Ferry changes in the Baltics

To gear up in the Northern Baltics and manage capacity more efficiently in the Baltics, the newly returned Sirena Seaways embarked on her first sailing on her new route between Paldiski – Kapellskär taking over from Optima Seaways that was repositioned to Klaipėda-Karlshamn.

Additionally, as M/S Sailor’s charter agreement will soon expire, Patria Seaways will take over Sailor‘s schedule for the Paldiski-Hanko and Paldiski- Kapellskär routes, starting from Week 28.

Rene Pärt, Baltic Sales & Partnership Manager, says, “We are establishing ourselves in the Northern Baltic Sea region by changing both of our vessels in Estonia with bigger and better ones to continue servicing our wide customer base on Paldiski-Kapellskär.

“Swapping ferries inbetween routes involve complex processes, from crew changes and adjusting onboard concepts as well as complying to a different set of requirements when calling various ports” says Robertas Kogelis, Baltic Onboard Sales Director.

“The Customer Care teams completed several adjustments to customer bookings within a short span of time. I am very proud how our teams in Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden, including colleagues on our ferries, Baltic Onboard and Crewing departments, handled these changes.”

The new setup provides more flexible tonnage opportunities for our freight customers on the Klaipėda-Karlshamn route and with Patria and Sirena sailing from Paldiski, they will ensure an efficient mix of passenger and freight capacity in the Northern Baltic. This will surely accommodate the growing demand in the region while delivering consistent service to our guests on board”.

Optima Seaways will operate on the Klaipėda-Karlshamn route

Patria Seaways will take over Sailor‘s schedule for the Paldiski-Hanko and Paldiski- Kapellskär routes, starting from Week 28. 

Rebranding of BU MED vessels nears completion

You might remember Hasan Goler, Operations Superintendent, striking gold as he came up with the idea for renaming the BU Med fleet. It was to be after the Turkish UNESCO world heritage sites as part of a comprehensive rebranding.

Gemak Group at the Gemak Shipyard has been carrying out the rebranding that will finish at the end of June. BU Med will then be able to proudly present a fully rebranded fleet in DFDS livery and with new, unique names.

Cemil Bayulgen will be the last of the 12 ferries to be rebranded. She will be named Galata Seaways (formerly Cemil Bayulgen). Other names combined with ‘Seaways’ include: Cappadocia (UND Atilim), Olympos (UND Birlik), Assos (Saffet Ulusoy), Artemis (UN Marmara), Aspendos (UN Pendik), Dardanelles (UN Trieste), Zeugma (UN Akdeniz), Sumela (UN Karadeniz), Myra (Cunet Solakoglu), Gallipolli (UND Ege) and Pergamon (UN Istanbul).

Lars Hoffmann, Vice President and Head of BU Mediterranean, says: “This shows how far we have come in making UN RoRo an integral and essential part of DFDS. I am very happy to present a fleet that customers and the public can associate with DFDS and with names that mean something to the local communities in the Mediterranean, as well as being well-known internationally.”

Kemal Bozkurt, VP of Operations in BU Med, says: “The rebranding of the UN RoRo fleet was one of the main pillars in the integration plan. The plan has a comprehensive scope involving major areas that need to be integrated and aligned such as in Finance, Procurement, Sales, Operations, Technical Organisation, HR, Digital, Marketing and IT.

“Even though it has been a challenge, everyone involved has embraced the purpose to learn from the DFDS way of doing business while respecting and adapting to the local culture. This has truly resulted in the creation of a unique DFDS company culture.

“Now we are almost at the final step of a process that will end the UN RoRo era with the last vessel in the Turkish fleet to be rebranded.”


Most of the rebranded vessels from the BU Med fleet. Artemis, Pergamon, Olympos and Galata are missing.

Belgia and Gothia Seaways get new 110-tonne ramp

Belgia Seaways and Gothia Seaways are having a movable ramp installed while dry-docked in Poland. The delivery of the 90 tonne ramp for Belgia took place on 2 June, and as the picture shows, it was no small operation. The ramp will connect Decks 2 and 3, and enable the ship to load Deck 3 via the normal aft ramp. 

Superintendents Nicolai Andersen, Igor Kastanov, Igor Fokin and Chief Engineer Brian Bering Pedersen are busy with an impressive ramp-building task at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

“We are having a movable ramp installed on Belgia Seaways and Gothia Seaways . The ramp will function both as a weathertight deck and a driving ramp between Decks 2 and 3. With this, all decks can be loaded via the normal aft ramp instead of via an external ramp for Deck 3. This means that the ship can use other berths that do not have the equipment for external loading of the upper deck. And as it is a movable ramp, we lose very little space for cargo,” says Nicolai Andersen who is Project Manager.

