DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by Nautica »

Risberg wrote: 10 Jun 2024 17:58
Nautica wrote: 10 Jun 2024 16:55 It’s interesting how DFDS proposed the quite ambitious hydrogen vessel concept for the route in form of Europa Seaways, even in the middle of a pandemic (October 2020 if I’m not mistaken).

Gotlandsbolaget being an advocate for hydrogen propulsion themselves with their own Horizon series, one could think they’d use it as their core solution for future newbuilds.
In my opinion, however, the route is subject to some unpredictability with Oslo Havn expressing interest to combine all international routes from Vippetangen, much to Color Line’s disapproval given their current location at Filipstad.
We could potentially see a conflict with Color Line regarding future timetables if Oslo Havn’s plan is fulfilled, potentially resulting in a similar dispute they had with Fjord Line about their operations to Strömstad. Or a competition more reminiscent of Tallink and Viking Line.

Source reviewing Oslo Havn’s proposal for a unified terminal at Vippetangen: https://www.vartoslo.no/bane-nor-color- ... tet/558863

Well, first Oslo wanted the ferries located at Kongshavn, with terrible geological conditions and very little space for pedestrians along the E6 into town. Color Line have strong "attachment contracts" (this is a Google translation I'm not sure is correct) for decades at their present location Hjortneskaien, and have threatened to take Oslo to court, if they try to remove them. Therefore it surprises me that they now consider Kongshavn, being the last "cruise ferry" operator.
Thank you for the insights, I wasn’t aware of the details behind Color Line’s juridical rights over their current location.
I would assume Color Line’s first priority is to evade being unified with a terminal shared with international operators. Firstly due to the timetable being quite identical with DFDS’ current one (I’m not sure if there would be capacity for simultaneous docking for both companies), secondly due to potential traffic jams from Vippetangen.

Kongshavn could potentially give Color Line a strategic advantage over Vippetangen when considering freight and easier access to the highway, but perhaps at the expense of their current passenger traffic. Ironically, Oslo Havn is now arguing against a terminal at Kongshavn, citing financial reasons, The Green Party also expressing disagreement as well.
If I understand correctly, Kongshavn also provides good access to rail transport?

Color Line’s current location do provide them with numerous advantages, meaning it’s not unthinkable they would need to rethink their operations if a move is inevitable, e.g. to a more freight oriented service.
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by Nautica »

Risberg wrote: 10 Jun 2024 18:19 There are pretty many scenarios by this overtake:
 
  1. Nobody sees any future in the route, but DFDS doesn't want to be accused of having closed it, so they sell it cheep to Gotlandsbolaget, who are just interested in the ships, to put into service between Sweden and Finland. Hardly.
  2. Gotlandsbolaget intend to run the route as it is today. Neither very likely.
  3. Gotlandsbolaget plan to put faster ferries (like the ones they have to Gotland today) between Copenhagen and Oslo. They may even speculate in using their Gotland ferries if and when the Swedish government take over the Gotland routes.
  4. Gotlandsbolagt will stop calling Frederikshavn.
  5. Gotlandsbolaget will shorten the route to Frederikshavn - Oslo.
 
This time they take over a complete route, not half a line, like when they took over the Swedish part of TT-Line.  Their German adventures haven't been very successful - the Rostock - Visby - Nynäshamn service was suspended.
These are interesting thoughts, and I especially agree on DFDS securing a sales value of their operations and ships, rather than closing a route overnight, and having perfectly operational ships in lay-up while waiting for satisfactory bids.

However, I can’t see the operation being beneficial with increased speeds for numerous reasons: DFDS has already lowered their speeds on multiple occasions, before calling at Frederikshavn from 2020, plus Color Line’s SuperSpeed 2 travel time is also increased during low season. This seems like a significant cost saving measure, and a lowered fuel consumption could be of greater importance when the FuelEU Maritime regulation is effective.

Regarding the idea of a route shortage, Stena Line axing the Oslo-Frederikshavn route seems to me being a red flag to operate solely to Frederikshavn, which might also be reflected by DFDS decision not to include foot passengers. Thus a priority for additional freight.
Copenhagen and Oslo appears to be the core of the operations, especially owing to passenger traffic, including tourism. The latter being emphasized by DFDS having established relations with travel agencies abroad, noticeably with a significant tourist flow from South Korea and China.
 
