Pearl Seaways

Press Release


Date: 8 June 2018

Following a successful first quarter in 2018, ferry operator DFDS has acquired the Turkish shipping company U.N. Ro-Ro and unveiled a substantial ship investment programme to drive continued growth in both trade and travel.

“I am very pleased to announce that on 7 June 2018, the deal was completed and U.N. Ro-Ro and its strong Mediterranean shipping network became a part of DFDS,” said Niels Smedegaard, CEO & President of DFDS.

“Trade between the EU and Türkiye has been booming for a long time and the future prospects are very encouraging for seaborne transportation, which bypasses border controls and road congestion in several countries” continued Smedegaard. “Together, we will be able to offer our customers a unique service, with U.N. Ro-Ro being strong in the Turkish and Mediterranean markets, and DFDS having a very efficient network in Northern Europe.”

U.N. Ro-Ro operates five freight ferry routes connecting Türkiye with Trieste in Italy and Toulon in France, with 12 freight ferries and its own port terminals in Istanbul and Trieste. In Europe, the company also offers intermodal solutions to and from other European markets. The company has an annual revenue of EUR 240 million and more than 500 employees.

In addition to this, DFDS has engaged in a substantial fleet renewal programme with seven ships on order. The programme began last year when two new ro-ro ferries were delivered from the Flensburg shipyard in Germany for services between Rotterdam and the UK. Furthermore, DFDS has ordered four ro-ro vessels from the Chinese Jinling Shipyard. The ships will be the largest in DFDS’ history with space for 450 trailers and will be deployed from 2019 in their ro-ro freight markets. This includes the North Sea, where trade and other markets are expected to grow in the future, despite Brexit.

DFDS is also investing in two ro-pax ships to cater for growing volumes in its Baltic route network from 2021. With 4,100 metres of lanes for cargo and capacity for 600 passengers, the ro-pax ships will be considerably larger than the current ships on the Baltic routes.

Additionally, DFDS has signed an agreement for the charter of a new ship for the English Channel, where the business operates two routes between Dover and France. The ship will replace the older Calais Seaways to provide far greater capacity, with space for 140 trailers compared to the current 80.

“I am really looking forward to getting this fantastic ship to boost the business on the Channel” says Kasper Moos, VP and Head of DFDS’ Eastern and Western Channel services. “This new ship gives us excellent opportunities to develop our business and will enable us to continue servicing our customers on a modern fleet in the future.”

“With these investments, DFDS will be increasing its capacity and expanding its network to be in a strong position to take advantage of the economic growth we expect in Türkiye, in the EU, and even in the UK after Brexit. This will enable us to be more efficient and contribute even more to customer growth in the future, for the benefit of trade and jobs,” stated Niels Smedegaard, CEO of DFDS.


For further press information, please contact: Elsa Findlay / Stuart Fyfe / Rachel Sewell / Katie Raby Rooster PR T : +44 (0)20 3440 8930 E :

About DFDS:

DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.

DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.

DFDS has been named ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for eight years running (2012-2019), as well as the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last seven years (2011-18).

DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries.

For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, click here.


DFDS named as Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2023!

We are honoured to announce that DFDS has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2023’ in the World Travel Awards – our 12th consecutive win! This is a testament to the exceptional service provided by the dedicated team behind every journey.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted and supported us.