Newbuilding for the Baltics soon ready for sea trials

A lot is happening at Guangzhou Shipyard International in China where our new combined freight and passenger ferry for the Baltic Sea is being built. On Friday 19 March, another milestone was reached as the inclining test was successfully carried out.

Steen Haurum, Site Manager, says: “An inclining test’s purpose is to establish the vessel’s centre of gravity. Since this is a crucial parameter when calculating stability, it is of course important that the value is accurate, which is why the vessel must be almost finished. This means that the hull must be finalized, and all major equipment installed.

Steen adds, “With the inclining test completed and interior well underway, we now we have another huge task ahead: commissioning of all onboard systems and finalization of the 230-metre-long ferry including sea trials”.

Impressions of the interior design 

The ferry will have capacity for 600 passengers and 270 trailers. Passengers can choose between standard and deluxe cabins.  Two new cabin types have been introduced – allergy friendly and family cabins. The 120 m² onboard shop is three times bigger than on current Baltic vessels.

Drivers can also look forward to their own buffet-restaurant with a lounge area, as the Road Kings brand is re-introduced on our Baltic Routes.

While the final look and feel is still months ahead, the interior design is already taking great shape. The first ship is expected to be completed in the second half of the summer.

Close to sea trials 
Captain Mindaugas Nosavičius, Mechanic Arvydas Maksimavičius and Second Mechanic Mantas Jokšas have left Lithuania and are currently on their way to the shipyard.

Captain Nosavičius, says: “One of the goals for this trip is to get acquainted with the ferry’s machinery, equipment and technology. We’llalso take part in the extensive sea trials which, if all goes well, should take place in the middle of April and last several days. These trials test speed, manoeuvrability, equipment and safety features.“

The trip to China is a challenge in itself. They will have to do eight Covid-19 tests and 21 days isolation in China.

They are planning to stay until mid-May and will be replaced by Captain Vytautas Valteras, Chief Mechanic Pavel Chandogin and Second Mechanic David Viršila.

Dining on board Côte d’Opale

As Chinese New Year fell on our production yard in Weihai earlier this month, those working on the Côte d’Opale got a well-deserved rest. They’ve earned it as their hard work has meant the ship is almost 90% complete. 

As one of the largest ships on the Channel, the Côte d’Opale is well equipped for post-covid travel. It will offer a choice of dining options with plenty of space to enjoy a meal onboard while socially distancing. 

Those who set sail on the Côte d’Opale will have the pleasure of an inclusive meal on every crossingFor light bites, the Lighthouse Café will offer sandwiches, bean-to-cup coffee and too good to resist cakes. A range of French dishes inspired by regional ingredients such as Magret de Canard and Tartiflette will be available in our 7 Seas restaurant. Alongside these, classic options for breakfast, lunch and dinner will also be available, with a special children’s menu.

For more exclusive experiencethe Premium Lounge is a relaxing space with complimentary refreshments, prosecco and stunning sea views. The Relax Lounge will be a haven for weary travellers, with personal pods for passengers to rest their heads on their journey. 

Not forgetting our freight drivers, the dedicated Road Kings Lounge will give drivers a filling meal and a place to rest while they take a break from their hard work. Our premium facilities for freight drivers also include hot showers and a quiet lounge for them to sleep while they sail. 

With sea-views, spacious seating and delicious dishes, we’re expecting the Côte d’Opale to be a hit! 

Read more about Côte d’Opale here.

The Lighthouse Café will offer a light, airy space to enjoy a bite to eat, with large windows offering sea views.

The 7 Seas restaurant will offer a range of hot and cold meals to enjoy at any time of day.

The Premium Lounge will offer comfortable seating, complimentary refreshments and 
a relaxed environment to spend a peaceful sailing.

What’s new, Scandia Seaways?

Alongside in Singapore during loading of stores, provision and bunkering on 16 January.

Captain Joakim Dahlberg and his crew are currently leading our newest mega freight ferry, Scandia Seaways, home to Europe.

With low bandwidth, they can sadly only share a limited amount during the voyage. Luckily, the captain has recently shared a little update and some photos showing some of the things that they are experiencing.

Please enjoy and thank you to Joakim for sending us pictures. We wish the captain and the entire crew a safe journey.

