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DFDS SEAWAYS: News & Updates

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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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Any customised ro pax would have to have substantially much more passenger facilities on offer than Stena Hollandica has. While her cabins are top of their game the choice and range of facilities does not match that of a cruise ferry product. 

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On 29/07/2018 at 18:29, tarbyonline said:

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.

Interesting. I'd say Mont St Michel is a well appointed RoPax I'd even go as far to say that Cap' Finistere offers a more comfortable cruising experience too. Cabins aside, both of the Harwich Stena's have a quite limited customer offer with the traveller walking around thinking "is that it?" especially when they've been eyeing the behemoth before them from the marshalling lanes for up to an hour. You get the feeling that the humble passenger is very much an afterthought.

1300 beds, bars, 3 styles of restaurant and 3000 lane metres... Mmm, where have I heard that before? Pity they don't fit.

Accompanied freight demand may well be high and being a Belfast enthusiast I can see your attraction of an enhanced and easier onward connection for those drivers heading from Cairnryan, it does make sense, but the facilities for the terminal at North Shields are no larger than Poole and Ijmuiden doesn't have any to speak of apart from the marshalling lanes with no chance of offering any more.

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4 hours ago, jonno said:

Interesting. I'd say Mont St Michel is a well appointed RoPax I'd even go as far to say that Cap' Finistere offers a more comfortable cruising experience too. Cabins aside, both of the Harwich Stena's have a quite limited customer offer with the traveller walking around thinking "is that it?" especially when they've been eyeing the behemoth before them from the marshalling lanes for up to an hour. You get the feeling that the humble passenger is very much an afterthought.

 1300 beds, bars, 3 styles of restaurant and 3000 lane metres... Mmm, where have I heard that before? Pity they don't fit.

Accompanied freight demand may well be high and being a Belfast enthusiast I can see your attraction of an enhanced and easier onward connection for those drivers heading from Cairnryan, it does make sense, but the facilities for the terminal at North Shields are no larger than Poole and Ijmuiden doesn't have any to speak of apart from the marshalling lanes with no chance of offering any more.

I'd go with that... 2 vessels similar to MSM would work really well in my view. Additional freighter capacity, while from what I can tell, only a slight decrease in passenger capacity.  

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Just been reading the latest Ferry Shipping Summit news email and I noted a brief statement that DFDS are approaching yards regarding new vessels for North Shields-Ijmuiden. Certainly good news, especially for those sceptics (such as myself) who thought route closure more likely.

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Very good news. Let's hope they follow through with an actual order. If they do, it will be the first planned order for a cruise ferry since 1978 built Dana Anglia. MS Scandinavia of 1982, 1994 built Crown of Scandinavia and Dana Sirena of 2003 don't count for reasons most people on this group will know.

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9 hours ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

https://www.dfds-news.com/featured/new-structure-for-cruise-ferries-and-passenger-sales/

 

a sign of things to come? More cargo oriented? Time will tell. 

As DFP took the time to post the link I took the time to read it. I rather wish I hadn't now. Aside from being rather confusing for non-experts the following phrase struck me as particularly strange:

'“In contrast to Copenhagen – Oslo, the Newcastle – Amsterdam route is primarily about transport to and from the UK.' 

Ed

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Yes they do like their corporate jargon at DFDS don't they 😂. But joking aside this does seem to indicate that they view the Ijmuiden route as a ro-pax operation rather than a fully-fledged cruise ferry route, so I would expect any new ships to underline this. I am surprised though that the minicruise business is not considered so important for the route in terms of revenue; clearly efforts to attract more motorists from the continent have paid off. Centralizing things at Dover is reminiscent of what P&O have done. 

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Princess Seaways is leaving North Shields for Holland at 21:30 rather than the normal 17:00 due to the weather. ETA of 16.30 too...Never sailed on her, but she seems to not handle the rough weather as well as King, all P & O North Sea sailings gone to time. Lumpy night out in the north sea tonight! 

