Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque has embarked on an extensive refit and rebrand covering seven passenger ferries in the DFDS Seaways fleet.
Three ferries that operate on the route between Dover (UK) and Dunkirk (France) have already been refurbished over a three-week period at Damen’s Dunkirk yard. They included Dover Seaways, Dunkerque Seaways and Delft Seaways.
During the refits, Damen carried out typical drydock work and also overhauled the propulsion, stern and bow thrusters, rudders, engines and repainted the vessels with the company’s new livery. In addition, engineers rehung Dunkerque Seaways’ bow doors and upgraded her Kongsberg Power Management and Control System with the latest hardware and software.
DFDS’ two new ferries – Côte des Flandres and Côte des Dunes – also underwent similar refits prior to joining the fleet on the Dover-Calais service this February.
“We mainly chose to go to Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque for this extensive refit programme because of its large drydock, which is very suitable given the amount of paintwork involved in this project and when there is a tight schedule,” said Nigel Cureton, DFDS’ fleet group manager. “And because this shipyard is closest to the cross-channel routes, this gives us flexibility should we encounter delays. However, there were no delays and all five vessels were delivered on time and on schedule.”
To ensure it could complete the five-vessel refit in the required tight timeframe, Damen formed a joint project team with DFDS and Trimline, which carried out interior refurbishments. The company also tripled its usual 150-strong team while the vessels where in the yard.
“There was a lot of competition for this major refit project,” said Bob Derks, Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque’s managing director. “I think DFDS Seaways appreciate the efforts and investments we’ve made at our facility and we are continuously making improvements.”
Damen is currently completing work on the final two ferries, Calais Seaways and Malo Seaways.