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DFDS Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

DFDS A/S, an abbreviation of Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (literally The United Steamship Company, OMXDFDS) is a Danish shipping company. It is one of the world's largest ferry operators. DFDS was formed in 1866 as a merger of various minor shipping companies under the leadership of industrialist Carl Frederik Tietgen. After the takeover of Thingvalla Line in 1898, the Scandinavian America Line was established.

During its history, DFDS has absorbed several other ferry operators, including Tor Line (purchased 1981) and Prinz Ferries (also purchased 1981). From 1982 to 1983 DFDS' passenger operations were branded as DFDS Danish Seaways (EsbjergHarwich/Newcastle/Torshavn, CopenhagenOslo, Newcastle — Oslo), DFDS Tor Line (Gothenburg — Harwich/Newcastle/Amsterdam) and DFDS Prins Ferries (Harwich — Hamburg/Bremerhaven). DFDS also operated the Fred. Olsen Bergen Line routes Newcastle — Stavanger/Bergen and Stavanger — Amsterdam.

Although DFDS have generally concentrated on freight and passenger traffic on the North Sea (and to a lesser extent the Baltic Sea), they operated a ferry service in the Mediterranean between 1971 and 1981, as well as a ferry service from New York to Freeport as well as Miami - Freeport in the early 1980s under the name Scandinavian World Cruises (which later developed into SeaEscape). Between 1988 and 1999 the company's passenger services were marketed under the name Scandinavian Seaways.

Today, passenger activities are operated by DFDS Seaways, whereas freight activities are operated by DFDS Tor Line, DFDS Lys Line and DFDS LISCO.

On 17 December 2009 it was announced that DFDS had agreed to purchase Norfolkline from Maersk.[1]


DFDS Seaways

MS Pearl of Scandinavia in Copenhagen.

DFDS Seaways is the passenger-carrying division of DFDS A/S. It operates five cruiseferries and one ro-pax ferry on routes connecting Denmark to Norway, and the United Kingdom to the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The company has recently (2006) renewed their fleet, purchasing MS King of Scandinavia and MS Princess of Norway to replace the last ships dating from the 1970s still in service. The company has acquired a reputation as something of an expert in purchasing used ships, as the last time DFDS Seaways ordered a newbuild was in 1978 (although they have since taken over build contracts and taken delivery of newbuilds originally ordered by other companies). In 2006 DFDS Seaways stopped serving Sweden when MS Princess of Scandinavia was taken off service and the CopenhagenOslo service ships stopped calling at Helsingborg. In May 2008 DFDS made public their plan to close down the loss-making United Kingdom—Norway service on 1 September 2008. MS Queen of Scandinavia, the ship used in the service, will be either sold or chartered out to another operator.[2][3]



Ship Built Entered service Route Tonnage1
MS Crown of Scandinavia 1994 1994 CopenhagenOslo 35495 GT
MS Dana Sirena 2002 2003 HarwichEsbjerg 22382 GT
MS King of Scandinavia 1987 2006 NewcastleIJmuiden 31395 GT
MS Pearl of Scandinavia 1989 2001 Copenhagen—Oslo 40039 GT
MS Princess of Norway 1986 2006 Newcastle—IJmuiden 31356 GT
1May be specified in gross tonnage (GT) or gross register tons (GRT).

