Welcome Côte d’Opale

Today, we welcome our newest addition to our fleet, Côte d’Opale, that was delivered to Stena and handed over to us six weeks ahead of schedule. We have signed a long-term charter agreement with Stena RoRo and the 216-metre-long ferry will become the longest ferry operating on the English Channel.  

To mark the delivery, a ceremony with representatives from Stena RoRo, DFDS and the shipyard was held on site and the ferry will soon embark on its maiden voyage to Europe where she will be set in service on the Dover – Calais route during the summer.

With capacity for 160 trailers and space for 1000 passengers and crew, the Côte d’Opale is a fine example of how we combine cargo and passenger traffic without compromising the onboard experience. Stena’s E-Flexer design has made it possible to adapt the ferry to the wishes associated with the short English Channel crossings.

Côte d’Opale will be able to offer our passengers a comfortable journey and an extraordinary shopping experience while accommodating growth and increasing operational efficiency. Due to the large capacity, energy consumption per trailer transported will be significantly decreased compared to Calais Seaways that will be replaced by Côte d’Opale.

Instead of cabins, there are extra-large areas so passengers can spread out, relax and enjoy the great onboard facilities. The bow and stern are especially designed to fit the quayside facilities in both ports, and in addition, it is equipped with a third bow thruster to facilitate the many daily manoeuvres in port.

Finally, I want to recognise the huge efforts of Jeppe Halkjær Pedersen as observer at the shipyard for the last couple of months. Recently, Jeppe was supplemented by three French crew members who also joined as observers after 23 days of quarantine. They have all done an incredible job. Thank you.

About the Côte d’Opale  

Length: 215.9 m

Draught: 6.6 m

Beam: 27.8 m

Capacity: 3100 lane meters + 120 trailers, 1000 passengers and crew

Newbuilding for the Baltics on sea trial

Just look at these fantastic photos of our newbuilding on sea trial.

As you might know, sea trials are conducted to test and validate the equipment and systems. At Guangzhou Shipyard International in China, it is customary to conduct two sea trials. The first sea trial is to test main functions, machinery, propulsion systems etc. The second is considered an acceptance trial, verifying that all systems are functional and that contractual speed requirements can be achieved. As seen in the pictures, the first sea trial happened before applying the final coating which will be done before the final sea trial.  

We look forward to seeing her in full DFDS livery and welcome her home to Europe later this year. It is certain that this beauty will get to create many fine experiences for our passengers when it is deployed in one of your Baltic routes. Thank you to Jens Monk Green Bro for sharing the pictures with us. 

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.

Q&A with Steve Newbery about Côte d’Opale

Côte d’Opale is our upcoming combined passenger and freight ferry that is destined for the Channel. It is currently under construction at the AVIC WEIHAI SHIPYARD CO LTD in China. With the launch getting closer, we thought we would catch up with our Onboard Commercial Director, Steve Newbery, to find out more about this ship which will be setting sail with us this summer.

What are you most excited about for the new Côte d’Opale ship? 

I’m excited about the impact it will make to our customers. With additional freight capacityspacious interior restaurants, new Duty Free shop and relaxation areas, it will be a fantastic ship for both our freight and leisure customers.

What makes this different to the Calais Seaways which she is replacing? 

The Côte d’Opale is much longer in length. In fact, it will be the longest ship on the channel, meaning freight capacity will be significantly improved. Plus, there will be plenty of room to relax, have a bite to eat and take in the sea air on deck. The Côte d’Opale has half the number of engines as Calais Seaways so will be much more environmentally friendly with improvements in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to the Calais Seaways. She will also offer a very smooth crossing with her active stabilisation.

What can passengers expect to find onboard? 

The Côte d’Opale will have the largest Duty Free retail space on the channel with 1100 square metres.  Our onboard shop will offer Duty Free savings of up to 50% on a range of premium perfumes, wines, spirits and more! 

It will also offer a choice of three restaurants with various dishes, some inspired by the Côte d’Opale region itself.  

