Posts tagged: maersk dover

Building the ‘D’ Class – Part Four

Maersk Dunkerque

Maersk Dunkerque


In this final part of the review of the construction of Norfolkline’s ‘D’ Class, we move upstairs inside the Maersk Dunkerque in mid-2005 as the interiors of the ship were assembled at the Samsung shipyard at Geoje in South Korea, prior to handover to her owners that September. This post covers the upper of the two main passenger decks – Deck 7 – and some of the crew areas.

To give a feel for how the ship looked as completed, the under construction images are paired with equivalent pictures from on board the ship and her two sisters in service on the English Channel.

Click here for an on board guide to the ships showing the arrangement of facilities.

Previous posts in this series can be found here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Right forward, in the prime position on Deck 7, are the 'Road Kings' areas, exclusively for the use of freight drivers. 'Road Kings' consists of a cafeteria to port, a separate lounge forward to starboard, with a 'Relaxation Lounge' just astern of the latter. This view on the Maersk Dunkerque, from March 2005, shows what will become the mezzanine area overlooking the main self service restaurant on the deck below.

Right forward, in the prime position on Deck 7, are the 'Road Kings' areas, exclusively for the use of freight drivers. 'Road Kings' consists of a cafeteria to port, a separate lounge forward to starboard, with a 'Relaxation Lounge' just astern of the latter. This view on the Maersk Dunkerque, from March 2005, shows what will become the mezzanine area overlooking the main self service restaurant on the deck below.


The same area on the completed Maersk Dover.

The same area on the completed Maersk Dover.


Part of the 'Road Kings' restaurant seating area, March 2005.

Part of the 'Road Kings' restaurant seating area, March 2005.


A Norfolkline image of the same area on the Maersk Dunkerque just before she entered service.

A Norfolkline image of the same area on the Maersk Dunkerque just before she entered service.


Looking aft at the 'Road Kings' restaurant on the port side, July 2005.

Looking aft at the 'Road Kings' restaurant on the port side, July 2005.


(Maersk Delft)

(Maersk Delft)


The ceiling of the restaurant is dominated by this deckhead-mounted Maersk star.

The ceiling of the restaurant is dominated by this deckhead-mounted Maersk star.


The completed star illuminated on board the Maersk Delft.

The completed star illuminated on board the Maersk Delft.


Looking across the mezzanine down to Deck 6 below (July 2005).

Looking across the mezzanine down to Deck 6 below (July 2005).


(Maersk Delft)

(Maersk Delft)


Spreading across the rest of the forward part of the ship is the adjacent freight drivers' lounge, seen here under construction in March 2005.

Spreading across the rest of the forward part of the ship is the adjacent freight drivers' lounge, seen here under construction in March 2005.


Significant progress has been made by the time this image was taken four months later.

Significant progress has been made by the time this image was taken four months later.


The completed lounge on the Maersk Delft.

The completed lounge on the Maersk Delft.


Looking across from starboard, March 2005.

Looking across from starboard, March 2005.


The space in late June 2005.

The space in late June 2005.


(Maersk Delft, April 2006)

(Maersk Delft, April 2006)


Just aft on the starboard side, with its distinctive windows (later complete with sliding panels), is the truckers' Relax Lounge. Ultimately fitted with massage chairs the space is seen here in January 2005.

Just aft on the starboard side, with its distinctive windows (later complete with sliding panels), is the truckers' Relax Lounge. Ultimately fitted with massage chairs the space is seen here in January 2005.


The completed space on the Maersk Dover, December 2007.

The completed space on the Maersk Dover, December 2007.


The forward section, March 2005.

The forward section, March 2005.


(Maersk Dover)

(Maersk Dover)


The aft section, June 2005.

The aft section, June 2005.


(Maersk Dover)

(Maersk Dover)


Moving aft slightly, outside the entrance to the 'Road Kings' section, is the upper part of the main lobby and forward staircase. As completed, this is the most aggressively modernist space on board but looks fairly nondescript in this March 2005 shot on board the Maersk Dunkerque.

Moving aft slightly, outside the entrance to the 'Road Kings' section, is the upper part of the main lobby and forward staircase. As completed, this is the most aggressively modernist space on board but looks fairly nondescript in this March 2005 shot on board the Maersk Dunkerque.


The scene in July 2005.

The scene in July 2005.


The same area on board the Maersk Dover, October 2009.

The same area on board the Maersk Dover, October 2009.


The passenger accommodation continues aft to starboard where, fronting the upper level of the twin-deck windows is La Véranda, a bistro/café/bar; in more recent times the forward section of this space has been appropriated as a more formal table-service restaurant. This is the scene in July 2005.

The passenger accommodation continues aft to starboard where, fronting the upper level of the twin-deck windows is La Véranda, a bistro/café/bar; in more recent times the forward section of this space has been appropriated as a more formal table-service restaurant. This is the scene in July 2005.


