Côte d’Opale Sets Sail
The latest ship on the Channel, Côte d’Opale, has been named in an official ceremony at the new Port of Calais last week.
Attended by dignitaries, press and DFDS staff including CEO Torben Carlsen, the event saw the ship officially named and set sail on her maiden voyage on the evening of 4 August.
Marvelling at the ship’s efficiency, Torben spoke of the environmental impact of the ship as well as its namesake, the beautiful Opal Coast of Northern France.
We are lucky to have the inspirational Peggy Bouchet as the Godmother of the ship. The first woman to row across the Atlantic, Peggy overcame huge challenges and faced them with determination. Her motto is Dare always, Give way sometimes, Give up never! The perfect attitude to bless our mighty Côte d’Opale with.
Once the ceremonial champagne was smashed against the front of the ship, glasses of the sparkly stuff were handed out to guests to toast the arrival and naming of the longest ship on the channel.
Guests were treated to a tour of the vessel before being seated for dinner onboard. As night fell Côte d’Opale set sail from Calais and arrived in Dover little over an hour later to fanfare and fireworks! What a way to start her service!
She will now continue to sail between Calais and Dover welcoming passengers, freight and maybe a few DFDS staff to enjoy her fantastic facilities onboard!
Welcome to the Channel Côte d’Opale!
July Update: Côte d’Opale arrives for berthing trials
In the early hours of 9 July, Côte d’Opale arrived at Dunkirk Port. Over the weekend she sailed into her future home, Calais Port, and on Monday 12 July arrived in Dover Port. Her to-ing and fro-ing is for berthing trials to ensure she fits comfortably into her new homes, where she will sail regularly to and from next month.
Over the coming weeks, Côte d’Opale will receive hundreds of deliveries to make sure she is well stocked for crew and passengers for her first sailing next month. The shelves in the Duty Free shop will be stacked full of perfumes, cosmetics and alcohol for passengers to peruse. The restaurants and cafes will be well stocked with delectable delights for those sailing onboard and car decks will be swept, prepped and ready to welcome hundreds of cars, lorries and bikes onboard for their journey between England and France.
Until then, our crew are getting everything prepared in order to welcome passengers onboard in a matter of weeks, with perhaps a few opportunities to capture some great sunset shots.
The countdown is on…we can’t wait!
June Update: She’s on her way!
Following the handover of the Côte d’Opale last month, she is on her way to Dover ready for berthing trials in a matter of weeks.
After a scheduled stop in Singapore to refuel and restock, she once again set sail under the trusted hands of Captain Poisson.
Most recently she has stopped in Galle, Sri Lanka. She will then sail through the Suez Canal and more scheduled stops will take place in Port Said and Malta, before she arrives to the shores of Dover later this summer.
En route, she has seen stunning sunsets, and beautiful seas. Take a look at some of the shots captured by our crew!
Inside, her shiny new interior is waiting for customers to enjoy! Our Ship Guide sets out exactly what you can find onboard, as well as a handy deck map to see where everything is. Take a look below. We can’t wait to welcome you onboard.
May Update: Ship Handover
On Monday 17 May the Côte d'Opale was delivered to us six weeks ahead of schedule. We have signed a long-term charter agreement with Stena RoRo and the 216-metre-long ferry will become the longest ferry operating on the English Channel.
To mark the delivery, a ceremony with representatives from Stena RoRo, DFDS and the shipyard was held on site and the ferry will soon embark on her maiden voyage to Europe where she will set sail on the Dover – Calais route this summer.
The large capacity of the Côte d'Opale means energy consumption per trailer transported will be significantly decreased compared to Calais Seaways which she is replacing. Take a look at our infographic to see how they compare.
The bow and stern are specially designed to fit the quayside facilities in both ports, and in addition, it is equipped with a third bow thruster to facilitate the many daily manoeuvres in port.
We can’t wait to welcome the Côte d'Opale to our Dover – Calais route in a matter of months. See you onboard!
April update: Take a 360 interactive tour of our new ship to have a sneak peek of the interior
The Côte D’Opale is coming together nicely and she will soon be heading out for sea trials later this month. The finishing touches will take place in June and July before her inaugural sailing this summer. However, for a sneak peek of the interior of the ship, take a look at our interactive 360 tour of the ship below.
March Update: Q&A with Onboard Commercial Director, Steve Newbery.
With the launch of the Côte d'Opale getting closer, we thought we would catch up with our Onboard Commercial Director, Steve Newbery, to find out more about this ship which will be setting sail with us this summer.
What are you most excited about for the new Côte d'Opale ship?
I’m excited about the impact it will make to our customers. With additional freight capacity, spacious interior restaurants, new Duty Free shop and relaxation areas, it will be a fantastic ship for both our freight and leisure customers.
What makes this different to the Calais Seaways which she is replacing?
