MV Côte Des Dunes – Past and Present

MV Côte Des Dunes

ex Rodin, Seafrance Rodin

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland (Yard No.437) for Seafrance SA in 2001 as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by Wartsila Corporation, Helsinki, Finland. 

Technical Data

  • Length:185.82m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 27.7m (moulded)
  • Draught: 6.5m (Maximum)
  • Tonnage: 33,796 gross, 11,502 net, 6,260 deadweight
  • Engines: 2 x Wartsila 8L46B, 2 x Wartsila 12V46B diesels
  • Power: 39,000kW
  • Speed: 25 knots
  • Capacity: 1900 passengers, 2000 lane metres (120 lorries or 700 cars)
  • Call Sign: FOBQ
  • MMSI Number: 227022800
  • IMO Number: 9232527
  • Registry: France
  • Sister Vessel: Côte Des Flandres

Current Location

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May 19th 2001: Launched

November 13th 2001: Delivered to Seafrance SA.

© Robert Fournier  © Nigel Thornton

© Robert Fournier (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)

November 23rd 2001: Arrived at Dover for berthing trials.

November 29th 2001: Entered service between Calais and Dover.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

December 19th 2005: To Dunkerque for refit. Roster place taken by SEAFRANCE CEZANNE. Due to return January 16th 2006.

January 16th 2006: Returned to service.

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

October 2nd 2006: The SeaFrance overhaul schedule up to the end of February 2007:

SEAFRANCE RODIN – 26 Dec – 7 Jan.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

23rd December 2006: Entered the ARNO dry dock facility at Dunkerque 3 days early following a minor collision with her berth at the port of Calais.

© Robert Fournier  © Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

17th January 2007: Returned to Calais-Dover service.

© Stéphane Poulain

© Stéphane Poulain

2008: Remains in service between Calais and Dover.

February 9th 2008 : Sailings cancelled for “technical reasons”

February 10th 2008: To ARNO, Dunkerque

April 16th 2008: Remains at ARNO. Delayed by Seafrance officers strike and rumours of vibrations caused by propeller pitch problems.

April 29th 2008: Left Dunkerque bound for Calais.

September 21st 2009: Arrived at the Remontowa Shipyard, Gdansk, for refit.

October 12th 2009: Left Gdansk

October 14th 2009 (00.07 hrs): Arrived in Calais. Noted that, like her sister, had lost her fluorescent orange bridge colouring.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

October 14th 2009 (08.38 hrs): Resumed service.

March 16th 2010: Arrived at ARNO, Dunkerque for refit

March 26th 2010: Resumed service.

© Michaël Moons  © Michaël Moons

© Michaël Moons

November 22nd 2010: Departs Calais for refit in Gdansk, Poland.

December 15th 2010: Arrived back in Calais via the Kiel Canal following refit in Poland.

December 16th 2010: Resumed service between Dover and Calais.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

First day back in service ex refit 16/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow

January 13th 2011: Vessel holed above the waterline after a collision within the Port of Calais.

January 14th 2011: Proceeded to the ARNO shipyard in Dunkerque for repairs. Expected back in service on the 19th January 2011.

© Ray Goodfellow

Back in service, Calais 21/01/11 © Ray Goodfellow

January 19th 2011: Returned to service between Calais and Dover.

October 13th 2011: Arrived in Vlissingen, Holland for a hull inspection.

© Co de Vos  © Co de Vos

Vlissingen 13/10/11 © Co de Vos

October 21st 2011: Seafrance announced “Following a call for industrial action by one of our trade unions, we regret to inform you of the possibility that our services may be disrupted on Tuesday 25th October”

October 24th 2011: The European Union announced that they had blocked the recapitalization of Seafrance by the parent company SNCF as it contravened their rules in relation to state subsidies.

October 25th 2011: All services suspended due to industrial action.

October 26th 2011: Services Resumed.

November 14th 2011: Seafrance suspended channel operations pending a court hearing in Paris.

“We are approaching November 16th, the date when the decision of the Court of commerce will dictate the future of the Company, the Board of SeaFrance has decided, in liaison with the French National Authorities, to suspend the ship operations on the 15th of November at 04 00 hours. The suspension of service will last for 48 hours pending the decision of the court.We have taken this decision, with full knowledge of the consequences, to safeguard the security of the passengers, crews, vehicles and ships. We are conscious of the inconvenience this situation is causing and we apologise for this. We will keep you informed of any changes in the present situation”

November 16th 2011: It is reported that Seafrance is to be liquidated. All vessels remain laid up in the Port of Calais to “Safeguard the security of the vessels”.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Laid up in Calais December 2011 © Ray Goodfellow

January 9th 2012: Seafrance declared bankrupt. All assets are ceased pending sale to recoup money owed to creditors.