As our ferries run 24 hours a day, there will also be dedicated spaces onboard for passengers to relax. Our Premium Lounge will offer an exclusive, laid back space for passengers to spend a peaceful crossing with scenic sea views and complimentary refreshments. But I think everyone will notice the relaxing space onboard available to enjoy the journey.  

Not forgetting our freight drivers, the Road Kings lounge will offer complimentary dining, showers and a place for drivers to rest.  It will be the largest Road Kings and provide everything our valued drivers need to relax and refresh.  

Describe the Côte d’Opale in three words. 

Spacious, modern and exciting.

When will the Côte d’Opale set sail? 

The Côte d’Opale will set sail this summer, just in time for those long-awaited summer holidays, and all the DFDS Channel team look forward to welcoming her.   

Steve Newbery

Rosslare – Dunkirk ferry route expands capacity

Photo by Jens Vinderslev.

On the 1st April, DFDS will introduce a fourth freight ferry to the successful direct ferry service between Rosslare Europort in Ireland and the Grand Port of Dunkerque in Northern France. 

The new freight ferry is DFDS’ “Ark Dania” with capacity of 188 truck units (including 12 driver accompanied units and 176 unaccompanied units/trailers). 

The direct service is favoured by haulage companies and industry alike, as it avoids the delays, border checks and complicated paperwork that come with using the UK as a land-bridge. Upon arrival in Dunkirk or Rosslare, the drivers are fully rested and can continue driving immediately to reach many major destinations within the rules for driving limits. 

Just after Brexit, the direct route between Rosslare and Dunkirk was launched on 2nd January with three ferries to offer a cost-efficient alternative for trade between Ireland and continental Europe. The additional capacity also gives customers an opportunity to grow their business post Brexit.  

Aidan Coffey, Route Director, says: Ark Dania is an important addition to the routeIt’s a very versatile ferry capable of carrying diverse types of cargoIwill also free up capacity on our three other ferries for more driver accompanied freight units”. 

We have strong demand from all sectors of industry looking to use the direct route to North Central Europe, as more and more realise the benefits of using the direct route compared to the UK land-bridge. 

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.

Scandia Seaways’ first day of work

Scandia SeawaysHollandia Seaways and Tulipa Seaways all caught in one shot at VlaardingenThank you to Paul Lammers for sharing. 

After a successful maiden voyage, Scandia Seaways arrived in Vlaardingen on 8 February. Since then, work has gone into preparing the 6,700 lane metre freight ferry for the day she hits the route. Yesterday, it was finally that day. A busy crew ensured a smooth loading and made her ready for her first sailing on our Rotterdam – Immingham route. 

Scandia Seaways took over from Humbria Seaways that will go to our Gothenburg – Ghent route.   

This marks a special milestone where all six mega freight ferries from Jinling Shipyard are in service throughout our route network.   

Please enjoy some great photos of Scandia in Vlaardingen shared by Paul Lammers, Route Operations Manager in Vlaardingen.

Fire on board Gallipoli Seaways

Update: *Fire suppressed and cooling started*

On 11 February, our freight ferry Gallipoli Seaways, sailing from the Pendik Port of Istanbul to the Trieste Port of Italy, was passing from the exit of Dardanelles Strait when a fire broke out in one of the vehicles on the main deck of the ship for reasons currently unknown.

The crew intervened immediately and the fire was taken under control. Rescuers and support vessels were informed and are currently escorting the vessel.

There were no injuries or casualties caused by the fire. In addition, there are no environmental leaks from the vessel and the cause of the fire is being investigated by the authorities.

On 12 February, some fires through out the morning have appeared in different units, however, it is under control and the fire fighter teams are continuing to extinguish with foam to spotted areas.

We are following the developments and fully cooperating with the authorities.

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.

Côte D’Opale vs Calais Seaways

A quick look at how the ferries compare with each other.

As we look forward to welcoming the Côte D’Opale this summer, here is a quick look at how she compares to the much-loved Calais Seaways which she will replace on our Dover to Calais route. 

