DFDS Seaways

DFDS Seaways is a Danish shipping company that operates passenger and freight services across northern Europe. Following the acquisition of Norfolkline in 2010, DFDS restructured its other shipping divisions (DFDS Tor Line and DFDS Lisco) into the previously passenger-only operation of DFDS Seaways.

DFDS Seaways
IndustryFreight Transportation
Passenger/Car Transportation
GenreFerry Company
PredecessorDFDS Tor Line
DFDS Lisco
Scandinavian Seaways
HeadquartersCopenhagen, Denmark
Area served
Baltic Sea
English Channel
North Sea
DivisionsDFDS Seaways France


DFDS Seaways renewed its fleet in 2006, purchasing MS King of Scandinavia and MS Princess of Norway to replace the last ships still in service that dated from the 1970s. The company has acquired a reputation for purchasing used ships, as well as for taking over the build contracts or taking delivery of newbuilds originally ordered by other companies. The last time DFDS Seaways ordered a newbuild of its own was in 1978. DFDS Seaways stopped serving Sweden in 2006, when MS Princess of Scandinavia was taken out of service and the CopenhagenOslo service stopped calling at Helsingborg. In May 2008, DFDS made public its plan to close down the loss-making United Kingdom–Norway service on 1 September 2008.[1][2] MS Queen of Scandinavia, the ship that was used in the service, has since been chartered to St Peter Line.

In July 2010, DFDS acquired Norfolkline from Maersk. The Norfolkline routes and vessels were integrated into DFDS Seaways. DFDS Seaways now had the DoverDunkirk route, and launched the new Dover–Calais route in February 2012.

DFDS announced in 2015 that it had unveiled a new logo, which saw 'DFDS' in a new font, and the logo with the white Maltese cross losing its outer circle; it announced furthermore that the DFDS Seaways subsidiary would be shortened to just 'DFDS' carrying a dark blue hull in the same font instead of the traditional light blue hull, and a Maltese cross with a circle. The first vessels to receive the new livery—and the new name scheme that would eventually be rolled out throughout the whole fleet—were the former MyFerryLink ferries Rodin (soon to become Cote des Dunes) and the Berlioz (soon to become the Cote des Flandres). All the fleet were to lose the 'Seaways' suffix from their names, and would instead receive local preference names.


DFDS Seaways operates twenty routes across the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Passenger and freight

Freight-only routes


DFDS Seaways operates a large fleet of Ro-Ro, Ro-Pax and Cruise ferries. Following restructuring in 2010, all shipping activities (including those of DFDS Tor Line and DFDS Lisco) were rebranded as DFDS Seaways.

Current fleet

Name Built Entered service Tonnage Notes Image
Britannia Seaways2000201024.196 GT
Crown Seaways1994199435,495 GT
Delft Seaways2006201035,923 GT
Dover Seaways2006201035,923 GT
Dunkerque Seaways2005201035,923 GT
Ficaria Seaways2006201032,289 GT
Fionia Seaways2009201032,289 GT
Hafnia Seaways2008201032,289 GT
Humber Viking2009201029,004 GT
Jutlandia Seaways2010201032,289 GT
Kaunas Seaways1989201025,606 GT
King Seaways1987200631,395 GT
Victoria Seaways2009201025,518 GT
Optima Seaways1999201025,206 GT
Liverpool Seaways1997201021,856 GTwill be sold to Compagnie méridionale de navigation in april 2020
Cragside2010201029,004 GT
Magnolia Seaways2003201032,400 GT
Calais Seaways1991201128,838 GT
Patria Seaways1992201018,332 GT
Pearl Seaways1989200140,039 GT
Petunia Seaways2003201032,289 GT
Primula Seaways2003201032,400 GT
Princess Seaways1986200631,356 GT
Regina Seaways2010201125,518 GT
Selandia Seaways2000201024,196 GT
Begonia Seaways2004201032,289 GT
Botnia Seaways2000201011,530 GT
Corona Seaways2007201025,600 GT
Finlandia Seaways2000201011,530 GT
Freesia Seaways2004201032,289 GT
Vilnius Seaways1987201027,414 GT
Suecia Seaways1999199924,196 GT

Future fleet

DFDS is scheduled to take delivery of a newbuild E-Flexer class ferry, chartered from Stena Line, in 2021.[4]