The same area on the Maersk Delft in 2006. In the background can be seen two of the artworks created for the ship by the Danish artist Anne Vilsbøll. Each ship was entrusted to different artists, the Maersk Dunkerque receiving work from Jan van Lokhorst and the Maersk Dover Per Arnoldi, some 40 years after he had been similarly commissioned by DFDS to provide art on their Copenhagen-Oslo mini car liners Kong Olav V and Prinsesse Margrethe. In between times, Arnoldi has become internationally renowned and is most well known in the UK for his work with Lord Rogers on the National Police Memorial in London.

The same area on the Maersk Delft in 2006. In the background can be seen two of the artworks created for the ship by the Danish artist Anne Vilsbøll. Each ship was entrusted to different artists, the Maersk Dunkerque receiving work from Jan van Lokhorst and the Maersk Dover Per Arnoldi, some 40 years after he had been similarly commissioned by DFDS to provide art on their Copenhagen-Oslo mini car liners Kong Olav V and Prinsesse Margrethe. In between times, Arnoldi has become internationally renowned and is most well known in the UK for his work with Lord Rogers on the National Police Memorial in London.


Looking aft with what will become La Véranda's servery area to the right.

Looking aft with what will become La Véranda's servery area to the right.


(Maersk Delft)

(Maersk Delft)


The same area looking forward, June 2005.

The same area looking forward, June 2005.


(Maersk Delft)

(Maersk Delft)


Aft on the port side is the First Class area - two lounges (a VIP and a Business Lounge) accessible by swipe card upon paying a supplement. The entrance to this area is seen in July 2005.

Aft on the port side is the First Class area - two lounges (a VIP and a Business Lounge) accessible by swipe card upon paying a supplement. The entrance to this area is seen in July 2005.


(Maersk Delft)

(Maersk Delft)


The aftermost of the two rooms, the VIP lounge, is seen here under construction in March 2005.

The aftermost of the two rooms, the VIP lounge, is seen here under construction in March 2005.


The completed space on the Maersk Delft, complete with excruciatingly expensive Arne Jacobson 'Egg' chairs.

The completed space on the Maersk Delft, complete with excruciatingly expensive Arne Jacobson 'Egg' chairs.


The adjacent Business Lounge, seen in March 2005.

The adjacent Business Lounge, seen in March 2005.


The completed space on the Maersk Delft.

The completed space on the Maersk Delft.


Another angle, taken in June 2005.

Another angle, taken in June 2005.


(Maersk Delft)

(Maersk Delft)


Aft on Deck 7 is further outside deck, albeit accessed from Deck 6 below.

Aft on Deck 7 is further outside deck, albeit accessed from Deck 6 below.


(Maersk Dover)

(Maersk Dover)


Moving behind the scenes, this enclosed space will become the Officers' Mess, forward on Deck 8.

Moving behind the scenes, this enclosed space will become the Officers' Mess, forward on Deck 8.


The buffet area in the crew mess, just aft.

The buffet area in the crew mess, just aft.


The bridge, March 2005.

The bridge, March 2005.


Another view.

Another view.



Although we have focussed on the passenger spaces in the final two posts of this series, the real success of the ‘D’ class is in their continuing inroads into the core freight market. Whereas pretenders such as LD Lines have, after much effort, achieved less than a 5% share of the England-France ferry freight market (excluding the Tunnel), Norfolkline are now second only to P&O, with approximately 20-25%. Using only three ships the freight load factors achieved are the envy of everyone else, so the next big problem facing the class just might be a lack of capacity come the economic recovery.

Having previously been owned by Maersk, and now DFDS, it seems counter-intuitive to describe Norfolkline as an insurgent operator. However, competing against long-established rivals and having commenced operations less than a decade ago, it is certainly not an unfair categorisation. Where Norfolkline as a whole, under its new owners, goes next is difficult to predict, but the ‘D’ class, at least, are likely to be around for several years yet.

With grateful thanks to Stephen Mackenzie at Norfolkline for the under construction images.

