Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time to wave goodbye to NorfolkLine

It won't be all that long now before NorfolkLine's name disappears from the cross channel Dover/Dunkerque ferry service, to be replaced by DFDS.

In December 2009 the Danish shipping company DFDS agreed conditions by which they would purchase Norfolkline from A. P. Møller - Mærsk for a "mere" for €346 million.
The transaction was subsequently approved by the EU in June and the purchase of Norfolkline completed in July this year.

Norfolk Line have now just posted news of one of the first visible signs of that purchase with the first vessel the Maersk Exporter which runs the Belfast – Heysham service has been renamed ‘Scotia Seaways’ and completely repainted and branded in DFDS blue and white.

Depending on how many Euro's DFDS have in their "painting budget", expect to see similar announcements for the remaining ferries on the Irish Sea and the English Channel.

I quite liked Norfolk Line ferries, the boats were very modern and clean, they offered free wifi on board, and the crossing price (depending on when you wanted to travel) could be very very reasonable - I travelled over once for just €29 one way.
On the downside though Dunkerque is yet another half an hour up the autoroute from our holiday Gite and the ferryport facilities in Dunkerque were "simple" to say the least. Hope they can keep the good things I liked and improve on the less good things .... mind you I doubt that they can do anything about the position of Dunkerque ferry port!

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