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DFDS SEAWAYS: News & Updates

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Are both King and Princess scheduled for dry-docking in the new year? Sorry If I missed this elsewhere.

I doubt they're planning to close or scale back the route this time (for a change), it's clearly an operational decision. Hopefully the logic behind it will become clearer soon...

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7 hours ago, Gareth said:

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?

I've just checked King Seaways on a RINA print off I have, her last survey was done at Ijmuiden January '18, she's definitely 1B. Maybe that's why they've opted for Princess as the work BF had done lowered her classification? I know the Gulfs of Finland and Bothnia ice over quite spectacularly although I think the more southern routes to the north German coast don't.

I need to dig out my laptop as it has my passwords for  bureau veritas/Veristar then I can check them all.

Edited by jonno
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I've read that DFDS' current CEO Niels Smedegaard is standing down at the end of April. I wonder if this will mean any kind of change in direction for the company?

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I am new in the forum here so I couldn’t read through all the pages.

A good friend of mine told me King/Princess Seaways are going to be replaced on the Ijmuiden-Newcastle itinerary this year. Two second-hand-ships are told to be operating on this route.

Does anyone have an idea which ships will be the ones to sail? Further does anyone have more concrete information?

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2 hours ago, shipfriend said:

I am new in the forum here so I couldn’t read through all the pages.

A good friend of mine told me King/Princess Seaways are going to be replaced on the Ijmuiden-Newcastle itinerary this year. Two second-hand-ships are told to be operating on this route.

Does anyone have an idea which ships will be the ones to sail? Further does anyone have more concrete information?

Nothing decided at the moment but there are talks about replacements/newbuilds. If they are replacement vessels, it will not be until around June 2020. However, if these are newbuilds, it will most likely be 2023.

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8 hours ago, shipfriend said:

I am new in the forum here so I couldn’t read through all the pages.

A good friend of mine told me King/Princess Seaways are going to be replaced on the Ijmuiden-Newcastle itinerary this year. Two second-hand-ships are told to be operating on this route.

Does anyone have an idea which ships will be the ones to sail? Further does anyone have more concrete information?

These rumours have been circulating for the last 3/4 even 5 years and I have heard them on-board myself on the King Seaways back in 2016.

The fact that so much money has been spent on refurbishing them would indicate to me that DFDS intend to operate them for the near future.

It would be very hard to find 2 similar vessels out there that offer the mini cruise offer that the two current vessels provide as there actually is not a lot of relatively modern tonnage available at all! Also as stated earlier any possible new build would only be in 2023 at the earliest.

Quibz.

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Unless they have their eye on a suitable pair of ships in the Baltic or the Med. (can anyone think of any which might be available for the right price?) then as has been said I think it most likely the current ships will be around for a while yet. They suit the route well and incidentally I think look very smart in the latest colour scheme.

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32 minutes ago, Ryan_H said:

Unless they have their eye on a suitable pair of ships in the Baltic or the Med. (can anyone think of any which might be available for the right price?) then as has been said I think it most likely the current ships will be around for a while yet. They suit the route well and incidentally I think look very smart in the latest colour scheme.

Are Suprema/Superba still thought to be available to the right bidder? (Although I doubt they'd be affordable or suitable).

 

If DFDS are looking around, it must mean they have big/urgent plans for the current pair somewhere, whilst they aren't young I would have thought they would easily last the duration until a pair of new builds arrived.

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What's so special about her that has got you all worked up like that? 😀 

I don't know if I ever travelled on her, and if I did I failed to notice I'm afraid. Perhaps BF will have to develop a second sub-brand called 'vintage' just for VdL and Bretagne. Ed. 

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4 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

What's so special about her that has got you all worked up like that? 😀 

I don't know if I ever travelled on her, and if I did I failed to notice I'm afraid. Perhaps BF will have to develop a second sub-brand called 'vintage' just for VdL and Bretagne. Ed. 

I'd be first in the queue!

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4 hours ago, penguin said:

Are Suprema/Superba still thought to be available to the right bidder? (Although I doubt they'd be affordable or suitable).

GNV's ships are always up for sale, a bit like getting a surveyor in just to see what your house is worth. They wouldn't fit Ijmuiden, the swing is tighter than St Malo or Ouistreham especially with the water taxi under the bow when they're on the berth an there's not much quay astern of them either. You'll find GNV's Excellent and her sister touted around too.

 

5 hours ago, Ryan_H said:

. (can anyone think of any which might be available for the right price?)

Viking are selling Amorella next year when the sister for Grace arrives but she's of the same vintage. She was the first of the four built in Split. Tallink's Isabelle was No2, Viking's Gabriella (one of my favourites) No3 and DFDS' Crown Seaways No4. the latter pair we're later additions due to the Balkan conflict.

They're very well cared for by Viking and have had regular quality investment so you never know?

There's also a rumour that DFDS want to replace Pearl Seaways with something bigger on their Copenhagen - Oslo route. She was last rebuilt around '06 I think but I don't think she has the lane metres they'd want at Newcastle.