Things Seen – November 2009

The Lincoln Castle

The Lincoln Castle

  • The paddle steamer Lincoln Castle is up for sale for £20,000. The last of the trio of ships built for the New Holland-Hull ferry service of the LNER, this ship, along with her two earlier routemates, the Tattershall and Wingfield Castles, eventually passed to Sealink in whose unlikely hands the service closed in 1981 upon completion of the Humber Bridge. The Lincoln Castle had been withdrawn in 1978 however and has served as a bar and restaurant ever since, for the past twenty years in Grimsby.
  • The call of the Oasis of the Seas at Southampton in early November, en route to Fort Lauderdale on her delivery voyage, brought the chance to compare sizes with the local Isle of Wight ferry fleet, such as the St Clare, seen here in the Daily Mail. An even more astounding comparison however was this picture of the ship with Brittany Ferries’ Mont St Michel – one of the largest cross-channel car ferries, but completely dwarfed by the ‘OOTS’.
  • Several months ago we looked at B&I Line’s first purpose-built car ferry, the Munster of 1968. irishships.com has an interesting series of photographs from on board, both general views and crew scenes.
  • The Maersk ‘D’ class have a series of artworks on board by different modernist Danish artists – Jan van Lokhorst on the Maersk Dunkerque, Anne Vilsbøll (Maersk Delft) and Per Arnoldi (most recently famous in the UK for his work on Michael Winner’s National Police Memorial in London) on the Maersk Dover.
    Van Lokhurst’s website has a series of images of his work on the first ship including pictures of the creative and manufacturing process whilst Vilsbøll can be seen here working on some of her paintings for the ‘Delft’.
  • Sessan & Stena at Frederikshavn

    Sessan & Stena at Frederikshavn

  • Over on LandgÃ¥ngen they have been discussing in minute detail the changes to the berthing arrangements at Frederikshaven between the Stena and Sessan terminals. Meanwhile on the Nautilia messageboard there are 143 pages discussing the Agios Georgios (ex-Hengist) and 57 pages on ‘Historic Photos of Piraeus port’.

    In many ways it is a shame that there is no equivalent all-encompassing British forum for the analysis of not only the endlessly trivial minutiae but also the broader fascinating history of the British short-sea passenger shipping scene. It would perhaps be impossible to rival nautilia’s seemingly comprehensive catalogue of Greek ferries, where every ship, historic or modern, has its own thread, but it would be nice to try.

  • The Prince of Wales was the last-built of the SRN-4 hovercraft, being delivered as late as 1977, five years after the previous example, the Sir Christopher. Withdrawn after just 14 years service, she was destroyed in 1993, whilst laid up in reserve, by an electrical fire. Together with other period images, here are some photographs of the craft being broken up after this event on the hoverpad at Dover. The SeaCat berth at the Hoverport was under construction at the same time.
  • Not quite as successful as the SRN-4s were the French SEDAM Naviplanes. The tortuous delivery voyage of the Ingénieur Jean Bertin, the only example of the type to actually enter service, is chronicled here.
  • The Diana II

    The Diana II

  • The much heralded conversion of former overnight ferries into ‘Accommodation/Repair Vessels’ (ARVs) has hit trouble. Work on the ARV 2 (formerly the Normandy, St Nicholas, Prinsessan Birgitta) has been halted before even starting. Shippax reports that the ARV1, which was delayed during rebuilding, was the other contender for the 18 month accommodation contract near Perth won by Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken. The former Meloodia/Diana II therefore remains laid up in Singapore. Some coverage of the ship during her extensive refurbishment can be seen here and more details of what has been done can be gleaned from the ship’s new General Arrangement plan.
  • Now travelling between Bari and Albania, the ice breaking capacity of the Rigel sees little use. That was not the case during her previous life as the Baltic Kristina of Riga Sea Lines, as this photostory demonstrates.
  • Having mentioned the early Trasmed. car ferries last month, it would be remiss not to point readers in the direction of trasmeships.es which has a host of interesting photographs from various ship through the history of the Spanish company. With the volume of ships covered it is a little hard to pick out favourites, but the Ciudad de Tarifa, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Ciudad de Valencia (now Mary the Queen), and the Ciudad de Sevilla are particularly interesting, the latter page including startling images of the ship’s determined attempt to sink herself off Palma in October 1982.
  • The Ciudad de Valencia at Ibiza in August 2003.

    The Ciudad de Valencia at Ibiza in August 2003.


  • The abandoned wreck of the poor old Assalama (formerly Trasmed’s Ciudad de la Laguna and originally the Bore Line (Silja) Botnia of 1967) remains at Tarfaya, over one and a half years since she sank just after leaving port.

    Some interesting footage from that day in April 2008 can be seen here and here.

