The new public service delegation contract for the Dieppe-Newhaven ferry service has been signed.
On the 15th November 2022, The Syndicat Mixte de Promotion de l’Activité Transmanche (SMPAT) has entered into a new public service delegation contract with DFDS Seaways for the period 2023-2027.
Photo © Marceau Bellenger - Département de la Seine-Maritime
This agreement has been reached following a long competitive process with serious candidates which demonstrates the relevance of this link between Seine-Maritime and Sussex. After a thorough analysis of the different offers and negotiations, the SMPAT has unanimously decided to appoint DFDS Seaways to operate the Dieppe-Newhaven ferry line for the next five years, until 31st December 2027. This is good news for the elective representatives, the companies and the inhabitants of the territories as well as for the employees concerned.
Alain Bazille, Chairman of the SMPAT, wishes to thank the members of the SMPAT for their commitment and underlines the social responsibility that guides the public action. " Thanks to the yearly 26M€ public subsidies, the Département de la Seine-Maritime, the main contributor, together with Dieppe-Maritime and the CCI Rouen Métropole ensure the future of this vital link for the development of the Pays Dieppois and Seine-Maritime and the protection of direct and indirect jobs. Besides the SMPAT is deeply concerned about socially responsible management and will continue to support the French-flagged vessels and good work conditions for the sailors of the Dieppe Newhaven ferry line"
A new contract to help promote the attractivity of the ferry line and territorial development
The new contract is part of a renewed legal framework supporting the attractivity of the ferry line and the provision of quality service for the passengers. A new schedule including longer night crossings to provide more comfort for the passengers, additional crossings over the weekends in high season to meet the demand, offset by fewer crossings during the lower season, are among the new proposals of the contract.
Significant investments are planned to be carried out on the 'Côte d’Albâtre' and the 'Seven Sisters'. They include new hull coatings for better fuel consumption, the renovation and a major expansion of the duty-free shop for the passengers. A lounge and additional cabins dedicated to the freight drivers will allow more cabins for the other passengers.
Initiatives to consolidate the territorial development in Seine-Maritime are also planned. Marketing actions to further promote the local tourist destinations will target British people.
Packaged offers including crossings and hotels will be proposed in order to encourage people to travel and stay in Seine-Maritime and Normandy. The sale of local products will be promoted onboard and local suppliers will be prioritized.
An agreement in the context of a rebound in tourism
The signing of the contract takes place in a particular context in terms of freight and tourist figures.
Although freight traffic has slowed down because of the economic conditions and the new border controls, the tourism activity, which is so important for the Dieppe Newhaven route, is significantly rebounding. After a very good high season in 2022, the line has recorded passenger numbers exceeding those of 2019. Indeed, September and October 2022 have produced the best results over the last 15 years.
These figures reflect the importance of the ferry route for the tourists who can as from now make their bookings with Transmanche Ferries for 2023.