LD Lines is a sub-company of the Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group, which was founded in 1904, and has been a successful company in the maritime transport sector, now owning over sixty ships that travel all over the world. Not only does the company provide transportation for passengers, but also for cargo, for oil research purposes, and ships that lay cables at the bed of the ocean.
LD Lines itself is the passenger sector of the company. The routes on offer nowadays are mainly from France, to destinations like Spain, England, and Tunisia. LD Lines also offer routes from England to Belgium. The ferry company are well known for providing an affordable yet fast service to these destinations, with comfortable facilities onboard. If you want to travel by LD Lines, you have a great choice. There is a daily service running between Portsmouth and La Havre, two services daily from Newhaven to Dieppe, and three routes from Saint-Nazaire to Gijon every week.
The Le Havre to Portsmouth journey is one of the most popular services LD Lines has on offer. The Channel crossings began in 2005 after P&O Ferries withdrew their vessels operating on this route. In the beginning, there was only one crossing a day from each port, and the sail from Portsmouth began as an overnight trip on a former P&O ship the company had acquired. LD Lines have recently purchased a new ship to operate on this route, the Norman Spirit, and despite a few delays is now in service.
The Dieppe to Newhaven was also a former P&O Stena Line route. They ran the service until 1998, and then the company Hoverspeed took over until 2004. It was in 2006 that LD Lines acquired this popular route, and the company now earn over fourteen million Euros annually because of it. During peak seasons, LD Lines also added a once-daily round trip from Newhaven to Le Havre, but now there are two sailings every day.
The Ramsgate to Ostend route is one of the more recent additions to LD Lines, starting up in 2010, as well as the Saint-Nazaire to Gijón service, also in 2010. The latter route is part of the Motorways at Sea scheme and is given a subsidy by the European Union.
All of the vessels on offer have a selection of restaurants and bars to cater for every taste, from simple café food to classier sit-down meals. You can also book cabins for overnight stays, or if you’re on a budget, you can just go for a reclining sleeper seat, or a standard seat. As well as their ferry services, LD Lines have also started a bus tour which goes around the South of England and the North of France. This also began in 2010 and has proved to be hugely successful. Customers can sign up to the loyalty scheme and win ferry crossing and get discounts on tickets. The bus journey itself is a relaxed one, where you can watch DVDs, relax and enjoy the ride, or even have your face painted!