Vintage Me

DFDS would like to invite you onboard our special 150th Anniversary sailing – down memory lane!

At DFDS we are inspired by you, our customers, and we love nothing more than when you share your holiday photos and the memories you’ve made with friends and family when travelling with us. But we’d like to give you something back! We’re inviting you to relive some of your favourite memories, and help us celebrate our 150th Anniversary in style…

…1930’s style to be exact!

The 1930’s was a pivotal era for DFDS, especially when it came to passengers, just like you who wanted to travel, see places they’d never seen before, or visit old favourites. Brussels, Paris and Germany all held international exhibitions for art, culture and automobiles, so DFDS saw a huge increase in passenger tourism.

Have you travelled with us to see a famous landmark or event? Send us your memory!

Wish you were here!

Long before your #selfiesatsea and snaps of our ships on social media, the popularity of postcards was on the rise, and during the 1930s a more premium postcard was produced on linen paper, to serve as a keep-sake rather than a message to friends and family. Postcards are a great way of seeing the development in travel through time, not only does the design style change with the art movement of the era, the destinations become more exotic over time as travel becomes more accessible.

Here we see family photographs taken onboard the trans-atlantic Frederik VIII from New York in September 1931.

Have you added to your family albums with photos from onboard our ships? Send us your memory!

One of our most popular mini cruises is our 3 night New Year’s Eve mini cruise to Amsterdam, but did you know that one of our first themed cruises was in December 1935, a Christmas Cruise with over 3000 passengers onboard the Frederik VIII?

Maybe you’ve been on one of our New Year’s Eve mini cruises of years gone by, or a Halloween Cruise, or even North Sea Sounds? Send us your memory!


Not forgetting how popular our Channel routes are, with hundreds of thousands of people crossing every year to France and beyond! By the mid 1930’s so many families owned cars, that there was a need for better transportation of them than loading by crane. It was decided by the director of DFDS at the time J. A. Korbing that cars would be driven onboard through hatches used for loading cattle.

Fun fact: In 1937 the Kronprins Olav was fitted with a lift that could finally move cars one at a time to the deck above.

Have you embarked on a European road trip with us? Send us your memory!

Our 150th year has seen two new ships join our fleet, and the beginning of a full rebrand of our existing ships. The 1930’s helped shape the appearance of all DFDS ships, and in 1937 the first Maltese Cross, anchor and chain cast was put on the bow. This has been added to every DFDS ship since!

Ships became curvier, for smoother crossings through the waters, onboard decoration became modern and open plan with bespoke furniture and bold colours, and just as it is today it was all about the comfort of the journey for you, our customers.

We love the 1930’s era for so many reasons, and as a special thank you for sharing your unique memories and photos with us, we’re running a competition to recreate them into a 1930’s piece of art. In 1930’s postcard style we’ll print our favourites on a linen tea towel, as well as giving you a modern day print and a free trip to Amsterdam.

Head to our Facebook page to share your photo and memory, and we’ll choose our favourites to be transformed in true 1930’s style. We will be featuring as many memories as we can, so no matter how big or small we want to hear them!

Vintage_Me_Original_CoupleVintage Me_Painting_Couple

Competition T&C’s

Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of the memories we’ve already had sent to us:

‘I first sailed with DFDS in 1986, when my parents took my brother and I to Legoland. My older brother won the children’s drawing competition that time, when I was not quite four years old, so when we returned in 1988 I had a point to prove. I was obsessed with ferries at the time, and so naturally drew one.

DFDS Drawing Competition 1988

We sailed with DFDS numerous times throughout my childhood, to Denmark, Sweden, Germany and between Denmark and Norway. The crossings were always my favourite part of some very memorable holidays. Strange to have such happy memories of ferry crossings, but they were honestly some of the happiest times I had as a child.’

-Gavin Berriman, August 2016

‘My late husband’s mother, Oma, was 103 years old on 10th April. So the family all travelled to her small town in The Netherlands to celebrate with her.

On the 13th April my husband, Rob,  and I, took the Princess Seaways from Newcastle for the overnight sailing to Ijmuiden. We do this each year, usually upgrading to Commodore as a treat to ourselves.

The next morning, about an hour out of Ijmuiden I was standing at our cabin window trying to count the wind turbines in the marine windfarm we were passing,  I made it 60.

I was very much looking forward to arriving as not only would I see my extended Dutch family-in-law again but for an even more special reason…..

Both my sons met and married amazing women in Portland, Oregon and live there, we hadn’t seen them for 15 months since we stayed with them at Christmas 2014/2015. Now they, too, were all on their way, flying Delta Airlines direct from Portland to Amsterdam.