Built in 1991 and upgraded in 2013, Calais Seaways is a familiar ship on the Channel routes. She has seen families embark on unforgettable summer holidays, couples set sail on memorable minibreaks and countless truck drivers bring vital supplies to our shoresUnfortunately she is reaching the end of her life and will be replaced with the Côte D’Opale. 

The familiar restaurants, Premium Lounge and children’s play area will all be available onboard, with a refreshed interior design. A brand-new Duty Free shop will be open too for our customers to browse and indulge in some retail therapy. We will also have our dedicated Road Kings area exclusively for truck drivers so they can enjoy a meal, a rest and a shower before their onward journey. 

The Côte D’Opale will boast more space onboard for customers to relax, refresh and refuel before their arrival in France and she will be more environmentally friendly too. Her diesel engines will use less fuel and her sleek hull design will drive two propellers that give the ship a service speed of 20-22 knots. 

Take a look at the specifications below to see how the two ships compare.  

Côte D’Opale well underway

This year we will welcome the Côte D’Opale into the Channel family and with just a few months to go until her maiden voyage, she is coming along nicely.

Construction started in May 2019 at the Avic Shipyard in Weihai, China, and there is just 15% of the build left until she is ready! Around 300 people are working on the ship to prepare her for the sea trials in May, after which the Côte D’Opale will be ready to welcome you onboard. With her 214 metres length and the capacity for 1000 passengers, she will be the longest ferry on the Channel and will welcome both freight and leisure passengers.  

The Côte D’Opale will have the largest retail space of all our channel ships stretching 1,100 square metres in an open plan conceptA large atrium with a bright skylight will be the centrepiece of the retail experience onboard. There will then be separate ‘wings’ for each product category including perfume & cosmetics, beer, wine & spirits and gifts & technology. Duty Free will add more excitement to the shopping experience, with huge savings on premium products available onboard. 

Steve Newbery, Onboard Commercial Director, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming the Côte D’Opale to our channel routes this summer and can’t wait to welcome customers onboard when it’s safe to do so. With shopping and dining experiences to rival large shopping centres or airports, the ship will offer more space, more choice, and a unique travel experience for our valued customers. 

Take a look at how our ship is shaping up and how our retail area onboard will look! Also see how she compares to Calais Seaways in this article.

The onboard shop will have a light, airy central atrium with a glass roof, which will flood the area with light. 

One section of the shop will be dedicated to beers, wines & spirits, with great savings on premium brands.  


A recent photo from the building yard shows the shop skylight being fitted.

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.

Rosslare – Dunkerque ferry route launched


Open for business: When Optima Seaways departed Rosslare Europort for Dunkerque on Saturday 2 January, it officially launched DFDS’ new Ireland-France freight ferry route. The route enables exporters and forwarders to keep their transport within the EU and avoid the customs formalities that apply to transport passing via the UK land bridge. 

At 14:00, on 2 January, the freight ferry Optima Seaways departed the Irish port of Rosslare for Dunkerque with more than 120 lorries and unaccompanied trailers, and drivers on board. This marked the official launch of DFDS’ new route between Rosslare in Ireland and Dunkerque in France. As pictured above, Optima Seaways successfully arrived in Dunkerque at 15:00 on Sunday 3 January. 

The route offers exporters and transport companies direct and paperless lorry transport between Ireland and other EU countries, reduced costs and less waiting time and the opportunity to avoid the customs procedures that now apply to transport via the UK land bridge. 

The route will be serviced by three efficient freight ferries able to hold up to 120 trucks and trailers. Drivers will be comfortably accommodated in their own COVID-19-safe cabins during the crossing. The two chartered ships Visby and Kerry, and DFDS’ own Optima Seaways, will sail on a fixed schedule of six weekly departures from each port. The sailing time will be just under 24 hours. 

“As well as offering a vital alternative to the UK land bridge for Irish industry, Dunkerque represents a key strategic location, with easy access to the Paris region, and close to the French-Belgian border and onward access to the Netherlands and Germany,” says Aidan Coffey, Route Director. 