Former ships

Ship In service Gross
Status as of 2009
MS Skipper Clement 1964-1976 2,964 GRT Since 1998 MS Europa I with Skenderbeg Lines
MS Akershus 1965-1973 5,012 GRT Burnt and sunk 1989
MS Winston Churchill 1967-1996 8,657 GRT Scrapped 2004
MS Kong Olav V 1968-1984 7,965 GRT Burnt 1993, later scrapped
MS Prinsesse Margrethe 1968-1983 7,965 GRT Scrapped 2005
MS Aalborgshus
MS Dana Sirena
MS Dana Corona
7,697 GRT
7,988 GRT
Scrapped in China, 2000
MS Trekroner
MS Dana Corona
MS Dana Sirena
7,692 GRT Sunk 1994
MS Dana Regina 1974-1990 10,002 GRT Since 1998 MS Vana Tallinn with Tallink
MS Dana Anglia
MS Duke of Scandinavia
14,399 GRT
15,589 GRT
Laid up at Saint Nazaire, France since 2008 as MS Pont L'Abbé
MS Dana Gloria
MS King of Scandinavia
1981-1984, 1986-1989
12,348 GRT
20,581 GRT
Since 2006 MS Jupiter for Royal Group Ltd
MS Tor Scandinavia
MS Princess of Scandinavia
15,673 GRT
21,545 GRT
Since 2006 MS Moby Otta with Moby Lines
MS Scandinavia 1982-1985 26,747 GRT Since 2002 MS Island Escape with Island Cruises
MS Tor Britannia
MS Prince of Scandinavia
14,905 GRT
21,545 GRT
Since 2003 MS Moby Drea with Moby Lines
MS Hamburg
MS Admiral of Scandinavia
12,752 GRT
19,292 GRT
Since 2002 MS Caribbean Express with Access Ferries
MS Queen of Scandinavia 1990—2008 33,575 GRT Since 2008 laid up at Korsør, awaiting buyer.
MS Duchess of Scandinavia 2003-2005 16,794 GRT Since 2008 MS Bergensfjord with Fjord Line

DFDS Tor Line

DFDS Tor Line is the main freight-carrying division of DFDS. It operates a large number of RO-RO freighters on the North Sea as well as the Baltic Sea. It was formed as merger of DFDS' and Tor Line's freight operations after DFDS bought the latter in 1982 (until 1988 the passenger service between Sweden and the United Kingdom was also marketed as DFDS Tor Line).


MS LISCO Gloria on the Baltic Sea.

AB DFDS LISCO is a Lithuanian subsidiary of DFDS. It operates 5 lines with 7 ferries for passengers and freight connecting Germany to Lithuania, Latvia and Russia as well as Germany to Sweden. AB DFDS LISCO has subsidiaries in Germany (DFDS LISCO GmbH), Sweden (DFDS Tor Line AB), Latvia (DFDS Tor Line SIA) and Russia (OOO DFDS LISCO).


Ship Built Entered service Route Tonnage1
MS Envoy 1979 2007 TravemündeRiga 14,077 GT
MS Lisco Gloria 2002 2003 KielKlaipeda 20,140 GRT
MS Lisco Maxima 2009 2009 KielKlaipeda 25.760 GRT
MS Lisco Optima 1999 2006 Karlshamn-Klaipeda 25,206 GT
MS Lisco Patria 1992 2004 Karlshamn—Klaipeda 18,332 GT
MS Kaunas 1989 1989 Karlshamn—Klaipeda 25,606 GRT
MS Mermaid II 1972 2003 Travemünde—Riga 13,730 GRT
MS Vilnius 1987 1987 Sassnitz—Klaipeda
22,341 GRT
1May be specified in gross tonnage (GT) or gross register tons (GRT).

DFDS Lys Line

DFDS Lys Line transports freight from Norway, Sweden and Denmark to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy, offering door-to-door transportation. The company was originally founded in 1970.


  • MS Lysvik
  • MS Lysblink
  • MS Lysbris
  • MS Lysfoss
  • MS Lystind
  • MS Lysskog
  • MS Lyshav
  • MS Lys Point
  • MS Odertal
  • MS Isertal

DFDS Container Line

DFDS Container Line transports containers between Ireland and the Netherlands. On October 2nd 2006 the acquisition of Norfolkline Containers by DFDS A/S was completed.

Established in August 1997 Norfolkline Containers was set up to offer Direct Port-to-Port services between Ireland and Europe.


  • MS Dana Gothia
  • MS Dana Hollandia
  • MS Vanquish


External links


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