Posts

Newcastle – Amsterdam route resumes service from 15 July

Princess Seaways

Following the announcements from the UK government about the lifting of quarantine restrictions and the restart of travel to many other countries, DFDS is resuming sailings between Amsterdam and Newcastle. As both ships are laid up in IJmuiden, the first departures will take place on Wednesday 15 July from IJmuiden and Thursday 16 July from Newcastle.

In addition, our English Channel services between the UK and France are available again to holidaymakers from the 10th July. The Channel routes have continued to sail throughout the Covid-19 period for freight and essential travellers only ensuring the transport of vital goods to communities both sides of the channel.

Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes & Passengers says, “We are very pleased that we are finally able to welcome our passengers back to our routes between the UK & Continent. However, we will be running on significantly reduced capacity and reduced onboard services as part of our COVID-19 measures to ensure the safety of all staff and passengers”.

“These restrictions mean we will continue to evaluate staff and crew requirements whilst we monitor booking developments closely. Whilst some people will return to work very shortly, many of you will remain on temporary leave for a while longer and we will be in touch with all colleagues to keep them updated on next steps.

I want to express my gratitude for your continued patience and support during the many weeks this route has been suspended.”

Adapted onboard services
Services will be adapted onboard to ensure social distancing and the onboard catering offering has temporarily changed.

On the Channel services, we offered complimentary meals to essential travellers during the crisis and we are now extending that to all passengers and including it within the ticket price.

On the Amsterdam Newcastle service, all meals must be pre-booked before boarding and à la carte dining will not be available.  A reduced buffet service will be available, and all food will be served to passengers by our crew.

You can find out more about the new safety measures onboard here: https://www.dfds.com/en-gb/passenger-ferries/rediscover-freedom/safety-measures

A new way to travel
Kasper Moos added, “I’m really looking forward to starting up the service after this extended period without a route between Amsterdam and Newcastle and welcoming holidaymakers back to our Channel routes. I am confident that together we can ensure that our passengers relax and enjoy their crossings while practising social distancing.”

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.”

Amsterdam – Newcastle ferry route suspended

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the Amsterdam-Newcastle ferry route will be temporarily suspended. Latest sailings will be on 21 March from Amsterdam and 22 March from Newcastle. DFDS is in consultation with crews on board and staff ashore about the temporary effects on employment.

Following the introduction of new national measures intended to delay the spread of Covid-19 virus, DFDS suspends sailings on the Amsterdam (IJmuiden) – Newcastle route temporarily.

Last sailings will be from Amsterdam on Saturday 21 March and from Newcastle on Sunday 22 March.

“Customers with a booking are being informed individually about this, and we have decided to continue sailing for a few days more to give travelers a chance to get home,” says Kasper Moos, Vice President and Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger.

“We had hoped to be able to continue the route on the basis of a reduced operation. However, the situation has developed fast, and the recent national measures to slow down the virus spread, including travel restrictions, give us no alternative but to suspend sailings until 13 April as a minimum.”

Unfortunately, this also means that we will need to send crews and staff in Newcastle and IJmuiden home until the route can be re-opened. Crewmembers will be on board for some days to get the ships ready to be laid up in IJmuiden. We have informed everyone working at the route about the situation and are currently in talks with union representatives and national authorities in the Netherlands, the UK, Denmark and Germany about this and possible schemes to mitigate the consequences on staff. We will be able to inform people in more detail next week.”

“That we have been able to sail and service our customers until now is only due to the fantastic efforts of our colleagues on board and ashore. They continued working and servicing our customers under extremely difficult conditions, and we owe every one of them our thanks and gratitude. I look very much forward to welcoming colleagues and customers back on the route, as soon as the Covid-19 crisis is under control,” says Kasper Moos.

Chefs improve knowledge about fish

On Thursday 26th February our chefs from King Seaways had the opportunity to visit and train with Nico from Eco-Seafood who owns a fish shop very close to the port where King Seaways is moored.

“There is no doubt about the passion that Nico puts into his craft. His interest in fish and seafood goes way back to his childhood and has since then succeeded the business from his father” says Peter Shlaimon, Sous Chef on board King Seaways.