Edited by Tumnus2010
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1 hour ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Princess Seaways is leaving North Shields for Holland at 21:30 rather than the normal 17:00 due to the weather. ETA of 16.30 too...Never sailed on her, but she seems to not handle the rough weather as well as King, all P & O North Sea sailings gone to time. Lumpy night out in the north sea tonight! 

Interesting. I've sailed on her in some rough weather, to Ijmuiden as well as Bergen, seemed to handle heavy seas okay to me but it is notable how often both she and the King need tugs, especially in Ijmuiden. It really doesn't have to be all that rough either. 

I'm no doubt in a minority of true nutters here but I'd really like to experience  a crossing like this if only to see more of the journey in daylight ;)

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I think @jonno has mentioned on here in another thread that space is very limited in ijmuiden, hence why tugs are often used. 

She's on her way now. 7.4 knots, will see how she picks up when she gets further south. The P & O and Stena line Humber southbound vessels are all doing around 17.5knots, it still seems a slow crossing to me, I know winds are strong up in the north east. 4.5 hrs late leaving but 6 -7 arriving, wonder if she has power issues, she's in dry dock early next year or maybe  it's purely weather related. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

I think @jonno has mentioned on here in another thread that space is very limited in ijmuiden, hence why tugs are often used.

It’s also a very flat stretch of coastline, and flat behind Ijmuiden as well, so nothing to break the wind and very exposed to winds from seaward for high-sided ships with large windage.

 

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I have just done a test booking on there website and the King is away during Jan and the Princess is away from Mid Feb with sailings every 2 days till almost end of March.

so does look like no other ship with do her cover which if true then does seem very odd indeed.

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Would be very interesting to find out more from DFDS Towers, maybe via Twitter.

Of course we see such things very often with BF for example, but very rarely on the Newc-Ij route.

Hopefully not a sign of things to come.

I do now believe that long-term they will replace the current vessels with e-flexers.

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Odd indeed. It's a similar length of crossing but otherwise I can't see any similarities between the two routes; one is a cruise-ferry operation and the other very much a freight-orientated service. Are DFDS really so short of tonnage that they need to transfer one of only four cruise-ferries, to what is essentially a freight route, for seven weeks? To reduce the Amsterdam service for such a long period, when it is allegedly enjoying good growth, would also be unprecedented. There must be more to this?

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47 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

I think it’s the only ice class ship they have available.

I don't know about Princess but King has a 1B classification rather than the 1A they tend to want on the Baltic. The Newcastle route has dropped to a one ship operation for 7 weeks before. I remember back in 2015 the service reduction was 49 days... end of December until the middle of February. DFP announced it in the first post of this thread.

The possible reason is that Regina Seaways needs a more thorough overhaul.

Originally DFDS planned to have BDS back early in order to return Regina to Grimaldi, I think it was around September that DFDS announced that they'd extended the charter hence why BF now have BDS for the full term.

Regina is a 1000 pax carrier with an A la Carte, self service and two bars, sound familiar to our Newcastle fans? She's one of the Courage Class which is an evolution of BDS. 

Edited by jonno

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But....they were built for the Baltic weren’t they?  I think they were built for Travemunde-Trelleborg.  So surely their ice classification would have been appropriate for the Baltic?

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Admittedly I don't know enough about the volumes carried on the Karlshamn-Klaipeda route but I was under the impression it was primarily a freight operation. I would have thought therefore that a freighter would do the job, especially as they have other alternative routes nearby. To move one of your biggest passenger-carrying ships to such a route seems a bit drastic, but clearly DFDS must know what they're doing...

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Sorry to say this but I would not put it past DFDS using this as a move to shoehorn permanently takeing Princess of the route, reduceing it to a one ferry operation prior to closure ending the Newc-Ij link.

Various websites and projects will be set up to bring it back - 'a la' Newc-Norway but it will never happen.

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