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TonyMWeaver

DFDS 'Côte D’Opale'

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New DFDS ferry Côte D’Opale will start on Dover-Calais route in 2021

A giant new ferry will criss-cross the Channel in two years. Operator DFDS has announced that the Côte D’Opale will start service on the Dover-Calais in 2021. It will be the longest ship on the Channel with capacity for 1,000 passengers and crew.

The ferry had its first steel plate cut in a ceremony today. It is is being built at the AVIC shipyard in Weihai, China. 

The vessel's name literally means in English, Opal Coast.

It is christened after the entire French coastal area in the Hauts-de-France (Upper France) region covering Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk.

Kasper Moos, Head of short routes and passenger in DFDS said “We have great pleasure in announcing our new ship will be named the Cote D’Opale and the steel cutting marked a very special and exciting time as the ship starts to take shape in the construction process. " The Côte D’Opale will give our passengers a relaxed travel experience with modern food concepts and the largest shopping experience on the channel. "We continue to have a clear focus on our customers and take great pride in continually seeking improvements to ensure those special memorable experiences of travelling with DFDS.’’

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1,000 passengers and crew doesn't sound many. Less than half the capacity of the P & O Spirits, I believe. Doesn't look like any significant open air space either. Another ship to avoid, I suspect.

 

I also suspect that it will not be the longest ship on the channel. Longest ferry, maybe, but dwarfed by the length of the Maersk carriers and various VLCCs that are continuously on the channel.

 

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21 hours ago, hf_uk said:

E-by gum, those Flexers get everywhere! :)

And they clearly seem to be growing!  This one apparently longer than all the others that will be in service by then. 🙄

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It's only Kent online who've said that it'll be the longest ship, the official pressers state she'll be the longest ferry on the Strait, at 214m she will be.

DFDS don't really compete with P&O on the Dover-Calais service, they're focused on Dunkerque. 

@rogerpatenall is right of course she'll carry 50% of the pax that a Spirit is capable of but I think more importantly DFDS will lower their own pax capacity sailing to Calais by nigh on 50% too. It's the tall HGV's they're going after, you can fit 155 draw bar HGV's on a standard E-flexer or 172 standard HGV's without effecting passenger vehicle capacity.

When P&O launch their proposed 2 new builds they'll run four ships from Dover to Calais. Rumour is they'll be 2m longer than the Spirits, 3200 LM's 1800 Pax. This will reduce their overall passenger capacity from 9000 to 7600 but again drastically increases their ability to haul freight.

Currently there's a capability at Dover to carry nearly 11000 passengers on 7 ships that will drop to 8600 on 5 and by 2022/23 P&O's rotations between Dover & Calais will be fewer by a third too... DFDS' will remain the same.

If you consider the sailing frequency now, 23 times a day for P&O, 15 for DFDS there'll be a lot of passengers heading elsewhere on a daily basis.

...Possibly Dunkerque which could be why DFDS are looking at replacing the 3 Samsung built ships there too.

More E-flexers? Maybe but the original deal with AVIC has only one 214m vessel left and two 240m variants and currently out of the seven berths at Dover only four can handle ferries upto 215m. France's 3rd port, Dunkerque, is planning a large expansion which overall will take 15 years but there's nothing yet to suggest the ferry berths will be extended in the short term.

Edited by jonno

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