Nico shared stories of the daily routines in the shop while growing up and emphasized how important his father’s teachings have been to him.

“We are lucky to have a supplier with generations of knowledge behind him. Nico is well known in the Netherlands and is involved in the fish trade all over the country where he buys from auctions whenever he can catch a good price” says Jørn Vase, Commercial Head on board King Seaways.

He continues: “The quality of what we serve is very important to us, and Nico has provided King and Princess Seaways with quality seafood for over 15 years. In addition, we are very happy that Nico’s business is both MSC and ASC Certified, meaning that their fish is caught or grown in a sustainable way.”

The chefs were very happy with the things Nico showed and will bring the newly learned knowledge back to King Seaways.


Nico from Eco-Seafood in the middle of sharing his knowledge about fish and seafood with our chefs on board King Seaways

Man overboard on King was a false alarm

A major rescue operation was called off as the passenger who reported the man overboard incident withdrew his report. “The crew acted in an extremely professional manner,” Captain Flemming Langballe says

It will most likely have consequences which the passenger on board King Seaways had never imagined when he shortly after midnight on Thursday 21 February claimed he saw a person fall overboard on from King Seaways.

The ship was about 80 kilometres off Grimsby when Captain Flemming Langballe was informed. A lifebuoy with lights was thrown into the sea, and the captain decided to make a so-called Williamson turn, which is a manoeuvre that turns the ship around to follow the same course in the opposite direction towards the location of the incident. The UK rescue authorities were alerted and participated in the search with a helicopter. Nearby ships also participated in the search with their man-over-board boats.

“Later on, however, the man who caused the alarm withdrew his report. We used the PA system to check if other passengers had seen anything and after confirming that they had not, we agreed with MRCC Humber to call off the search,” Flemming Langballe says.

The rescue authorities reported the incident to the UK police and to the Danish police (the ship sailed under Danish flag, and the incident took place in international waters). Due to good wind conditions, the arrival in Ijmuiden was only delayed by 45 minutes.

“I am extremely proud of the way the crew dealt with the incident.  Alba Severinsen, Floor manager, received the alarm and informed the bridge where the officer on duty, Dmytro Degtyarenko, at once initiated the necessary manoeuvres – even before I arrived on the bridge. Patrick Spang Sørensen, Chief Officer, took swift action and gave me the necessary information to carry out the operation, and Robert Bately, Commercial Head, interviewed the person who had reported the incident, and he also quickly communicated it when it proved to be a false alarm.  In fact, all crew members did a fantastic job. They took responsibility and acted fast when it was needed. They clearly demonstrated the benefits of the many on-board emergency drills,”  Flemming Langballe says.

Changes to commercial organisation on King and Princess Seaways

We have been working for some time now with a new commercial structure which was implemented as part of the Project Starlight recommendations. The role of Floor Manager was introduced in order to bring more focus to the customer experience onboard the Amsterdam – Newcastle and Copenhagen – Oslo routes.

Having now worked with this structure onboard King and Princess Seaways, we have concluded after a thorough evaluation, that it is not the optimum way for us to be organised on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route, because we simply do not have as many outlets onboard our vessels as the Pearl and Crown do.

We have therefore decided that we will do a small restructure onboard where the following will take place:

The Chef de Cuisine will be retitled as Business Leader Head Chef – and will no longer report to the Business Leader Food and Beverage, he will report directly to the Commercial Head.

This will free up the Business Leader Food and Beverage to focus on the customer experience front of house.

One Floor Manager will be refocused to concentrate on Food and Beverage, reporting to the Business Leader Food and Beverage. This will ensure we deliver excellent customer experiences in our bars and restaurants onboard.

This means that there will no longer be a requirement for one Floor Manager position on both King and Princess which means we need to find alternative positions for four of our colleagues.

We are pleased to advise that two of our affected colleagues have already been assigned to vacant Floor Manager positions on the Copenhagen – Oslo route, and we are currently in direct discussions with the other two on various alternative opportunities across the DFDS Fleet.

It is important to note that this change will only take place on the Newcastle – Amsterdam route and the position of Floor Manager will continue on the Copenhagen – Oslo route.

We wish everyone great success in their new or adapted roles.

