Passenger AND freight demand are by high on the Newcastle - Ijmuiden route, and so DFDS really need the existing passenger facilities and more vehicle deck space for accompanied freight.  Based on the Hull, killingholme and Harwich freight routes there is surely huge demand for driver accompanied space that isn’t served by DFDS roro ports.  Newcastle is key to that equation and more vehicle deck space is desirable.  Due to the nature of the route anything other than sister-ships or close matches simply won’t work, the passenger business is based around a consistent offer on both vessels. According to a post on the Ferries of Northern Europe yahoo group earlier this year, DFDS are actively designing new bespoke tonnage for the route.  As they are starting from scratch it’ll likely be at least 2021 before we see any new tonnage, hence the recent refits to the existing pair.  There’s no reason these new vessels couldn’t be particularly well appointed Ropax’s though - STENA HOLLANDICA and STENA BRITANNICA are of course Ropax’s for example, and few would criticise their passenger facilities.
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