  • The very first ship of freight operator Truckline Ferries was the Poole Antelope which, 11 years before the company was purchased by Brittany Ferries, entered service in 1973 between Poole and Cherbourg, followed shortly after by her sister the Dauphin de Cherbourg. This pair are slightly glossed over in histories of Truckline, being too small, too slow and sold within a couple of years. Whilst the second ship has rather passed into obscurity (she became an oilfield research vessel in China named Bin Hai 504 (sometimes seen as Rin Hai 504)), the Poole Antelope was ultimately converted into a passenger ship and at present is offering regular ferry services for Ukrferry between Odessa in the Ukraine and Istanbul in Turkey under the name Caledonia. Ukrferry also offer cruises on the ship and the website for this side of the operation has plenty of photographs together with a deckplan.
  • Ukrferry also operate the former Scandlines vessel Greifswald and, since her return from charter to ISCOMAR for Ibiza sailings as the Begoña del Mar, the Yuzhnaya Palmyra (ex-Silesia). The latter has her own website here and maintains the Odessa-Istanbul service in Summer.
  • The Express Santorini (ex-Chartres) is back in Greece, presently operating for ANEK on a subsidy-munching Piraeus-Patmos-Leipsoi-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Symi-Rhodes routing. This after another Summer on Charter to Atlanticoline in the Azores. According to this report, she continued to make a favourable impression and is in excellent condition “due to good maintenance, since it is owned by Hellenic Seaways”. That last point is, to be fair, not as unlikely as it sounds; HSW are not GA Ferries.

    Nonetheless, it seems the ship did have a little trouble with that side ramp installed for use on the charter. Back home, and with the demise of GA Ferries and SAOS, there must be some demand for smaller, cheap-to-run ships for use on the subsidised routes beyond just refit cover so the ‘Santorini’ may yet have a future in Greece. If so, it would be nice to see that side door removed altogether.


  • The Porfyrousa (ex-Canbulat Pasa) at Drapetsona in July 2008. On the left of the photograph is NEL's Panagia Tinou and in the background the same company's former Aeolos Kenteris, by then the Red Sea I.

    The Porfyrousa (ex-Canbulat Pasa) at Drapetsona in July 2008. On the left of the photograph is NEL's Panagia Tinou and in the background the same company's former Aeolos Kenteris, by then the Red Sea I.

  • In September’s Things Seen I mentioned the fleet of Fergün Shipping of Turkey. The company’s website is not the most up to date, but I, sort of, implied that the Canbulat Pasa as the newest member of the conventional fleet was probably still in service. Richard Seville rushes to correct, reminding me that we in fact encountered the ship whilst visiting the Aegean Heaven mid-refit at Drapetsona in July 2008. She was in the process of being renamed Porfyrousa and has since taken up service on the local routes out of Kythera.

    There are some interesting thoughts, upon which it would be wisest not to comment, on the happenings which preceded the introduction of the ship in Greece here.

  • Mention of Drapetsona prompts me to draw attention to the redevelopment plan for the area. You’d have to think this has a fair chance of never happening, but what a revolution it would be. I can see the Beach Club, the Family Entertainment Zone and the Retail Zone/Marina. But where is the long quayside where ferries of all kinds go to lay up – many forever? Is that what Sunset Park is maybe?
  • What would Drapetsona be without the laid-up Alkyon?

    What would Drapetsona be without the laid-up Alkyon?

  • The wreck of the Express Samina is the rather haunting location for this video on youtube.
  • Little knowing the unfortunate fate of their new ship, this video from Greece shows happy dignitaries on board the Arion (ex-Nili, Jamaica Queen etc) as she was entering service for NEL in 1975. The ship was subsequently bombed in Haifa in 1982. (h/t nautilia.gr)
  • The act of boarding the modern ferry has perhaps through familiarity lost some of the excitement of days gone by but this video from 1995 of Minoan Lines’ Fedra at Venice shows that even lorry drivers can make something interesting from an otherwise mundane day to day experience.
  • Ghosts from the past can live forever on the internet, and that is the case with Hellenic Mediterranean Lines whose website is still offering sailings from Brindisi to Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Paxi, Zakynthos, Cefallonia and Patras on the Egnatia III and the Poseidonia, just as if it was still 2003.
  • Another operator living in the past is Skenderbeg Lines, where it is forever 2004. Their Europa I remains laid up in Brindisi, as she has been since 2007. Her heroic past was remembered on 30 October however, 18 years to the day since the ship, then Jadrolinija’s Slavija I, led the ‘Libertas Convoy’ to Dubrovnik in an attempt to help stop the destruction of the latter city during the Croatian War of Independence. With numerous tourist and fishing boats following and with on board, amongst others, Stipe Mesić, today the President of Croatia, the ship sailed down the coast to besieged Dubrovnik.

    The Slavija I made several, increasingly harrowing, return trips, and the Diary of Dr Slobodan Lang gives a detailed account of the period, including a final sailing:

    The ship was intended for 600 passengers, but there was a crowd of 3,500 people on board. We approached the ship coming through the Gruž harbour which was littered with sunken, capsized or burnt down ships. Smoke was rising out of the burning installations for days. We were being watched by those on the top of the hill, not being able to do anything but think they would start to shoot at any moment.

