the tank attracted special attention, as it could not be loaded with MAFI or trailer. The loading went as planned, with two cranes placing it on the weather deck.

Great work securing a smooth crossing by our colleagues in Klaipeda, Karlshamn and the crew of Athena Seaways.

Extra sailings on Klaipeda-Karlshamn

Patria Seaways will add a weekly round trip to the nine we perform today between Klaipeda and Karlshamn. Departures will be on Saturdays at 8:00 from Klaipeda and 23.59 from Karlshamn

DFDS is introducing an extra weekly roundtrip between Klaipeda in Lithuania and Karlshamn in Sweden. The extra sailings will take place on Saturdays at 8:00 from Klaipeda and 23:59  from Karlshamn.

“This means we increase the number of weekly departures from nine to ten. I am confident that our customers will appreciate this and see it as a real improvement of our service. Increased frequency has been on their wish list for some time as it will give them more flexibility and enable them to service their customers even better,” says Anders Refsgaard, VP and Head of BU Baltic.

The change follows swiftly as the first extra departure will be on Saturday 7 July from both ports.

Until 8 September, scheduled departures are

From Klaipeda on Saturday at 08:00,  with arrival in Karlshamn at 22:00

From Karlshamn on Saturday at 23:59, with arrival in Klaipeda on Sunday at 16.00

Optimising drinks on Optima

Mixing the perfect drink is an art. Therefore, bartenders on Optima Seaways had the pleasure of welcoming the bartender school from the Angostura Rum ambassador in Lithuania on board to increase their knowledge and skills.

“It was really useful training and a good reminder to bartenders of how to mix drinks correctly and quickly according to recipes, and when measuring and pouring beverages to avoid spillage or overpouring. We had a lot of tips and tricks on how to collaborate more efficiently with waiters and kitchen staff, while ensuring that customers get the best possible service,” says Žilvinas Damanskis, Retail & Bars Support Manager. A new mix drinks menu was developed during the training and will be introduced to our customers shortly.