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DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

london
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DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

Just back from my latest trip to Denmark with DFDS and while I've put up with ever increasing prices I have finally had to accept that the prices are way too much for the service provided.

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to DFDS about their stratospheric prices..

"I have just returned from a mini trip on the Dana Sirena and for the first time ever I feel I have to make some sort of complaint about your prices and practices.

Charging around £25 for a buffet meal and then not providing tap water nor even tea or coffee in that price is bad enough but then to have claimed to have “run out” of a large proportion of the buffet food at 8.30pm, only 2 ½ hours after sailing is just not good enough. And this meal was slightly cheaper because we had booked in advance. It would have been £28 under normal circumstances. And before you say that Denmark is an expensive country, I know it can be but I had a meal in Jensen’s Bof House in Esbjerg before returning to the ship and that only cost around £35 for 4, soft drinks included and we were all full when we left.

The staff, were, as ever very professional but to be told by a chef that the something had run out soon after sailing is just pathetic. It was only chips for the kids for god’s sake! Along with a bit of pig on your plate is seems that you Dane’s always have a few chips to keep it company so it wasn’t an outrageous request on my part.

However, compared to breakfast, the evening meal was a giveaway. £13 for a buffet breakfast only to be told that should I want the luxury of bacon and fried eggs then I would have to pay £3 more. Extra, for bacon, in Denmark of all places! I bet the pig is the best known animal in your country; it’s certainly the most eaten if what I see in supermarkets there is anything to go by. Strangely, there were chips on offer for part of the £13 I had already paid so the chef had somehow magicked up some in the night.

It’s no wonder I needed a drink after these prices but at £6 a pint it’s a good job I wasn’t too thirsty. This was for standard Carlsberg draught lager not some obscure bottled brew from the other side of the world. The bar was only about 10% full while I was there and the restaurant not much better for the 8.30 booking. Together with a singer who sung the same songs on the return journey did not make for the most enjoyable weekend ever.

The cabin wasn’t made up while we were in Esbjerg, beyond the bin being emptied and the old towels removed. I had to ask for new ones from the receptionist who to be honest didn’t seem all that surprised by my request so I can only assume this wasn’t the first time she had been asked.

I know that £140 for 4 people; a cabin with shower, toilet and TV included is very good value (I even had a window..) and I don’t mind paying fair and reasonable prices but I do not like to be milked for every last kroner.

Why don’t you consider offering what a lot of holiday operators are doing now and sell inclusive packages so passengers can get out and enjoy themselves on your ships?. I think a lot of people stayed in their cabins on this recent trip and with these prices who can blame them.

I have used your company many, many times over the last 30 something years but your current policy of sweating every last pound out of people like me does your reputation no good and will surely mean the end of passenger travel on the North sea. I know the likes of Ryanair have decimated passenger numbers but there are a lot of people who are beginning to want a return to decent travel at fair prices. It’s surely not asking too much, is it?"

56 replies to this topic
Denmark
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1. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

What did DFDS respond to you?

london
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2. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

Nothing as yet but to be fair I only wrote to them yesterday. I'll let you know if I get any response. I expect it'll just be a bland reply thanking me for my comments and saying customer service is there main concern, blah, blah, blah.

The old customer service line is usually a sure sign that the company is on the skids or it just doesn't give a stuff about customers..

dc

Fredericia, Denmark
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3. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

The main income from that route is freight (trailers). That's why they substitutes Dana Anglia with Dana Sirena.

Hans

london
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4. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

It does seem that way. Mind you, the Dana Anglia was a much better boat in terms of passenger facilities. 2 restaurants, a big cafe, pub. disco and nightclub and plenty of seating along the side.

Happy days..

dc

london
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5. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

Thinking about it a bit more, I don't think that this route is being pushed as much as it could be, at least when it comes to mini trips and Danish holidays. I know budget airlines have supposedly eaten into ship travel but other companies seem to have no trouble selling a long sea crossing.

Brittany Ferries offer a near 24 hour crossing from Portsmouth to Santander in Spain using a 40,000 tonne cruise ship and I must say I'm sorely tempted to try it sometime.

i47
Kristiansand
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6. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

I really wanted to "review" the DFDS ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg.

But of course it isn't an attraction, restaurant and hotel!

The problem for all ferry travelers who want to travel between Scandinavia and the UK, is that DFDS have a monopoly. So, basically if you want to go by ferry from Norway or Sweden this way, it means you have to take the dreaded Dana Sirena.

It´s a boat in a time-warp. Nowhere near as swish and updated as Stena Line´s spanking new boats between Harwich and Hook of Holland.

The DFDS prices are high, the facilities on board are very basic, with worn-out interiors, overpriced food and drinks, poor quality shop and services. I have also like other passengers had to hand in dirty towels to the reception, and nearly faint at the price for a lousy cup of coffee.

You do also have to wonder why such a rough North Sea route has such a small ferry. You have to pray for calm winds on the North Sea, otherwise you can well spend 16 or so hours face down in a sickness bag. Stena Line´s ferries from Holland are giants in comparison, and no one feels the waves!

Best advice to all travelers who know they have to take this particular DFDS route from the UK to Denmark....Book well in advance, and take as much food and drinks with you (take cooling bags, whatever!) It´s a long journey, and you will save a lot of money this way!

And if traveling with kids, make sure you take many toys and things to occupy them, as the on board experience for the children on this boat is very limited.

It pains me to know that I regularly use this ferry route, and have to pay these prices. You almost wish that the DFDS management would go on the newer Stena Line ferries just to see what they are not providing their customers!

The only positive is that the Esbjerg - Harwich route exists. Which is the last remaining way people can get relatively fast from Scandinavia to the UK.

Fredericia, Denmark
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7. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

Low cost flights (Ryanair, Easyjet, Norwegian etc.) 'killed' the North Sea ferry routes.

The main income from this route is freight (trailers). That's why they substituted Dana Anglia with Dana Sirena.

Hans

Cardiff
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35 reviews
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8. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

I agree that the food prices are on the steep side, and the drinks policy is mean-spirited. But I enjoyed my trip to and from Denmark - you can go straight to the cabin from the car deck, unlike Brittany Ferries which require you to hang around reception at the beginning and end of the journey. The cabins are also roomier, and have free TV, even in the cheapest cabins. Towels and bedding were clean, and with cabins on the higher decks, you can sleep better than in cabins located close to the engine room. The sailing times also allow a good night's sleep.

So, a mixed bag, but certainly not bad.

Jon

london
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9. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

I did finally get a reply from DFDS but they just apologized and ignored most of my points. They sent me a voucher for meals for 4 on this route until the end of 2012 but as it specifically excludes school holidays I won't be using it..

DFDS have fallen a long, long way from where they used to be in terms of value and service.

10. Re: DFDS Seaways Prices Are Killing This Route

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