The former SeaFrance vessels ‘Berlioz’ and ‘Rodin’ are expected to resume service in the Dover Strait in mid-August under the colours of new operator My Ferry Link.
My Ferry Link is the employee cooperative formed by former SeaFrance employees which has been chosen to operate the vessels by their new owner, Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel.
There had been some support among some former SeaFrance employees for keeping the company under the SeaFrance name but My Ferry Link chief executive, Jean-Michel Giguet, a former chief executive of Brittany Ferries, said that it had finally been decided that, as a new company, the cooperative should have a new name.
“It was logical to have a new name in so far as it is a completely new company, with new management, new ambitions and a new quality of service,” he told French news agency AFP.
He said that the plan was to bring the ’Berlioz’ and ’Rodin’ back into service between Dover and Calais in mid-August, subject to completion of the maintenance work currently being carried out on them by ARNO-Dunkerque at Dunkirk.
The two vessels would begin by offering four round trips daily, increasing to five or six if there was good customer response, he said.
The company has already recruited 120 people and is planning to take on 520 employees altogether in France over the next few months and 70 in Britain.
Eurotunnel’s three owned vessels - the ’Berlioz’, ’Rodin’ and the freight-only ferry ’Nord-Pas de Calais’ – were acquired by Eurotunnel in early June for €65 million (USD 80 million) along with other former SeaFrance commercial assets.