DFDS (Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab) are one of the oldest shipping companies, and these days are very well known in UK for their ferry services to Denmark, Holland, and thanks to a recent takeover of the old SeaFrance route from Dover to Calais, and a company takeover of Norfolkline Ferries, DFDS also offer ferry services from UK to France.

They were founded in 1866 when a number of shipping companies under the management of Carl Frederik Tietgen came together to form the new business. Back in the early days, the company owned fifteen freight and passenger ships which operated services between the UK and Denmark and Norway. The company went from strength to strength, and eventually started routes to France, Iceland, Sweden, various destinations in the Mediterranean, and also North and South America.

However, as World War One got underway, a number of DFDS vessels were lost, and despite the company’s efforts, World War Two had the same effect. Many of the ships were taken by the British to be used for the troops. But after this, the company grew once more. By the mid-sixties, DFDS had fifty-four cargo ships that travelled worldwide, and thirteen passenger vessels travelling to various destinations over Europe.

It was in the eighties that the company experienced its most profitable time. DFDS bought and took over two other ferry companies, Prinz Ferries and Tor Line, acquiring three ferries in the process. They also bought another ferry, but by the mid-eighties, the company stopped all of the cargo routes in order to fully focus on their European routes. The name of the company was changed during this time from DFDS, to DFDS Danish Seaways, to Scandinavian Seaways. The company have now got somewhat of a reputation for purchasing ships that have already been in use, and they have not had a new ship since the late-seventies. DFDS Seaways is still the branded name of the ships that carry passengers across Europe, between Denmark, Norway, the UK, Germany, and Sweden, among others. In 2006, many of the ships were replaced or revived. Most recently, DFDS bought out Norfolkline in 2009, acquiring all of its ferries and routes.
The ships are now incredibly luxurious, offering guests a veritable feast of services and entertainment. All of the ships have a great variety of restaurants, from simple cafes to classy eateries. There is also a great deal of shopping to be done onboard, and most of it is duty free.

The longer journeys offer you overnight accommodation in plush cabins, whatever your budget is. There are simple rooms to deluxe suites, with TVs, mini bars, and continental breakfast served to you in your room. DFDS Seaways offer themed cruises, such as Halloween, romantic, tropical holiday, rock and roll, and school disco mini cruises. They also provide activity cruises, including wildlife cruises, snow holidays, and bird watching cruises. You can also travel on their mini cruises to various cities for a short break, or to various European Christmas markets. If you’re looking for a holiday package, you can get more than just a ferry crossing. DFDS offer customers package deals including the ferry journey and accommodation at the other side, ranging from bed and breakfasts to fancier hotels and cottages.
Destinations now include France, Holland and Denmark, as well as combination tickets between Ireland and Amsterdam, Ireland and Denmark, and Dover and Dunkirk.