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Andy

DFDS SEAWAYS: To continue Newhaven/Dieppe route

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Personally I think they're going to have to offer DFDS sweeter terms than they have at the moment if they're going to be interested in participating in a temporary extension of their involvement, having effectively already been told that they are not wanted. Transmanche cannot have its cake and eat it.

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DFDS being known for it's diplomacy, tact and willingness to work with the French to sort out disputes... :)

 

Having said that I cannot commend them enough for the Newhaven service though I'm not a fan of their Calais operation having used all three operators there. When we travelled in late Aug/Sep this year we opted for Newhaven because the extra cost over Calais was not huge once fuel and tolls were taken into account (we were heading for the South West of France). The port is a bit scruffy in Newhaven but they are apparently doing something about that. The service was excellent, and on the way back we were waved through a customs shed that was entirely unstaffed! I think this service could really prosper with a little adjustment to the sailing times and some better advertisment to the mainstream folks. Having said that though, both crossings we used seemed almost full with a good mix of families and couples.

 

A 4 hour crossing at 200 odd quid return definitely beats Dover/Calais at 100 odd quid plus all the stress of traffic, roads, and unexpected passengers! If you have an hour or so to kill waiting for the ferry French-side I thoroughly recommend a wander around Dieppe.

 

Hope they get things sorted for next year, because I'll be using it again.

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Yes, Newhaven is definitely the weak link of the Newhaven service. Let's hope the redevelopment of the port is something that actually happens - it's been talked about for eternity.

 

Any more word on what is going to happen with this service next year? Presumably still being thrashed through behind closed doors? If so that would imply to me that there is daylight between what Transmanche are prepared to offer and what will be enough to tempt DFDS to continue?

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It would be interesting to know what DFDS has against the route. If it is profitable for them (even if that profit comes from a state subsidy), why are they being so difficult about it?

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Not sure that it is profitable for them. Also, don't forget, DFDS did not choose to pull out. Transmanche told them they were no longer wanted and that they wanted to resume direct operational control. Can't blame DFDS for being a bit nonplussed when Transmanche then came back cap in hand to ask them to carry on for a little while longer before then not being wanted again. If I were DFDS in that situation I'd want to make sure bailing Transmanche out because they could not get their act together is something that would be worth my while.

Edited by Gareth

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Announced on December 11th that DFDS will operate the Newhaven to Dieppe service for a further two years. It will be interesting to see what colour scheme COTE D'ALBATRE comes back from Poland in.

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Interesting - will also be interesting to know what sort of terms they have managed to secure, including obligations to the route and limitations on use of the ships. And wonder how this might tie in with any options for Malo Seaways - any chance my Newhaven-Boulogne idea might come off? Would be surprised to see the CdA and 7S in anything other than Transmanche yellow livery though.

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I just read an article and it said that before 2018 DFDS will fit scrubbers to the vessels or convert to LNG, but it has not yet been confirmed. It also said that a major inside and outside refurb will take place very soon. I doubt CDA will come back in DFDS livery, SS is not so I doubt DFDS want to have 2 ships in diffrent liverys but stranger things have happened.

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I am sure that fleet utilisation would have been a major point in the discussions regarding the future of the route. Freight growth in 2015 was significant, and there is only limited space on the two current passenger ships. Could be a job for Malo Seaways but does she have internal ramps as both Newhaven and Dieppe are single level loading?

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Just reading through some recent articles on the Newhaven Dieppe saga, and it is stated that SMPAT, the administrators of the service, wish the route to be rebranded this year. I think a change of livery and the DFDS influence may be more likely than first thought.

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I paid £49 last year - less a 20% discount for wrinklies. It seemed to be a fairly standard fare at the time. That was for a single. Are these celebratory tickets returns, then?

 

Edit: Answering my own question ... No,, they're for singles.

Edited by droopsnout

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£169 return with a cabin each journey not bad but I still wouldn't use it would consider it if it was Portsmouth but not Newhaven.

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Have been on Côte d'Albâtre and Seven Sisters once each. Very pleasant sailings; I like the rather old-time feeling of the ships; and the crews were friendly and helpful. Last time, we had driven overnight through France and had booked a day cabin at very low cost. We like the route through southern England, too, as we head towards (or back from) the West Midlands or Lancashire on our visits. The big downside, though, is the M23/M25 past Gatwick and Heathrow.

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The M25 is the main actually probably the only reason I wouldn't use it, the M6 for 6 hours is bad enough to but to end or start a journey on that road is just a holiday spoiler.

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Yes, it's no fun, but I wouldn't let it stop me from using that ferry route. But then, when I use it, it's not for holidays.

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Have been on Côte d'Albâtre and Seven Sisters once each. Very pleasant sailings; I like the rather old-time feeling of the ships; and the crews were friendly and helpful. Last time, we had driven overnight through France and had booked a day cabin at very low cost. We like the route through southern England, too, as we head towards (or back from) the West Midlands or Lancashire on our visits. The big downside, though, is the M23/M25 past Gatwick and Heathrow.

 

I do quite like the ships too - very comfortable cabins. I perhaps wouldn't like to be onboard if/when they are rammed. My only negative memory is that the onboard catering left a lot to be desired the last time I was on one under the LD Lines banner from Boulogne to Dover.

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These two ships are entirely unsuited to the Dover Straits so not surprising that any experiences of them on Dover-Boulogne would be negative ones.

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I paid £49 last year - less a 20% discount for wrinklies. It seemed to be a fairly standard fare at the time. That was for a single. Are these celebratory tickets returns, then?

 

Edit: Answering my own question ... No,, they're for singles.

 

Paid less than that last year as well on standard ticket. £75 return in September for car and two.

 

 

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I do quite like the ships too - very comfortable cabins. I perhaps wouldn't like to be onboard if/when they are rammed. My only negative memory is that the onboard catering left a lot to be desired the last time I was on one under the LD Lines banner from Boulogne to Dover.

 

Went for a meal on LD on a Le Havre sailing (Norman spirit) and ended up with cheese and bread not much else to have, catering was dire.

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When I've used the route in the past it's usually been out on the 23:00 sailing from Newhaven and returning on the 18:00 from Dieppe so nicely avoiding M25 issues.

I've been a big fan of the route since I discovered it by chance after missing the old LD lines return from Le Harve one afternoon and remembered reading something about a ferry from Dieppe being open again on the old FONE Yahoo forum. Advertising didn't seem to be one of Transmanche strong points.

 

I agree with droopsnout about the rather old-time feeling of the ships I like that they have a different feel to them . Small ships, functional workhorses that plod back and forth without all the glamour and pazzam of the Pont Aven.

 

One of things they need to do is make use of the wasted "restaurant" area on the upper deck. Convert it to some basic cabin space or make it a "club" area or put some decent recliners beds there like they used to have on the Norman Spirit.

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DFDS has published on its website that there will be 3 sailings each way again during the high season. So would expect timetables to be similar to last year, and clearly both ships will be being used again in-season.

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