    On board that ship, I was contemplating about the ships crowded with Jews on their way out of Germany in the late thirties, as well as the abandonment of Saigon. We were at the very bottom of the ship’s garage. It was simply not possible for the cars and trucks to embark because the ship was crammed with men, children, women, elderly and sick people. The sick were lying on the metal floor, with their I.V. drips hanging up in the air. Tears and silence were hand in hand. Faces were totally changed with crying, haggard because of the silence. People were lying on the stairs in positions I had never seen before, fifteen persons per cabin. One could step between human bodies only too carefully. As we sailed out, huge waves were tossing the ship up and down, so many people vomitted, were nauseous, felt psychical discomfort. Doctors were sought on all sides, painful crying expressed a thousand year old Croatian suffering, agony of yet unborn children to 90 year old people.

  • The Europa I (ex-Slavija I) laid up in Brindisi, August 2009.

    The Europa I (ex-Slavija I) laid up in Brindisi, August 2009.

  • The Dieppe-Newhaven steamer Lisieux was one of the more beautiful post-war passenger ships. Her career with the SNCF was relatively brief however and she followed her former Dieppe partner the Arromanches into the fleet of Nomikos Lines in 1966 as the Apollon (the Arromanches became the Leto). Both ships can be seen in excerpts from the Greek film ‘La Parisienne’ of 1969; the Apollon is seen at Mykonos. (h/t nautilia.gr)
  • Following on from the British Pathé website mentioned in October, this month it is time to investigate a French equivalent, ina.fr. Having just mentioned the Arromanches, it does not seem inappropriate to begin with coverage of her launching in March 1946.

    Other videos of note are:

    The ruins of Boulogne, Calais and Marseille, January 1945

    The maiden voyage of the Côte d’Azur, 1951

    Departure of the Ville de Tunis from Algiers, 1956

    Coverage of the introduction of SNCM’s Napoléon in 1978

    Coverage of the building of the Scandinavia in 1982

    The evacuation of PLO troops from Tripoli using the Vergina (ex-Dan, Bilu), December 1983

    Further footage of the Tripoli evacuation, this time with footage of the Ionian Glory (ex-Compiegne) and, briefly at the end, the Odysseas Elytis (ex-Svea Regina)

    A mini cruise on the Corse, 1984

    Coverage of the introduction of SNCM’s Danielle Casanova in 1989

    The return of the damaged Baroness M (ex-Lion) to port after her encounter with Syrian gunboats, February 1990

    A few historic adverts:
    Sealink Ferries SNCF, 1983
    Sealink Ferries SNCF, 1984
    Townsend Thoresen, 1984
    Sealink SNAT, 1992
    P&O European Ferries, 1993
    Sealink SNAT, 1993
    Corsica Ferries, 1997

    And, lastly, some epic coverage of the maiden voyage of the France.

  • The Skagen of 1958, built for KDS’ Kristiansand-Hirtshals route, was a fine early example of what now seem quite small passenger and vehicle ferries designed by Knud E Hansen. The ship passed later to Fred. Olsen before she was sold in the 1970s for use as a ‘mother ship’ for mini submersibles used in oil exploration. Latterly renamed the Pan Trader, she survives in Norway to this day, and these pictures on Flickr demonstrate that much of her original interior is still intact (compare with these ‘as built’ images on Fakta om Fartyg).
  • Please send any contributions for ‘Things Seen’ to admin@hhvferry.com.

    Building the ‘D’ Class – Part Three

    Maersk Dunkerque and Maersk Dover

    Maersk Dunkerque and Maersk Dover


    In this part of our review of the construction of Norfolkline’s ‘D’ Class, we move inside the Maersk Dunkerque in mid-2005 as the interiors of the ship were assembled at the Samsung shipyard at Geoje in South Korea prior to the handover to her owners that September. This post covers the vehicle decks and the lower of the two main passenger decks – Deck 6.

    To give a feel for how the ship looked as completed, the under construction images are paired with equivalent pictures from on board the ship and her two sisters in service on the English Channel.

    Click here for an on board guide to the ships showing the arrangement of facilities.

    The ships have three vehicle decks - two full height, supposedly reserved for freight only (although I have seen passengers and cars loaded on these in the past) and, above, one for cars only. This view shows one of the doorways on the lower freight deck in July 2005.

    The ships have three vehicle decks - two lorry height, supposedly reserved for freight only (although I have seen passengers and cars loaded on these in the past) and one for cars only above. This view shows one of the doorways on the lower freight deck in July 2005.


    The same area in operation (Maersk Dunkerque)

    The same area in operation (Maersk Dunkerque)


    Access to the upper freight deck (Deck 4) at the forward end of the ship is via this 'cat flap' door (June 2005).

    Access to the upper freight deck (Deck 4) at the forward end of the ship is via this 'cat flap' door (June 2005)


    The car deck (Deck 5) is accessed via ramps on the starboard side at either end of the ship which feed traffic over the upper level of the two-tier linkspans at Dover and Dunkerque. This shot is taken at the stern of the Maersk Dunkerque (March 2005).

