Up to now travelling to Scotland via the route Amsterdam-Ijmuiden to Newcastle was pleasant and troublefree.
Unfortunately this has changed. For our latest booking we wanted to take the usual vessels KING SEAWAYS and PRINCESS SEAWAYS. The online-booking permitted this.
Chosing the cabins however was the first bummer. The most comfortable Commodore Class no longer showed up. An inquiry with DFDS resulted in the following:
Yes, of course you may do the booking but we don't know what sort of cabin you will get.
Well, and why not?
DFDS plans to put into service new ferries, these being two decommissioned Italian ships. They offer more space for passengers, cars, and trucks but considerably less comfort. The ships in question are the Moby Aki (2.080 passengers) and Moby Wonder. As they number 15 resp. 19 years, they cannot be called new vessels. These ferries were built in 2001 in Korea. See a picture of the 'Aki':
Who's the Scotland fan going by such a fancy-schmancy ship?
On the King (1.400 passengers) and on the Princess (1.250) you could get out on each deck to enjoy the view and the sea air. On these new ships you can only do so on the upper deck. Accordingly, more passengers mean a happy squeeze at the only observation deck. We may look forward to any number of towel-reserved seats. Reports of Moby-Line passengers confirm this.
Neither has it been decided yet if there will be an ORCA observation deck on board or any entertainment area. The more spacious cabins advertised by DFDS could up to now not be confirmed by any travel reports. If you wish to take a look at those spacious cabins, look here: Honest, my memory tells me that the King and Princess cabins are bigger.
Commodore cabins and pool will be there as little as a charge-base on the car deck.
Considering this poor prospect for the crossing and the uncertainties of the Brexit we shall for the time being forgo further journeys to the British island. Instead we'll go to visit Norway once more (report to follow).
By the way, the King and the Princess were sold to Moby Lines. Might be a damned bad deal for DFDS if their passengers stay away.
However, we surprisingly have been informed of the following:
The trade between DFDS and Moby Lines have been cancelled. There were some financial issues on behalf on Mobi.
So, let's keep our fingers crossed for the end of the corona-pandemic!