The project includes cutting one large hole of 60 x 5 metres and removing about 80 tonnes of steel, and installing some 110 tonnes of new steel and 90 tonnes of new ramp and equipment.

“I need to thank Igor Fokin & Igor Kastanov for at the same time handling a regular 20-year dry-docking of the ships while they are docked,” says Nicolai.

“I also need to extend warm thanks to Brian B Pedersen. He lives in Poland and therefore – being very flexible and agile – was able to join the project almost instantly at the end of March, in spite of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 being implemented in Poland. Normally, Brian is on Ark Futura and he left home for his normal tour of duty, without knowing he would be deeply engaged in this project. In my opinion this is the real ‘Yes we will’ attitude of DFDS.”

It was a spectacular view on 2 June when the ramp was delivered for Belgia Seaways.

Côte d’Opale 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:

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

All ships sounded their horns for seafarers

Updated with more video clips!

As you can hear in the videos recorded by colleagues on our ships, DFDS ships joined the International Chamber of Shipping’s initiative to sound the horns today on 1 May to recognise the contributions and sacrifices of our seafarers during the pandemic.
See the article here.

Big, bigger, biggest

Three ship classes in one picture. Ark Germania, Humbria Seaways and Ficaria Seaways each represents a class and size of ships. The picture was taken in Immingham by Captain Lars Skjold-Hansen

Captain Lars Skjold-Hansen has been so kind to share a photo of three of our Ro-Ro ferries in Immingham.


These three ferries represent each one Ro-Ro-series of different sizes and lay-out.

• This means the ARK-class with three cargo decks and a capacity of 3000 lanemeters, a length of 200 m and breadth of 30 m.
• The Flower-class with four cargo decks and a capacity of 4650 lanemeters, a length of 230 m (for the four ferries having been lengthened, the remaining two are 200 m) and a breadth of 26.5 m.
• Finally, in the middle the Jinling-Class with five cargo decks and a capacity of 6700 lanemeters, a length of 237 m and a breadth of 33 m.

On the photo you can clearly see the difference in size between the three ferries. Even though their “outer” dimensions are not so different, it can easily be seen that the Jinling-ferry is so much bigger than the other two with more than double capacity of the ARK GERMANIA and more than 40 % compared to FICARIA. Adding some meters to the length, an additional cargo deck and 1-2 trailer lanes on each deck in the breadth matters in the end.

HUMBRIA SEAWAYS is the fourth of our newbuildings from Jinling Shipyard. The sea trial for our fifth newbuilding from Jinling has just been completed successfully and is also expected to join our North Sea network.

Thanks to Lars for sharing the photos.

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.

Fuel cell testing moves forward on Ark Germania

Fuel cell testing now moves forward. DFDS has received funding for upgrades to Ark Germania to test fuel cell technologies with partners


At DFDS we are excited about new technologies becoming available for shipping, and we are increasing our involvement in testing, among other things, fuel cells with partnered companies.

Jakob Steffensen, Head of Innovation and Partnerships, says: “Dedicating one of our ships to be a sailing test platform comes with many expenses. We are happy to now say that we have received funding from the Danish Maritime Fund to upgrade Ark Germania to become a large scale fuel cell test vessel for the blue Denmark.”

The development of fuel cells that run on, for example, hydrogen, methanol or ammonia, requires significant investments and testing at scale. This is to to reach the required reliability and cost effectiveness, in order to supplement or replace fossil fuels to propel and power ships.

The zero-emission challenge for shipping companies

Danish and international shipping companies have a big challenge in implementing new technologies in order to deliver reductions in emissions that meet customers and society’s desires for zero-emission shipping. The producers of fuel cell technology are currently not focused enough on the maritime world for this to happen, which is why DFDS and the Blue Denmark collective have made efforts to channel cross sector experience and dedicated projects into realised partnerships.

“We at DFDS can provide fuel cell projects with that scale and a real maritime environment to test in. With this funding we can now begin working with our partners to realise the potential we believe there is in fuel cell technology,” says Jakob.

Expected results

“On Ark Germania we upgrade the electrical infrastructure to allow for testing of up to 1MW fuel cells. Our partners install their equipment in containers that we place on the weather deck, plugged into the ship and their fuel sources. The testing of new battery technology, supercapacitors and detailed analysis of all this also becomes possible.”