DFDS had announced that it would add two new ships, the MS Moby Wonder and MS Moby Aki, to the NewcastleIJmuiden route in early 2020. The former ships, the MS King Seaways and MS Princess Seaways, would in turn have been sold to Moby Lines. DFDS Seaways has since written in a statement that this deal would not go ahead and King and Princess Seaways would remain in their fleet. [5]

Former ships

ShipIn serviceTonnageStatus
MS Skipper Clement1964–19762,964 GRTScrapped 2010
MS Akershus1965–19735,012 GRTBurnt and sunk 1989
MS Winston Churchill1967–19968,657 GRTScrapped 2004
MS Kong Olav V1968–19847,965 GRTBurnt 1993, later scrapped
MS Prinsesse Margrethe1968–19837,965 GRTScrapped 2005
MS Aalborgshus
MS Dana Sirena
MS Dana Corona
7,697 GRT
7,988 GRT
Scrapped in China, 2000
MS Trekroner
MS Dana Corona
MS Dana Sirena
7,692 GRTSunk 1994
MS Dana Regina1974–199010,002 GRTSince 1998 MS Vana Tallinn with Tallink
MS Dana Anglia
MS Duke of Scandinavia
14,399 GRT
15,589 GT
Since 2009 MS Moby Corse with Moby Lines
MS Dana Gloria
MS King of Scandinavia
1981–1984, 19861989
12,348 GRT>20,581 GT2006-2017 MS Jupiter for Royal Group Ltd. Sunk 2017
MS Tor Scandinavia
MS Princess of Scandinavia
15,673 GRT
21,545 GT
Since 2006 MS Moby Otta with Moby Lines
MS Scandinavia1982–198526,747 GTSince 2002 MS Island Escape with Island Cruises
MS Tor Britannia
MS Prince of Scandinavia
14,905 GRT
21,545 GT
Since 2003 MS Moby Drea with Moby Lines
MS Hamburg
MS Admiral of Scandinavia
19,292 GTOriginally MS Kronprins Harald with Jahre Line (1976-1987); Since 2002 MS Caribbean Express with Access Ferries; Scrapped 2011 in India
MS Duchess of Scandinavia2003–200516,794 GTFrom 2008 to 2014 MS Bergensfjord with Fjord Line. To be renamed Oslofjord 2014.
MS Dieppe Seaways2012–201429,800 GTSold to Stena Line in Nov 2014. Renamed MS Stena Superfast X. Entered Service 09/03/2015.

Accidents and incidents

Victoria Seaways 2013 fire

On 23 April 2013, Victoria Seaways caught fire whilst on passage between Kiel, Germany and Klaipeda in Lithuania. The fire was discovered on the main vehicle deck at around midnight on the 22/23 April. The ship's fire-extinguishing system took control of the fire quickly, and passengers were sent to muster stations whilst the fire was put out. The ship continued to Klaipeda shortly after. The cause of the incident is unknown.[6]

Sirena Seaways 2013 dock collision

On 22 June 2013, Sirena Seaways, with 489 passengers on board, collided with the dockside at Harwich, Essex. The incident caused damage to the dockside, the loading ramp and the ship, resulting in the vessel taking on water. The crew blocked the opening from inside and the watertight compartments were used to prevent the ship from capsizing. The Harwich RNLI lifeboat, Walton Coastguard rescue team and an RAF search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham Airfield responded to the incident, along with a number of other vessels nearby. The ferry was brought alongside at 14:45 and the passengers were disembarked. The cause of the collision is unknown.[7]

Britannia Seaways 2013 fire

On Saturday 16 November 2013, Britannia Seaways caught fire in the North Sea, trapping 32 crew on board. Helicopters despatched from Norway were unable to take the crew off the ship, owing to bad weather conditions. The fire began in a container on one of the upper decks, and was extinguished 13 hours after it broke out. The ship was carrying military equipment to Norway for a military exercise, and reached Bergen a few days later. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.[8]

Corona Seaways 2013 fire

On 4 December 2013, at 02:30, Corona Seaways caught fire whilst the vessel was travelling from Fredericia to Copenhagen. The fire broke out in the main closed deck, and was briefly under control with the ships sprinkler systems before flaring up again. The ship arrived at Helsingborg at 07.00, where the fire was extinguished by the local fire services. No injuries were reported amongst the 10 passengers and 19 crew members. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.[9] [10]

