The Channel is a big and important market for DFDS.
Every year, five million passengers, one million cars and 1.2 million trucks travel between Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkerque on DFDS’ ferries.
And to continuously meet the customers’ demands, DFDS has decided to deploy a new ship specially designed for the services in the Channel from 2021.
The ship will be built in Avic Weihai shipyard in China.
“Since the ship has not yet been built, we have great opportunities to make sure that it is designed to give our guests the best possible experience with a completely new ship.
“We will charter the ship from Stena RoRo and operate it for ten years with an option to buy it after that.
“And since we are considering replacing the fleet on the Channel in 2031, the timing is really good,” said Peder Gellert, executive vice president, shipping division, DFDS.
Four DFDS captains have been testing in simulators how to navigate the future ship to make sure that the new ship is best fitted out for the conditions on the Channel.
“When sailing on the Channel, we need to ensure that the ship is at least as fast in arrival and departure situations as our current ships.
“Therefore, we have made modifications to increase manoeuvrability,” added Henrik Tidblad, commercial fleet director, DFDS.
The ferry will be highly efficient and environmentally friendly with an expected reduction in oil consumption of around 25 per cent compared to current ferries.
It will be able to carry 3,100 lane metres of cargo and 1,000 passengers.
With this capacity, it will be the largest of the ships on the Channel.
The initial plan is for replacement of the oldest of the ferries, Calais Seaways, which was built in 1991.
Market developments will determine the final deployment plan, which will be announced in 2020.