Sailing down the Yangtze river. Passing tanker Fure Vinga, delivered about the same time as Scandia Seaways. Our captain and crew shared quarantine hotel with its crew.

Dolphins passing Sri Lanka on 20 January.

Personal protective gear, and sandbags on the bridge in place prior to reaching the HRA – High Risk Area of Aden Bay.

Dawn in the Indian Ocean.

Security guards boarding from their accommodation vessel “Menkar” before we sail in to the “High risk area” around the Horn of Africa.

Interested in Scandia Seaways’ precise location? Click here.

Scandia Seaways departs from Jinling

Goodbye for now, Jinling Shipyard. After three and a half years, Scandia Seaways, the sixth and final mega freight ferry, could finally set course towards Singapore and afterwards Europe. This marks the conclusion of an extensive project that saw the delivery of Ephesus Seaways, Troy Seaways, Hollandia Seaways, Humbria Seaways, Flandria Seaways and now Scandia Seaways.

From left:  Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen, Frane Pilic and Michael Klysner.

Frane Pilic, who led our dedicated and fantastic site team supported by our own Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen and Michael Klysner were there to say farewell to Scandia Seaways and the crew. 

For close to five years, the management of this huge project has lied in the hands of Senior Project Manager Jens Peter Baltsersen. He says: It’s my pleasure to confirm that after a successful flag change Saturday afternoon as well as the completion of the last tests and bunkering, Scandia Seaways left the Jinling Shipyard Sunday morning at 09.58.”

“Captain Joakim Dahlberg, Chief Engineer Mads Jonsen and crew are now heading towards Singapore to pick up onboard stores, provision and spare parts. After that they will continue to Europe through the Suez Canal. I wish them a great and safe journey.” 

From the flag change ceremony.

Delivery of Scandia Seaways

By Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding & Major Conversions.

This month it is five years ago we visited the Jinling Shipyard for the very first time where we initiated the discussions on our mega freight ferry project. That was the beginning of a long journey between the yard and DFDS.

Today, on 6 January, we have taken delivery of the sixth and final ferry in the series named Scandia Seaways. Our crew will now take the vessel home to “our” waters, where she will join three of her sisters and be put into service in our North Sea network. Therefore, this will also be a goodbye to Jinling Shipyard, but maybe followed by a “see you again” another time. This project marked the first time DFDS built vessels in China on our own. We have gathered huge experience and knowledge on how to execute shipbuilding projects in China including both “do’s and don’t’s” and also some lessons learned. All this will contribute to us being very well prepared next time. However, even though we are now finished at Jinling Shipyard, it is not at all goodbye to China. We have still three ferries under construction, i.e. the COTE D’OPALE on the shipyard in Weihai and two Ro-Pax’es for Baltic Sea on GSI in Guangzhou.

Successful but different delivery
On site we had Jeppe and Michael in place together with the shipyard. Ole Færge, Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Jens Peter Baltsersen and Jesper Aagesen joined the closing meeting via Teams. Taking delivery of ships via a computer screen is not exactly the same as being on site, but these days this is what is possible. However, we are looking forward to visit China again as soon as possible.

From today’s closing meeting and signing ceremony.

Thank you
Last but not at least I would like to express my sincere thanks to our great site team on Jinling Shipyard for their huge efforts during the construction since the production start in August 2017. It has not at all been an easy job and you have from time to time had to navigate in troubled waters. Most of the site team members came from the external company OSM and did a great and dedicated job on behalf of DFDS. Furthermore, we have had Jeppe H. Pedersen and Michael Klysner based at Jinling Shipyard since 2017 and they have in cooperation with Senior Project Manager Jens Peter Baltsersen and the project team in Copenhagen also done a fantastic job throughout the project with the highest degree of enthusiasm.

The journey home begins
Our crew arrived to China in December and had to take 14 days of hotel quarantine, but all were out of quarantine before New Year. In the coming days the crew will make the ferry ready for the delivery voyage (via Singapore) and a flag change from China to Denmark will also take place. We expect the ferry to leave the shipyard by the end of this week and are looking forward to welcoming here in Northern Europe in beginning of February.