“The testing made possible will enable cost-effective live tests for the fuel cell manufacturers and should prove valuable for both DFDS and the Blue Denmark as a whole. Gaining familiarity with fuel cells will help speed up the development of maritime zero-emission fuel technologies, and we hope this inspires further innovation partnerships to give our industry hands-on experience with the new sustainable fuels. With this setup we make it more attractive for businesses to focus on maritime uses of green energy technology, so we can reach our ambitions of developing zero-emission ships,” Jakob adds.

Eco-friendly ballast water on DFDS’ ships

Watch this video showing the installation of a new ballast water treatment system on Regina Seaways. Enjoy a tour of the 3D model environment and a time-lapse series of the yard installation.

As you may know, water is used as ballast on board ships to maintain safe operating conditions during a voyage by improving stability, reducing stress on the hull, and improving propulsion efficiency.

Last year, DFDS initiated a programme for installing ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) on all vessels in our fleet in order to support the marine environment and to comply with the international convention on ballast water management. The system prevents the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species through the use of ballast water on ships operating across different regions. This is done mechanically, using a combination of filtration and UV radiation to render the organisms non-viable.

For the last six months, the project team has been busy clarifying the batch 2020 ships’ system capacity needs, developing the new ship specific documentation, obtaining required approvals from the maritime authorities and planning the yard installations.

Jacob Johannesen, Project Manager & Naval Architect, Newbuilding & Major Conversions, says: “It is a challenging task to install the system with all its auxiliary components in an already-crowded machinery area. DFDS has teamed up with a design facility that uses a 3D scan of the relevant spaces to model the installation in a point cloud environment. This helps reduce the margin of error in the design and the installation time required.”

Five BWTS installations already in place

During the first two months of 2020, five BWTS installations have been made: Côte des Flandres, Regina Seaways, Dunkerque Seaways, Delft Seaways and Seven Sisters now all clean the water thoroughly before sending it back into the sea.

“Many colleagues within the organisation are involved with the programme during the different phases. However, a special thank-you must go to our good colleagues in Technical Organisation who are ensuring timely installations at the yard,” says Jacob.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “Supporting the marine environment is part of our CSR strategy, and the installation of BWTS is an important part of this. It’s great to see how this is actually brought to life, both with the 3D simulation and the time-lapse film. Thank you to the team for sharing this with us.”

The programme will continue until end of 2024.

Humbria Seaways named in Vlaardingen

The moment where Pernille Andersen gave the name to our newest addition to the fleet. Thank you to Mirit Bisholt for sharing the video with us.

Ever since the six mega ferries were ordered from the Chinese Jinling Shipyard, our colleagues in Vlaardingen have been looking forward to welcoming and presenting one of them to our customers and the local community.

Today was the day, and the occasion was celebrated. With wishes of fair winds and safe journeys, godmother Pernille Andersen officially named our fourth mega ferry Humbria Seaways.

On the naming platform, Pernille released the ceremonial champagne bottle that immediately shattered against the hull, and this was followed by the Danish and Dutch national anthems playing in the background.

Pernille was accompanied by Torben Carlsen and Jacob Andersen, Jacob’s daughter, Victoria and Captain Orpheus Kekus and Captain Kim Carlsson, who had safely delivered Humbria from China to Europe.

Both Torben and Jacob welcomed everyone to Vlaardingen and made speeches to celebrate the event, the ship and the many customers and official guests who had come for the ceremony.

After the naming, guests were invited to a lunch which was introduced by Ralph Bosveld.

In Torben’s speech at the lunch, he took a little moment to review the history of our ships’ growth in size which naturally follows the growth in trade. He spoke about how we with new technology, customers and partners take our responsibility for the climate seriously in the longer term, and he mentioned our preparations for future customs formalities.

Finally, Pernille Andersen presented Captain Kim Carlsson with the memorial coin that was placed under the keel of the ship when it was built. According to tradition, this is done for good luck to the crew and ship at sea.

The whole event concluded with a tour of Humbria Seaways.

Torben Carlsen, Pernille Andersen, Kim Carlsson and Orpheus Kekus

Godmother Pernille Andersen

Smiles and applauding as the champagne bottle smashed against the hull naming Humbria Seaways

Guests and colleagues had the opportunity to feel the overwhelming size of Humbria Seaways

Getting a first-hand impression of the bridge onboard Humbria Seaways

Dunkerque refitted with a brand-new lounge

Artist impression of the new Horizon restaurant on board Dunkerque Seaways. The restaurant is already popular on ferries sailing on the Dover – Calais route.

