Copenhagen-headquartered DFDS has announced that it will start accepting passengers with vehicles on its Rosslare – Dunkirk route.
The new service will be offered on a trial basis from 5 August. Passenger capacity will be limited on the route, which remains mainly focussed on freight, though both car and motorhome traffic being targeted.
While the 24 hour crossing is significantly longer than existing options between France and Ireland, the route could be more convenient for passengers. The location of Dunkirk could potentially save many hours of driving time through France or via the UK landbridge for holidaymakers who are heading east towards Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and beyond.
Unlike the existing passenger routes from Ireland to the continent, which use ports in Normandy and Brittany, the DFDS route will allow passengers to arrive and disembark in north eastern France. Dunkirk, which has already proven very popular with freight from both Ireland and England, is just a stone’s throw away from the Belgian border and the European motorway network.
DFDS’s Rosslare – Dunkirk route director Chris Parker said:
“We launched a freight service between Rosslare and Dunkirk in January 2021 and it has proved extremely popular with customers looking to move goods between Ireland and continental Europe without the need to use the land-bridge via the UK. Adding passenger services to the route will further strengthen the service and we expect strong demand from holidaymakers in Ireland and in Northern Europe. Rosslare is at the heart of the ‘sunny southeast’ and a short drive from Dublin and Cork, making it a very popular destination. Irish customers will benefit from a direct link into the heart of Europe.”https://www.dfds.com/en/about/media/news/dfds-to-trial-rosslare-dunkirk-passenger-service-from-5th-august
DFDS says it will offer up to five sailings per week between Rosslare and Dunkirk. According to the company, prices for a car and four passengers with a standard cabin onboard will start from €550, with all meals included.
The Danish company has been investing in Ireland recently and agreed to acquire Lucey Transport Logistics last week. That acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, will further expand DFDS’s logistics capacity on the Island of Ireland and give Lucey’s existing customers access to DFDS’ international logistics network.
Bookings for the Rosslare – Dunkirk passenger service are already open at: https://www.dfds.com/en/passenger-ferries/ferry-crossings/rosslare-dunkirk