“We are extremely pleased with the great interest we are experiencing from customers on both sides of the route. This means that the departures are already fully booked. I also want to express a big thank you to Rosslare Europort and the Port of Dunkerque for their great cooperation and support that has helped us get ready for operation in a very short time.” 

Further Information 

Aidan Coffey, Route Director, Email:, direct Line:    + 353  86 068 6495 

Gert Jakobsen, Communications, email:,  +45 24 40 00 43 


Ireland-France route ready

The three ships have arrived in Dunkerque for berth tests and supplies. First departure will be from Rosslare on 2 January.

DFDS’ new route between Ireland and France is getting ready for its first departure. In just a few days, on 2 January at 14:00 (Ire time), a fully booked Optima Seaways will set sail towards Dunkerque – only to be followed by an equally fully booked Kerry departing at 23:00 ex Rosslare on the same day, whilst Visby will depart from Dunkerque towards Rosslare at 23:00 CET.  Its all happening on Saturday.

Kerry arrived in Dunkerque on 27 December and both Visby and Optima Seaways on 28  December for berth tests and the obligatory EU-inspection, that is to ensure that the ships comply with EU regulation before they are allowed to start operating.

Optima Seaways and Kerry are currently en-route to Rosslare in preparation and standby.

In addition to this, the ships were busy taking on stores, with catering supplies for a DFDS branded service and other supplies needed.

Route Director Aidan Coffey has invited Irish TV and newsmagazines for Optima’s departure on Saturday and French and European TV and media for the arrival in Dunkerque on Sunday 3 January.

Due to Covid restrictions, in both Ireland and France, the launch will be a press only event.

Aidan is supported by the busy teams at Rosslare, Dunkerque and the Cork booking office in preparation for a successful launch.

The pictures show the ships after arrival in Dunkerque for inspection and provisions, some sent by Torben Carlsen CEO, who received the pictures of Visby from French photographer  Julien Carpentier, and some were sent to us by Aidan Coffey with the assistance of colleagues in Dunkerque. In the background you can also see DFDS’ Dover-Dunkerque vessels in the port that has developed Dunkerque, into a true DFDS hub.

Finlandia Seaways re-flagged

In November, we shared the news of a new agreement with the Danish military on providing ship capacities for sea transport of military equipment over the next six years. As a result of this, Finlandia Seaways would join the Ark cooperation and Ark Futura leave it.

Prior to joining the Ark fleet from 1 January 2021, Finlandia Seaways needed to reflag from the Lithuanian flag to the Danish flag. This was done today, on 18 December, at a ceremony where the crew of Finlandia Seaways hoisted the Danish flag for the first time.

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.

Ark-agreement causes fleet changes

We were recently able to post the great news that we had entered into a new agreement with the Danish military on providing ship capacities for sea transport of military equipment over the next six years (see the full article here).

We have often reported on the activities carried out by the Ark ships, not least by Ark Futura, and colleagues have asked whether this means that Ark Futura, which has been part of this cooperation for many years and participated in several exciting missions, will still be part of it.

The answer is no. “Ark Futura will leave the Ark cooperation during December 2020, and this has triggered a reshuffle in the fleet. This means that Magnolia Seaways and Finlandia Seaways will join the Ark fleet.

“To do so, Finlandia Seaways will be reflagged from the Lithuanian flag to the Danish flag from January 2021. The Lithuanian crew members will all be offered to continue as crew members on other Lithuania-flagged vessels as they will be replaced by Danish crew members on Finlandia,” he says.

Magnolia Seaways will enter the Ark fleet in 2022.

“There will be no further flag or crew changes and, as stated, all affected crew members will maintain their employment at DFDS – though on other ships.

“Fleet Management will now seek a solution for Ark Futura, which we will inform about as soon as we can. However, please notice that no crew member will lose his or her job as a result of this,” says Jesper Hartvig Nielsen, Head of ferry operations, equipment centre & terminal excellence, Fleet Management.

