Here Breaking Travel News speaks to Peder Gellert, executive vice president and head of the ferry division at the company, to find out how it feels to have been recognised by voters from around the globe.
Breaking Travel News: Having claimed a top title at the World Travel Awards, how does it feel to have won?
Peder Gellert: This is the most rewarding title to win because it is a vote of confidence from our customers and we’re incredibly proud of this achievement.
There’s no greater accolade than the support of fellow travel industry professionals and our customers.
The past two years have been among the most challenging the travel industry has faced in a lifetime, and we really strived to maintain our reputation for excellence despite all those challenges.
We have been there for our customers and helped them with what they needed throughout the pandemic, adapting to sudden changes and helping people manage them.
I think our willingness to be flexible certainly impressed our passengers in these strange and difficult times.
BTN: How will the trophy help you to promote DFDS as we move into 2022?
PG: Winning this award showcases all the reasons customers choose DFDS and explains why we have won this consistently for the past 11 years.
As the travel sector looks to the future following the impact of the pandemic, holidaymakers want the reassurance given by our record of success.
DFDS is in a unique position to respond to what is needed in the tourism sector as it faces new challenges.
Passengers want open spaces as they make the most of the freedom to travel again and travel by ferry offers a safe way to start a holiday to reach thousands of destinations across the continent, both near and far.
DFDS’ routes from the UK to Dieppe, Calais, Dunkirk and Amsterdam offer fantastic connections to the main European motorway network, opening up the entire continent for people who want the freedom to explore from the comfort of their own car.
A simple short ferry ride starts a holiday in the most relaxing way and then the excellent roads make places across Europe more accessible than most people realise, from the stunning coastlines of Northern France to the Dordogne or the magnificent mountains of northern Germany and the Alps.
There is such a feeling of space onboard modern ships, with access to outside decks for sea views and fresh air while there are fantastic onboard cafes and restaurants as well as the new era Duty Free shops offering much more than traditional half price wines and spirits.
This trophy shows how highly our customers rate our service and helps prospective passengers choose to travel with us.
Taking the ferry is the safest way to travel and I think when people start to think about their holiday plans, this will be why they decide to travel by ferry to get away.
BTN: What is it that caught the eye of voters; what do you think it is that separates DFDS from its competitors in world?
PG: We’re constantly seeking to enhance the passenger experience and keep delivering ‘better every time’ when customers travel with us.
That ability to adapt and respond to customer’s expectations is how we continue to deliver the best possible onboard experience for our passengers.
We are always looking at innovations.
Increasingly customers are looking for sustainable travel options and are conscious of their impact on the environment.
They see that DFDS is committed to a sustainable travel industry.
Our goals are to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and eliminate them entirely by 2050.
We are hard at work developing and implementing various programmes and initiatives to help us reach both goals, collaborating closely with partners from the industry and academia.
DFDS is involved in exciting sustainable fuel projects and aims to have a green vessel in operation around 2025.
From this month, DFDS welcomes the Aura Seaways to our fleet in the Baltics on the Klaipeda-Karlshamn route.
It is the first passenger ship contracted by DFDS in more than 40 years and the largest passenger vessel under a Danish flag.
Her sister ship, Luna Seaways, is expected to start operating on the same route later this year.
We continually improve our existing ships, on our short routes across the Channel from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk or from Newhaven to Dieppe, and on our overnight route between Newcastle and Amsterdam, so that they meet the high standards modern travellers demand.
We launched a new ship in the summer of 2021, the Côte d’Opale which has space for 1,000 passengers and the biggest Duty Free shop on the Channel.
We also opened our Duty Free shop at Dunkirk in the Autumn and will open another Duty Free shop in Calais soon which gives our passengers a new retail experience.
Offering passengers the chance to personalise their journey and make choices that are most suited to them by providing a range of different onboard concepts has been increasingly important as we’ve upgraded our fleet.
They have open and relaxing spaces with new décor, which is coincidentally well suited to the new environment of social distancing, and it has quickly become popular.
We also continue to offer our travel guarantee that gives our customers more security when they book.
Find out more about DFDS on the official website.