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by Risberg »

Nautica wrote: 10 Jun 2024 18:33
Kongshavn could potentially give Color Line a strategic advantage over Vippetangen when considering freight and easier access to the highway, but perhaps at the expense of their current passenger traffic. Ironically, Oslo Havn is now arguing against a terminal at Kongshavn, citing financial reasons, The Green Party also expressing disagreement as well.
If I understand correctly, Kongshavn also provides good access to rail transport?

Color Line’s current location do provide them with numerous advantages, meaning it’s not unthinkable they would need to rethink their operations if a move is inevitable, e.g. to a more freight oriented service.
The whole thing started as a fight between the urban planning department of the city of Oslo and the port of Oslo. Like so many other cities, the urban planners wanted to throw out everything that has to do with a commercial harbour from both Vippetangen and Hjortneskaien. The director of the port was against any changes, and happened to express that rather arrogant in a discussion that, ooops, became public. So Oslo got a new, "urban planning friendly" (female) harbour director. What surprises me now is a) how anybody can imagine both DFDS and Color Line on Vippetangen - the space is already to small for the Copenhagen ferries and b) that Color Line now considers Kongshavn. What surprises me less is that the port is against Kongshavn, just across the railway and highway there are huge oil store rooms in the mountain, partly being a storage for wartime and other crisis, and there is a large danger or risk zone around those store rooms. And, as mentioned, the geological conditions are bad, the entire Kongshavn could slide out into the firth.

Yes, there would be rail access, but I don't immediately see the advantage of that for the ferry services. There is a railway parallel to the Oslo - Copenhagen service through Sweden. The tracks go to the Alnabru freight terminal on a rather steep branch line, and the only trains running there now are airplane fuel tank waggons in the night. 
 
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by Risberg »

Nautica wrote: 10 Jun 2024 18:48

Regarding the idea of a route shortage, Stena Line axing the Oslo-Frederikshavn route seems to me being a red flag to operate solely to Frederikshavn, which might also be reflected by DFDS decision not to include foot passengers. Thus a priority for additional freight.


I wasn't aware of that (having left Oslo in 2018).
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by Nautica »

Risberg wrote: 10 Jun 2024 19:04
Nautica wrote: 10 Jun 2024 18:48

Regarding the idea of a route shortage, Stena Line axing the Oslo-Frederikshavn route seems to me being a red flag to operate solely to Frederikshavn, which might also be reflected by DFDS decision not to include foot passengers. Thus a priority for additional freight.

I wasn't aware of that (having left Oslo in 2018).

Apologies, I seem to have been mistaken: Looking at DFDS´s website, it now seems to offer foot passenger travel to/from Frederikshavn. I believe it might´ve been initially the case, as I recall only freight and car passengers being eligible to order a ticket. Not sure when this changed? (Earlier footage at Frederikshavn show no foot passengers exiting/entering, neither the passenger gangway being in use).
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

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TV2 has published an interview with Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotlandsbolaget, regarding the future after their acquisition of the service: (in Norwegian): https://www.tv2.no/nyheter/innenriks/sl ... /16755217/

Some key points are:
- Focus on developing the minicruise concept with competitive prices
- Upgrading the vessels, though no specific details are mentioned, except from using experience from the traffic to Gotland (I assume this refers to Gotland Alandia Cruises)
- (Quite expectedly) a complete rebranding of the service and ships
- The purchase/acquisition was made through a Danish company that Gotlandsbolaget owns
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

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None of this is a surprise to me personally for a number of reasons I will summarise below:

*The Pearl/Crown were clearly starting to show their age. In my own experience the Pearl gave off the vibes of on old, small/medium cruisehip  with lost of large unwanted/wasted space. The cabins were dated too. DFDS either needed to invest or let go.

*DFDS are a merciless when it comes to operations - heritage means nothing, its about business. They have a track record of closing historical routes but it comes down to economics. The opinion of the enthusiast/businessman clashes in that respect. 

*Is the modern day DFDS interested in the 'mini-cruise' market today - clearly not, unless it is extremely profitable - eg/ Newcastle -Ijmuiden which is an outlier and new tonnage will replace the current sisters. Note their clear ropax design when recent images were released.

*Newcastle/Ijmuiden is an outlier and cannot be compared.

*It would  not surprise me in the slightest if the new operators axe Copenhagen as a departure port and operate from Frederikshavn.

Honestly, in 2024 this news dos'nt surprise me, the outpouring of grief in certain quarters seems a touch naïve.
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by Risberg »

LeQuiberon wrote: 11 Jun 2024 00:31 None of this is a surprise to me personally for a number of reasons I will summarise below:

*The Pearl/Crown were clearly starting to show their age. In my own experience the Pearl gave off the vibes of on old, small/medium cruisehip  with lost of large unwanted/wasted space. The cabins were dated too. DFDS either needed to invest or let go.