Teun-Wim Leene, Route Director Amsterdam – Newcastle and
Kasper Moos, VP and Head of BU Short Routes and Passenger

Agreement with Moby cancelled

Our passenger ferries on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route offer excellent customer service and will continue doing so until a new solution is in place.

On 6 September 2019, DFDS entered into an agreement with the Italian ferry company Moby to acquire two ferries, Moby Wonder and Moby Aki, for deployment on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route.

Moby would in turn acquire the two passenger ferries currently operating on Amsterdam-Newcastle, King Seaways and Princess Seaways.

The agreement was expected to be completed in the second half of October 2019 but Moby has unfortunately not been able to meet the delivery terms of the agreement. The agreement has therefore been cancelled.

“We will continue to explore solutions for a renewal of the ferries on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route in line with our customers’ wishes and our strategic ambitions for the route and for DFDS.

The two current ferries offer a great service today, and they will continue doing so until a new solution with new ferries is in place. Therefore, this will not change our plans for developing the route, it will merely delay it,” says Peder Gellert, EVP and Head of DFDS’ Ferry Division.

Staff taste new North Sea Bistro menu on King

Colleagues in Newcastle tasting the new North Sea Bistro menu

On Tuesday 6 August, colleagues in Newcastle were invited on board King Seaways to taste the new North Sea Bistro menu developed by the Onboard Sales team and the chefs on board.

King Seaways presented an amazing array of small taster dishes of each starter, mains and pudding available for staff to sample. The ship also had the added element of new food photography and filming taking place for the North Sea Bistro at the same time.

Aimee Parnham, Campaign Manager UK, says: “A huge thank you to King Seaways for all of your efforts on a busy morning, preparing lots of meals to taste and shoot. Also, a big well done to Laura Thomson, graphic designer, for managing the shoot.”

“The rationale for the new concept, which was launched in June for North Sea Bistro, stems from us understanding that the type of passenger who chooses the North Sea Bistro is looking for quality food. They want to be indulged and surprised by innovative and beautifully cooked food. Therefore, the conviction for North Sea Bistro is believing that great food starts with great ingredients. We also believe that our chefs deliver the skill, passion, imagination and hard work that turns these into high-quality dishes that customers could not produce at home. Transforming the quality ingredients into excellent dishes – that look as good as they taste – by our highly skilled chefs is the reason why our chefs are our heroes.”

Below you can see a few behind-the-scenes shots, plus a sneak preview of the photography.

Think those pictures look appetising? Why not check out the draft video here.

 

Princess and King invite colleagues on a tour of the ship

When travelling with Princess Seaways and King Seaways on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route, colleagues can look forward to an invitation to a guided tour of the ship

Niels Ryslev, Commercial Head on Princess Seaways, came up with the idea. He says: “It’s always nice to have colleagues on board. Through this initiative, we wanted to ensure that our travelling colleagues have the best experience possible. During the summer many are travelling with their families, and visiting the bridge and other parts of the ferry can be quite interesting, especially for the kids. It’s also nice to get feedback from our colleagues on how we can ensure an even better experience for our guests.”

Janet Donaldson, Sales & Project Manager, went on the tour on board Princess and says: “We started our comprehensive tour of the bridge where I was given lots of information on the instruments, conditions at sea, weather and current forecasting tools and impacts of delayed departures on fuel costs etc. The tour also included behind-the-scenes areas which were fascinating to see, including crew mess, leisure areas and bakery. We also visited the main galley, bar areas, dog hotel and the brig (jail).

“It was so informative in terms of getting insight into how our colleagues work at sea. A huge thank you to Princess Seaways for a great initiative and such a warm welcome on board.”


The warm welcome message waiting for our colleagues in the cabins on board Princess and King

Strategy Days on the Newcastle – Amsterdam route

Pictured in IJmuiden terminal are: Andrew Meek; Jesper Christensen; Jean-Claude Charlo; Teun-Wim Leene; Chris Parker; Gemma Griffin; Steve Newberry; Kasper Moos; Wayne Bullen and Rianne Pels.

 

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week Kasper Moos and the BU Channel Management Team held their Team Strategy Days on the Newcastle – Amsterdam route.

