Current Local Ferry FleetDFDSFerriesNorfolk LinePast and Present

MV Dunkerque Seaways – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9293076

MV Dunkerque Seaways

ex Maersk Dunkerque

Dover Ferry Photos Archive

© Norfolk Line

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2005 by Samsung Heavy Industries, Geoje Korea (Yard No 1523) for as a Roll On-Roll Off (RoRo) Passenger ferry for A. P. Moller – Maersk (Norfolk Line) 

Technical Data

  • Length: 186m
  • Breadth of hull: 28.4m
  • Draught: 6.75m (design)/Tonnage – 34,500 gross/10,300 net/6,160 deadweight
  • Engines: 4 x MAN B & W 8L48/60B diesels
  • Power/Propellers: 9600 kW each/2
  • Bow Thrusters: 3 x 1800 kW
  • Stern Thruster:1 x 1800 kW
  • Speed: 25 knots 
  • Capacity: 780 (1000@2008) passengers, 200 cars and up to 120 freight vehicles
  • Lane Metres: 2,000 (design)
  • Lane Width: 3.3m
  • Crew: 70
  • Navigation Officers: European
  • Number of Decks: 2 trailer decks total 200m/1 car deck of 990m 
  • Call Sign: MJTL2
  • MMSI Number: 235028825
  • IMO Number: 9293076
  • Registry: Dover / United Kingdom 🇬🇧
  • Sister Vessels: Delft Seaways (1524), Dover Seaways (1574)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


The first of a trio of Scandinavian designed “D Class” RoRo ferries built, between 2003 and 2006, at the Samsung Shipyards in South Korea.

May 12th 2003: SAMSUNG 1523

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Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive  Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive

Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive  Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive

Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive  Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive

Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive  Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive

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December 29th 2004: Launched.

January 11th 2005: MAERSK DUNKERQUE.

September 27th 2005: Delivered from the Samsung Shipyard to Norfolkline Shipping B.V.

October 15th 2005: Passed through the Suez Canal.

October 22nd 2005: Inaugural arrival in Dover.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow 

© Ray Goodfellow (Maiden arrival at Dover 22/10/2005)

October 24th 2005: Left Dover for Dunkerque.

October 24th 2005: First arrival at Dunkerque (trials?).

October 28th 2005: Officially named at Dunkerque. Mrs. Anja Visbeen, accompanied by her husband, Adrie Visbeen, Director and owner of Visbeen Transport Group, honoured Norfolkline by naming the new building MAERSK DUNKERQUE.

November 2005: Deployed on Dover-Dunkerque service. The second and third vessels, MAERSK DELFT and MAERSK DOVER are due to commence service in January and July 2006 respectively.

January 12th 2006: “My informant at Dover tells me that the Maersk Dunkerque is broken down and is lying on the Eastern Arm this morning. Her 1000 sailing was cancelled. An oil leak is given as the cause.”

February 18th 2006: “…had engine problems at 2200 last night four miles off Dover. The Emergency Coastguard Tug ANGLIAN MONARCH stood by until the ship had sorted its problems out.”

February 20th 2006: Again suffered engine problems consequently a proposed “sail by” (rumour) of the newly arrived MAERSK DELFT at Dover, was cancelled. Spent the day in berth 2 at Dover.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier (ARNO Dunkerque 01/03/2006)

February 27th 2006: To ARNO’s Dunkerque for her first routine annual hull inspection and repairs to the oil leak. The local (Dover) engineering firm Burgess undertook the work for Norfolk Line to repair the vessel.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

March 4th 2006: Left Dunkerque East, seen heading north.

March 4th 2006: (1130) Arrived in Zeebrugge (berth 110 for berthing trials)

March 4th 2006: (1630) Departed for Dunkerque West

March 5th 2006: Resumed commercial sailings.

Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive

Dover Ferry Photos Forum Archive (2006)

March 8th 2006: Sailed to Botlek, Rotterdam (reason unknown). It is said she has a cracked “sea chest.”

March 11th 2006: “She was supposed to leave Friday but there are still some problems. Due to leave tonight around 02.30.The Pilot is already ordered.”

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

March 12th 2006: Resumed commercial service.

July 25th 2006: Berthed at Cruise terminal 2 for maintenance.

© Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)  © Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)

© Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)

July 28th 2006: All 3 sisters running from 1200 today.