    The car deck (Deck 5) is accessed via ramps on the starboard side at either end of the ship which feed traffic over the upper level of the two-tier linkspans at Dover and Dunkerque. This shot is taken at the stern of the Maersk Dunkerque (March 2005).


    An overall view on Deck 5 (March 2005).

    An overall view on Deck 5 (March 2005).


    (Maersk Dover)

    The same area on the Maersk Dover


    Looking forward on the port side of Deck 5 during construction.

    Looking forward on the port side of Deck 5 during construction (July 2005).


    (Maersk Dover)

    (Maersk Dover)


    Right forward is the 'Panorama' self service restaurant, with the dramatic two-tier sweep of the forward windows. This early picture was taken in March 2005.

    Right forward is the 'Panorama' self service restaurant, with the dramatic two-tier sweep of the forward windows. This early picture was taken in March 2005.


    The same scene four months later (July 2005).

    The same scene four months later (July 2005).


    As completed (Maersk Dover).

    As completed (Maersk Dover).


    Looking across to the self service servery area (July 2005).

    Looking across to the self service servery area (July 2005).


    (Maersk Dover)

    (Maersk Dover)


    Early days - January 2005.

    Early days - January 2005.


    (Maersk Dover).

    (Maersk Dover).


    Looking forward and across to starboard (July 2005).

    Looking forward and across to starboard (July 2005).


    The servery area (background) with sofa style seating under construction in the foreground (July 2005).

    The servery area (background) with sofa style seating under construction in the foreground (July 2005).


    An overall view of the completed servery (Maersk Dunkerque).

    An overall view of the completed servery (Maersk Dunkerque).


    Heading aft on the port side, there is further cafeteria seating (July 2005).

    Heading aft on the port side, there is further cafeteria seating (July 2005).


    (Maersk Dover)

    (Maersk Dover)


    Aft of the seating area described above was originally a small lounge designated the 'Corporate Quarter' for use by private parties. Little used, it has since been converted on all three ships into additional toilet facilities.

    Aft of the seating area described above was originally a small lounge designated the 'Corporate Quarter' for use by private parties. Little used, it has since been converted on all three ships into additional toilet facilities.


    The Corporate Quarter as it was aboard the Maersk Dover in 2006.

    The Corporate Quarter as it was aboard the Maersk Dover in 2006.


    Inboard of the Corporate Quarter is the striking main lobby, seen here on the Maersk Dover.

    Inboard of the Corporate Quarter is the striking main lobby, seen here on the Maersk Dover.


    The lobby area under construction.

    The lobby area under construction.


    (Maersk Dover)

    (Maersk Dover)


    (Maersk Dover)

    (Maersk Dover)


    Continuing aft on the port side, next is the family lounge, the forward quarter of which is seen here (July 2005).

    Continuing aft on the port side, next is the family lounge, the forward quarter of which is seen here (July 2005).


    Another view, looking forward. The shop is on the right hand side.

    Another view, looking forward. The shop is on the right hand side.


    (Maersk Delft).

    (Maersk Delft).


    Looking aft (June 2005) with the 'Cartoon Castle' in the background.

    Looking aft (June 2005) with the 'Cartoon Castle' in the background.


    The same area a little later as building progressed.

    The same area a little later as building progressed.


    (Maersk Delft)

    (Maersk Delft)


    July 2005.

    July 2005.


    (Maersk Delft)

    (Maersk Delft)


    March 2005.

    March 2005.


    (Maersk Dover)

    (Maersk Dover)


    The entrance to the shop (March 2005).

    The entrance to the shop (March 2005).


    The same area on Maersk Delft.

    The same area on Maersk Delft.


    Right aft in the internal accommodation on the port side was this fast food restaurant, Rumble Tums (seen on Maersk Dover).

    Right aft in the internal accommodation on the port side was this fast food restaurant, Rumble Tums (seen on Maersk Dover).


    Rumble Tums on the Maersk Dunkerque in June 2005.

    Rumble Tums on the Maersk Dunkerque in June 2005.


    (Maersk Delft)

    (Maersk Delft)


    On the starboard side aft is The Lounge cafe bar, with a curved staircase leading up to the mezzanine level above (seen in June 2005).

    On the starboard side aft is The Lounge cafe bar, with a curved staircase leading up to the mezzanine level above (seen in June 2005).


    The same area on the 'Dunkerque', Christmas 2007.

    The same area on the 'Dunkerque', Christmas 2007.


    In this later view, taken in July 2005, the furnishings are now mostly in place.

    In this later view, taken in July 2005, the furnishings are now mostly in place.


    Norfolkline image on the Maersk Dunkerque as completed.

    Norfolkline image on the Maersk Dunkerque as completed.


    March 2005.

    March 2005.