Tuesday kicked off with a tour of the IJmuiden site including the terminal. It was wonderful to see so many colleagues not only those who are operationally part of the extended BU Channel Team but from BU Group Passenger Contact Centre and Marketing Teams.

After the site tour, we embarked on the beautiful King Seaways and availed of the fantastic meeting facilities in the private section of the North Sea Bistro Restaurant. Following our meeting we had an extensive tour of the vessel in all the commercial areas: front and back of house as well as the Bridge and the Engine room. It was just amazing to see how the passion and the professionalism drives the performance of this ship – it is a credit to all the officers and crew!


In the engine room onboard King Seaways.

A dinner hosted by the Senior Officers of King Seaways Captain Andreas Kristensen; Chief Engineer Henrik Fisker- Bjerg; First Engineer Claus Rasmussen and Commercial Head Jorn Vase gave Head Chef Dorte Slyngborg and team the opportunity to showcase their culinary talents as they gave us a taste of what’s to come from a new menu for North Sea Bistro.

Once we arrived in Newcastle we had a tour of the site and again had the opportunity to meet and greet lots of our colleagues including BU Group Passenger Contact Centre, Marketing and Sales teams.

It was a great couple of days said Kasper, not least by spending this quality time discussing BUC Strategy with the Senior team but also having the opportunity to network with so many of our colleague ship and shore.

A huge thanks to everyone that welcomed us and keep up the fantastic work that you are doing to create great experiences for our customers.

By Gemma Griffin, VP, HR & Crewing.

BU Channel celebrates reading and storytelling as part of World Book Day

Over the last weeks our British colleagues have promoted World Book Day, a charity that strive to encourage families to take time to share stories and promote the importance of reading for pleasure. It’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading.

As part of DFDS’ World Book Day campaign, Children and families from the UK, France, Netherlands and Germany participated in unique workshops facilitated by six enthusiastic British children book authors on board Côte Des Dunes and King Seaways.

Steve Garner, Customer Experience Manager for DFDS said: “We were delighted to be able to offer these engaging and interactive workshops during the busy February half-term. As a ferry operator, we recognise that families are given quality time they may not otherwise have when travelling by other modes of transport.”

Read a lot more about the two events on board Côte Des Dunes and King Seaways in the full press releases:
Eastern Channel event on board Côte Des Dunes

North Sea event on board King Seaways


Author Steve Cole ran a creative writing workshop, during which he taught children quick-and-easy ways to invent and grow story ideas

 


Award-winning novelist Gwyneth Rees shared some childhood experiences of writing stories and told the children about her first book, which she wrote at just 10 years old

 


Illustrator Lynne Chapman taught the children how to make illustrations simple, yet emotive and effective

 


Musician, poet, author and enthusiastic Miles Salter had the children on their feet and encouraged children to tell stories through acting and role play

King Seaways enjoys extensive overhaul and a new corporate livery

Time and wear always take their toll and it’s no different for ferries, which sometimes need a scrub and a new coat of paint, and in this case a fairly extensive renovation, modernisation and re-branding. Watch the video below to see a taste of the hard work that goes into making our ships look great.

In total more than 200 jobs were done while King Seaways was in dry dock recently at the Remontowa Ship Repair Yard in Gdansk, Poland, and re-branding was assuredly the most noticeable.

Over 24,000 m2 of painting was done inside and out, including the new DFDS brand colours and logo. Work was also completed on many other areas such as the underwater hull, renewal of steel, ballast tanks and piping. Additionally, Explorer’s Kitchen Restaurant was extended to add 100 seats, while new flooring was laid in the Navigator’s bar.

Workmen painting on the big DFDS letters. We don’t even know what font size this is

The BU Group Passenger brand marketing team employed a film crew near Gdansk who visited the shipyard on several occasions during drydock to capture the progress. The weather was a challenge on occasions, with painting of the exterior only able to take place when the weather was favourable. So, thanks to the crew who were often on standby and Mark Næstved who edited the film.

In the space of 12 days, King Seaways was reconditioned, refurbished and lovingly given a new lease of life. With thanks to Superintendent Claus Byder, who was responsible for the docking and works undertaken, and thanks also to the entire crew of King Seaways.