The ships that will be part of the Ark cooperation are thus Ark Dania, Ark Germania, Suecia Seaways, Magnolia Seaways, Britannia Seaways and Finlandia Seaways.

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.

DK Ships: No UK shore leave

Following the UK government’s UK entry restrictions for travelers from Denmark after the discovery of a mutated Coronavirus in mink, DFDS has been in contact with the UK authorities about how to handle the entry restrictions and keep everyone safe.

“This means that ships calling at UK ports from Danish ports and vessels calling at UK ports with seafarers onboard who are resident in Denmark, traveling from Denmark or transiting through Denmark can be regarded as ‘safe bubbles’ provided that they have had a negative COVID-19 test immediately prior to joining the vessel. With ‘safe bubbles’ the UK authorities mean that the vessel can call at UK ports. However, shore leave isn’t permitted in the UK for those ships, ” says Gemma Griffin, VP and Head of Global Crewing.

“I regret that we have to impose such restrictions on seafarers, but if local authorities due to public health reasons refuse disembarkation of seafarers, then seafarers simply cannot go ashore on shore leave. We will intensify the COVID-19 testing so that the risk of seafarers being infected when embarking the vessels is even further reduced. More information on the testing will be communicated by Crewing Department,” Gemma says.

There are no restrictions on shore leave for other ships or seafarers.

DK-UK sailings continue

New travel restrictions due to mutated coronavirus will not affect sailings on DFDS routes.

DFDS sailings on Esbjerg-Immingham and  Copenhagen-Frederikshavn-Oslo won’t be affected by the recent lockdown of Northern Jutland and tightened UK travel restrictions, which were decided after the Danish government informed about cases with a mutated coronavirus spreading from  mink to humans.

“The new restrictions apply to people only, and our cargo on the Esbjerg-Immingham route consists of unaccompanied trailers that can continue being transported as usual;” says Emma Leam-Saville, Agency Director, Immingham.

“The only exception will be that we can no longer accept the 12 drivers on the Esbjerg-Immingham route which we have been able to ship before. The driver accompanied units we have, will need to be changed to unaccompanied cargo.”

“No driver who has been in Denmark during the last 14 days will be allowed to enter the UK on any of our routes,” Emma says.

The Oslo-Frederikshavn- Copenhagen route will continue as usual with one ship.

We will inform about how this will affect crew changes as soon as possible.

Vlaardingen welcomes Flandria

A very welcome sight: the arrival of our fifth mega freight ferry, Flandria Seaways, which aroused strong feelings amongst both the crew and colleagues in Vlaardingen.

Following a successful maiden voyage, Captain Joakim Dahlberg and crew finally stepped ashore on European ground after a very prolonged stay in China that exceeded 100 days, most of which was spent in a Chinese hotel.

Our colleagues in Vlaardingen were ready to welcome the crew and to show their appreciation for this great feat of endurance and patience, and Torben Carlsen acknowledged this personally with a video greeting, a personal letter and a present, handed to the crew by Jacob Andersen, Managing Director in Vlaardingen.

Jacob says: “I am really proud to be able to welcome the fifth mega freight ferry, the second one to come to Vlaardingen, even though she will soon be leaving for her future service on the Gothenburg – Zeebrugge route. I also want to thank the crew for bringing her home, and I am certain that she will secure a competitive advantage and bring a major contribution to our customers’ growth.”

Torben’s video greeting to the crew of Flandria Seaways:

The crew reading the letter and watching the video greeting from Torben Carlsen:

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. 

Humbria and Ficaria at Fayard Shipyard

There are only a few certainties in life; that the sun will rise in east, lint in your pocket and that our good friend, Peter Therkildsen, is on the spot with his camera every time one of our ferries is near the Fayard Shipyard in Denmark.  

Peter has throughout many years shared numerous of great photowith us and we have recently received these outstanding ones of Ficaria Seaways and Humbria Seaways. Please enjoy, stay safe and have a great weekend. 

Ficaria Seaways

Humbria Seaways