Pearl Seaways

Press Release


Date: 2 July 2018

DFDS sail trainee Joseph Keenan is gearing up for the experience of a lifetime, as this month he will take part in the iconic Tall Ships Races.

Starting in Sunderland on 11 July – the first event of the series in partnership with Sail Training International – Joseph will be taking part in a number of events before he sets sail for Esbjerg on 14 July.

Joseph was nominated for this unique experience after DFDS, sponsors of the Tall Ships Races 2018, asked the public to nominate a young person they thought would benefit from this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Nominated by his aunt Helen Mackay, Joseph said, “I was shocked when I found out I’d been selected as I was so convinced I wouldn’t win that I’d actually forgotten my aunt had nominated me! I’m so happy to have been selected - my uncle is a Submariner and started his career in the same way but I never thought I’d have the chance to learn too.”

In the lead up to the event, Joseph has undergone several days of training to fully prepare for his four nights on board a tall ship, where he will be part of an on-board team putting his new-found skills to the test, before joining the Esbjerg Tall Ships festival and parade in Denmark.

“My training has taught me a lot about team work and the importance of supporting each individual team member which are really valuable life skills. The race will be a challenge but I can’t wait to get on board and am excited for the festival and parade once we get to Esbjerg too.”

Catherine Jowett at DFDS, said, “As a proud sponsor of the iconic Tall Ships Races in Sunderland we’re delighted to be giving Joseph the chance to take part in such a historic event. He is a worthy Sail Trainee and we wish him all the best for the event.”

Visitors to the Sunderland event will have access to a diverse programme of entertainment and cultural activity which will be delivered across the city over five days. During the races, more than 80 vessels from four different classes will cover over one thousand nautical miles across the seas over the course of three weeks.

In addition to sponsoring The Tall Ships Races, DFDS will also be exhibiting over the five days. They will be giving visitors a chance to see the giant DFDS LEGO Ship, Jubilee Seaways, which was on display at Blyth Tall Ships in 2016. Measuring 12.35 metres in length, the Jubilee Seaways was commissioned to celebrate the DFDS 150th anniversary in 2016. It contains 1,015,000 bricks and took 7,000 DFDS colleagues from 20 countries, 900 hours to create the build.

Visitors attending the event in Sunderland will also be able to make the most of an exclusive special offer of a 2 for 1 DFDS mini cruise to Amsterdam and will also be in with the chance of winning a hotel break to the Dutch capital courtesy of Ibis Amsterdam.


For further press information, please contact: Elsa Findlay / Charlotte Wright / 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.

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