Main propellers shining after the overhaul

Following the works, King Seaways returned to her regular duties on the 15-hour Newcastle to IJmuiden route.

“We do love to share these time-lapse videos, they are a big trend on social media and a great way to show how much work goes into making our vessels look fantastic,” explained Catherine Jowett, Head of Brand Marketing, BU Group Passenger.

First day in dry dock. Ready to be worked on inside and out

The finished product: King Seaways looking sharp and wearing the new DFDS colours

Sharing the Valentine’s love in BU Channel

The #DFDSSURPRISES winner’s voucher brought smiles from coast to coast in BU Channel

 

The romantic day of love we call Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on 14 February in honour of the two early saints named Valentinus. The BU Channel team put their heads together on what they could do to celebrate the day.

Steve Garner, Customer Experience Manager of BU Channel, said “There was so much love in the air onboard and ashore and we could not let the day of love pass without sharing this with our wonderful customers. In Dover, Dunkirk and Calais our tickets offices were dressed in hearts and banners, and our customers enjoyed chocolates and Valentine’s sweets.”

20 lucky passengers were also selected at each of the three ports and given a #DFDSSURPRISES winner’s voucher – A real Valentine’s treat with complimentary lounge access and a meal for two, along with a rose and a box of chocolates.

The charming solo passenger Derek, aged 71 was overwhelmed at the surprise and caused quite a stir with fun and laughter together with Dover’s check-in team and their Customer Support Supervisor, Lenka Frycova

On Friday the sharing of love continued in Newcastle where the team also decorated the terminal in a Valentine’s theme, gave out chocolates to our passengers and upgraded four couples to a complimentary two course meal and a bottle of wine in the North Sea Bistro for their cruise between Newcastle and Amsterdam on board King Seaways.

Restaurant tables for the lucky passengers were set with rose confetti and a ‘love’ cracker, arranged by Jade Whitfield, Port Office Manager and Tamara Rebair, Port Supervisor from Newcastle

The channel overflowed with smiles from our excited winners, as did our social media with lots of sweet comments from our followers.

“Did cupid work his magic onboard Calais Seaways whilst sailing into the Channel sun? Or did he wait for King Seaways to cruise into the night dusk of the North Sea? Who can really say? This event was a great opportunity to give something back to our guests who appreciated the extra attention on both our Dover-France and Newcastle-Amsterdam routes,” added Steve.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Christmas voyage with Santa and Disney royalty

Earlier this month the BUGP marketing team joined forces with a local children’s charity in North East England ‘Cash for Kids’ who lends a hand to disabled and disadvantaged children from 0 to 18 and helps them enjoy the festive season. It may surprise you to know that one in four children in the UK will not receive a gift this year, so the marketing team wanted to give them a Christmas that they would not forget!

They hosted an exclusive ‘Sail with Santa’ event on Tuesday 4 December on board King Seaways, which saw 250 children and their families enjoy an opportunity to meet with Santa and attend a specially-arranged Christmas party. The ship arranged a fantastic buffet with amazing festive treats and the day was full of activities from dancing, writing letters to Santa, face-painting and getting to meet some real-life Disney Princesses. The event was complete when the real-life Santa and Mrs Claus brought gifts for all of the children.

Lisa Chenery, Campaign Manager UK says: “We’re delighted to partner with Cash for Kids and Metro Radio for our Sail with Santa event. We hope it will help spreading Christmas cheer and provide a fun day out for local youngsters and their families.

Special thanks need to be given to all of the staff onboard King Seaways, Jade Whitfield, Tamara Rebair, Joanne Parker, Anneliese Jobson, Chris Whitfield and James Cook for all their help on the day.”

2018: Best North Sea Sounds yet!

Level 42 playing North Sea Sounds

It’s been quite a November, with two sell-out North Sea Sounds shows on board King Seaways and Princess Seaways.

Level 42, a British funk-pop band, kicked the season off on 9 November with local northern group Smoove & Turrell as support acts, followed by 80s electronic pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who headlined the second event on 16 November, supported by Tiny Magnetic Pets.

