Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Saturday, February 04, 2012

DFDS and LDLines launch the new Dover/Calais Service

DFDS Seaways
Following right on from the Blog news of Sea France's demise and DFDS's announcement of a new Dover/Calais route I just received an email today from DFDS Seaways announcing that the new Dover Calais service that they're running in conjunction with LD Lines will start operation on 17th February this year.

Right now there's scant information on either DFDS or LD Lines's website, just a brief announcement of the new Dover/Calais route, and a "special launch offer" link that's broken and takes you you a page that doesn't exist !

It looks like the new route has been hurriedly added to the DFDS website because there's no details of the journey time, what boats are being used, or anything about Calais at all. The LD Lines website has a single link to the new route but that takes you over to the DFDS website so no more news there either.

The email I received from DFDS did however have details of the launch offer:

Book by 14 February, using offer code DC12, for travel on the Dover-Calais route between 17 February and 13 December 2012 for just £29 each way during low season dates, or for £39 each way during peak season† dates.
You can even make a free amendment to your booking before 30 June 2012.

I personally quite like DFDS, the boats are very clean and modern and the crossing prices are extremely competitive. It's only the slightly longer 2 hour crossing to Dunkerque and subsequent half hour additional drive back towards Brittany that have been slight negatives. With the Calais route both of these concerns will go away so P&O will be into another price war I wouldn't be surprised.

Postscript update 6th February
A few additional updates as more news is now appearing on the DFDS website including a Press release and the Sailing schedule. DFDS have announced that the service will initially be operated by LD Lines' Norman Spirit (which used to run on LD Lines' Dover/Boulogne service before it was canned in 2010), and a second boat will come into service once they've secured it.
The service will run 5 times a day in each direction and is scheduled to take an hour and a half to cross. Checkin 45 minutes before the sailing time and Pets are allowed.

So all in all a very similar service to P&O. Only a little bit cheaper.

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