Project Starlight: Eight fundamental work streams

In February, DFDS launched Project Starlight – a new development project to enhance customer satisfaction, job satisfaction and results for our two cruise routes, Amsterdam – Newcastle and Copenhagen – Oslo. And in the past month, the project group has been busy identifying the eight important work streams, and they have now been established.


These eight important work streams will be the foundation of Project Starlight

“With the work streams in place, we are now ready to go into the next stage of the project. From today, project team and work stream owners will visit the ships to gather information in collaboration with the crew via individual interviews, group interviews and idea generation sessions. Some data will also be collected via our databases, the Bearing 2017 satisfaction survey, and sales and performance indicators. We expect that this will give us a detailed overview of how we can change the way we work to improve our business,” says Kasper Damgaard, VP of Training & Development. Today, he will go on a voyage on Pearl together with Therese Jönsson and Emma Nordström, and soon they will also go on a voyage on Crown.


Workshops across land and sea

Tomorrow and Wednesday, a shop strategy workshop will take place on Amsterdam – Newcastle. Lotte Weaver and Peter Holleufer from On-Board Sales will participate to gather input for the future strategy to increase shop turnover and ensure the optimal organisation is set up covering land and sea. A similar workshop will be held on Copenhagen – Oslo on 13 and 14 March.

“The collaboration between land and sea is extremely important to make a difference with project Starlight. We are very focused on utilising the joint competencies and resources, and that means that all relevant stakeholders will be participating in work stream meetings and workshops. At certain points we will also bring in special resources with specific competencies and a deeper knowledge to include all perspectives and possibilities. All work stream owners and project teams have a dedicated focus on the project, and I am confident that this project will help us move and grow in a new direction,” says Henrik Holck, EVP People & Ships.


Rotation of Commercial Heads

In order to prepare the routes and have the best possible teams on all four ships, a rotation of Commercial Heads will take place within the next two weeks.

“We want to ensure that we get the most out of Project Starlight on both routes and we are confident that with this rotation we will utilise competencies and experience in the best possible way,” says Kim Heiberg, Director of Cruise Route Management and member of the project team.

Teun Wim Leene, Route Director, says: “It is very important that we have a balanced focus on both routes. We still have a lot to work on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route, and we find the new pairings very well suited for the future. We are looking forward to making progress with our transformation.”

The passenger ships’ Commercial Head after the rotation are:

King          Jørn Vase and Rene Juul (an interim solution until Rene is back, will be announced shortly)

Princess   Niels Ryslev and Mikael Milling

Pearl        Jacob Bentzen and Brian Blixt Jacobsen

Crown      Kamilla Kammer and Kent Vildbæk

“Congratulations to Brian Blixt in his new position as Commercial Head. In a strong field of applicants, he was the one chosen for the vacant position, and we are sure he will contribute massively to achieving our targets going forward,” says Kim Heiberg.


Project Starlight and BU Group Passenger

“It is crucial that our colleagues in the Global Passenger Agency are taking part in the Starlight project, as we are dependent on their delivery of volume, seafare/carfare and not least by their ability to generate presold catering before showing up at the Terminals. We will reach out to GPA in several workstreams to ensure knowledge sharing and alignment between us when implementing the changes and to ensure we have the storytelling in place across the business,” says Kim Heiberg.



The project’s timeline is short, as the aim is to be as ready as possible for the upcoming peak season in 2018.

We will of course keep you updated on the developments.



March 5, 2018