King Seaways 2013 fire

On 28 December 2013, a cabin aboard the ferry King Seaways caught fire while it was approximately 30 miles off Flamborough Head whilst travelling to IJmuiden, the Netherlands.[11] The fire started at 22:45 GMT on Saturday and was extinguished within 15 minutes. RAF rescue helicopters from RAF Boulmer and RAF Leconfield winched two passengers and four crew off the ship. The vessel returned to North Shields on Sunday morning.[12] The cause is still under investigation however two people have been arrested in connection with the fire. One was subsequently charged with arson reckless to endangering life, and affray.[13][14] On 8 July 2014 it was reported that one of them had pleaded guilty in Newcastle Crown Court to a charge of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered. [15]

Crown Seaways 2014 engine incident

On 27 April 2014, Crown Seaways experienced engine problems near the Danish island of Anholt, whilst travelling between Copenhagen and Oslo. It is reported that passengers heard a loud bang, a shudder and smoke at about 21:30, when the vessel suffered an engine failure and crank explosion. The ship soon continued on its way towards Oslo. The cause of the incident is unknown.[16]

Dover Seaways 2014 dock collision

On 10 November 2014, Dover Seaways collided with a harbour wall at the Port of Dover, shortly after leaving the port at 08:00. The ship was heading to Dunkirk carrying 320 passengers. Several passengers were treated with minor injuries, and four were taken to hospital for additional treatment. The cause of the collision is unknown.[17]

City of Rotterdam / Primula 2015 collision

The City of Rotterdam car carrier collided with Primula Seaways in the Humber estuary in December 2015.[18]

Closure of the Harwich - Esbjerg route

The Harwich - Esbjerg route was closed on 29 September 2014 due to loss of passengers. The Harwich - Esbjerg route had operated since 1875. This was the last service operated by DFDS from Harwich and was also the last passenger service between Great Britain and Denmark; DFDS continue to operate freight services from Immingham to Denmark. DFDS Seaways reported that MS Sirena Seaways will move on other duties on the route between Kapellskar, Sweden and Paldiski, Estonia. A petition has been set up to attempt to show DFDS that there is a demand for the route.



  1. McLean, Anthony (27 May 2008). "DFDS Seaways to close route with loss of 340 jobs". NewsGuardian. Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  2. "Extensive improvement plan to safeguard earnings at DFDS Seaways". DFDS press release. DFDS. 27 May 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  3. "DFDS overvejer nye skibe til Oslo-ruten". 28 February 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  4. "Stena's new formula for ro-pax market". The Motorship. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  5. "Newcastle-Amsterdam New Ship Information". DFDS.
  6. "Fire at Cargo and Passenger Ship – Victoria Seawys". World Maritime News. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  7. "Sirena Seaways ferry damaged hitting Harwich dock". BBC News. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  8. "Fire Extinguished on 'Britannia Seaways' Cargo Ship Off Norway". World Maritime News. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  9. "Fire Broke Out on Ro-Ro Vessel CORONA SEAWAYS". World Maritime News. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  10. "Accident Report into the Corona Seaways fire 2013" (PDF).
  11. "Ferry Fire: Man Arrested Over Suspected Arson". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  12. "North Sea ferry fire on MS King Seaways prompts probe". BBC News. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  13. "British police arrest two men over North Sea ferry fire". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  14. "Man Charged with Arson After North Sea Ferry Fire". The Guardian. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  15. "Drunk passenger starts £800k ferry fire after smoking cannabis in cabin". AOL.
  16. Peterson, Neil. "Engine accident on DFDS Crown Seaways ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo". Demotix. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. "Dover Seaways Hits Harbour Wall, Four Injured". World Maritime News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  18. "'Illusion and inadequate reactions' to blame for Humber collision". Automotive Logistics. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.


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  • Peter, Bruce (2016). DFDS 150. Lyngby, Denmark: Nautilus Forlag. ISBN 9788790924645.
  • Peter, Bruce (2016). Tor Line and the Battle of the North Sea. Lyngby, Denmark: Nautilus. ISBN 9788790924652.
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  • Thorsøe, Søren (1991). DFDS 1866-1991: Ship development through 125 years - from paddle steamer to ro/ro ship / Skibsudvikling gennem 125 år - fra hjuldamper til rulleskib (in English and Danish). Copenhagen: DFDS. ISBN 8798003003.
  • Thorsøe, Søren; Simonsen, Peter; Krogh-Andersen, Søren; Vaupel, Henrik (2006). DFDS 1991-2006: Ship development continues / Skibsudviklingen fortsætter (in English and Danish). Copenhagen: DFDS. ISBN 8798003038.
  • Widdows, Nick (2010). DFDS: the fleet (new ed.). Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608217.
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