DFDS Buys Two Ferries to Expand IJmuiden-Newcastle Route

DFDS is investing approximately 150 million euros in the purchase and conversion of two larger ferry ships for the IJmuiden-Newcastle route. The Danish ferry operator buys the cargo/passenger ferries from its Italian branch partner Moby Lines.

The Moby Wonder and Moby Aki date from 2001 and 2005 and will replace the current ships, the King Seaways and Princess Seaways from 1987 and 1986. These two are in turn sold to the Italian company.

Bareboat Charter of Old Vessels

DFDS expects to close the deal next month, but wants to modernise the two Mobi ships before using them on the route between IJmuiden and the north of England.

The shipping company is therefore going to hire the King Seaways and Princess Seaways back from Moby on a bareboat basis for a few months. It is expected that the Italian duo will be ready for the route, which DFDS calls Amsterdam-Newcastle, at some point in the first quarter of 2020.

Text continues below pictures.

Moby Aki, gross tonnage: 36,284, deadweight: 5628 t, length overall x breadth extreme: 174.99 m × 27.6 m, year built: 2005 (picture by Moby Lines).

Moby Wonder, gross tonnage: 36,093, deadweight: 5500 t, length overall x breadth extreme: 174.99 m × 27.6 m, year built: 2001 (picture by Moby Lines).

Forty Per Cent Increase in Capacity

According to Peder Gellert Pedersen, head of the ferry division, the new ferries will result in a forty per cent increase in freight capacity on an annual basis. Passenger capacity will increase by five per cent. In 2018, Amsterdam-Newcastle carried more than 600,000 passengers, 122,000 passenger vehicles and 350,000 lane metres of freight.

Thirteen Million Euros

The group also expects to make a book profit of around 13 million euros on the sale of its old vessels. That is why the profit forecast has been adjusted upwards by that amount. In addition, the expected investments for this year have been increased by 75 million euros to 450 million euros. DFDS maintains about 25 freight/passenger services within Europe and employs about 8000 people.

Picture (top): Once refurbished, this is what DFDS new ferries on the Amsterdam – Newcastle route will look like when they take up service at the beginning of 2020.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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