Stephen House, Senior Campaign Manager UK, says: “It has taken us years to build up the credibility of this concept and I’m pleased that we can now land great headline acts such as Level 42 and OMD. It takes a lot of hard work from not only the marketing teams and crew onboard, but also from our dedicated Events Manager, Jen King. We’re looking forward to what next year will bring!”

Andy McClusky, one half of the duo band OMD, says: “This was a very enjoyable event. Great audience, well organised, and we were looked after impeccably.”

We reported earlier this year that the Level 42 gig was the fastest-selling North Sea Sounds ever, but that isn’t the only remarkable achievement this year. It was also the first time that we offered all-inclusive packages only, with evening meals and breakfast, which not only boosted total revenues, but also ensured that a large proportion of November’s pre-catering targets was met.

All staff came to make the weekend a success. Here back stage with Level 42: Jennifer King, Groups Reservations and Events Manager (UK), Jade Whitfield, Port Office Manager (UK), Joyce Dijkhuizen, Campaign Coordinator, and Yvette Eelman, Sales Operations, who are both based in the Netherlands.
“I would also like to mention Lisa Chenery, our Campaign Manager in the UK, who assisted with both events but is not pictured, and to thank all staff on board King and Princess who have worked very closely with us over the last few months to make the events a success,” says Jennifer King, Groups Reservations and Events Manager.

 

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark playing North Sea Sounds

DFDS UK Facebook Video – OMD

 

Smoove & Turrell playing North Sea Sounds

 

Robert Bately becomes DFDS’ youngest Commercial Head

The role of Commercial Head is a senior management position within our cruise ferry business and involves being a member of the route management with the overall commercial and catering responsibility. We have eight Commercial Heads on our four cruise ships, and the latest, as far as we are informed, is the youngest addition ever. Robert Bately, aged 32, joined King Seaways on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route last week.

Robert began his adventure in shipping in 2004 when he joined Norfolkline on the Eastern Channel as an assistant chef on the ferry Midnight Merchant and sailed on the Dover – Dunkerque route. From here Robert moved to Dover Seaways. In 2007 he was promoted to sous chef and moved to Delft Seaways, where he spent seven years in the role, after which he became the Head Chef on board Dunkerque Seaways. In 2016 Robert was promoted Business Leader, which was a significant change of roles.

In 2017, Robert was given the opportunity to join the DFDS Horizon programme and graduated earlier this year. He received the Customer Driven Award, which was one of the awards given to five of the 21 participants in Horizon.

We are very excited to welcome Robert to our management team on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route and I have no doubt that the crew on board will give him a warm welcome as well. In his daily work Robert will join forces with Commercial Head Jørn Vase.

Please help me in congratulating Robert on this great achievement.

Best regards

Teun Wim Leene, Route Director, Amsterdam – Newcastle

Training & Development initiates leadership training on cruise routes

Based on Project Starlight and the new organisational structure on board the cruise routes, which we reported on in May, Training & Development (T&D) has put together a tailor-made leadership training for all business leaders and floor managers on board the four vessels.

The purpose of the training is to ensure that all the new managers get the necessary tools and knowledge to support them in their managerial positions. The training also focuses on the importance of all leaders being coherent in their communication and ‘speaking the same language’, when it comes to business and employee management.

The training consists of five modules covering topics like change management, situational leadership, conflict management, feedback, coaching and the DISC-training based on personality tests. The first module was rolled out on 4 June and the second module during July. They were facilitated by Birgitte Kjærsgaard and Emma Nordström from T&D. The third T&D module is taking place during August, led by the external consultant Annelise Schäfer.

Kim Heiberg, Cruise Route Director says: “We revealed the new organization late May, and one of our priorities was and still is to guarantee that all the new managers receive the support needed and feel well equipped for their new positions. To make this a reality, the Training & Development team worked hard to create the leadership training in such a short time and I am excited to see the training being put to good use by all the managers and leaders. I really appreciate the hard work done by all managers onboard and Birgitte, Emma and Annelise – it hasn´t been an easy task prioritizing this training in the middle of high season and holiday period. “

Young Royal Navy officer on board DFDS ship

Sub-Lieutenant Henry Wright is on board King Seaways for some weeks to get acquainted with work on a civilian vessel

Over the last couple of weeks, the DFDS cruise ferry King Seaways sailing between IJmuiden and Newcastle has had the pleasure of the company of a young British naval officer. Sub-Lieutenant Henry Wright has been on board for some weeks to get acquainted with the work on board a civilian ship.