    On board the Maersk Dover, with panel by Per Arnoldi.

    On board the Maersk Dover, with decorative panel by Per Arnoldi.


    Aft of The Lounge was The Portal video games area, equipped with Sony Play Stations (seen under construction in March 2005).

    Aft of The Lounge was The Portal video games area, equipped with Sony Play Stations (seen under construction in March 2005).


    As completed on the Maersk Delft. This area appears to be generally closed on the ships now.

    As completed on the Maersk Delft. This area appears to be generally closed on the ships now.


    Right aft on Deck 6 is the covered outside deck.

    Right aft on Deck 6 is the covered outside deck.


    The same area, looking forward on the Maersk Delft, showing how ceiling panels were installed to  enhance the area's appearance, concealing the usually ugly arrangements of piping and structural elements.

    The same area, looking forward on the Maersk Delft, showing how ceiling panels were installed to enhance the area's appearance, concealing the usually ugly arrangements of piping and structural elements.


    The final part of this series, coming shortly, will cover the upper passenger deck and some crew areas.
    With grateful thanks to Stephen Mackenzie at Norfolkline for the under construction images.

    Building the ‘D’ Class – Part Two


    In the first part of our look at the construction of the Maersk ‘D’ class, we reviewed the three vessels at various stages as they grew from the bottom up in the Samsung shipyard at Geoje in South Korea. This second series of images shows the Maersk Dunkerque over the period March to September 2005, through sea trials and up to the ship being handed over on 27 September.
    March 2005, and the 'Dunkerque' has been painted for the first time.

    March 2005, and the 'Dunkerque' has been painted for the first time.

    The stern door. Above, the 'lip' for the linkspan to rest upon when in port at Dover is visible.

    The stern door. Above, the 'lip' for the linkspan to rest upon when in port at Dover is visible.

    At the stern of the ship, at the upper vehicle deck level. On the far (starboard) side, the internal ramp leading to the third vehicle level, for cars only, can be seen. In this area the ships have an arrangement similar to Irish Ferries' Ulysees of 2001.

    At the stern of the ship, at the upper vehicle deck level. On the far (starboard) side, the internal ramp leading to the third vehicle level, for cars only, can be seen. In this area the ships have an arrangement similar to Irish Ferries' Ulysees of 2001.

    Looking down from above the bridge to the forecastle.

    Looking down from above the bridge to the forecastle.

    Looking back from the top of the bridge to the funnel.

    Looking back from the top of the bridge to the funnel.


    Just aft of the bridge on the starboard side, these skylights allow natural light to flow down onto the buffet area of the crew mess below.

    Just aft of the bridge on the starboard side, these skylights allow natural light to flow down onto the buffet area of the crew mess below.


    The classic Maersk funnel before the addition of the star. The choice of funnel design has been criticised for being at odds with the otherwise overt modernity of the ships.

    The classic Maersk funnel before the addition of the star. The choice of funnel design has been criticised for being at odds with the otherwise overt modernity of the ships.

    Looking down at the stern with another view of the ramp to the upper car deck.

    Looking down at the stern with another view of the ramp to the upper car deck.

    A unique view, looking forward from the top of the funnel.

    A unique view, looking forward from the top of the funnel.

    Amongst the 'forest' of exhausts atop the funnel. These are still pristine but will later be black in appearance.

    Amongst the 'forest' of exhausts atop the funnel. These are still pristine but will later be black in appearance.

    Looking aft from the funnel.

    Looking aft from the funnel.

    Close up of the large 'cow catcher' for use with the Dunkerque linkspan.

    Close up of the large 'cow catcher' for use with the Dunkerque linkspan.

    The Maersk Dunkerque and Maersk Delft, May 2005.

    The Maersk Dunkerque and Maersk Delft, May 2005.

    The funnel, with the Maersk star now in place.

    The funnel, with the Maersk star now in place.

    The 'Dunkerque' heading out for sea trials, 1 June 2005.

    The 'Dunkerque' heading out for sea trials, 1 June 2005.

    27 September 2005: the Maersk Dunkerque is handed over to Norfolkline.

    27 September 2005: the Maersk Dunkerque is handed over to Norfolkline.

    With grateful thanks to Stephen Mackenzie at Norfolkline.
    The next part of this series will look inside the embryo interiors as the Maersk Dunkerque approached completion.

    Building the ‘D’ Class – Part One


    There have been some significant new ships for Cross-Channel operators in the past decade, most notably the Seafrance Rodin and Berlioz on the short sea and the Mont St Michel and Pont-Aven in the Western Channel. Taking their place alongside these vessels, for established operators, came the three ships of the Maersk ‘D’ class. Entering service in 2005/2006, the Maersks Dunkerque, Delft and Dover are remarkable partly because they were delivered to what was still in many people’s minds an ‘upstart’ operator and partly because they were such a momentous upgrade from the existing ships.