June 11th 2012: It was announced that the assets of Seafrance (including the Rodin) had been purchased by Groupe Eurotunnel (Eurotransmanche) for €65 million ($84 million). It is intended to charter her to a cooperative of former Seafrance workers (SCOP).

9th July 2012: Departed Calais for Dunkerque and refit.

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Dunkerque © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

12th July 2012: Having arrived in Dunkerque the vessel’s superstructure is now being painted.

© Thibaut Blanquart

© Thibaut Blanquart

July 20th 2012: AIS indicated her name to be RODIN

July 21st 2012: Entered dry dock at ARNO Dunkerque.

July 28th 2012: Vacated the dry dock wearing the livery of `My Ferry Link’

© Robert Fournier © Robert Fournier

Dunkerque 29th July 2012 © Robert Fournier

August 2nd 2012: Vessel moved to berth “F08/1 Sud” in Dunkerque for completion of overhaul work and completion of her new livery.

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Dunkerque, August 3rd 2012 © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

10th August 2012: Departed Dunkerque for Calais.

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Departing Dunkerque © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

10th August 2012 (15:16): Arrived in Calais (15.16 hrs) together with BERLIOZ.

© Julien Carpentier

© Julien Carpentier


Rodin © Nigel Thornton  © Paul Cloke

© PailCloke  © Paul Cloke

© Nigel Thornton  © PaulCloke

© PaulCloke  © Nigel Thornton

© Paul Cloke  © Paul Cloke

All images © Paul Cloke and Nigel Thornton

20th August 2012: Entered service between Calais and Dover for My Ferry Link.

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson

6th June 2013: Following an enquiry the UK Competition Commission ruled that Groupe Eurotunnel (GET), which chartered the three MyFerryLink vessels to the SCOP Seafrance, could no longer operate ferry services from Dover as they were deemed anti competitive. This ruling was appealed by GET via the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT). This allowed sailings operated by the company to continue.

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

January 27th 2014: To Dunkerque for refit.

February 19th 2014: Left Dunkerque and resumed service Calais – Dover.

May 20th 2014: The Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) upheld the decision of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) banning Eurotunnel from operating ferries from the Port of Dover. Eurotunnel appealed the decision.

January 9th 2015: The Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) once again upholds the decision of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) banning Eurotunnel from operating ferries from the Port of Dover. Eurotunnel appealed the decision via the Court of Appeal in London.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Calais © Ray Goodfellow

January 21st 2015: To Dunkerque for refit.

February 8th 2015: Departed Dunkerque for Calais.



Departing Dunkerque for Calais © Julien Carpentier

February 9th 2015: Resumed service between Calais and Dover.

May 15th 2015: The Court of Appeal in London overturned the ruling of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which would see My Ferry Link vessels banned from using the Port of Dover. The Court of Appeal had ruled that the CMA did not have jurisdiction over the purchase of the three ferries. The CMA said they would appeal the decision through the Supreme court.

May 28th 2015: Groupe Eurotunnel announced that it would end its partnership with MyFerryLink. The lease of the three vessels (Rodin, Berlioz and Nord Pas de Calais) would not be renewed after it expired on 2 July 2015.

June 7th 2015: Groupe Eurotunnel (GET) announced the sale of its maritime assets to DFDS A/S. The sale would include the Rodin and the Berlioz but not the Nord Pas de Calais which would be retained by Groupe Eurotunnel for service between Calais and Dover conveying freight.

“The Eurotunnel Group has decided to sell its maritime activity, MyFerryLink, as the conditions necessary to develop freely did not exist. The Group, which regrets that the SCOP SeaFrance has not had the support it needed to be able to present a takeover proposal, confirms that it holds a binding offer from DFDS for a let to buy sale of the ferries, Rodin and Berlioz.” – Groupe Eurotunnel Press Release

June 8th 2015: DFDS Seaways announced that they had purchased the vessel for a undisclosed sum

June 11th 2015: The Commercial Court of Boulogne placed the SCOP SeaFrance into Judicial Administration.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Arriving at Dover 15/06/15 © Ray Goodfellow

June 22nd 2015: DFDS A/S confirmed that there offer for the Rodin and Berlioz had been accepted by Groupe Eurotunnel.

“We have now received confirmation that Eurotunnel has accepted DFDS’ offer for the ferries Rodin and Berlioz. From 2 July 2015, DFDS has entered into long term bareboat charter agreements for the two ships. In addition, a put option agreement has been entered into that provides Eurotunnel with the right to require DFDS to purchase the ships. The put option agreement expires at the latest in mid-2017. Eurotunnel can exercise the put option on terms agreed between the parties, including a price reduction equal to any charter payments made before an exercise of the put option.” – DFDS Group Press Release

June 23rd 2015: All sailings cancelled due to industrial action and a blockade of the Port of Calais by My Ferry Link workers in protest against expected job losses. Sailings resumed in the evening. The SCOP Seafrance stated they would appeal the decision of Eurotunnel to not renew the charter of the three vessels.

