Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

DFDS apology over ferry trip delay

Sixty jobs are to go at DFDS in Belfast at the end of this year as it shifts its finance centre to Poland
Sixty jobs are to go at DFDS in Belfast at the end of this year as it shifts its finance centre to Poland

A ferry firm has apologised after passengers on a trip to Amsterdam spent more than a day getting there because of bad weather, then had to leave again after six minutes.

Passengers set out from Tyneside's ferry port at North Shields on Friday afternoon but storms meant what should have been an overnight crossing took a queasy 30 hours as the DFDS vessel was hit by wind and huge waves.

People on a mini-break to the Dutch city arrived 13 hours late and minutes after arriving at the ferry terminal, they were taken 50 miles to the Hook of Holland by bus for the return trip, this time via Harwich in Essex.

They got back to the North East in the early hours of Monday, having travelled 45 hours for six minutes in Amsterdam.

Passenger Mark Dunn, from North Shields, an amusement arcade manager, told the Evening Chronicle newspaper: "We spent about six minutes in the ferry terminal car park in Amsterdam before they took us onto coaches. I wish I'd never bothered. I think I've done more miles than Judith Chalmers."

Max Foster, DFDS Seaways UK passenger director, said: "I would like to apologise to all passengers who were affected by our delayed mini cruise sailing on our Amsterdam route on Friday March 22.

"The delay was caused by unpredicted severe adverse weather conditions on the North Sea, which resulted in the outbound crossing of Princess Seaways from Newcastle being delayed. Our primary focus at DFDS Seaways is always on passenger safety.

"Our crew and shore-based team worked hard to ensure our passengers were able to make their way home as quickly and safely as possible whilst endeavouring to keep them informed of the situation throughout.

"As a result, our passengers disembarked on Sunday morning and were transported to the Hook of Holland to travel back to Harwich via another ferry service.

"They then continued by coach back to Newcastle. We have offered all passengers affected by the delayed sailing the opportunity to take their mini cruise at another time convenient to them."

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