DFDS Seaways Prioritizes Reliability in Bid for Channel Islands Ferry Contract

DFDS Seaways aims to win Channel Islands ferry contract by prioritizing reliability, conducting trials, and engaging with local communities to understand their needs.

Wojciech Zylm
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DFDS Seaways Prioritizes Reliability in Bid for Channel Islands Ferry Contract

DFDS Seaways Prioritizes Reliability in Bid for Channel Islands Ferry Contract

DFDS Seaways, a Danish ferry company, is aiming to prioritize reliability in its bid for the passenger and freight ferry services contract for the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. The current agreements for ferry services to the islands expire in March 2025, and DFDS is preparing to compete in the upcoming tender process to choose the operator for the routes beyond next spring.

As part of its preparations and business continuity plan, DFDS has been conducting berthing trials with the Barfleur vessel, owned by Brittany Ferries, in St. Peter Port, Guernsey. The Barfleur, which can carry 900 passengers, 72 cabins, and 590 cars, is a larger vessel compared to the Clipper and Liberation ferries currently in use. While the Barfleur is not expected to become a regular part of the scheduled services, it could be used as a backup option if any of the normal fleet is unavailable, demonstrating DFDS Seaways' focus on ensuring dependable ferry services for the islands.

DFDS has also been holding open meetings in both Jersey and Guernsey as a 'fact-finding mission' to understand the community's needs. Filip Werne Hermann, the Vice President of DFDS, stated that the experience has been extremely positive so far, with the islanders being welcoming. The biggest takeaway for DFDS has been the community's focus on reliability and transparency, which are the core values the company aims to deliver.

Why this matters: The upcoming tender for the Channel Islands' freight and passenger ferry services is a significant event, as it will determine the operator for these vital transportation links beyond March 2025. DFDS Seaways' focus on reliability and its efforts to understand the unique needs of the Jersey and Guernsey communities highlight the importance of providing dependable and tailored services for these island economies.

While it's too early for DFDS to discuss specifics like vessels and schedules, the company has commissioned a design study for a 72-meter-long hybrid-electric ferry that could potentially be deployed in the Channel Islands if it wins the contract. Hermann emphasized that DFDS is an experienced company with over 150 years of history in operating reliable services, which is a key priority for the islands. "DFDS believes that its scale and long-term strategy make it well-suited to provide the ferry services for the Channel Islands," he added.

Key Takeaways

  • DFDS Seaways aims to bid for Channel Islands ferry contract, prioritizing reliability.
  • DFDS conducted berthing trials with Barfleur vessel to ensure dependable services.
  • DFDS held community meetings to understand needs, focus on reliability and transparency.
  • Upcoming tender will determine operator for vital transportation links beyond 2025.
  • DFDS commissioned design study for hybrid-electric ferry for potential Channel Islands use.