Update 29.01.2021: DROTTEN entered service for DFDS on Wednesday January 27 with a 3.5-hours late departure from Dunkerque (originally scheduled for 10:00). OPTIMA SEAWAYS has returned to the Baltic.
Reports from Sweden indicate that Danish ferry and logistics company DFDS has chartered a second ship from Gotlandsbolaget/Rederi AB Gotland. The charter for DROTTEN is set to last throughout February and March.
Industry sources indicate that DFDS will use DROTTEN alongside sister-ship VISBY on the Rosslare to Dunkerque (Dunkirk) route in place of OPTIMA SEAWAYS. DFDS has already said that OPTIMA SEAWAYS will return to the Baltic Sea at the end of January.
It had been planned for VISBY to be renamed VISBORG to also free up her name, but with the charter to DFDS this has been postponed.
New route ready to start
Separately, DFDS has confirmed that it is ready to start the Rosslare – Dunkerque route from January 2 as planned.
The company has told staff that its first Ireland – France crossings are fully booked. It is understood, however, that these are block bookings rather than confirmed bookings.
The first crossing from Rosslare will be operated by OPTIMA SEAWAYS. She will leave Rosslare at 14:00 (local time) for Dunkerque. On the same day, at 23:00 KERRY will set sail from Rosslare to Dunkerque. VISBY will leave Dunkerque at 23:00 (CET) bound for Rosslare.