DFDS Seaways boosts capacity on UK - Norway
DFDS Seaways, the leading cruise ferry operator to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, has acquired Fjord Line's m.s. FJORD NORWAY and will continue to operate the service between Newcastle and Western Norway.
The acquisition, which has been made for an undisclosed sum, will see DFDS Seaways continuing to operate the Fjord Line route from Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen, and follows DFDS' commercial strategy of acquiring attractive tonnage and routes as they become available.
DFDS Seaways will take over the ship from 15 October and following a refurbishment and naming ceremony in Bergen during early November, will commence service. The design and concepts onboard will follow the successful format recently introduced across the route network. The intention is to increase the number of sailings across the year.
The company has sold its ship m.s. Princess of Scandinavia and will be closing its existing Newcastle-Kristiansand-Gothenburg route from late October/November this year.
These developments mean that DFDS Seaways volumes going out of the UK and coming in from Norway will grow significantly with increased focus on motoring holidays and year round short breaks.
Soren Jespersen, Chief Operating Officer for DFDS A/S, based in Copenhagen, states: "We are confident that passengers and freight on both sides of the North Sea will experience a large and increasing market potential. We have the vital competence that is required in order to develop operations with improved profit margins on this long established route.
"The route is expected to attract considerable numbers of passengers from both Britain and Scandinavia. Research shows that Norway is the most attractive Scandinavian country for UK tourists, and the UK provides a year-round destination for sporting, cultural, entertainment and shopping attractions."
"The closure of our Gothenburg route will mean we do not have a direct passenger route to Sweden, but we will be continuing to encourage passengers to travel to Sweden via our Newcastle-Stavanger or Harwich-Esbjerg routes."
NOTE TO EDITORS
Cruise ferry operators DFDS Seaways carried 1.6 million passengers and 190,000 vehicles across its route network in 2005.