After a lengthy break in this thread I can add more bad news on ferry services to Scandinavia.
It was bad enough when the Newcastle to Bergen service was terminated by DFDS back in 2009, or thereabouts.
But at least we could console ourselves with their other North Sea service from Harwich to Esbjerg (DK)... well, we can until 29th September 2014!
Then no more ferries to Scandinavia.
At an idle moment in the office this afternoon I logged on to the DFDS website just to get an idea of the likely fares for 'self and my motorbike for a third visit to northern Scandinavia next springtime.
It was then that I noticed the one line of bold text at the bottom of a column of copy breaking the bad news to its customers!
I emailed DFDS to ask about it and received a response within the hour, and below is an extract of that reply...
We regret to confirm the closure to our Harwich-Esbjerg route from the 29th September 2014. DFDS Seaways’ historic passenger ferry route between Harwich and Esbjerg, Denmark has been struggling for some time due to increased fuel costs, a decline in passenger numbers and freight using the route. The route is therefore unable to bear the substantial additional costs that new Sulphur environmental rules will impose from 1st January 2015.
All I know is that on my previous trips that service has been very busy!
There has been rumour of a new operator (Norwegian Seaways Ltd) that was due to start this April just gone, allegedly resuming the old Newcastle to Bergen service, but April has come and gone. And nothing.
DFDS helpfully suggested the Newcastle to Amsterdam service.
Yeah great, pay to go a few hundred miles in the wrong direction just to get off that ferry the following day and then trek through highly congested Dutch and German motorways in the right direction for a whole day before being able to sense freedom and fresh air!!!
Wouldn't it be nice if our national MPs - or even our MEPs - were to think it might be a worthy cause to help keep some of these ferry services running?
I'm beginning to feel as though we're being isolated from the rest of Europe, with the only exit being via the English Channel ports which, for the majority of us in the UK, are hundreds of miles to the south.
Fine if you're wanting to travel south... a bit of a bummer if you're not!
End of justified rant!!!