4th September 2006: Suffering from engine problems required the assistance of DHB Doughty.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

24th December 2006: Proceeded to the Scheldepoort Dockyard, Vlissingen (Flushing), Netherlands for a scheduled dry docking.

8th January 2007: Departed the Scheldepoort Dockyard at 16:00 local time bound for Dunkerque.

11th January 2007: Resumed service from Dover to Dunkerque.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

January 20th 2008: To ARNO Dunkerque for refit.

January 31st 2008: Left ARNO sporting the new Norfolk Line . com livery.

March 2008: Passenger certificate raised to 1000.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Dunkerque, 07/08/2008)

January 28th 2009: To ARNO Dunkerque for refit.

February 4th 2009: Left ARNO and went to Zeebrugge for berthing trials.

February 5th 2009: Resumed Dover – Dunkerque.

December 17th 2009: Following months of speculation it was announced that DFDS A/S had acquired Norfolkline from A. P. Moller – Maersk for €346 million subject to regulatory approval.

January 22nd – January 29th 2010: Refit at ARNO, Dunkerque.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier (ARNO Dunkerque 24/01/2010)

January 29th 2010: Arrived back in Dover and resumed service.

17th June 2010: DFDS’ acquisition of Norfolk Line was approved by the European Commission.

July 3rd 2010: Re-branding commenced. The shipping side will be known as DFDS Seaways and the trailer business will become DFDS Logistics. The ships will have a dark blue hull with DFDS Seaways emblazoned on the side, white superstructure, and a dark blue funnel with the DFDS white Maltese Cross in a circle. The ships will be renamed DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS, DELFT SEAWAYS and DOVER SEAWAYS in due course.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Dover, July 2010)

18th July 2010: Renamed `DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS‘ whilst alongside in Dunkerque.

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell (Rebranding and renaming underway 17/07/10 -18/07/2010)

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

7th August 2010: DFDS Funnel markings applied whilst alongside in Dunkerque.

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Dunkerque, 24/08/2010)

28th January 2011: Refit at ARNO Dunkerque. Received full DFDS Seaways livery.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

5th February 2011: Resumed service between Dover and Dunkerque.

9th January 2012: Arrived at ARNO Dunkerque for an extended refit and installation of a Rolls Royce `Promas Lite’ system. This system consists of adaptations to the rudders and installation of new propellers which is said to offer significant fuel savings.

January 17th 2012: Returned to service.

© Paul Smith  © Ray Goodfellow

© Paul Smith (Left) and © Ray Goodfellow (Right)

25th April 2012: Made contact with Pier Foxtrot (F) at Dover Eastern docks and sustained damage to her starboard bow.

© Paul Smith  © Paul Smith

© Paul Smith

27th April 2012: Arrived at ARNO Dunkerque for repairs.

29th April 2012: Returned to service.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

2nd October 2012: Suffered minor damage whilst berthing in Dover. Withdrawn from service and sent to ARNO at Dunkerque for repairs, expected to be out of service for 36 hours.

4th October 2012: Departed the ARNO shipyard for Dunkerque West and took up service.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (07/10/2012)

January 7th 2013: To ARNO, Dunkerque for refit.

January 12th 2013 (01.00hrs): Resumed service Dunkerque – Dover.

January 14th 2013 (0910 hrs): Left Dunkerque West and returned to ARNO suffering rudder problems.

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell (both)

January 18th 2013: Left ARNO and resumed service.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Dunkerque, 31/07/2011)

© Nigel Thornton  

© Nigel Thornton (Dover Strait, 03/06/2013)

January 5th (23.15 hrs) 2014: Came off service at 2315 and sailed to Vlissingen for refit.

January 15th (18.30 hrs) 2014: She returned to Dover from Vlissingen then took up service with the 20.00 departure.

January 4th 2016: To Damen Dunkerque for refit

© Julien Carpentier‎ (Receiving the new DFDS livery at Damen Dunkerque)‎

January 13th 2016: Left Damen yard and sailed to Dunkerque west.

January 14th 2016: Resumed service Dover – Dunkerque.

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton 

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Straits Shipping)

Ferries undergo an extreme makeover

January 20, 2016 | By DFDS Group

Work is well underway to give the three ferries on the Dover – Dunkerque Channel route an extreme makeover. Up to 100 people are working at an increasingly fast pace to repaint and upgrade the ships’ facilities and technical areas.

