The prospect of DFDS Seaways and partner LD Lines launching a Dover to Calais route has been discussed many times since the SeaFrance services were suspended in November, followed by the liquidation of the company in January. However, discussions have now turned into reality as the new Dover to Calais route was officially launched on 17th February 2012! And is there really a better way to launch such an important service than with a celebrity cutting the signature red ribbon?
At the Dover port last week both senior vice-president of DFDS Seaways Carsten Jenson and the managing director of LD Lines Christophe Santoni were joined by model and actress Kelly Brook. Brook was suitably dressed in a sailor outfit to mark the occasion! The launch was also marked with champagne for those on the port and a Port of Dover tug sailing alongside alongside the Norman Spirit with a water cannon and horns, adding to the celebratory tone of the event.
The news of the newly launched service is great for both passengers and those working in the industry. Passengers will benefit from the increased choice of services with a more convenient variety of departure times and of course, the increased capacity is bound to lead to more competitive pricing! With prices from £29 for a car and four passengers ferries to France are already a great value method of crossing the channel and with increased services now on offer, increased reliability will quickly become and advantage we can all look forward to!
The creation of 300 new jobs is also great news for the industry after the loss of SeaFrance caused over 100 redundancies. The 300 jobs will be on board the shops as well as on land at the two ports with many former SeaFrance staff being recruited into the roles.
Initially the DFDS Seaways Dover to Calais route will run five services per day aboard the Norman Spirit ship, following this a further ship will then be added to the route with a selection of additional services.