Freight News, Sea

DFDS to put new superferry on the Channel

[ April 27, 2018   //   ]

DFDS to put new superferry on the Channel

DFDS is to charter a new 3,100 lane-metre Chinese-built vessel for its English Channel routes in 2021.

The new vessel will be built in Avic Weihai shipyard and chartered from Stena RoRo and will be the largest ship on the Channel, says the Danish operator.  DFDS would also have the option to buy the ship after ten years, added executive vice president of the operator’s shipping division, Peder Gellert.

Currently, the two largest ships are P&O Ferries’ two ‘Spirit’ class vessels, which ply between Dover and Calais. DFDS operates from Dover to Calais and Dunkerque.

Four DFDS captains have been testing the design in simulators. Commercial fleet director, Henrik Tidblad, explained: “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.”

The new ship will be 25% more fuel-efficient than current ferries.

Another attraction of a new ship is that it would give flexibility to make room for tax-free shopping, depending on the outcome of Brexit.

DFDS adds that its initial plan is to replace its oldest existing ferry, the Calais Seaways, which was built in 1991 although a final deployment plan will not be announced until 2020.