Ferry News

Upgrades Continue For DFDS Baltic Sea Ferry Routes

Recent weeks have seen a further string of improvements to the DFDS ferry services in the Baltic area;

Second huge RoPax enters service

DFDS took delivery of the LUNA SEAWAYS from Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd (GSI), China on 18 February 2022.  Her delivery voyage took in South Korea, Singapore, the Suez Canal, Malta, and Gibraltar before heading towards the DFDS HQ Port at Copenhagen.

LUNA SEAWAYS arriving at Copenhagen.

Alongside the PEARL SEAWAYS on 20 April, LUNA SEAWAYS welcomed guests from DFDS’ investors, customers and families.

The vessel arrived at her new homeport of Klaipeda the following morning, 21 April.  Following a week of preparations, the vessel entered service on the Klaipeda – Karlshamn route on the evening of 29 April.  This meant her first arrival at Karlshamn was 30 April.

LUNA SEAWAYS joins her slightly older sister AURA SEAWAYS, which entered service on 23 January 2022.  The two sisters have 4,500 lane meters of space, allowing them to carry up to 273 trailers and 73 cars alongside 600 passengers.

LUNA SEAWAYS arriving at Copenhagen 20 April 2022. Image: DFDS.
LUNA SEAWAYS arriving at Copenhagen 20 April 2022. Image: DFDS.

Need for capacity increase

Anders Refsgaard, Vice President of DFDS’ Baltic Business Unit said;

“There was a need to increase the capacity of our Baltic routes to Lithuania. The deployment of both Luna and Aura Seaways provides good opportunities for growth. The increased capacity also means that we are well equipped to give our customers much greater flexibility in planning their exports. ”

“I really believe that with these two ferries we have managed to set completely new standards for driver and passenger comfort. Especially truck drivers, who are typically long on the road, can look forward to a very special experience on board. They now have the opportunity to both relax in our Road Kings area – an area that is 100% dedicated to them, or get a shower and a few hours of sleep in one of the many new cabins.”

DFDS Press Release 21 April 2022 https://via.ritzau.dk/pressemeddelelse/dfds-storste-nybyggede-fragt–og-passagerfaerge-gaester-kobenhavn?publisherId=12612281&releaseId=13649317&lang=da
Onboard LUNA SEAWWAYS.

The arrival of the LUNA SEAWAYS means the departure of the OPTIMA SEAWAYS and PATRIA SEAWAYS from the Karlshamn route.  As detailed below, PATRIA SEAWAYS is now serving the Paldiski – Kapellskär route.  

OPTIMA SEAWAYS’ future hasn’t yet been declared. It is thought that she may soon return to the Rosslare – Dunkerque route she opened in January 2021. The ship received a significant accommodation upgrade during her refit earlier in the year.

NIFS will shortly be bringing in-depth coverage of the LUNA SEAWAYS.

Major upgrades for Kiel – Klaipeda ferries

The current regular Klaipeda – Kiel Ropax vessels, VICTORIA SEAWAYS and ATHENA SEAWAYS, have received significant accommodation upgrades in recent months.

ATHENA SEAWAYS. Image: DFDS.
ATHENA SEAWAYS. Image: DFDS.

A radical makeover has taken place with Kapitono’s Bar becoming Navigator’s Bar.  Gone is the original Grimaldi Holdings faux cruise ship bar image, in its place something more akin to a cosy pub.  This included removing the stage and levelling the floor, taking some 3 tonnes of cement.

Changes have also taken place to the 7 Seas Buffet Restaurant. The servery, along with the bulkheads and lighting have received a radical makeover to give it a more contemporary image. This has brought the ship more in line with the rest of the DFDS fleet.

De Rossi, an Estonian-based ship interior outfitter, was responsible for the work. The company has an established reputation with DFDS and other operators such as Fjord Line.

The à la carte Mare Balticum concepts onboard both ships have also been revised in recent times. New separation walls have been created between the restaurant and the 7 Seas Buffet Restaurant.  As well as a new logo, there is a new menu and the concept generally upgraded, for example higher end cutlery, menus and table dressings. The new menu has been made in cooperation with one of the best known chefs in Lithuania, Deivydas Praspaliauskas.   The nearby children’s play area has been moved in the past year to the reception area of the ship which removes a sources of noise.  The former kids play area now provides more seats for the buffet.

Patria back to Paldiski

The arrival of the LUNA SEAWAYS has allowed the PATRIA SEAWAYS to return to the Paldiski – Kapellskär route.

PATRIA SEAWAYS at Karlshamn March 2019. Image: Gary Andrews.
PATRIA SEAWAYS at Karlshamn March 2019. Image: Gary Andrews.

The PATRIA SEAWAYS originally joined the SIRENA SEAWAYS as a second ship in summer 2020.  However, she has been absent from the route since September 2021.  This was due to the need to adjust capacity across the network as a result of the late delivery of the AURA SEAWAYS and the need to source internal capacity for the Rosslare – Dunkerque route.

PATRIA SEAWAYS returned to the Sweden – Estonia route on 18 April.  Operating with the SIRENA SEAWAYS again, ‘Patria allows a timetable that mostly provides a nightly departure from both ports.  The exception is a Sunday. Both ships sail to Sweden due to the demand for freight to have a Monday arrival in the Stockholm area.

Peeter Ojasaar, DFDS Estonia manager said;

“Due to the fact that DFDS’s fleet in the Baltic Sea was supplemented at the beginning of the year with brand new vessels, we can return to our long-term strategy, ie operate the Paldiski – Kapellskär route again with two vessels.”

https://majandus.postimees.ee/7483430/dfds-toob-eesti-rootsi-liinile-tagasi-teise-laeva
SIRENA SEAWAYS. Image: DFDS.
SIRENA SEAWAYS. Image: DFDS.

Gary Andrews

Experienced Maritime Professional, a specialist in ship and port operations, Business Development and Customer Experience, Gary has worked for some of Europe’s leading ferry companies. You can follow Gary on Twitter at @garyandrews77
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