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New Dover-Calais route – details released

[ February 3, 2012   //   ]

DFDS and LD Lines have released details of their new Dover-Calais route that will start operations from 17 February. The service will be operated by two French-flagged vessels – one will be the Norman Spirit, owned by LD Lines but which lately had been operated by DFDS on its Dover-Dunkerque route to relieve pressure following the cessation of the SeaFrance service in November. The 20-year old vessel was originally built as the Prins Filip for state-owned Belgian operator RMT. A second, as yet unspecified ship will also operate the route, “as we can be ready with a suitable ship” said DFDS in a statement.

The two partners say they would hire 300 ship and shore staff and that many former SeaFrance employees were already being recruited. They also thanked the French Government, Chamber of Commerce, the local authorities and the port for their support in getting the service off the ground at short notice.

An interim schedule has been published, pending the addition of the second ship to the route. Departures from Dover are at 03.30 (not Sundays), 09:00, 13:30, 17:45 and 22:45. Services from Calais are at 02:00 (not Sundays), 07:45, 12:15, 16:45 and 21:30. The first sailing on 17 February will be the 12.15 from Calais.
In a statement, the two partners added: “We look very much forward to being able to welcome freight customers to our new Calais- Dover service, and, in cooperation with our new employees as well as our staff in Dover and Dunkerque, we look forward to providing an attractive and efficient customers service and a sustainable workplace.”