[Updated] Improved Driver And Passenger Restaurants On DFDS Dover – Dunkerque Ships Revealed

By: Gary Andrews
Last updated:
DOVER SEAWAYS at Fayard, Odense. Image: Peter Therkildsen.
DOVER SEAWAYS at Fayard, Odense. Image: Peter Therkildsen.

DFDS’ DOVER SEAWAYS departed the Fayard Shipyard at Odense, Denmark yesterday morning (17 February), after a major overhaul.  Weather permitting, she should reach Dover tomorrow morning, 19 February. At refit since the last week of January, she has had a range of technical and maintenance works carried out. 

As previously revealed on this site, most interesting for customers, is that some major onboard improvements have also been implemented.  In particular, these bring an entirely new look to the 7-Seas Restaurant and the Road Kings Driver’s Club.  At an investment of £3.1 million per ship, the changes are significant.

DOVER SEAWAYS will be followed to overhaul by DELFT SEAWAYS. ‘Delft will depart Dover on 19 February and arrive at the shipyard two days later.  The ship will be off the Dover – Dunkerque route for around three weeks.  DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS will be the final ship to go, upon return of the ‘Delft.

Next stage of improvements

The work by DFDS builds upon major improvements carried out to the “D Class” ships in recent years. 

In 2019, the contemporary Lighthouse Café concept was installed at the aft end of Deck 6. At the same time an upgraded Pirate’s Island Children’s Play Area was fitted.

A 2020 major investment in Deck 7 followed in 2020. This brought a refurbished Premium Lounge, new Relax Lounge and the new Horizon Restaurant, serving ‘made to order’ Pizza, Pasta and Salad.

The 2005/2006-built ferries now have an almost entirely new interior totally in keeping with the latest consumer trends.  It is understood that the company is looking to refurbish the Guest Services Centre area and Shop at the 2023 refits.  This should make the interior of a sufficiently contemporary standard to last the remainder of their careers with DFDS.

Stylish new look for 7-Seas Restaurant

The 7-Seas Restaurant has been given a complete makeover having only had maintenance refurbishment since built.  Some key features of the new look include;

  • There is a simplification of the floor layout with the removal of raised areas combined and a better layout of seating. This means many more passengers can enjoy the stunning views afforded by the twin level bow atrium.
  • The servery area has been re-designed to offer a better passenger flow.
  • The new colour scheme creates a lighter feel which maximizes the plentiful natural light.
  • The seating lay-out has been improved to create more space for passengers on the busiest crossings.
  • On the port side, four fun “hut” booths have been added, something sure to add to the start of a family holiday.

Improving the cross-Channel driver experience 

The arrival of the CÔTE D’OPALE onto DFDS’ Dover – Calais route in Summer 2021 set a new standard for freight driver facilities on the Channel.  

Being probably the most heavily used area onboard, DFDS decided to carry out a significant upgrade to the Road Kings areas on the DOVER SEAWAYS, DELFT SEAWAYS and DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS.  Once again the approach was a total refurbishment.  Some key aspects include;

  • The overall décor has been given lighter tones to make it more contemporary and make better use the natural light provided by the forward atrium.  An improved seating layout has been implemented.
  • A new look Duty Free kiosk has been installed, specialising in the most popular items. (The final version is smaller than the artist’s impression).  This saves Drivers needing to leave the lounge for their most popular purchases.
  • The Relax area has been entirely renewed with a more soothing décor for drivers wishing to catch some rest during the crossing.
  • The Club area has been entirely re-imagined to provide a similar concept to the CÔTE D’OPALE, including her popular “Thrown seats”.
  • The restaurant seating area has also been entirely renewed.

In service Pictures

DOVER SEAWAYS returned to service on the morning of 20 February. Here is a small selection of the new look 7-Seas restaurant and Road Kings Drivers Club.

Ongoing Partnerships

Whilst the project was managed by DFDS’ Channel Business Unit’s Onboard Services Team, longstanding partnerships were once again involved to deliver the project;

  • SMC Design carried out all design work.
  • Aecor Marine was the main outfitting contractor.
  • SeaKing carried out all electrical work including;15 KM of cable, new boards, LED lighting etc. 

In due course NIFS will be providing a full profile and images of the refurbished vessels on the DFDS Dover – Dunkerque route.

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