Henry Wright – who sailed along the British coast at the age of four with his father – decided to join the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer in 2016. He completed the initial officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in April 2017 and following further training, he is now on board our very own King for a few weeks as a part of the Royal Navy’s Merchant Navy Liaison Voyage scheme.

The programme is intended to enhance ties between the Royal Navy and the merchant navy whilst allowing Royal Navy officers to experience and gain insight into how the merchant navy operates.

“He has been well integrated into the routines on board. He is on night duty, participating in unloading the ship and he is also performing administrative tasks, for example in Sertica. It is a pleasure to have him on board, and I hope that he will have had some good experiences when he leaves us on 19 July,” says Ingimar Tór Thomsen, Captain.

IJmuiden Contact Centre study trip to Newcastle

Last week, six colleagues from the Contact Centre in IJmuiden went on a nice three-day trip to Newcastle. The purpose of this study trip was mainly to increase knowledge about the on-board facilities.

“We started the trip with a guided tour of King Seaways, including a bridge visit accompanied by Captain Ingimar Tór Thomsen. It is important for us to know about the facilities down to the last detail, so we can offer the right information to our customers,” says Claudia Zwanenburg, Senior Contact Centre Executive.

“Afterwards we had a walking tour through Newcastle city centre to see the sights. Additionally, we went to some of the hotels to get a first-hand glimpse of what we offer.”

At the end of the study trip, when our six colleagues thought that the trip was coming to an end, a pleasant surprise awaited them in the North Sea Bistro, as a delicious tasting was set up just for them to enjoy. Some examples of the tasty food can be seen below.

“It is so great that we can learn from each other while having a good time. Thanks to all the staff on board King Seaways for the fantastic service,” adds Claudia.

The Sertica Procurement roll-out reaches the next milestone

Picture from the training on Princess Seaways on 11 and 12 April. From the left: Johane Rebel, Morten Thomassen, Sylwia Pofelska, Paylo Cherniyenko, Laura Neimetaite (System Project Manager), Thomas Corfitzen (Purchasing manager), Anders Jørgensen.

 

The Sertica Procurement module, which handles orders from the requisition stage through to the approved invoice stage, was rolled out on all Baltic vessels last year. Now, the roll-out on the passenger vessels is progressing rapidly and with great success.

The most recent roll-out on King Seaways has been a smooth experience with great feedback: “Thomas Corfitzen and I have been on board King Seaways for two sessions to train about 40 staff members, who have all been very cooperative and eager to move to Sertica. They have already created their first 100 requisitions and they were all done correctly,” says Laura Neimetaite, System Project Manager.

For one thing, the implementation of Sertica means that Excel order handling in the Baltics has now been replaced by a digital system. The local procurement team (Zydrunas Martinavicius and Jurgita Martinkute) enjoyed the training and the roll-out, which was managed from Klaipeda.

Sertica will provide great transparency to the vessels’ cost and purchase patterns. This will ensure an improved strategic approach to the spend across DFDS. In addition, the system will add a level of control and compliance that was not feasible in the past.

“I want to thank Andrej Zamkovoj and Thomas Mørk, as well as the superintendents Claus Byder and Steen Haurum associated with the BU PAX roll-out, for the close collaboration on this project. In May 2018, all current DFDS vessels will be ordering via Sertica, and we can finally close down our very old procurement system PO Vessel, which is a benefit to everyone.The Sertica journey will continue. The system will be further developed in close collaboration with Finance, IT and TO to ensure that the user experience is continuously improved and new features are added,” says Pernille Hüls Dyrmose, General Manager, Operational Procurement.

Thomas Mørk, Vice President and Head of Technical Organisation, agrees: “The collaboration with Group Procurement on this project has been great, and I am looking forward to all vessels procuring through Sertica to reap all the benefits of standardised items and processes.

“Soon Workshops and Equipment Pools will purchase via Sertica as well, which is something that we are very much looking forward to,” adds Pernille, “and we are working closely with Christiaan van der Leest, who is the product owner for that part of our business.

