Gold Ribbon Banner
Wednesday, January 22, 2020


We are well used to Italian operator Moby Lines acquiring good quality well maintained, but well used, ships from Danish owned European giant DFDS, the ships acquired by Moby subsequently being dressed in their huge daubings of largely US cartoon characters. DFDS is known for their tasteful and classy livery and the elegance of their ships so it is a shock to see the reversal of vessel movement with the two major modern hulls moving from Moby to DFDS, who in return will offl oad to Moby their ageing fl eet units Princess Seaways and King Seaways. DFDS will be taking, for their Tyne-Ijmuiden route, the 2001-built Moby Wonder and the 2005-built Moby Aki, not only newer more modern ships, but increased capacity, especially of freight. The deal is expected to be completed in October 2019. Then, DFDS will subsequently bareboatcharter King Seaways and Princess Seaways from Moby until January and February 2020, respectively until their new ex Moby acquisitions are refurbished – and I sincerely hope they are re-liveried appropriately. The refurbished ferries are expected to be deployed on Ijmuiden/ Amsterdam – Tyne during the fi rst quarter of 2020.

Princess Seaways has been routed from the Tyne for around ten years and is a well travelled ship. She was delivered in ’86 as Peter Pan at Bremerhaven, Germany for TTLine and I was in Travemunde in ’87 when she was docking there from Trelleborg in Sweden, and an impressive if slab sided vision she was. Between 1993 and 2002, the ship operated as Spirit of Tasmania across the Bass Strait. In 2002, she was sold to Fjord Line and renamed Fjord Norway. In 2006, she came to DFDS Seaways and sailed as Princess of Norway before being given her current name in 2011 during the DFDS major rebranding exercise.

By the way, DFDS is one of the ferry companies the UK Department for Transport awarded a contract earlier in 2019 in order to prepare for “the possibility of severe congestion at and around UK ports caused by increased border checks by European Union Member States”.

Under the contract worth €47 million (USD 53.7 million), DFDS agreed to provide additional capacity on Immingham – Cuxhaven, Immingham – Rotterdam, and Felixstowe – Rotterdam. (The scheme included two further companies – Brittany Ferries and Seaborne Freight – and a total contract value for all three companies of GBP 103 million).

See the once fi ne looking Queen of Scandinavia from whose restaurant I once watched the fi nal departure of QE2 from Norway while I was returning to the UK from Bergen, now she is quite a sight as the Moby Dada. And then Moby Otta once took me to Kristiansand and Gothenburg as DFDS’s stately Princess of Scandinavia. The Moby Love is one of their oldest vessels and she is looking well and not too abused since she was the familiar King Orry of IOMSP on the Irish Sea.

Otherwise, DFDS is not losing any of its vision and business acumen acquiring two modern freighters for a new Sweden- Belgium service and its new and largest ever freighter, the Ephesus Seaways, delivered from China early this year, has commenced a high capacity Turkey- Europe link.

This news makes me believe the UK continues to diminish as a maritime and, therefore, as an economic power, and increasingly is destined to become an economic backwater in comparison with its august past.

This year was quite bleak on the UK excursion scene. The embarrassing breakdown of Scillonian that stranded her passengers en route Penzance- St Marys is another (it seems to me) indication that the UK Government as in the West of Scotland has been neglectful in its shipping, marine engineering and ship-building policy (or lack of it) the very means of keeping the country’s separate parts together, even here to the detriment of the Scilly Isles. And the yard that built Scillonian more than 40 years ago has, recently, closed at Appledore.

In 2019, both Waverley and Balmoral were withdrawn with serious faults and await results of major fundraising. It looks like Waverley will make good progress, with, thankfully, an order being placed with Scottish based boiler makers and engineers Cochrans at Annan. It is changes in repair policy at the Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency that seems to be Balmoral’s greatest and I would suggest most unfair issue, affecting where ‘doubled’ plates – once perfectly acceptable, are no longer – now and retrospectively. ‘Doubled’, and otherwise thin plates need to be entirely removed and renewed. It is bizarre that as fewer UK ships exist, they are hit by public bodies with increasing bureaucracy and regulation when fewer and fewer yards are able, or willing, to do the expensive work and no funds are identifi ed to help pay for it.