The Côte d'Opale is much longer in length. In fact, it will be the longest ship on the channel, meaning freight capacity will be significantly improved. Plus, there will be plenty of room to relax, have a bite to eat and take in the sea air on deck. The Côte d'Opale has half the number of engines as Calais Seaways so will be much more environmentally friendly with improvements in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to the Calais Seaways. She will also offer a very smooth crossing with her active stabilisation.
What can passengers expect to find onboard?
The Côte d'Opale will have the largest Duty Free retail space on the channel with 1100 square metres. Our onboard shop will offer Duty Free savings of up to 50% on a range of premium perfumes, wines, spirits and more!
It will also offer a choice of three restaurants with various dishes, some inspired by the Côte d'Opale region itself.
As our ferries run 24 hours a day, there will also be dedicated spaces onboard for passengers to relax. Our Premium Lounge will offer an exclusive, laid back space for passengers to spend a peaceful crossing with scenic sea views and complimentary refreshments. But I think everyone will notice the relaxing space onboard available to enjoy the journey.
Not forgetting our freight drivers, the Road Kings lounge will offer complimentary dining, showers and a place for drivers to rest. It will be the largest Road Kings and provide everything our valued drivers need to relax and refresh.
Describe the Côte d'Opale in three words.
Spacious, modern and exciting.
When will the Côte d'Opale set sail?
The Côte d'Opale will set sail this summer, just in time for those long-awaited summer holidays, and all the DFDS Channel team look forward to welcoming her.
February Update: Dining Onboard
As Chinese New Year fell on our production yard in Weihai, those working on the Côte d'Opale got a well-deserved rest. Their hard work means the ship is almost 90% complete.
As one of the largest ships on the channel, the Côte d'Opale is well equipped for post-covid travel.
Passengers will receive an inclusive meal on every crossing in restaurants set up for socially distanced dining. For light bites, the Lighthouse Café will offer sandwiches, bean-to-cup coffee and too good to resist cakes! French dishes such as Magret de Canard and Tartiflette will be available in our 7 Seas restaurant, as well as classic options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For an exclusive experience, the Premium Lounge is a relaxing space with complimentary refreshments, prosecco and stunning sea views.
Our Road Kings Lounge will give drivers a filling meal and a place to rest. Premium facilities also include hot showers and a quiet lounge for drivers to sleep while they sail.
With sea-views, spacious seating and delicious dishes, you’ll be wanting to travel on the Côte d'Opale again!
January Update: Shopping at Sea
Building started in May 2019 and there is just 15% of the build left until she is ready! Three hundred people are working on the ship to prepare her for the sea trials in May, after which the Côte D’Opale will be ready to welcome you onboard. Her 214 metres length and the capacity for 1000 passengers, will make her our longest ferry on the Channel.
The Côte D’Opale will have the largest retail space of our channel ships stretching 1,100 square metres in an open plan concept. A large atrium with a skylight will be the centrepiece of the retail experience onboard. There will be separate ‘wings’ for each product category including perfume & cosmetics, wine & spirits and technology. Duty Free will add more excitement, with huge savings on premium products available onboard.
With shopping and dining experiences to rival large shopping centres or airports, the ship will offer more space, more choice, and a unique travel experience for our valued customers.
See how our ship is shaping up and how our retail area onboard will look!
December Update: Côte D’Opale vs Calais Seaways
As we look forward to welcoming the Côte D’Opale into the Channel family here is a quick look at how she compares to the much-loved Calais Seaways which she will replace on our Dover to Calais route.
Built in 1991 and upgraded in 2013, Calais Seaways is a familiar ship on the Channel routes. She has seen families embark on unforgettable summer holidays, couples set sail on memorable mini-breaks and countless truck drivers bring vital supplies to our shores. Unfortunately she is reaching the end of her life and is being replaced by a new ship.
The Côte D’Opale is currently under construction and is 75% complete. The familiar restaurants, Premium Lounge and children’s play area will all be available onboard, with a refreshed interior design. A brand-new Duty Free shop will be open too for our customers to browse and indulge in some retail therapy. We will also have our dedicated Road Kings area exclusively for truck drivers so they can enjoy a meal, a rest and a shower before their onward journey.
The Côte D’Opale will boast more space onboard for customers to relax, refresh and refuel before their arrival in France and she will be more environmentally friendly too. Her diesel engines will use less fuel and her sleek hull design will drive two propellers that give the ship a service speed of 20-22 knots.
Take a look at the specifications below to see how the two ships compare.
|Cruising speed: 18 knots
|Cruising speed:20-22 knots
|Passenger capacity: 1600
|Passenger capacity: 1000 in current configuration.
|Car capacity: 1745 lane Metres
|Car capacity: 3100 lane Metres.
|Build year: 1991
|Build year: 2021