DFDS have the conundrum at Newcastle as what BF have at St Malo. A RoPax would be wasted on the routes as they're cruise orientated and don't need the high roofed lane metres for the HGV's as much.

Edited by jonno

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Val de Loire was always something of a class act although she vibrated terribly when turing around at St Malo.

Truth is that older vessels can often be better in many respects as they were less subject to cost cutting - Bretagne is an example. Her cabins have dated but her general ambience is still excellent despite her age.

I read at the weekend that the 442 Wessex multiple train units have been refurbished and are being returned to service on the Waterloo Portsmouth route. They have been welcomed as being far more comfortable than later trains.

A couple of years ago I came back from Canada on a Boeing 767, decent legroom and more pleasant to travel on than more modern aircraft.

Progress isn't always progress.

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On ‎24‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 15:54, hf_uk said:

BF could buy the Val back :D 

Indecently this is not beyond the realms of possibility, however, she would not look right in the new logo, typeface and paint scheme!!

I think one thing that made 'The Val' look so good was her large, intimidating logo and typeface! I had seen a travel agent photo of her in the 05-18 logo and typeface which never came into fruition and she didn't look right at all. I also saw a mock-up done similarly of Bretagne with the Z-stripe and 05-18 logo and font which also did not look right!!

Edited by Le Quiberon

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Why don't DFDS just purchase a ro pax for the Ijmuiden route and then add extra cabins and public rooms in the upper freight deck areas? This would then make her into a cruise ferry at a fraction of the cost and time of comissioning a newbuild. I'm sure others have done this before.

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1 hour ago, Nick Hyde said:

Why don't DFDS just purchase a ro pax for the Ijmuiden route and then add extra cabins and public rooms in the upper freight deck areas? This would then make her into a cruise ferry at a fraction of the cost and time of comissioning a newbuild. I'm sure others have done this before.

They've two on order from GSI ready for 2021, these will sail in the Baltic. The problem they have with Ijmuiden is that modern RoPax are too long and loading is bow only.

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I have 'heard' rumours that DFDS have looked into the possibility of going into Amsterdam itself as they have done previous, would add an extra hour or two to the journey time but would definitely add to the cruise experience. Rottterdam and Vlissingen have also been explored.

 

Could all be rumours but its not as absurd as it sounds.

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I like the idea of going into Amsterdam itself just like the old DFDS Tor Line passenger ships used to do when sailing to Gothenburg.

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26 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

I like the idea of going into Amsterdam itself just like the old DFDS Tor Line passenger ships used to do when sailing to Gothenburg.

Probably won't happen but one must agree cruising down into the city centre would be simply majestic! 

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Would be great if that happened (and need not, actually, affect passage times greatly - they could just steam faster across the North Sea overnight).

The issue would be whether the extra cost (fuel, sea locks at Ijmuiden, transit of the North Sea Canal) would be warranted by the potential extra custom.  I suppose the costs might be offset by cheaper berthing fees in the Amsterdam port complex than Ijmuiden? (No idea which way that works - does Ijmuiden attract an outside-lock premium, or does Amsterdam attract a close-to-Amsterdam premium?).  Depending on where they dock (Tor Line used to still be a fair way from the city centre), there may still be an expense to do with ferrying cruise passengers into the city.  The Amsterdam port complex is vast and industrial, so the “magic” factor would only come into play if they berthed at the cruise terminal.  But, then again, the cruise terminal is almost permanently occupied already during the day.

So, all in all, this is probably a nice idea but ultimately impractical.

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19 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

I have 'heard' rumours that DFDS have looked into the possibility of going into Amsterdam itself as they have done previous, would add an extra hour or two to the journey time but would definitely add to the cruise experience. Rottterdam and Vlissingen have also been explored.

 

Could all be rumours but its not as absurd as it sounds.

Vlissingen is absurd, it's 3 hours south of Amsterdam and is closer to Antwerp plus they'd need to build a ferry terminal & linkspan. Nor will they switch to Rotterdam. The kudos for DFDS is that they're the ones who actually sail to the capital cities port, it's this feature which attracts the very lucrative mini cruisers. it's not a freight route.

The modern day problem is that all or most ferry companies are more concerned with freight, if they can't fill 2 decks full of trailers they no longer want to know really. It's not about linking passenger routes with neighbouring countries it's about goods to market.Take a look at the modern ferry, the may have 10 or 11 decks but 75% of that is taken up by lane metres. It's why they're getting longer, outside passenger deck space is minimal and they have predominantly windowless slab sides.

The Esbjerg route is a prime example. DFDS still sail there only now it's a freight service from Immingham... Passengers got in the way at Harwich.

Newcastle - Ijmuiden is the opposite, any operator will have the same conundrum as BF have at St Malo.

 

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A week tomorrow  I’m embarking on a trip to Gothenburg via the DFDS route from Ghent. As far as I’m aware this is their only freight route accepting any passengers, and as such is now the closest you can get to a ferry connection from the UK to Scandinavia. I do wonder whether we will see any attempt to build on this offering in the future...

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