Sixth mega freight ferry on sea trial

Winter has come to Jinling Shipyard in China, but the biting cold will not prevent the site team from ensuring that we get a brand-new ferry in the beginning of next year.
With a snow-covered weather deck, the sixth and final mega freight ferry departed from the shipyard for sea trial this morning at 07:15 local time. This is the last sea trial in the massive Jinling newbuilding project that consisted of an order of six new 6,700 lane metre freight ferries with the capacity for 450 trailers.
Under realistic conditions, the site team together with Peter Kornum, Michael Kristiansen and Stefan Börgesson fromDFDS will evaluate and oversee performance regarding speed, maneuverability, equipment, systems, and safety to ensure that everything is operating normally before delivery.
She is expected to return to the shipyard on 19 December.
Thank you to Jens Peter Baltsersen, Senior Project Manager, for sharing the picture of the mega freight ferry on the Yangtze River.

Successful launch of new ro-pax for the Baltics

Friday the 13th is considered a unlucky day in Western superstition. Fortunately this is not the case in China. So despite of the date we were confident that the launch of our second ro-pax newbuilding for the Baltics at the Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) would be a success story.

The launching ceremony took place at 10:30AM local time in China under a beautiful blue sky with participation from our good site team as can be seen from the pictures.

“Leading to the launching, thew site team was very busy getting everything in place and assist the yard in ensuring a good level of quality for the last below-waterline welding seams, hull surface protection jobs and painting of the ballast and void tanks,” says  Jacob Johannesen, Deputy project Manager.

“The hull will now be towed to the outfitting pier and GSI shipyard will be working in parallel on both ships where machinery and onboard systems will be finalized, cabins put onboard and public spaces built.”

DFDS ordered the two combined freight and passenger ferries for our Baltic route network in  2018. They are  230 metres long and will each have a capacity of 4,500 lane metres for trucks and cars, and with their 250 passenger cabins and large, comfortable public areas, the ships will offer a new state-of-the-art travel experience for passengers crossing the Baltic Sea.

Flandria passes through Suez Canal

This weekFlandria Seaways and her crew sailed through the long and busy Suez Canal on their way from China to EuropeThis 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 sealevel 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 vesselsTheir 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 voyagesFour 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. 

Welcome to Flandria Seaways

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.

Combined freight and passenger ferry for the Baltics launched in China

Today on 31 August, we reached another milestone in our newbuilding programme. The first of our two 4500 lane metre combined freight and passenger ferries was launched on Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) in China. They are both set to operate on the Baltic routes.

It is 13 months ago the first steel plate was cut and in January 2020 the keel was laid. Now the ferry has arrived in its right element – water. Basically, the hull is now welded, and underwater paint jobs have been finalized, engines, propellers, rudders, fin stabilizers and scrubbers have been installed. In the next phase the extensive outfitting work will take place including installation of 312 cabins (hereof 62 crew cabins) as well as outfitting of the public areas. Furthermore, all systems to be tested and commissioned. 

It is with great pleasure to see the progress now 2½ years after the contract was signed. Furthermore, it shall be noted that this is the first passenger ferry ordered by DFDS in 40 years, so it is really a milestone for us. 

Christian Simon Nielsen, Project Manager, says: After many hours of hard work, it is incredibly satisfying for the entire project team to finally see the ship afloat. We were very much looking forward to celebrating this major milestone in China, together with our colleagues from the site team and with representatives from the shipyard. Instead we must enjoy the pictures from a distance 

Steen Haurum, Site Manager, saysHere at GSI, China, we have looked forward to this very exciting and important milestone. All 20 members of the site team have worked hard and consistently to achieve this. This launching will notably make space in the dock for the mega block erection of the second vessel. 

Jesper Aagesen
Director, Newbuilding & Major Conversions

See the ferry escorted out of the dock by the tugboats.

Fantastic photos of the first newbuilding for the Baltics

Fantastic shots capturing the very busy shipyard and our first combined freight and passenger ferry that is well underway. Thank you to Christian Simon Nielsen for sharing the photos. 

While some of us have enjoyed summer vacation, the site team and construction crew at the shipyard in Guangzhou in China have worked hard to get our first combined freight and passenger ferry ready for launching. This is the first out of two ferries from the Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI). The ferries will each have a capacity of 4,500 lane metres and will be able to carry 600 passengers. They are set to operate on the Baltic routes.

