January 23 Aura Seaways, Europe's largest ferry operator, DFDS, the largest ferry operator in Europe, launched its first voyage. The ferry will carry passengers and cargo on the route between Klaipeda and Karlshamn, Sweden.
"Aura Seaways is the first DFDS-certified ferry to be built since 1982. Finally, we will be able to offer our customers more capacity, more comfortable and better travel for passengers and truck drivers, more services and modern spaces, which will ensure an even better travel experience. The new ferry also responds better to our sustainability ambitions - reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030. Aura Seaways meets EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) standards. The CO2 emissions of a ferry per transported semi-trailer will be 20% smaller than our current ferries, ”says Anders Refsgaard, DFDS Vice President and Head of the Baltic Region.
"We have not had a ferry of this size in Klaipeda yet. In terms of cargo capacity, it is currently the largest ro-pax vessel in the Baltic Sea, capable of carrying a line of 4.5 km of cars. Its rear ramps, through which cars enter, the public spaces of cargo decks and passengers look impressive, ”says Jonas Nazarov, CEO of AB DFDS Seaways.
Trip to Lithuania - with armed protection
The ferry trip from the shipyard in China to Klaipeda took 28 days. After covering more than 11,000 nautical miles, the new DFDS cargo-passenger ferry Aura Seaways moored in Klaipeda on the night of January 17, 2022. Preparatory work and the inspection of the Lithuanian and Danish maritime administrations took another week.
Vytautas Valteras, the captain of Aura Seaways, a long-term employee of DFDS, shares his impressions of the success of this extraordinary trip: “sailing from China to Lithuania was very exciting, because such a long trip by ferry is not a common thing. The Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal, the Straits of Malacca are places that excite every sailor. Overall, the voyage was smooth, and minor technical glitches are what to expect, especially when the ship just left the yard. ”
Leaving China, the ferry had to make a 120-nautical-mile bend to avoid the typhoon raging there. On the way to the Suez Canal, along the Somali coast, Aura Seaways sailed with armed protection to protect itself from terrorist and pirate attacks. At that time, the ship was subject to a special security regime which followed stricter procedures.
Convenience for travellers and special comfort for drivers
“Cargo transportation is one of the essential services provided by our company. There are many drivers on our ferries, so we are very happy to offer them even more comfortable trips. For the convenience of drivers, the ferry has a separate dining and rest area. So, I hope that both drivers and passengers will appreciate the amenities provided by the new ship, ”says Nazarov.
Travellers in Aura Seaways will find three restaurants, three bars, a shop, a children’s playroom, and spacious public areas.
The new ferry will not have a lounge area - all passengers will travel in double or quadruple cabins.
On its first voyage, Aura Seaways sailed more than 3,000 linear cargo meters and 330 passengers to Karlshamn, including tug drivers, served by 49 Lithuanian crew members. The ferry between Sweden and Lithuania will sail every day. After leaving in the evening, you will reach the port of destination in the morning after 11 hours of travel.
DFDS operates more than 20 ferry routes across Europe (9 of which carry passengers). The company carries over 5 million passengers a year. There are currently 8 DFDS ferries operating in the Baltic Sea, serving four routes: from Klaipeda to Kiel (Germany), Karlshamn (Sweden), Kiogee / Fredericia (Denmark) and from Paldiski (Estonia) to Kapelskar (Sweden).
Technical data of the vessel:
Year of construction: 2021
Length of the boat: 230 m
Ship width: 32 m
Cargo capacity: 4500 linear meters
Passenger capacity: 600
Deadweight: 12750 t.
Championing the Seas!
We're elated to announce that DFDS has been named the World's Leading Ferry Operator 2023 at the prestigious World Travel Awards – our 13th consecutive win!
This accolade cements our commitment to providing unparalleled experiences for our passengers and reflects the hard work of our exceptional team members who are dedicated to ensuring each voyage is as exceptional as the next.
We are also proud to announce that we have been nominated as Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2024 and we’d love your support once again.