I have heard the lovely preserved ex Manchester Ship Canal steam tug and one time inspection vessel Daniel Adamson, increasingly known as just ‘The Danny’, and largely for 2019 just cruising on the lower reaches of the River Weaver in Cheshire, is doing well and attracting a goodly number of youngsters from school parties etc which is what the lottery funders, ie those with the purse strings, say they increasingly require, ie not just saving a vessel for its own intrinsic value. The MV Balmoral charity, is facing an estimated £3 million to get the historic vessel back on the water and it is too early to say whether she will be in business cruising in 2020.

I recall two attractive excursion vessels that got away from the UK – probably fortunately for them – that are now restored and working well. The fi rst dating from 1904 was the little fjord steamer Stavenes, 181 gt once a familiar sight at Birkenhead and I saw her once at Port Penrhyn in North Wales. I fi rst witnessed her being worked on in dry dock by a job creation scheme for young people in Birkenhead and obviously the subject of many £1,000s in government funds. And much structural work was in hand, I thought what a wonderful way to learn worthwhile engineering skills and restore historic ships in the bargain. How naiive I was in those days. I had thought I was witnessing joined up thinking and maximising the use of scarce public moneys. The next thing I knew was the little ship had been sold back to Norway and all the investment in it had been effectively written off. She was laid up for a while in Norway, but eventually fully restored and in steam once more and see her here looking very smart and a worthy member of the large contingent of beautifully restored Norwegian vessels.

For more information regrading DFDS visit

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - November 2019 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!


Most Popular

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • RNLI to Cut 135 Jobs +

  • Twenty Years of Cruise Ships +

    Twenty Years of Cruise Ships ON AUG 30, the Port of Tyne celebrated 20 years of cruise ship travel. Read More
  • Race Through Horrendous Seas to Aid Fishing Vessel +

    Race Through Horrendous Seas to Aid Fishing Vessel ON THE afternoon of Aug 30, a fishing vessel reported to the Coastguard that she had lost power near Peterhead, Read More
  • RAF Chinooks Arrive by Sea From us and Fly to Their Base From Quayside +

    RAF Chinooks Arrive by Sea THE Atlantic Container Line (ACL) won a contract from Boeing Defence UK to transport seven Chinook helicopters across the Atlantic Read More
  • Launch of a Unique Memorial to a Memory +

    Launch of a Unique Memorial to a Memory THE NEW Invergordon Shannon class lifeboat which enters service next spring will feature the names of thousands of people in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Tanker Returns to Shipyard After Hurricane +

    Tanker Returns to Shipyard After Hurricane The Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) officially resumed operations and welcomed back its first commercial vessel following Hurricane Dorian. Read More
  • Boost for Area's Exports and Jobs Forecast +

    Port of Morrow in Oregon THE EXTENSION of the barge service at the port of Morrow, in Oregon, is one of only three projects on Read More
  • USCG Cutter and Two Life Boats Ensure Damaged Vessel Reached Post +

    USCG Life Boat In a four-day operation off the coast of Oregon, three separate vessels of the US Coast Guard towed a 50ft Read More
  • Operation to Salvage Three Tugs +

    Tug Salvage THE US Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the sinking of three vessels in the Illinois River near Hardin, Read More
  • Terminal Being Made 'Big Ship Ready' for 2021 +

    Terminal Being Made Big Ship Ready WORK has started on the expansion of Seattle’s Terminal 5 so it can handle container ships of up to 18,000 Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • Next Generation of Bulk Carrier Handed Over +

    Next Generation of Bulk Carrier Handed Over THE JAPANESE shipbuilder Japan Marine United has delivered what it described as “a next-generation energy-saving bulk carrier” to Nissen Kaiun, Read More
  • Coal Carrier to Serve Japanese Power Stations +

    Coal Carrier to Serve Japanese Power Stations THE Japanese shipping line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), have taken delivery of the coal carrier Corona Citrus, 88,000dwt, built Read More
  • Network Demands Recovery of the Second VDR +

    Stellar Daisy A new search has been demanded to recover the second Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) from the wreck of the South Read More
  • First of Giant New Container Ships is Handed Over +

    MSC Gulsun THE SWISS-based Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has taken delivery of one of the world’s largest container ships, the MSC Gulsun, Read More
  • The Last New Magnolia Ship in Series +

    The Last New Magnolia Ship THE Singapore-based container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) has taken delivery of the 14,000 teu capacity ONE Cygnus, 138,611dwt, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • US Navy Orders Another Two Expeditionary Sea Base Ships +

    US Navy Orders Another Two Expeditionary Sea Base Ships American News The expansion of the US Navy’s amphibious capability continues with the announcement that General Dynamics NASSCO has received Read More
  • RFA Tideforce is Welcomed into Service +