Christian Simon Nielsen, Project Manager, says: “Despite very hot temperatures up to 35-40 degrees, the assembly of the hull is progressing at remarkable speed and you can already see the shape of the 230m long vessel as shown on the pictures.“

“We are now looking to add the few remaining blocks and proceed to do a lot of welding, painting, and mounting of rudders and propellers, so the ferry is ready for launching in early Autumn” says Christian.

“Our site team is in great spirit. Due to travel restrictions they have stayed within China during their summer holiday and have experienced remarkable things like living in tent huts at Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan Province, trekking in the Yellow Mountains in Anhui Province, exploring the cultural sights of West Lake, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province and relaxing at the beach on Hainan Island. Thank you to Steen Haurum, Morten Fenger and Jens Monk Green Bro for sharing some of their holiday photos that you can see below”.

Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan Province

Yellow Mountains in Anhui Province

West Lake, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province

The beach on Hainan Island

Newbuilding for the Baltics on first float

Our first combined freight and passenger ferry newbuilding for the Baltics is currently erected to 7 mega blocks with a total weight of 4775 tonnes.

Jacob Johannesen, Deputy Project Manager, says, “With one third of the vessel’s structure now assembled in the dry-dock at the shipyard GSI in China, there are still some work to do before the traditional launching which normally marks the first time the vessel feels water below the keel.

“However, due to the launching and move of a tanker located in the same dry-dock, our newbuilding had a float before the real launching and had to be waterborne a bit earlier than usual. As you can see on the pictures, she is not shaped like a complete ferry yet, still she certainly floats like one. The vessel is now securely back dry on the keel blocks. Thank you to Steen Haurum, Site Manager, for the great pictures.”

When the 230 metres long and 4,500 lane metres newbuilding is assembled and completed, she will have capacity for 270 trailers and 600 passengers.

Côte d’Opale destined for Dover-Calais now launched in China

Côte d’Opale feeling water under the hull for the first time as she was launched today in China.

Today, we can share another newbuilding milestone, that might especially excite our colleagues from the Channel. Côte d’Opale, the 3,100 lane metres newbuilding, destined for our Dover-Calais service, was successfully launched at the shipyard in Weihai – more than one month earlier than planned.

Stena RoRo will be the owner and DFDS will take her on a 10-year bareboat charter immediately after delivery that is scheduled on 30 June 2021 as per original plan.

Kasper Moos, VP and Head of BU Short Routes & Passenger, says: “With her 214 metres length and the capacity for 1000 passengers, Côte d’Opale will be the longest ferry on the Channel.“

“Contrary to the other ferries in the series of eight ordered by Stena, Côte d’Opale has no passenger cabins due to the short crossing time on The Channel. The extra capacity will optimise the customer experience with additional amenities ensuring passengers will have plenty of space to relax, try modern food concepts and enjoy an extensive shopping experience. I am very much looking forward to presenting Côte d’Opale to our customers and see how she will help strengthen and grow our business on the Channel”

Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding and Major Conversions, says: “Senior Site Superintendent Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen, who also oversees the construction of the mega freight ferries from Jinling Shipyard, attended the ceremony to represent DFDS and get a good look at ‘our’ coming ferry.”

Now the construction of the ferry will continue with all the outfitting works of the accommodation and facilities.

Now that Côte d’Opale looks like a real DFDS ferry on the outside, it is time for the installation of furnishings, interior spaces and other equipment and systems.

Mega freight ferry ready for launching

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:

A tour on Humbria Seaways

Humbria Seaways offers the capacity for 450 trailers making her the largest ferry in the fleet alongside her sisters. The mega freight ferries are so large that if you feel like taking a nice walk on every lane on every deck, you will cover impressive 6.7 kilometres.

In the video above, you can take a walk on board, however, we skip the lanes and make do with the decks as Oliver Blach, Marine Engineer, invites us on a tour on board Humbria to showcase the five cargo decks and the rarely seen engine room as you can see in the video below.

Please enjoy the videos and a huge thank you to Oliver for sharing them with us.

Humbria engine room tour

Keel laid for newbuilding for the Baltics

Representatives of the shipyard, Lloyd’s Register and DFDS.

With the Chinese shipyards starting construction again, Newbuilding & Major Conversions is happy to share yet another significant milestone marking the start of construction and birth of the ship. Today, on 23 April 2020, the keel was laid for the second combined freight and passenger ferry destined for the Baltic.

