On 6 September 2019, DFDS entered into an agreement with the Italian ferry company Moby to acquire two ferries, Moby Wonder and Moby Aki, for deployment on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route. Moby would in turn acquire the two passenger ferries currently operating on Amsterdam-Newcastle, King Seaways and Princess Seaways.
The agreement was expected to be completed in the second half of October 2019 but Moby has unfortunately not been able to meet the delivery terms of the agreement. The agreement has therefore been cancelled. DFDS will continue to explore solutions for a renewal of the ferries on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route in line with the fourth pillar of the WIN23 strategy: Creating more value for passengers.
DFDS has made an agreement with Moby Lines, the Italian ferry company, to acquire two passenger/freight ferries, Moby Wonder and Moby Aki, built in 2001 and 2005 respectively.
As part of the agreement, Moby Lines will receive from DFDS two passenger ferries currently operating on the Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) <> Newcastle route; King Seaways and Princess Seaways, built in 1987 and 1986.
Pedar Gellert Pedersen, EVP and Head of DFDS' Ferry Division has said;
"The new ferries are ideally suited for our Amsterdam <> Newcastle route. Their modern, on-board facilities and higher car-deck capacity will enable us to deliver what our high-yield car passengers require, and will improve the customer experience in line with our freight customers on the route, so we can offer increased ferry capacity throughout the year."
It is expected that the ferries will be taken over by DFDS before the end of the year and therefore, DFDS will bareboat-charter King Seaways and Princess Seaways from Moby until January and February 2020, when the new ferries will be deployed.
Kasper Moos, Head of BU Short Routes & Passengers has stated;
"The ferries will fly the Danish flag, and I am also pleased to reveal that we will name the ferries Amsterdam Seaways and Newcastle Seaways in respect of the two cities they will be linking."
An increase of around 40% freight capacity will be seen on a full-year basis and the car capacity will see an increase in 5% which is supported by a cabin configuration that is better suited to the requirements of holiday-makers by car.
In 2018, Amsterdam<>Newcastle carried more than 600,000 passengers, 122,000 passenger vehicles and 350,000 lane metres of freight.
Moos went on to further say;
"I am confident we will see further growth in travel and trade, and with new ferries, we will be playing our part in servicing the additional numbers of passengers and exporters."