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DFDS Seaways makes waves with record growth

Award winning cruise ferry operator, DFDS Seaways has seen record growth for the third consecutive year with an increase in passenger numbers on its Newcastle to Amsterdam route in 2011.

More than 560,000 passengers travelled on the route last year, an increase of more than 7,500 passengers from 2010. What’s more the number of passengers travelling with a vehicle, including cars, caravans, motorhomes and motorcycles, increased by 4.8% to 99,000.

The strongest area of growth was inbound passenger numbers with a 5% increase in visitors to the UK, as Dutch and German holiday makers headed to the region to take advantage of the strong euro and our first class tourist attractions.

This trend is supported by DFDS Seaways popular football packages, where the company has seen a 6% increase in the number of foreign fans flocking to see the North East’s Premier League teams, as well as Europeans choosing Newcastle as a destination for a mini cruise break.

John Crummie, Passenger Director for DFDS Seaways said: “Given the current climate, this is an outstanding performance and we are delighted to be able to report passenger growth for the third consecutive year.

“With London 2012 and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee taking place this year, there’s a real buzz about the UK and our first class onboard service and daily crossings mean it’s a great opportunity for us to build on our current success and bring even more Dutch and German tourists to the region.”

DFDS Seaways’ Newcastle to Amsterdam route is popular with people from the region taking their cars to Europe, with Holland, Germany and France favourite destinations and bookings for cottage holidays and holiday centres such as Center Parcs becoming increasingly popular over the past year. Further to this, holidaymakers looking for a short break on a budget have ensured that DFDS Seaways’ two night mini cruises to Amsterdam and other European towns and cities have remained extremely popular as a value for money option.

John Crummie continues: “The value and convenience that the route offers means that bookings have been remarkably resilient for 2011 as consumers are increasingly looking to get more for their money. Our mini cruise range certainly offers this.

“Consumers are also becoming aware of the advantages of sea travel and the fact that you can take your vehicle and travel with much luggage as you need at no extra cost, you arrive at your destination refreshed and you can even take your pets. It’s a great option for families too as there’s plenty for children to do onboard and you can take as many toys and other equipment as you need! Building on the success of last year, we hope that even more holidaymakers who may not have experienced this convenient and enjoyable experience before will try it in 2012.”

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Issued on behalf of DFDS Seaways by Robson Brown

Notes to editors:

DFDS is one of Europe’s largest ferry companies, operating both passenger and freight routes between England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Lithuania.

DFDS Seaways has been honoured by The World Travel Awards with the prestigious title of ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ awarded in January 2012, as well as ‘Europe’s Leading Long Sea Ferry Operator’ for five consecutive years.

In the UK, the company operates passenger services on routes from Newcastle to Amsterdam, Harwich to Esbjerg and Dover to Dunkirk.

For further information, visit www.dfds.co.uk

For media enquiries contact:

Gemma Cohen on 0191 244 6652 gemma.cohen@robson-brown.co.uk
Kirsty McNaught on 0191 244 6637/ 07855720343 kirsty.mcnaught@robson-brown.co.uk