Five weeks for three ships
In less than five weeks, all three ferries will go into dry dock. This requires a well-planned schedule (Click here to read how we plan such dockings) and the first ferry to put on a new livery was DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS. She went into dock in the first week of January. Last week DELFT SEAWAYS took her place, and we expect DELFT to be ready any time now. DOVER SEAWAYS will complete this year’s docking of the D-Class ferries and will be back on the route at the beginning of February. It is a busy five-week period!

Two football fields of paint
Each ferry will be repainted in DFDS’ new colours. This requires 11,000 m2 of paint – or by comparison – two football fields of paint per ferry. The new livery includes ‘DFDS’ as the brand name and a darker blue hull. The result can be seen below on one of DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS’ first days in her new coat.
What else have these nine days in dock been spent on?

The largest refit in years
DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS has had the largest refit in years, and not just the repainting. At the Damen Shipyard in Dunkerque most of the ship’s internal spaces were upgraded, from new carpets to toilets and the refurbishment of furniture and fittings. “With up to 100 contractors working at any one time, it was very busy with many demands on the ship’s staff to support them. Meal times alone could take up to 2½ hours to get everyone through,” says Captain Andy Ridout.

The technical work included DUNKERQUE’s bow doors being rehung, the ship’s rudder being overhauled, a thorough service of the engines, the stern thruster was overhauled and refitted, and the Kongsberg Power Management and Control System was upgraded with the latest hardware and software. The jobs required an army of people who worked hard to get DUNKERQUE SEAWAYS out first.

We hope you will soon be able to enjoy the upgraded facilities on our Channel ferries. Please share and send your pictures of our ships to In the meantime, we will continue to get our other ships through the docking period. 

Source: DFDS Connects

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

© Simonwp

© Simonwp

January 9th 2017: To Damen yard, Dunkerque for refit.

© Chris Whitfield  © Chris Whitfield  

© Chris Whitfield

January 16th 2017: Returned to service.

January 8th 2018: Came off service and sailed from Dunkerque (West) to Damen Dunkerque (East) for refit. Upon completion she returned to service Dover – Dunkerque.

October 25th 2018: Announcement Made:


Award-winning ferry operator DFDS today announces the appointment of leading ferry and cruise ship design consultancy, SMC Design, to redevelop its catering outlets on board its Eastern Channel routes.

The redesign will commence when the first Dover-Dunkirk vessel enters dry-dock on 7 January 2019, with plans to complete the entirety of the fleet in just five weeks. The £1,800,000 investment, equating to £600K per ship, will see the relaxed food and beverage outlet revitalized to create the Lighthouse Café, a fresh and modern European coffee shop experience.

Steve Newbery, On-Board Commercial Director, at DFDS commented: “We’re delighted to be working with the prestigious SMC Design consultancy, on a project designed to offer a new, contemporary dining outlet for our passengers.

“The decision to revitalize the current catering concept on board our Eastern Channel routes follows passenger feedback, something we pride ourselves in listening and responding to. In an effort to boost passengers experience on-board, the Lighthouse Café will include a revised menu, recycling stations and a revamped children’s play area, all underpinned by a new and vibrant colour scheme.”

The project with SMC Design will continue over the next three-years and will expand to include a £180,000 investment and upgrade to the Horizon restaurants on-board the Dover-Calais fleet, with work commencing early 2019.

This re-design contributes to DFDS’ ongoing investment in its fleet which includes a chartered combined freight and passenger ferry (ro-pax) to be delivered in 2021 for deployment on the English Channel routes. This, in addition to the recent order of a freight ferry (ro-ro) new build, in August, and five previously ordered freight ferries, contributes to DFDS’ plans to increase operational efficiency in the route networks in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Source: DFDS

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

January 7th 2019: Came off service and sailed to Damen, Dunkerque (East) for refit.

© Julien Carpentier (Damen, Dunkerque 14/01/2019)

2019 Refit










DFDS Enthusiasts

January 21st 2019: Completed refit and, after short sea-trial sailed to Dunkerque (West).

January 22nd 2019: Further trials

January 23rd 2019: Re-commenced service Dunkerque -Dover

January 31st 2020: Came off service and sailed to Damen, Dunkerque (East) for refit.