We arrived in Ijmuiden, drove to the family in Roelofarendsveen and met my sons and daughters-in-law and the rest of the family, great joy and a few tears all around.

A little later my elder son, Kjell, was looking through the iphone shots he had taken from the aircraft as they approached the Netherlands coast, on looking closer at a shot of the windfarm he said “Hey Mum, I think I may have taken a photo of your boat!”.  We looked at the white dot at the top right of the windfarm, enlarged it and saw he had indeed caught the Princess Seaways, an hour out of docking at Ijmuiden.

They had flown 5000 miles, hadn’t seen us for 15 months – what are the chances of us both being on the same approximate place on the globe at the same time – and – even more of a fluke, his taking a photo that coincidentally included the boat we were on?’

Catherine Davies 1

– Catherine Davies, April 2016

Dawn Thomas

Me in 1985 on board the DFDS on a mini cruise to Belgium from Newcastle…I have since been on mini cruises to Amsterdam

Dawn Thomas
Sent to us via Facebook

This fantastically retro looking photo has been sent in by Jon Woodhouse on Facebook

My first trip with DFDS in 1976 about to board the England at North Shields

Jon Woodhouse



Vicky Doc Lyon sent us this image on Facebook. Vicky and Sean come onboard regularly with their beautiful bright red Citroën 2CV, & told us a very interesting historical fact about their model of car!

We regularly travel with DFDS to Europe with our vintage 2CV car to attend car rallies. The 2CV was originally designed pre-war and many were put ‘into hiding’ in barns to prevent Andre Citroens revolutionary engineering being stolen.

Vicky Doc Lyon

…& from this fantastic original, we have recreated a special 1930’s style image of the 2CV sitting proudly in front of PRINCESS SEAWAYS! Vicky has won a print – both a modern print & a linen tea towel print – as well as a mini cruise to Amsterdam!

Vintage Me_Painting_Ship_Colour_blog


‘The Dana Anglia in 1984, all mod cons and bright yellow cabins’Hilary Hancocks memory sent to us on Facebook.

Hilary Hancocks

‘We sailed with you in 1990 from Harwich to Hamburg. I was the Youth Worker in charge of the trip. We were a group of 4 adults and 13 young people. We were on our way to Poland with me & another member of staff driving the mini bus and 2 other members of staff driving a 7.5 tonne lorry. We were taking aid to Poland. If we had know what was in front of us I don’t think any of the parents would have let their kid go. Kept at the East German border because they said we hadn’t got the correct paper work, but they didn’t really know what they wanted. After a very long wait they eventually got fed up with us blocking the road to they said “go, go quickly” we did. We had a brilliant time, we entered a world we didn’t know existed. Every thing was fund raised, but staff and members all paid there own way. We invited groups to Wales and paid for everything and did 8 more trips with aid. All in all we took about 70 young people from our Youth Centre and they worked really hard for it. For none of us it wasn’t our full time job. We had a Analytical Chemist, telephone engineer, pharmacy assistant and a shop assistant and we all had to take annual leave to do it. The young people we took were brilliant and it was good for them to get praised in the local papers. DFDS also gave us a reduction on the price of taking the lorry on the boat, we didn’t ask for the mini bus as we thought that would have been a bit rude. Brilliant times and very good memories and we still visit friends we made on those journeys, in fact our son met a daughter of one of the friends, they got married and we now have two Polish grandsons, we are very lucky.’ – Trish Billimore sent us her memories from 1990

‘My best memory from been onboard would have to be watching my little brother climb up the ship whilest docked in Newcastle on his 18th birthday a few years ago for Children in Need.’

Sam Cliff 2 Sam Cliff

Sam Cliff via Facebook


Donna Davies sent us this image on Facebook. Donna and her family travelled with us for their holiday to Amsterdam, and sent in this fabulous photo of her daughter in front of Basiliek van de H. Nicolaas, or St Nicholas Basilica!

From our recent trip to Amsterdam with yourself! Amazing place and this picture really represents it for me

Donna Davies

…& from this fantastic original, we have recreated a special 1930’s style image of Donna’s daughter by the canal with St Nicholas Basilica standing tall in the background! Donna has won a print – both a modern print & a linen tea towel print – as well as a mini cruise to Amsterdam!

Donna Davies 1930s


Charlotte Ward sent us this image on Facebook. Charlotte and her family travelled with us on our Dover route, and sent in this fabulous photo of her boys playing out on deck onboard.

The joys of finally being onboard!

Charlotte Ward

…& from this fantastic original, we have recreated a special 1930’s style image of Charlotte’s boys playing on deck with the White Cliffs of Dover in the background! Charlotte has won a print – both a modern print & a linen tea towel print – as well as a mini cruise to Amsterdam!

Charlotte Ward 1930s

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