Danish operator DFDS and Italian ferry operator Moby Lines, in a rare event in the ferry sector, are to exchange vessels.
DFDS will swap its 1986 German-built 2,280-passenger, 570-car Denmark flagged King Seaways and 1997-built 1,320 cabin berth, 550-car Princess Seaways for the Italian-flagged Moby Aki and Moby Wonder fast ferries built in 2005 and 2001. The 2,200-passenger, 710-vehicle capacity bareboat-chartered sister ships will operate on the Newcastle-Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) line from January 2020.
The two Italian vessels with 2,000 line-metres car deck capacity will enable DFDS to increase its freight capacity by 40%. The Denmark based group in 2018 carried more than 600,000 passengers, 120,000 private cars and 350,000 lane metres of freight – the equivalent of 25,000 heavy-duty vehicles.
Moby Lines in exchange takes on DFDS's ferries that with a large number of passenger cabins are earmarked to sail on domestic routes from the Italian mainland to Sardinia, particularly Livorno and Piombino to Olbia.
The Italian ferry operator does not need to increase capacity as it shares the links with privatised flagship operator Tirrenia that it now controls – a monopoly that since 2017 has been threatened by Moby's rival Grimaldi Lines that operates two links from Olbia to Livorno and Olbia to Rome's port of Civitavecchia.