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Posted on October 22, 2019
Last Tuesday the traditional keel-laying ceremony took place at Avic Shipyard in Weihai,China, to officially celebrate the next stage of construction of our combined freight and passenger ferry destined for the Channel. She will be named Côte d’Opale.
The keel once made up the backbone of a ship, connecting bow to stern and extending the length of the ship. When the keel was laid at the ceremony, it signified the birth of the ship and the yard workers could start building the hull around the keel.
Nowadays, the traditional keel has been replaced by huge sections that are welded together to form the hull of a ship. However, the tradition lives on and last Tuesday, a section was lowered in the drydock at Avic Shipyard in Weihai, China, to represent the keel-laying for our combined freight and passenger ferry.
Together with representatives of the shipyard, Stena RoRo and DFDS’ own Senior Charterer’s Representative, Anders B Thomsen, was in attendance at the ceremony too. Stena RoRo is owner of the vessel and DFDS will take the ferry on a 10-year bareboat charter with delivery from China by the end of June 2021. The 214 metres long ferry will be the longest ship on the Channel with capacity for 1,000 passengers and crew together with 160 trailers. She is intended for use on the Dover – Calais route and is therefore named after one of the most beautiful coastal regions in France, Côte d’Opale, which borders Belgium and is situated opposite the cliffs of south-east England.