 

Sertica training on Princess Seaways on 11 and 12 April 2018

Crew member injured on DFDS’ ferry King Seaways

A crew member on board King Seaways suffered an electric shock in a work-related incident this morning in IJmuiden.

The injured male crew member has been taken to hospital by the emergency services for medical treatment and care. “We  are happy to have been informed that he is now awake in the hospital where he is being treated for burns on his left hand – and the hospital should be one of best in Holland as regards burns,” says Captain Flemming Langballe.

Counselling and support will be offered to those who witnessed the incident or were otherwise involved.

The incident has been investigated by the Dutch police and will also be investigated by DFDS.   The Dutch Port State Control will visit the scene at 14:30 today and DFDS has also informed the Danish Maritime Authorities about the Incident.

 

 

Great start for new restaurant concepts on Amsterdam-Newcastle

As you may know, DFDS’ cruise ferries on the Amsterdam-Newcastle routes recently opened the Explorers Kitchen restaurant based on a new concept. The guests are offered a buffet which includes tapas as well as Burgers, sushi, pasta, grill specialties, fresh salad and delicious deserts. New is also the Bistro North Sea a la carte restaurant.

And the new concepts have already proven to be very popular.

“On Saturday 10 March, we reached the stunning amount of 876 guests. We believe it is a record for the Amsterdam-Newcastle route,” says Dorte Slynborg, Chef de cuisine on King Seaways. On that evening we saw UK event guests SKATOONS with 598 participants and 278 regular passengers dining on our buffet restaurant. Cooks, waiters & runners have all worked with dedication to make our new world buffet a success, and last weekend we saw the result of their efforts, says Dorte and her colleague Rafal Wojtaszak, Business Leader Food & Beverage.

And there was no less enthusiasm on Princess Seaways “Last Friday we set sail from Ijmuiden with 1064 guest on boards. 797 guest or 74.9% dined in Explorer’s Kitchen and in total 83% of all guest on board dined in either Explorer’s Kitchen or Bistro North Sea. During my 15 years I have never seen such numbers on a “normal Friday”. The atmosphere, the smiles, the many positive comments about the food, quality, selection, service in the restaurant were extremely nice and the team work from all crew on board in order to get all small and big things to succeed – were absolutely amazing, says Morten Thomassen, Business Leader Food & Beverage, Princess Seaways.


“All the positive energy and good ideas from the Food & Beverage workshop in May 2017 has become real and it felt fantastic. I’m confident this is just one of many records to be broken on King and Princess,” says Morten Thomassen.

BUGP Marketing Christmas game set to boost sales

Christmas is approaching fast and we’re getting into the spirit by offering our customers the chance to win prizes in a new online game.

Ferry Christmas was launched in the UK and Netherlands by the new BUGP Conversion marketing team this week. In the game Santa ditches his sleigh and needs the help of our customers to propel him along the Christmassy rooftops. If they score 2000 points they are entered into a prize draw to win a prize and access exclusive offers.

James Butler, Head of Conversion Marketing, said: “This is our first game in the new passenger organisation and we’re delighted to launch in the UK and Netherlands. Our games have been hugely successful, encouraging thousands of customers to try their luck and visit our website in the process. The Christmas period is another great opportunity to attract more visitors to our site using a fun concept that is also proven to boost online sales. Look out for more games across multiple languages and locations in 2018”

You can play the game here:

http://ferrychristmas.dfds.co.uk

or http://ferrychristmas.dfds.nl/

 

Pink lunch

Colleagues from Ijmuiden and King collected donations the fight against breast cancer by inviting guests for a lunch on board.

Last week colleagues from IJmuiden and King invited 50 guests on board for a free lunch, to raise awareness and collect donations for the Pink Ribbon, which is a way of raising money for the fight against breast cancer.

While everyone enjoyed a pink cocktail, the troubadour played some lovely music. Geeke Hengst, E-commerce Manager, gave a short presentation about local initiatives to support the fight against breast cancer, and the brand manager from Pink Ribbon also gave a short presentation about goals and projects. Thanks to the talented staff on board King, the guests enjoyed a successful, gourmet menu, with a dessert decorated with a pink ribbon.