*DFDS are a merciless when it comes to operations - heritage means nothing, its about business. They have a track record of closing historical routes but it comes down to economics. The opinion of the enthusiast/businessman clashes in that respect. 

*Is the modern day DFDS interested in the 'mini-cruise' market today - clearly not, unless it is extremely profitable - eg/ Newcastle -Ijmuiden which is an outlier and new tonnage will replace the current sisters. Note their clear ropax design when recent images were released.
Agree, DFDS will obviously concentrate on the Ro/pax market. From E24 translated into English:
 
The buyer is Godtlandsbolaget, which brings with it 800 employees, the two ships Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways, port agreements and terminals. The purchase price of 400 million Danish kroner corresponds to approximately 619 million Norwegian kroner.
 
DFDS will operate the route up to and including 31 October, the new owner says.

  • The route is part of our history and heritage, and it is with a heavy heart that we have found a new home for the route and want to say goodbye to many valued colleagues, writes Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS in a press release.

 
The route between Oslo, Frederikshavn and Copenhagen carries over 700,000 passengers annually between Norway and Denmark, the company states.

  • We see great potential in this business. The route is going well today, and together with our new colleagues we will both work to ensure continuity and develop the product, says Håkan Johansson, CEO of Gotlandsbolaget in a press release from the company.

 
After Stena Line shut down the "Danskebåten" between Oslo and Frederikshavn during the Corona pandemic, DFDS took up the baton pain and expanded its Oslo-Copenhagen route to also go to Frederikshavn.
 
Gotlandsbolaget has a history dating back to 1865 as a ferry operator to and from the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. After the purchase of the "Danskebåten", the number of employees in the Swedish group doubles.
 
The sale reflects DFDS' strategic focus on transport and logistics services using ferry, road and rail transport. After the sale, DFDS will have 21 Danish-flagged ships and a total of 13,200 employees.

The sale agreement is expected to be finalized in October 2024. No redundancies are planned as part of the transfer.


Original Article - https://e24.no/naeringsliv/i/93E0zE/dfd ... nskebaaten
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

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Another interview has been published by Shippax with Håkan Johansson and Torben Carlsen, CEOs of Gotlandsbolaget and DFDS, respecitvely, discussing future priorities:

Although emphasis has been placed on upgrading existing tonnage on the Oslo-Copenhagen route,  Johansson seems to hint at potential newbuilds in the future:

""Clearly, we do not see the route's two current ships as a long-term solution when it comes to a green transition. The first point is to maintain and further develop the route commercially under our ownership. It is on a solid commercial foundation that the green transition must take place. I can't be very specific at this point. However, we are already well advanced in developing our future tonnage for the routes from Gotland, and I can confidently say that the same high level of ambition will also apply to the Copenhagen-Oslo route under our ownership," promises Håkan Johansson."

Carlsen being clear on DFDS´commitment to their current operations between Newcastle and Amsterdam:
 
"Can the sale of the minicruise-oriented Copenhagen-Oslo route be seen as a prelude to the potential sale of the operation with the similarly aging cruiseferries between IJmuiden and Newcastle?
"Absolutely not. IJmuiden-Newcastle is a far more transport-oriented route. Unlike the Copenhagen-Oslo route, it has a consistently high freight demand while the majority of its passengers have a genuine transportation need. Therefore, IJmuiden-Newcastle belongs to our core business, and we have long-term plans for it, not least in relation to the green transition of our network," emphasizes Torben Carlsen."

https://www.shippax.com/en/news/transit ... rties.aspx
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by PatriaS »

Nautica wrote: 11 Jun 2024 09:29

Carlsen being clear on DFDS´commitment to their current operations between Newcastle and Amsterdam:
 
"Can the sale of the minicruise-oriented Copenhagen-Oslo route be seen as a prelude to the potential sale of the operation with the similarly aging cruiseferries between IJmuiden and Newcastle?
"Absolutely not. IJmuiden-Newcastle is a far more transport-oriented route. Unlike the Copenhagen-Oslo route, it has a consistently high freight demand while the majority of its passengers have a genuine transportation need. Therefore, IJmuiden-Newcastle belongs to our core business, and we have long-term plans for it, not least in relation to the green transition of our network," emphasizes Torben Carlsen."

By all reports an order for new tonnage seems very close for the Newcastle route.