Steen Haurum from DFDS concludes the signing with a fist bump together with representatives of Guangzhou Shipyard International and Lloyd’s Register.

Despite safety precautions due to Covid-19, the ceremony went as planned. After the signing of the keel laying documents, Jens Monk Bro and Morten Fenger placed the ceremonial coin under the keel to bless and honor the ship symbolizing good fortune just as the tradition describes.

Jens Monk Bro, Project Engineer & Chief Officer, and Morten Fenger, Project Engineer & Chief Officer.

The Jubilee coin used for this ceremony was released in memory of the wedding between his Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Elizabeth Donaldson on May 14, 2004. The coin is designed by sculptor Jacques Raes and will follow the vessel for good luck during the countless journeys on sea.

The ceremonial coin

This is the second of two ferries being built at GSI shipyard in Guangzhou in south China. Both are planned to replace tonnage in-between Karlshamn in Sweden and Klaipeda in Lithuania. The 230-metre long ferry will have capacity for 4500 lane metre freight and 600 passengers.

Technical Organisation and Newbuilding & Major Conversions to stay with Ferry Division

Organisation: The Technical Organisation and Newbuilding & Major Conversions are now permanently placed in the Ferry Division under Peder Gellert, EVP.

When Henrik Holck left DFDS last year, the Technical Organisation and Newbuilding & Major Conversions were moved to the Ferry Division as an interim solution. However, the experiences have been good and now it has been decided to make this solution permanent. This means that Thomas Mørk, VP and Head of Technical Organisation, will continue to report to Peder Gellert as will Jesper Aagesen, Head of Newbuilding & Major Conversions.

“It has proven to be an excellent structure in spite of the more commercial nature of ferry. After all, reliability is a main parametre for our customers, and reliability of ships very much depends on their technical performance. At the same time, developing and constructing new ships is about offering the best solutions for our customers and meeting their requirements,” says Peder Gellert.

“Fleet Management that is a link between the technical and commercial departments is already part of the Ferry Division. And luckily, my own lack of technical expertise is more than compensated for by Thomas Mørk and Jesper Aagesen who are both extremely skilled and knowledgeable and supported by very skilled and motivated people in their organisations. I welcome Thomas and Jesper and their staff as permanent members of the Ferry Division and look forward to continuing working with them to provide the ships and services our customers need,” Peder says.

Marine standards to Torben Carlsen
At the same time, it has been decided to place Marine Standards directly under Torben Carlsen. “Michael Stig who is Director of Marine Standards already reports to Torben in his role as designated person. And furthermore, Marine standard should not be part of the organisation it will be auditing for its safety and security procedures,” Peder says.

Michael Stig will in the future report to Torben Carlsen, both as designated person and as Director of Marine Standards.

Welcome Humbria, farewell Fionia

Photo taken from the bridge of Selandia Seaways with Humbria Seaways on the left. Thank you to Paul Lammers for the picture.

On Sunday 02.02.2020, Humbria Seaways and crew arrived safely in Vlaardingen prior to her maiden voyage that, back in early January, started at the Jinling Shipyard in China. This is our fourth homebound voyage from the shipyard and this time Captain Kim Carlsson and his crew had the responsibility to go on the long journey and bring our newest ferry home. Below you can see some of the pictures taken by Kim during the voyage.

Jacob Andersen, Route Director, says: “I was very happy to welcome Humbria Seaways, Captain Kim Carlsson and crew to Vlaardingen – a great moment I have been looking forward to. We are now preparing Humbria for service to accommodate our customers with extra capacity, in line with market demand. I am certain that everybody involved will work hard ensuring a successful deployment. This will affect both Fionia Seaways and Tulipa Seaways that no longer will be needed as Humbria’s capacity is large enough to cover the capacity of both ferries.

This means that our charter of Fionia will come to an end and she will return back to her owner together with the crew. We thank the crew for their great work and efforts during their time in DFDS.

Pictures from the Suez Canal:

Pictures from the trait of Gibraltar:

Mega freight ferries protected against pirates

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.

Keel laying of newbuilding for the Baltics

Our newbuilding projects in China reached milestone after milestone in 2019 and it seems to move in the same direction in 2020. Just last week the fourth mega freight ferry from Jinling Shipyard was delivered to us. Today, on 13 January, the keel was laid for the first out of two combined freight and passenger newbuildings from Guangzhou Shipyard in South China.

