DFDS operates Sirena Seaways on the Harwich to Esbjerg route.
Formerly known as MS Dana Sirena, she was built in 2002 by Stocznia Szczecinska Im. A. Warskiego, Stettin, Poland. In recent years she has undergone redevelopment to extend the passenger accommodation to reflect changing cruising habits.
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Sirena Seaways is a ROPAX ferry, which is a roll-on, roll-off freight operation combined with passenger accommodation. The Harwich to Esbjerg route is popular with freight operators and with tourists taking cars and caravans over to Denmark and beyond, for which accommodation onboard is required. In recent years, mini cruise holidays (passengers sailing without taking their vehicle) have become increasingly popular, and so facilities onboard changed to adapt to this evolving market.
Sirena Seaways is an unusual looking vessel, but that has much to do with the type of route she sails between Harwich in South East England and Esbjerg in Denmark.
DFDS and DFDS Tor Line, a freight transportation division, share space on the ship, transporting cargo and trailers between the two countries along with passengers and their vehicles. Two decks onboard are reserved for haulage, including an open platform at the rear of the ship, while cars park in separate areas, according to the deck plans.
This particular route is ideal for heading to LEGOLAND Billund, and the majority of passengers heading there take their cars, campervans or caravans on holiday with them.
The passenger space sits in the front half of the vessel, boasting cabins, a bar, restaurants and a café. From the side, the ship looks front heavy and perhaps less 'ferry like' than King Seaways or Princess Seaways.
The upside is that this smaller space offers a much warmer and cosy atmosphere. It never felt cramped or confined.
Sirena Seaways has an unusual look and from the outside, it is a vessel you would find it hard to love. On the inside, it is a different story with a cosy, charming and relaxed ambience.
It is natural to expect the service onboard to suffer from its small passenger area. The reality is significantly different as I discovered.
Every staff member I interacted with was happy and smiling. The size of the vessel has led to a family atmosphere amongst the crew, and this reflects in the service. The small team size means they can gel better together.
The atmosphere onboard was very comfortable and homely. The crew were attentive and genuinely interested in the passengers.
I have since learned that many people continually rave about the levels of service and customer care on Sirena Seaways sailings in customer care surveys, citing 'helpfulness', 'happiness' and 'friendliness'.
Sirena Seaways Facts & Figures
If you're a ferry buff or mechanically minded then check out these vital statistics for Sirena Seaways:
- Length: 199.4 metres
- Width: 25 metres
- Draft: 6.32 metres
- Displacement: 5,625 deadweight tonnes (DWT)
- Gross Tonnage: 22,382 gross registered tonnes (GRT)
- Cruising Speed: 22.5 Knots
- Number of Cabins: 196
- Passenger capacity: 623
- Cargo capacity: A total of 2,060 lane metres for cargo (equates to around 168 40-foot trailers), or a combination of trucks, trailers, coaches, caravans, campervans and cars up to the equivalent of 435 cars
- Electrical system: 220 V. AC
Sirena Seaways Deck Plan
This deck plan image for Sirena Seaways shows the unusual design in a profile view:
This unique ship fuses freight and passenger transportation. This means its passenger decks are small and cosy, which might put some people off.
Read more in this series
- Getting to Harwich International Port
- DFDS Sirena Seaways Review (you are here)
- Sirena Seaways Cabins
- Food & Drink on Sirena Seaways
- Entertainment on Sirena Seaways
- Guide to Esbjerg, Denmark
- Esbjerg's Ghost Ship Hotel
- LEGOLAND Billund Guide For Children
- LEGOLAND Billund Guide For Adults
- LEGOLAND Mini Cruise Review on DFDS' Sirena Seaways