With many customers travelling long distances, the chance to relax is a very welcoming part of the customer experience. From today on, passengers can look forward to a peaceful and quiet journey in the new Relax Lounge. As shown on the picture below, the lounge has chairs built into an airline style pod for extra privacy, complimented by soft lighting for the perfect stress-free environment. While children can enjoy other activities and facilities on board, the Relax Lounge will only be accessible for passengers over 16.

Artist impression of the new relax lounge on board Dunkerque Seaways

The new fully refurbished Premium Lounge areas now have comfortable lounge furniture and modern décor to provide luxurious and peaceful surroundings. This private lounge is open 24 hours a day and is available for all ages. Passengers can enjoy complimentary glass of Prosecco, snacks and pastries, hot and cold refreshments and hot food available from the Premium Lounge menu.

Artist impression of the refurbished Premium Lounge area

With the success of the Horizon restaurant on the Dover to Calais routes, the refit also includes this restaurant being installed on all three ships on the Dover to Dunkirk route. Here guests can enjoy a selection of freshly cooked pizzas, pasta dishes and healthy salads.

Artist impression of the new Horizon restaurant

Passengers will also benefit from new bathroom facilities throughout the ship and can now enjoy watching a spot of television in the Lighthouse Café, with newly installed TVs as an additional feature.

Steve Newbery, Onboard Commercial Director for BU Short Routes and Passenger at DFDS said: “This is a very exciting refit programme and continues on from last year’s successes with our Lighthouse Café. It also demonstrates our commitment to continuously improve the passenger experience. Dunkerque Seaways will be the first of the three ships on the Dover to Dunkirk route to receive a number of new looks as part of a £3.9m investment. The two other ships, Delft Seaways and Dover Seaways will be refitted from 1st March and the end of March respectively.

“We believe the improvements will help our passengers relax even more and give them the best possible start to their onward journeys. Many of the changes are in response to ideas and suggestions from our customers, so I am looking forward to the feedback from our passengers.”

Ficaria Seaways in Storm Ciara

Captain Lars Skjold-Hansen has shared some impressive pictures of Ficaria Seaways during Storm Ciara.

Lars says: “This weekend powerful supercharged Storm Ciara brought massive waves and mighty tail wind to Ficaria Seaways and accelerated our crossing time to only 23 hours 40 minutes, making it probably a new record for the fastest crossing ever on Immingham-Gothenburg. Sailing normally scheduled to 27 hours. Thank you to the crew for a phenomenal job done.”

See the new-look Crown

Crown Seaways has returned to her usual route, Copenhagen – Oslo, after a month in dry dock at Fayard Shipyard in Denmark. During docking, the cruise ferry’s facilities were renovated. A new shore-power system and a scrubber were also installed, as we shared with you last week.

This week, Route Director Kim Heiberg invited colleagues on board to gain a first-hand impression of the improved and updated facilities that we will be offering our passengers travelling on the cruise route.

Kim says: “I am very happy with the new look on board Crown. This is the result of hard work from every colleague on board, and fantastic cooperation with Technical Organisation and Procurement. With these improvements, we wanted to make a clearer distinction between the ways the various restaurants and bars differ from one another, as they each offer a unique atmosphere, and I think we have succeeded in doing so. Now both our cruise ferries are sailing with a fresh, updated look that will undoubtedly create a better travel experience for our customers.”

Please take a look the pictures below showcasing some of the new, updated looks on board the cruise ferry, and kindly provided by Christofer Adolfsson.

The buffet restaurant Seven Seas now has a new look for the buffet, with a better display and greater flexibility to improve the dining experience.

In Sjø, the installation of a new noise-reducing wall will ensure a cosier atmosphere, and the look and feel of a gourmet restaurant.

Refreshing and reupholstered sofas and chairs have made the Columbus Nightclub and Sky Club bars look modern and welcoming.

The conference areas have also been updated with a new look.

In addition to the above updating work, improvements and refreshed looks have also carried out to the standard commodore cabins, a new VIP Euro Room, the on-board shop, Wine Bar and Little Italy, as well as the Explorer Steakhouse.

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

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.”

DFDS tests aluminium sail concept

An interesting take on wind-power made by Econowind has now been installed on Lysbris Seaways for testing.


A metal sail in a box is a novel concept, but it could be a solution to save fuel and emissions for shipping by utilising the power of the wind that nearly all ships once relied on.