    Built by Samsung at Geoje in Korea with interiors by Steen Friis Hansen, the ships have generated significant extra traffic for Norfolkline, building on the success of the earlier Racehorse class. Certainly Norfolkline came into the market at the right time – the Dover-Dunkerque operation was inaugurated with just one ship in March 2000 and with low expectations – externally at least. A second ship was added in October of that year and the deployment of ‘D’ class has enabled the expansion to continue apace. The fast growth of freight traffic through Dover in the late 1990s and past the turn of the century enabled a start-up with the right backing to gain a share of the market which, if small enough initially perhaps not to overly concern the established competition at a time of plenty, soon became a major rival. Aided by the new ships, Norfolkline’s passenger traffic has quadrupled since 2003, and freight has increased by over 75% from a base that was already fairly strong. Indeed, the growth of the market and of ship size generally in recent years is demonstrated by Norfolkline, with a tenth of the sailings, in 2008 carrying over 75% of the total freight traffic that P&O and Sealink between them carried to Calais in 1995.

    The Samsung yard offered a very competitive quote to Maersk as part of their continuing efforts to gain entry into the ferry market following a tentative and somewhat uncertain start with Minoan Line’s three ‘Prometheus’ class fast ro-paxes, which never entirely proved satisfactory for their owners and were all fairly speedily disposed of. The Norfolkline ships were more carefully thought out at a concept level however (Minoan almost seemed to feel obliged to order just to keep up with their rivals) and have proven rather more successful, although question marks remain over the shipyard’s ferry division which has not delivered a further ship since the Maersk Dover. A pair of large ro-ro vessels for Stena are on order however and the results of dealing with this particularly demanding buyer remain to be seen; as with Maersk however Stena has previous experience having worked with Samsung on non-ferry projects.

    It is now nearly four years since the introduction of the Maersk Dunkerque and in the first of a series of fascinating pictures from behind the scenes at the shipyard in South Korea, reproduced here with grateful thanks to Stephen Mackenzie at Norfolkline, show the three ships under construction, from pre-fabricated blocks to recognisable ferries.

    Cutting steel for yard number 1523 - the Maersk Dunkerque.

    Cutting steel for yard number 1523 - the Maersk Dunkerque.


    Timetable for completion of the Maersk Dunkerque.

    Timetable for completion of the Maersk Dunkerque.

    An overall view of the yard.

    An overall view of the yard.

    'Bits' of the Maersk Dunkerque being assembled, starting with bow thrust units

    'Bits' of the Maersk Dunkerque being assembled, starting with bow thrust units

    Upturned stern section.

    Upturned stern section.

    The same section on the move...

    The same section on the move...

    Assembling the 'bits'.

    Assembling the 'bits'.

    The 'Dunkerque's forward superstructure.

    The 'Dunkerque's forward superstructure.

    Inside the partially-assembled bridge.

    Inside the partially-assembled bridge.

    A close up of the bridge section.

    A close up of the bridge section.

    With the 'Dunkerque' half complete, work on the 'Delft' gets underway (right).

    With the 'Dunkerque' half complete, work on the 'Delft' gets underway (right).

    The bow thrust units now safely in place.

    The bow thrust units now safely in place.

    Propellor shaft installation in progress.

    Propellor shaft installation in progress.

    The Maersk Dunkerque.

    The Maersk Dunkerque.

    The stern of the Maersk Dunkerque, before the addition of the aft superstructure.

    The stern of the Maersk Dunkerque, before the addition of the aft superstructure.

    The towering forward superstructure for one of the second pair, with its distinctive window shapes.

    The towering forward superstructure for one of the second pair, with its distinctive window shapes.

    The twin-level window structure on the starboard side will later enclose The Lounge cafe bar and La Veranda bistro.

    The twin-level window structure on the starboard side will later enclose The Lounge cafe bar and La Veranda bistro.

    Four engines await...

    Four engines await...

    Stern section complete with rudder.

    Stern section complete with rudder.

    A complete bow section, including 'cow catcher' for use at Dunkerque's new linkspan.

    A complete bow section, including 'cow catcher' for use at Dunkerque's new linkspan.

    Inside the bow.

    Inside the bow.

    More prefabricated pieces on the move.

    More prefabricated pieces on the move.


    Maersk Delft's starboard stabiliser slot.

    Maersk Delft's starboard stabiliser slot.


    At the stern of the Maersk Delft.

    At the stern of the Maersk Delft.

    The view forward, with the Maersk Dover being assembled in the background.

    The view forward, with the Maersk Dover being assembled in the background.

    The second in the series of photographs, coming shortly, will cover the completion and handover of the Maersk Dunkerque.
    With grateful thanks to Stephen Mackenzie at Norfolkline.

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