June 29th 2015: The Boulogne commercial court ruled against the SCOP Seafrance and stated that Eurotunnels decision to end the charter was lawful. All My Ferry Link sailings cancelled due to industrial action.

June 30th 2015: All My Ferry Link sailings between Calais and Dover cancelled due to industrial action.

Port of Calais 02/07/15 © Julien Carpentier

July 1st/2nd 2015: My Ferry Link services ceased operations at midnight and the vessel, occupied by crew, remained in Calais.

September 13th 2015: Towed to Dunkerque West by tugs TRITON and THORAX.

© Erwin Willemse   © Wil Weijsters

© Erwin Willemse (left) © Wil Weijsters (right)





© Julien Carpentier

September 13th 2015 (23.10 hrs): Arrived in Dunkerque West.

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell

© Julien Carpentier

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell

  © Carsten Dettmer

© Julien Carpentier (left) © Carsten Dettmer (right)

© Julien Carpentier

23rd November 2015: According to AIS transponder information the vessel had been renamed the ‘Côte des Dunes‘.

26th November 2015: Departed Dunkerque West for the Damen shipyard at Dunkerque East. It was reported that the vessel broke free from her moorings during gale force conditions and made contact with the quayside sustaining hull damage. Vessel entered dry dock for assessment and repairs.


© Julien Carpentier

jghber007  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Damen Dunkerque 01/12/15 © Jean-Guy Hagelstein


Damen Dunkerque © Robert Fournier

December 10th 2015: DFDS Seaways France announced “The Côte des Dunes and the Côte des Flandres will enter service on the 9th and 16th February 2016 respectively.”


Damen Dunkerque 20/12/15 © Julien Carpentier





Damen Dunkerque 24/12/15 © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Ready for service. Seen at Damen Dunkerque 08/02/15 © Ray Goodfellow

February 9th 2016 (05.51 hrs LT): Left Dunkerque east and conducted sea trials.

Côte des Dunes Sea Trials

AIS track of the Côte des Dunes showing her sea trials

February 9th 2016 (14.08 hrs LT): Arrived in Calais.

© Stéphane Vancutsem  © Stéphane Vancutsem

© Stéphane Vancutsem  © Stéphane Vancutsem

© Stéphane Vancutsem

February 9th 2016 (16:37 LT): Departed the Port of Calais for her maiden voyage under DFDS ownership to Dover.


© Julien Carpentier

February 9th 2016 (16:50 LT): Arrived at the Port of Dover on her maiden crossing as the Côte des Dunes, she was given a traditional fire boat greeting from the Port of Dover tugs DHB DOUGHTY and DHB DAUNTLESS.

© Nigel Scutt (Dover-Marina)  © Nigel Scutt (Dover-Marina)

Arrival in Dover © Nigel Scutt (

Interior (2016)




















  © Julien Carpentier

© Julien Carpentier

© John Bryant  © John Bryant

© John Bryant



© Ray Goodfellow

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Micke Asklander, John Bryant, Paul Cloke, Carsten Dettmer, Robert Fournier, Stéphane Poulain, Michaël Moons, Co de Vos, Jean-Guy Hagelstein, Thibaut Blanquart, Julien Carpentier, Mike Jackson, Marine Traffic, Nigel Scutt (, Stéphane Vancutsem, Wil Weijsters, Erwin Willemse, DFDS A/S and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


    1. Hi Jon,

      Thank you for the kind words, they are greatly appreciated. I haven’t posted much on the website in the last 4 months but I have still been getting out and about with the camera and will be publishing a number of photographic posts in the run up to the new year.

      Best Wishes and a Happy New Year to you.


  1. I travelled back on her last Sunday. I know it was rough – I had been battling the wind with van and caravan all the way back from Munich – but I was amazed how badly the ship reacted to the seas, with three deliveries of sick bags (although they missed us as we were obviously enjoying our breakfasts even though our chairs kept sliding about) and many things crashing in the galley and falling off tables, it reminded me of the days of the Free Enterprise series where, as a student doing summer seasons, I remember all the clearing up and bags, which was a great contrast to the Hengist and Horsa where I never saw anything to clear up. Was there something wrong with her stabilisers so soon after refit? I have crossed in far worse conditions on the Dunkirk triplets with far less movement and no bags.

    Apart from that, DFDS has obviously spent a lot on refurbishing the ship – I hope the Calais Seaways gets the same treatment as she is looking rarher dated.

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