Copenhagen headquartered DFDS reports that it has entered into an agreement with the Italian ferry company Moby to acquire the two combined freight and passenger ferries Moby Wonder and Moby Aki, built in 2001 and 2005, respectively.
DFDS says that it is acquiring the ships for the purpose of raising the customer experience and the capacity for both passengers and freight customers on its Amsterdam, Netherlands – Newcastle, U.K. route.
Moby will in turn acquire the two passenger ferries currently operating on the route — King Seaways and Princess Seaways, built in 1987 and 1986, respectively.
“The new ferries are ideally suited for our Amsterdam-Newcastle route. Their modern onboard facilities and higher car-deck capacity will allow us to grow revenue by fulfilling the growing demand from high-yield car passengers. To freight customers, we will be able to offer increased capacity that can remain constant throughout the year,” says Peder Gellert Pedersen, EVP and Head of DFDS’ Ferry Division.
The agreement is expected to be completed in the second half of October 2019. DFDS will subsequently bareboat-charter King Seaways and Princess Seaways from Moby until January and February 2020, respectively.
Meanwhile, the two ferries acquired from Moby will be refurbished to suit the Amsterdam-Newcastle route. This includes commercial and technical investments on board as well as port investments. Presumably it will also see the pair get a rather more restrained paint job.
The refurbished ferries are expected to be deployed on Amsterdam-Newcastle during the first quarter of 2020.
Freight capacity on the route will be increased by around 40% on a full-year basis. The car capacity will increase by around 5% on a full-year basis supported by a cabin configurationi well suited to the requirements of vacationers traveling by car.
In 2018, Amsterdam-Newcastle carried more than 600,000 passengers, 122,000 passenger vehicles and 350,000 lane meters of freight.
The capacity increase will provide an opportunity to accommodate further growth in trade and travel, including a large tourism flow, between U.K. and Continental Europe.
The investment in the renewal, including proceeds from the sale of Princess Seaways and King Seaways, is expected to amount to around $150 million, which includes a substantial investment in refurbishment.