December 2007
Neat Fleet
Crossing the channel in style
Until recently, crossing the channel from England to France was not necessarily an enjoyable experience in itself.   However there has been a style revolution with the introduction of new vessels by Norfolkline and Seafrance.   These ships boast levels of luxury unseen this short sea crossing, both in their interiors and in their restaurants.   They are both neat fleets.
Norfolkline are a relative newcomer to the English channel.   Starting operation between Dover and Dunkirk with pure freight vessels, they also attracted tourists who could make journeys provided they were car passengers.   The original ships have now been replaced by three new sisters - Maersk Delft (above), Maersk Dover (left) and Maersk Dunkerque (below) that have reclining seats for lorry drivers, swish cafes and artistic friezes on the walls.


Seafrance started the new era of quality when they introduced the Seafrance Rodin (bottom) and then the Seafrance Berlioz (above).   These ships, although not quite as eye-catching internally as their Norfolkline contemporaries, serve marvellous food in their restaurants.   The presentation and content are better than many UK high street establishments and the price is very reasonable.   So by introducing a bit of flair, both operators have ensured that the voyage across the channel is now a much more pleasant affair.
Neat Fleet
Click to enlarge photos
Photo Facts (top to bottom)
bulletMaersk Dunkerque leaving Dunkirk in April 2006
bulletMaersk Delft at Dover in October 2007
bulletReclining seats on Maersk Delft
bulletDeck plan on Maersk Delft
bulletRestaurant on Maersk Delft
bulletMaersk Dover arriving at Dunkirk in October 2007
bulletMaersk Dunkerque at Dunkirk in October 2007
bulletSeats on Maersk Dunkerque
bulletCafe on Maersk Dunkerque
bulletStairs on Maersk Dunkerque
bulletFrieze on wall on Maersk Dunkerque
bulletFunnel on Maersk Dunkerque
bulletSeafrance Berlioz arriving Calais in April 2006
bulletOn board Seafrance Berlioz
bulletCafe on Seafrance Berlioz
bulletSeafrance Berlioz leaving Calais in October 2006
bulletFood on Seafrance Berlioz
bulletSeafrance Rodin doing a handbrake turn after leaving Calais in October 2007
bulletSeafrance Rodin leaving Calais in April 2006