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.
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.
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
Guangzhou Shipyard Int
C.N. Visentini, Italy
C.N. Visentini, Italy
|Length||196 metres||186.5 metres||186.25 metres|
|Beam||25.67 metres||25.6 metres||25.6 metres|
|Draught||6.4 metres||6.5 metres||6.5 metres|
|Freight Capacity||1,800 lane metres||2,030 lane metres||2,115 lane metres|
|Cabins||92 (in DFDS service)||80||80|