The prototype seen in the video above was installed on the deck of Lysbris Seaways on Wednesday 13 November in Amsterdam. What Dutch company Econowind has created is a foldable aluminium sail concept that sits on the deck of a vessel. It comes in a 40-foot container and is a far cry from historic sail designs, as two metallic 10-metre foils, or wings, fold out with the press of a button.

The design and software let the wings move to optimally catch the wind and help propel the vessel forward. Just last week the company received the Dutch Maritime Innovation award for the Econowind unit, which shows promise from earlier testing.

Poul Woodall, Director of Environment, and Vidar Karlsen, Managing Director in Norway, signed the agreement in September for the collaboration with Econowind and Green Shipping Programme (Grønt Skipsfartsprogram or GSP), a Norwegian programme for research into, and development of, green shipping solutions. GSP delivers a theoretical modelling of historic weather data, consumption, routes and more that we use for testing.

Vidar says: “Lysbris Seaways is perfect for testing such a concept. In theory it looks like a good idea, but we need to see if the estimated fuel savings are realistic for this type of vessel. We are going to measure fuel consumption with the sail and get a picture of the efficiency gained over time compared to the regular numbers.”

“The finalised design works automatically, meaning you can open the container from the bridge and open the sail, but for the prototype it’s a bit more hands-on with manual controls and a service engineer present to operate the system. After a successful installation we are now looking forward to seeing the outcome of the two months of testing,” Vidar adds.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “With projects like this we take responsibility for developing new energy sources and methods of propulsion that can take us towards cleaner ships and eventually zero emission shipping. We are therefore extremely grateful for initiatives such as this taken on by Vidar and his team.”

Real-life presentation of interior design for Baltic newbuildings

Here is how the Ro-Pax ships will look on the inside.


We now see that the steel and piping production is really picking up in for our freight and passenger newbuilding project in Guangzhou, China. And this week, we passed an important milestone with the first inspection of the so-called mock-up of the accommodation.

A Mock-up is a full scale model of parts of the accommodation built up at the shipyard using the real materials. This enables the owner (in this case DFDS) to inspect the accommodation design in “real life”. Even with use of computer animations, advanced computer programs etc., nothing beats a ”look and feel” experience.

The mock-up is being built and outfitted by the shipyard and the accommodation suppliers in cooperation so we can evaluate the design and make necessary corrections for the items not living up to our expectations. Furthermore, the mock-up will serve as quality and workmanship reference during the construction. This means that if things aren’t done to our satisfaction, we can refer to the mock-up. Therefore, a mock-up is an important “tool” and will be kept on the shipyard during the entire construction process.

Representatives from BU Baltic, Brand and of course Newbuilding & Major Conversions, were present at the mock-up inspection along with the external interior architect company Steen Friis Design from Copenhagen.

It went well, and only few things need to be changed. As the yard and the accommodation supplier have been extremely busy preparing the mock-up on time and have worked almost 24 h per day up to the mock-up inspection, we had some doubt whether they could finish on time. But they did, and they were ready for the inspection.

The photos will give you an impression of the looks of our new great Ro-Pax ferries, but please remember: It is only the first mock-up so there will be changes, and you will have to wait and see the final result. But we are confident you won’t be disappointed.

Site team to grow

Manning on the site team will also be gradually increased over the coming months in line with production picking up. Currently, there are 10 persons on the site team including Steen Haurum, Jens Monk and Morten Fenger from DFDS, and the other site team members from OSM.

Jesper Aagesen, Director of Newbuilding & Major Conversions

See more photos below:

Hello from Hollandia

Beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean

Hollandia is currently sailing in the Angola Basin in the Atlantic Ocean. Captain Thomas Stephensen is bringing our newest, mega freight ferry home to the North Sea, and has shared some photos from the voyage.

Thomas says: “Hollandia is still performing very well, and we have an ETA alongside Vulcaanhaven of Friday 22 November. This morning we changed the main engine; however, we will continue sailing on one main engine. It is still rolling quite a bit and swells keep coming in from the south-west. The ocean is not particularly busy and we have only seen three ships in the last 24 hours.

“When everything goes according to plan, and the vessel is operating impeccably, there is naturally some downtime during the long voyage to Europe. Luckily, we have some very creative colleagues on board, and that really starts to show when they have too much time on their hands.

As can be seen in the pictures, they have found ways to use all the leftover materials that were delivered in Singapore, even the packaging! And with some quick thinking, we now have a unique set of outside furniture with which we can relax while enjoying the fresh sea breeze and the stunning sunsets.”

Thank you to Captain Thomas Stephensen for the pictures and update. We will have to make do with a picture of that beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

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.