Refit 2020

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery (DFDS)



 © Julien Carpentier (07/02/2020)

DFDS reveals NEW Relax Lounge as part of a £3.9m refit investment



DFDS’ Dunkerque Seaways will be the first of the three ships on the Dover to Dunkirk route to reveal a number of new looks as part of a £3.9m investment.

DFDS understands that in a busy world, with many customers travelling long distances, the chance to relax in comfort whilst travelling is welcome. With that in mind from Monday 17th February, passengers looking for peace and quiet can enjoy the new Relax Lounge. The lounge boasts luxury reclining chairs built into an airline style pod for extra privacy, complimented by soft lighting for the perfect stress-free environment. Prices depend on availability and start from £6 per person each way. Guests of the Relax Lounge will also receive a complimentary Rituals Karma set*. Children under 16 are not permitted into the Relax Lounge.

The ships’ Premium Lounge areas have also been fully refurbished with comfortable lounge furniture and modern décor to provide the luxurious and peaceful surroundings demanded by the modern traveller. This private lounge is open 24 hours a day and is available for all ages from £12 per person each way. Passengers can enjoy complimentary glass of Prosecco, premium snacks and pastries, hot and cold refreshments and hot food available from the Premium Lounge menu.

With the success of the Horizon restaurant, a pizza, pasta, salad concept on the Dover to Calais routes, the refit also includes this restaurant being installed on all three ships on the Dover to Dunkirk route. Here guests can enjoy a selection of freshly cooked, made to order pizzas, pasta dishes and healthy salads. Passengers can place their order, take a buzzer with them to their table and collect their meals when called.

Passengers will also benefit from new bathroom facilities throughout the ship and can now enjoy watching a spot of television in the Lighthouse Café, with newly installed TVs as an additional feature.

Steve Newbery, Onboard Commercial Director for BU Short Routes and Passenger at DFDS said: “This is a very exciting refit programme and continues on from last year’s successes with our Lighthouse Café and demonstrates our commitment to improving the passenger experience on board our DFDS ferries.

“We believe the improvements will help our passengers increase their sense of relaxation and give them the best possible start to their onward journeys. Many of the changes are in response to ideas and suggestions from our customers, so I am looking forward to the feedback from our passengers.” 14/02/2020

Source: Ashford Advertiser

2020 Refit in Progress

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery  © Steve Newbery

© Steve Newbery (DFDS)


Premium Lounge (DFDS)

 © Steve Newbery

Artists Horizon Restaurant (Left) Horizons Restaurant (Right) © Steve Newbery (DFDS)


February 17th 2020: Left Damen Dunkerque (East) and sailed to Dunkerque West.

February 17th 2020: Arrived Dunkerque West.

February 17th 2020: Resumed service Dunkerque – Dover.

© Nigel Scutt  © Nigel Scutt

Dover, 19/02/2020 (left) and 06/03/2020 (right) © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)


© Julien Carpentier (Dunkerque, 22/10/2020)

March 13th 2022: Came off service at Dover.

March 14th 2022: Left Dover for major refit at Fayard A/S in Odense.

March 16th 2022: Arrived at Fayard A/S in Odense.

© Peter Therkildsen  © Peter Therkildsen

© Peter Therkildsen (Fayard A/S, 16/03/2022)

March 31st 2022: Moved out dock.

© Peter Therkildsen

© Peter Therkildsen (Fayard A/S, 31/03/2022)

April 2nd 2022: Left Odense for Dover.

© Peter Therkildsen

© Peter Therkildsen (Fayard A/S, 02/04/2022)

© Christian Høj Markvardsen  © Christian Høj Markvardsen

© Christian Høj Markvardsen  © Christian Høj Markvardsen

© Christian Høj Markvardsen 

© Christian Høj Markvardsen (Odense, 02/04/2022)

April 4th 2022: Arrived in Dover and resumed service Dover – Dunkerque.

© Pieter Inpijn  © Pieter Inpijn

© Pieter Inpijn (Dover, 12/10/2022)

© Julien Carpentier


  © Julien Carpentier

© Julien Carpentier (Dover, 25/01/2023)

February 23rd 2023 – March 4th 2023: Planned refit at Damen Verolme BV, Rotterdam.