    RFA Tideforce BRITISH News THE FOURTH and last of the new Tide class tankers, RFA Tideforce, was offi cially accepted into service Read More
  • USS Cincinnati to be Delivered to US Navy +

    USS Cincinnati US News USS CINCINNATI is the latest member of the expanding littoral combat ship fl eet to be delivered to Read More
  • Scorpene Sub Snags +

    INS Khanderi indian News The troubled Scorpene class submarine program hit another snag in June. Read More
  • US Navy’s Frigate Program Passes Significant Hurdle +

    USS Minneapolis-St Paul US News The US Navy has unveiled its plans for the purchase of a new frigate known as FFG(X). Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • DFDS and Moby +

  • From Port Glasgow Nationalisation to Philip & Son, Dartmouth +

    Red Eagle So, not many months ago, nationalisation was unfashionable and unlikely ever to return, especially within the EU where that institution’s Read More
  • Alan Sinclair to Nova Star +

    Glen Sannox Those in management positions must dread the retirement of those characters who retire from their life’s work with a wealth Read More
  • Fragile Future for Calmac +

    Isle of Arran TMore and more, I am reading reports that say the media, and the public too, are well aware of the Read More
  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Visits to Brixham and the Pin Mill Race +

    Visits to Brixham and the Pin Mill Race In July, the brigantine Tres Hombres called at Brixham on passage from the Caribbean to Amsterdam with 35 tonnes of Read More
  • From Gloucester Tall Ships to Kenyan Sailing Dhows +

    Royalist Gloucester Dock is linked to the River Severn at Sharpness by a 16 mile canal. Read More
  • The Zea Servant +

    Zea Servant The Hong Kong registered Zea Servant arrived late June from Hull. She was in Campbeltown to load wind turbines for Read More
  • The Green Band of Marstal +

    Bessie Ellen The Danish Maritime Museum had the schooner Bonavista built on the island of Aero at Marstal and this year they Read More
  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Flying Focus Calendar 2020 +

    Flying Focus Calendar 2020 FOR MORE THAN 30 years, Flying Focus, based in the Netherlands, has specialised in maritime aerial photography.. Read More
  • Seized Stena Impero Leaves Oran, Owner Confirms +

    Seized Stena Impero Leaves Oran, Owner Confirms It was good news to hear in late September that, according to the ship’s owner, Stena Bulk, the detained tanker Read More
  • Gulf Tensions Result in Cruise Cancellations +

    Oceana IN THE ‘MESSAGE FROM THE BRIDGE’ I referred to the tensions with Iran in the Gulf, following the seizure in Read More
  • Waverley Appeal Reaches Half Million Milestone +

    Waverley Appeal THE WAVERLEY – the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world – had to be withdrawn from service in May this year Read More
  • Welcome to 'Spirit Of Discovery' - Farewell to 'Oriana' +

    Spirit of Discovery WITHIN the last two months the British cruise industry has welcomed the arrival of Saga Cruises, 58,250gt, Spirit of Discovery, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Silversea Cruises has Partnered with French Luxury Glassmaker Lalique +

    Silver Shadow SILVERSEA CRUISES has partnered with French luxury glassmaker Lalique to enhance the dining experience onboard Silver Shadow and Silver Moon. Read More
  • Billionaire Arthur Blank has his own Dreamboat +

    Billionaire Arthur Blank's Dreamboat ARTHUR BLANK helped create the American home improvement store chain, Home Depot, and it seems that now, his new fl Read More
  • Boudicca Pays Tribute to D-Day Veterans +

    Boudicca Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines were proud to have played its part in hosting 250 D-Day veterans. Read More
  • Captain of a Modern Passenger Carrying Sail Ship +

    Sea Cloud 2 If you have ever wondered what qualities a Captain of a cruise vessel might need to have listed on his Read More
  • Every Ash Cloud Has A Silver Lining +

    The ash cloud crisis continues to cause uncertainty as we see sporadic closures of airspace and cancelled flights, and this Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places


An Unexpected Job in Cuba

In 1948, I joined the MV Yamaska Park as an EDH and, over the first few days aboard, I became Read More
Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Seventy-Five Years On

Seventy-Five Years On

In 1944, Tom Bradbury was serving as a 22-year-old Royal Navy lieutenant in the DIDO class cruiser HMS Scylla. Having Read More
The Falkland Robinson Crusoe

The Falkland Robinson Crusoe

During the 1982 South Atlantic conflict between Britain and Argentina over control of the archipelago known to the British as Read More
  • 1
  • 2