Following news that Danish ferry giant DFDS is to introduce a fast direct ferry route linking Rosslare with the Port of Dunkirk, using three dedicated ferries there will be, from 2 January, 2021, six sailings a week in each direction with crossing times of 24 hours or less, writes Howard Knott.
Each vessel will have capacity for 125 trailers. Drivers will be accommodated in single-occupancy cabins on board. Unaccompanied trailers and project cargo will also be carried, but due to Covid-19 pandemic uncertainties, the Line is not currently offering its facilities for non-freight traffic.
Sailings from Rosslare on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will depart at 20.00, on Friday at 18.00 while there will be two sailings on Saturday, the first leaving at 14.00 and the second at 23.00. There will be morning arrivals in Rosslare on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and evening arrivals on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Route Director, Aidan Coffey informed Fleet Transport that a key element in design of the service is that drivers will arrive at destination port fully rested and can continue driving immediately. This will enable them to reach key destinations within their legal driving hours. The terminal at Dunkirk is dedicated to the Irish service and is located close to the A16 autoroute leading across the French border into Benelux. The A16 is available 24/7 and is not subject to French weekend driving restrictions. This will also enable hauliers to turn their trailers more quickly and achieve greater operational efficiency.
Details of the new service can be found on:https://www.dfds.com/en/freight-shipping/routes-and-schedules/rosslare-dunkirk
Copenhagen based DFDS is one of Europe’s leading ferry companies with over fifty vessels currently in service on a route network throughout Scandinavia, in the North Sea and the Mediterranean. The company also has a substantial forward order book. This includes the recently announced planned building of the world’s first hydrogen powered cruise ferry which will enter service on the Copenhagen/Oslo route in 2027.
Currently DFDS operates up to twelve round-trip sailings each day on its Dunkirk/Dover route. Forward bookings on the Dunkirk/Rosslare service are already such as would indicate the potential to add further frequencies as Ireland/EU trade settles into a post-Brexit trading pattern.
The DFDS service will be a second direct Dunkirk/Ireland link. It follows the addition, in late November, of the French port to the Containerships Lo-Lo shipping service loop linking Dublin and Cork with Rotterdam.