As @hhvferry said, hopefully even if a RoPax emphasis, it doesn't have to be Visentini style and can be more Finnisirius/Finncanopus style.  Given the high end passenger car trade for much of the year I can't imagine it won't be closer to the later than than former.
 
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Post by LeQuiberon »

PatriaS wrote: 11 Jun 2024 11:21
Nautica wrote: 11 Jun 2024 09:29

Carlsen being clear on DFDS´commitment to their current operations between Newcastle and Amsterdam:
 
"Can the sale of the minicruise-oriented Copenhagen-Oslo route be seen as a prelude to the potential sale of the operation with the similarly aging cruiseferries between IJmuiden and Newcastle?
"Absolutely not. IJmuiden-Newcastle is a far more transport-oriented route. Unlike the Copenhagen-Oslo route, it has a consistently high freight demand while the majority of its passengers have a genuine transportation need. Therefore, IJmuiden-Newcastle belongs to our core business, and we have long-term plans for it, not least in relation to the green transition of our network," emphasizes Torben Carlsen."
By all reports an order for new tonnage seems very close for the Newcastle route.

As @hhvferry said, hopefully even if a RoPax emphasis, it doesn't have to be Visentini style and can be more Finnisirius/Finncanopus style.  Given the high end passenger car trade for much of the year I can't imagine it won't be closer to the later than than former.
The designs for the 2 new Newc/Ijmwere released a few months back. 

They were similar to the Finn’ sisters, a ropax/cruiseferry design.
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DFDS Sells Copenhagen-Oslo Route To Gotlandsbolaget

Post by munstertillburgundy »

by LeQuiberon » 11 Jun 2024 13:21:

The designs for the 2 new Newc/Ijmwere released a few months back. 
...
Probably I have miised this, any chance to share an impression?
by PatriaS » 11 Jun 2024 12:21:

.. it doesn't have to be Visentini style ...
Never expected to see beauty in a Visentini, but with something like A Galeotta or Varsovia I could live well.
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Post by northy »

Not sure if this link will work but here:

viewtopic.php?t=2633
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Post by northy »

I think it was noted at the time that Copenhagen Oslo was missing from the plans at that stage. So it’s possibly been a plan for a while to divest the route. 
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Post by nickgsy »

I am not sure if this has been discussed before, but I wonder what brand name Gotlandsbolaget will give their new Copenhagen to Oslo route? Has anyone got any ideas on names?
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nickgsy wrote: 23 Jun 2024 13:26 I am not sure if this has been discussed before, but I wonder what brand name Gotlandsbolaget will give their new Copenhagen to Oslo route? Has anyone got any ideas on names?
Good point! As the operations will be under a Danish company (under the ownership of Gotlandsbolaget), I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Danish name.

How about reviving the simple, yet describing sound of DA-NO Linjen, though Gotlandsbolaget’s current choice of names do lower my expectations a little.
Peer Gynt reused as a ship’s name would also be nice imo.

Edit: I wasn’t aware of Scandinavian Star’s affiliation with DA-NO Linjen, so there goes that idea…
Naming the company Danskebåten would prolly receive mixed reactions, but Oslobåden/Oslobaaden could do the trick.
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Post by DanielH »

I do not think so. I think they would look for a more international brand name. "Danskebaaten" or the like is not understood outside Scandinavia.
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Post by DanielH »

I would more think in the direction of any combination with "Destination" similar to "Destination Gotland" and "Hansa Destinations". Maybe "Capital Destinations".....
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DanielH wrote: 23 Jun 2024 18:18 I would more think in the direction of any combination with "Destination" similar to "Destination Gotland" and "Hansa Destinations". Maybe "Capital Destinations".....

Or how about Scandinavian Destinations, in case they consider to expand their (cruise) ferry network to the Baltic one day
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Post by Risberg »

Nautica wrote: 23 Jun 2024 19:52
DanielH wrote: 23 Jun 2024 18:18  
Or how about Scandinavian Destinations, in case they consider to expand their (cruise) ferry network to the Baltic one day
Just reminding you that Finland is not a part of Scandinavia. Scandinavia consists of three Kingdoms, where people speak Scandinavian.
 
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Post by northy »

Risberg wrote: 23 Jun 2024 21:35
Nautica wrote: 23 Jun 2024 19:52
Or how about Scandinavian Destinations, in case they consider to expand their (cruise) ferry network to the Baltic one day
Just reminding you that Finland is not a part of Scandinavia. Scandinavia consists of three Kingdoms, where people speak Scandinavian.
Nordic Destinations?
 
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