Côte D'Opale Fast Facts
|IMO number: 9858321||Built by: China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co. Ltd. [CN], W0268,|
|Also known as: ZHAO SHANG 268 / China Merchants Jinling W0268 [yard names]||As-built sister-ships: Côte D'Opale is a unique member of the Stena E-Flexer Class|
|Usual route: Dover [GB] - Calais [FR]||Current operator: DFDS|
|Passenger capacity: 1000||Vehicle capacity: Up to 3,100 lane metres of freight (plus 120 passenger cars in their own dedicated garage on deck 7)|
Launched as CÔTE D’OPALE (Hull W0268) on 20 May 2020, the ferry is due in service on the Dover – Calais route during Summer 2021. With sea trials due in May, she is now in the final stages of fitting out. Only 15% of her total build is left to complete.
Operating the shortest route to date for an E-Flexer with a 90-minute crossing, unlike the earlier versions for Stena Line and Brittany Ferries, this ship needs no passenger cabins. This results in a very different layout for her 1000 guests.
CÔTE D’OPALE‘s Deck 7 passenger amenities will be primarily dedicated to a Road Kings Drivers area, offering commercial vehicle passengers what are believed to be the most significant facilities on any Cross-Channel ferry. The ship is expected to frequently host around 130 drivers per crossing between Dover and Calais.
There will be extensive toilet and shower facilities, relaxing lounge spaces and a big dining area, including a large servery to quickly feed drivers on the short crossing.
Deck 7 also contains COTE D’OPALE’s Main Galley and large areas for stores.
Deck 8 of CÔTE D’OPALE is almost unrecognisable in layout compared to the first four ships of the E-Flexer series.
Seven Seas Restaurant
Forward is the 7 Seas Restaurant (Self Service). This encompasses the entire front section of the ship. On the earlier E-Flexer classes, lounge space, the premium lounge and a second restaurant (RoRo Drivers on the Stena ships and Tapas Restaurant on GALICIA) could be found in this area.
A children’s play area is located within the 7 Seas Restaurant area.
The atrium space, which is a bar aboard the earlier E-Flexers, becomes an impressive 1,100 square metre “venue-type” shopping complex aboard the CÔTE D’OPALE. There are separate “wings” within the area for each product category. Alcohol and Tobacco, and Perfumes and Cosmetics have their own “shops within a shop”. This makes the new ship probably the best equipped of any ferry in U.K. waters for the return of Duty Free shopping.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming the CÔTE D’OPALE to our channel routes this summer and can’t wait to welcome customers onboard when it’s safe to do so. With shopping and dining experiences to rival large shopping centres or airports, the ship will offer more space, more choice, and a unique travel experience for our valued customers.”
Also located in this area will be a Currency Exchange Bureau on the Starboard side and a Guest Services Centre on the Port side.
Lighthouse Cafe and Premium Lounge
The Aft area of CÔTE D’OPALE‘s Passenger Accommodation occupies what is a cabin area on previous E-Flexers. This plays host to a large Lighthouse Café (Coffee Shop) and a Premium Lounge on the DFDS ship. A second Children’s Play Area will be sited within the Lighthouse Café area.
CÔTE D’OPALE‘s Premium Lounge is located on the aft half of the Starboard side, whilst the Lighthouse Café occupies the rest of this area.
There is a significant Sun Deck at the aft end of Deck 8, including a dedicated area for Premium Lounge guests and an outside bar.
The Lighthouse Café and Premium Lounge are continuations of the successful concepts introduced to the Dover – Dunkerque D-Class vessels in 2019 and 2020.
Deck 9 Aft features passenger cabins on the first four E-Flexers. On the CÔTE D’OPALE this is a dedicated crew deck. Included are 105 cabins, day rooms, gyms, offices etc. The Bridge is also located on this Deck.
NIFS looks forward to bringing further updates on what promises to be the most unique vessel of this class. With thanks to DFDS.