The keel laying ceremony celebrates the startup of the construction in the drydock and birth of the ship. It was held in the drydock, where the construction will be in progress until she is ready for the launch.

Steen Haurum, Site Manager, attended the ceremony and per tradition placed the coin under the keel to bless and honor the ship with good fortune.

Steen says: “For this special occasion, we used the Royal Coin that was released in memory of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik’s wedding with Miss Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, now Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, in May 14, 2004.
The coin is designed by sculptor Karin Lorenzen and when the ferry is delivered, it will be showcased in the mess onboard always following the ferry for good luck on the many journeys to come.

Congratulations and thank you to the site team in Guangzhou. Now I am really looking forward to continue the construction with the site team and construction crew who will certainly deliver a superb ferry to our colleagues in the Baltics.”

The 230-metre long ferry is set to arrive in 2021. It will have capacity for 4500 lane metre freight and 600 passengers.


As you can see in the background of the pictures, the first block is now in place in the drydock. It won’t be long before further blocks are added so you can see the ferry take shape. Pictures include LR Senior Surveyor Robert Mallet, DFDS Site Manager Steen Haurum, GSI Production Manager Li Huilun.

Fourth mega freight ferry delivered

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.

Jesper Aagesen
Director, Newbuilding & Major Conversions

Newbuildings quiz – what do you know?

With brand-new ferries completed and deployed in the DFDS route network, Newbuildings & Major Conversions can look back at a truly amazing year as well as look forward to a new year that will see the last three mega freight ferries finalised, delivered and deployed.

Our colleagues in Newbuildings & Major Conversions will have no problem remembering all the past events of 2019 regarding our newbuildings in China, but how much do you remember?

Compete with your colleagues and participate in our Newbuildings & Major Conversions quiz to test your knowledge and get the chance to win a nice box of chocolates. You can take a look around the Bridge, if you need help.

Click here to take the quiz. To participate, you must be an employee of DFDS.

If you have any questions, please send an email to (correct answers will not be provided).

Please note that the quiz does not work with Internet Explorer.

Baltic newbuildings visualised

We are currently constructing two combined freight and passenger ferries at the Guangzhou Shipyard International. They will be deployed in the first and second half of 2021 to support growth in the Baltic region. New pictures visualise the ships.

Some 10,000 tons of steel has already been cut for our first combined freight and passenger newbuilding and it is now being welded together. However, if you can’t wait to see what she will look like, help is near.

Christian Simon Nielsen, Project Manager, has kindly shared some great 3D renderings of the design, which you can enjoy here.

With their capacity for 4,500 lane metres of freight and 600 passengers, the newbuilds are designed to accommodate future growth. With the two tall exhaust pipes and the grand front consisting of passenger cabins and large, comfortable public areas, the 230-metre ferries will quickly be a well-known and popular part of our passengers’ journey when crossing the Baltic Sea.

Christian says: “Our colleagues from the site team in China have worked hard during start-up of the construction and now they will go on a well-deserved Christmas holiday. When the new year starts, they will be back to celebrate the most important milestone in the beginning of the construction phase, the keel-laying ceremony which will take place in January.”

Hollandia Seaways arrives in Europe

It is a great pleasure to share that Captain Thomas Stephensen and the crew have safely brought our newest mega freight ferry home to Europe. Read his last report summarising a succesful maiden voyage.

So yesterday we did arrive at the anchorage just outside the entrance to the port of Rotterdam. We are very close to have finished this very long voyage from China to Gothenburg. We have sailed nearly 15000 nm (27,780 km), that is more than half way around the world.

It has been a fantastic voyage for the entire crew.  We have had some very intense periods and we have had the most spectacular sceneries and sunsets and sunrises. We have seen seals, rays, dolphins, whales, sharks and the most intense blue coloured ocean. You only see this really deep blue colour when you have some kilometers of water under the keel.

The ship have performed very well indeed. Off course we have seen some faults throughout the vessel, however nothing that could not be dealt with. It seems like the vessel is performing very well in rough conditions also. We have seen waves and swells up to at least 5 meters and I cannot remember anything being spilt anywhere.

Tommorrow morning we will heave up the anchor and head towards the pilotstation.

Captain Thomas Stephensen