In a shock move, DFDS announces it will withdraw from the sole remaining UK-Scandinavia ferry route at the end of September. Visa-free travel has now started between Moldova and the EU.
DFDS CLOSES LAST UK-SCANDINAVIA FERRY ROUTE
Company blames new emissions rules
The last remaining ferry route between the UK and Scandinavia is to be axed.
The DFDS route between Harwich and Esbjerg in Denmark closes on 29 September.
The company blames the decision on new emissions rules, competition from budget airlines and declining freight volumes between the UK and Denmark.
A statement from DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard today says, ‘Unfortunately, 29 September will mark the end of an era and the possibility of sailing directly from Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark, on the historic ferry route that opened in 1875 with the inauguration of the port of Esbjerg.
‘The loss of tax-free sales and increasing competition from low-cost airlines mean that passenger numbers have fallen from 300,000 to around 80,000. Transport of industrial cargo between the UK and Denmark has also declined.’
He goes on to say the new low sulphur fuel rules due in January 2015 will entail an additional £2m in costs. Freight will be switched to the Esbjerg-Immingham route. All of the ship’s crew have been offered alternative jobs.
Having used the route just last week, and had a great time on-board, it’s shocking, tragic news. The only sea connection between the UK and Scandinavia is now restricted places on-board the DFDS freight ships Tilburg/Immingham-Gothenburg/Brevik.