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DFDS Rosslare ferry arrives in France

Update 28.12.20 @ 12:00: KERRY left Dunkerque for Rosslare shortly before 11am (UTC). Her current ETA at Rosslare is 10am (UTC) tomorrow. OPTIMA SEAWAYS is expected to arrive at Dunkerque at around 16:00 (UTC) today.

The first of three ferries to be deployed on DFDS’s new Ireland – France ferry route has arrived in Dunkerque (Dunkirk). KERRY, which is chartered from Stena RoRo, arrived in the French port at around 14:30 today (Sunday, December 27).

Following arrival at Dunkerque she conducted berthing trials in the port. At present KERRY, which was previously chartered to Brittany Ferries, retains Stena funnel colours.

KERRY is currently expected to leave Dunkerque at 11:00 (CET) tomorrow according to Dunkerque arrivals and departures. Operating partners VISBY and OPTIMA SEAWAYS are currently en-route to Dunkerque.

OPTIMA SEAWAYS, which unlike the other two vessels is owned by DFDS, underwent some maintenance at Klaipeda in recent days. OPTIMA SEAWAYS and VISBY are expected to arrive at Dunkerque tomorrow evening.

OPTIMA SEAWAYS. DFDS.
OPTIMA SEAWAYS. DFDS.

All three vessels are expected to arrive at Rosslare in the coming days for berthing trials. The new route linking France and Ireland is expected to commence on January 2. An initial timetable has been published with sailings taking up to 23 hrs and 45 minutes.

At present only freight will be accommodated with the only passengers commercial drivers. Three meals are included in the fare and the company has pledged to offer drivers individual cabins.

The new service has been started to offer an alternative to the UK landbridge which many have predicted could suffer delays due to new paperwork for goods travelling between the UK and the EU.

Dunkerque – Rosslare will be DFDS’s only ferry route to the Island of Ireland. However, the company already offers intermodal logistics services from Belfast, Dublin, Waterford, and Cork to Rotterdam.

DFDS previously offered ferry routes from Dublin and Belfast to Liverpool and Heysham, but agreed to sell the bulk of that operation to Stena Line in 2010.

The Rosslare – Dunkirk ferries

VisbyKerryOptima Seaways
Built2003
Guangzhou Shipyard Int
2001
C.N. Visentini, Italy
1999
C.N. Visentini, Italy
Gross tonnage29,74624,41825,206
Length196 metres186.5 metres186.25 metres
Beam25.67 metres25.6 metres25.6 metres
Draught6.4 metres6.5 metres6.5 metres
Freight Capacity 1,800 lane metres2,030 lane metres2,115 lane metres
Cabins 92 (in DFDS service)8080
The above figures (except tonnage) are from DFDS

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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