February 23rd 2023: Came off service at Dunkerque and sailed to Rotterdam.

March 6th 2023: Left Rotterdam and sailed to Dunkerque.

March 6th 2023: Arrived Dunkerque and resumed service Dunkerque – Dover.

March 6th 2024: Came off service at Dunkerque West and sailed to Damen Yard, Dunkerque East for refit.

March 7th 2024: Arrived Dunkerque East.

March 17th 2024: Left Damen yard, Dunkerque East and sailed to Dunkerque West.

March 18th 2024: Resumed service Dunkerque – Dover.

© Stéphane Vancutsem © Stéphane Vancutsem © Stéphane Vancutsem © Stéphane Vancutsem © Stéphane Vancutsem

🆕 © Stéphane Vancutsem (Dunkerque West, 18/03/2024)

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: Gary Andrews, Julien Carpentier‎, Ed Connell, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Carsten Dettmer, DFDS Group , DFDS Enthusiasts , Robert Fournier, Co de Vos, Christian Høj Markvardsen, Pieter Inpijn, Steve Newbury (DFDS), Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping), Simonwp, Paul Smith, Peter Therkildsen, Stéphane Vancutsem, Chris Whitfield, and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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


  1. My father and I were on the vessel at the time of the recent incident whilst berthing. I suspected that they might of been experiencing some problems with the ship due to a few observations:
    1. We had previously sailed on the same vessel on the Friday and it made what seemed to be an awkward berthing at dunkerque, firstly reversing towards the birth then spinning ship around to birth at the front as normal.
    2. When we boarded the vessel to return to dover, the ship was reversed onto the birth and we boarded from there which is not the norm at dunkerque.
    3. Then as we were birthing at dover I can only describe the birthing maneuver as awkward, going into dover 3 at a sharp angle at which the vessel then hit the pier separating dover 3 and 4.
    Anyway I just thought I would share this experience with you.
    A big fan of the website,
    Adam from stoke on trent.

    1. Hi Adam,

      Thank you for the information and the overview of the events involving the Dunkerque Seaways.

      I would also like to thank you for the kind words about the website, it’s nice to know that people like and read the articles we produce.

      Best Wishes


  2. Hi, well I was surely surprised to look at pictures of the formerly Norfolk Line and now DFDS line.
    I have travelled with all tree of them, the Dover, Delft and the Dunkerque from begin 2011 till November 2011 before that I travel by train from Calais to Folkestone.
    I was a charter for the Nedexco company, who’s gone broke in 2012.

    The pictures of the building of the ship in Korea were great thanks for sharing, I will made a link to your website on mine because I won’t steel your pics.
    I was for 35 years a truckdriver and drove a year for my own but bad business and crises had put down my business.
    On my website are some video’s and slideshow’s of traveling throughout Europe.

    I’m still busy with a renewing of one of my slideshow’s and this the travel (well work) as a own driver throughout Europe including travel from Dunkerque-Dover.
    I have also going through Oostende to Ramsgate but I’ve discover that Trans Europe Lines are broke-up so no one has a line now to Ramsgate I’ll think they were the only one.
    I have made journeys with many lines by ferry such as, P&O line from Rotterdam-Hull vica versa, Travemunde-Trelleborg with the TT lines, Stena Line from Hoek van Holland-Harwich and in the early days
    from Scheveningen-Felixstowe and later from Vlaardingen-Immingham and of course Calais-Dover vica versa, crossing the channel for many times I must say.

    With kind regards, Henk.

    1. Hi Henk,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on our website, it’s greatly appreciated.

      It’s always nice for us to hear people’s stories and what connection they have with the ferries that we document. Thank you for adding a link to our pictures rather than `stealing’ them, to much of this occurs on the internet nowadays.

      Once you have updated your website please get back in contact and I will add a link to your site from our own.

      Best Wishes


      1. Hello Ray, well i have a new slideshow album made and be watch at this link:

        This slideshow contents photo’s from 2000 till 2009 when i was working for a employer, later in 2011 i’ve been working as a own driver using a firm name THM Transport, also on my website as a slideshow and many traveling to the UK.

        I have some photo’s from the HSS Stena Discovery the fast ferry, landing at Harwich i was at the moment at the harbor site, could i send those to you?

        They are also been on the slideshow mention above.

        With kind regards, Henk.

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