Coffee Is

Synonymous With

Ferry Sailings

“Coffee is getting more and more important on board, both in terms of service and earnings,” says John Steen-Mikkelsen, CEO Færgen. “For many years, coffee aboard ferries had a very bad reputation. The reason was the terrible coffee served on the Danish ferries operating on the Great Belt. The black liquid that was nicknamed ‘Great Belt Coffee’ has haunted the industry for many years.

Luckily these times are over. Danske Færger launched the ‘Gourmet Coffee’ concept in 2014. “It was warmly welcomed by our passengers,” says John Steen-Mikkelsen. “In April 2017 we took the next step and introduced the Starbucks brand on high-speed ferry LEONORA CHRISTINA. We immediately sold more cups, with better earnings. A fast brewing time was an important factor.” John Steen-Mikkelsen adds that customers are willing to pay more for quality. “If the quality is poor, they’d rather be without coffee.”

Jaana Raivio, Hotel Director of Eckerö Line’s FINLANDIA acknowledges the correlation between quality and brand name. “For Finns, it’s important that the coffee they drink comes from a brand they know. It ensures that they get exactly the quality they are looking for.”

Eckerö Line sees the same rising trend. “The proportion of specialty coffee sold increases steadily all the time,” says Jaana Raivio. But even the regular coffee gets its fair share. “Fresh coffee is served in every restaurant, bar and café on board. Automatic coffee is nowadays better than the usual brewed coffee.”

Interestingly he adds that, “the coffee supplier’s experts help choosing the right dose of coffee, considering the quality of the water.”

An important element for having good machine coffee is maintenance. It means the vending machines have to be cleaned and serviced regularly.

Eckerö Line sells more than 1.5 million cups per year. “In the bars, coffee is among the five best selling products. In cafés it is clearly the best selling product!,” concludes Eckerö Line’s hotel director.

The CEO of another Baltic ferry company says that they started to invest in coffee as from 2013, by introducing special coffees. “This was very positive and as from 2016 we started testing Starbucks. Based on the success we introduced this brand on all ferries in 2018.”

People are prepared to pay for quality. “30% of coffee turnover is Premium coffee,” says the CEO who prefers to remain anonymous. “Coffee stands for more than 10% of our catering revenue. Almost 1.5 million passengers drink coffee each year.”

Well-known global coffee and tea company Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) has recently entered the world of passenger shipping, with one of  Europe’s major cruise companies. JDE’s is offering their full coffee solution concepts to create the highest passenger and staff satisfaction delivered through iconic brands including Douwe Egberts, Piazza D’Oro, L’Or and Jacobs.

The cruise company, which carries over 100.000 passengers a year, confirms to see a higher guest satisfaction rate and simultaneously see an increase in sales revenues. JDE Professional does not only deliver quality coffees. It is also a trusted partner supplying coffee machines, professional services and maintenance support to ensure hassle free operation and best in-cup quality.

Serving the highest quality coffee is at the heart of everything JDE does. And critical to this, is the expertise in offering a tailored approach to find the right solutions to meet specific customers and consumers’ needs for every occasion. In the buffet restaurants, cups are branded with the renowned D.E. (Douwe Egberts) logo, which creates trust with the guests. D.E. stands for quality. Same for their premium Piazza D’Oro espresso brand, which is used for the bean-based coffees in specialty café’s on board. Not to forget is the in-room coffee experience with L’Or capsules.

Recently JDE also entered the ferry industry. Polferries’ chartered NOVA STAR will start operations in September, and it will be in partnership with JDE, offering its coffee ingredients. The crew has already been testing…and approving.

For Rickard Ternblom, CEO Fjord Line, “coffee is synonymous with ferry sailings.” “With a cup in hand, the customer looks out over the ocean and his enjoys his journey towards new horizons. It goes without saying that the quality of the coffee is very important and it is something we are also investing in. Coffee is also one of the most important sources of revenue, and it is obvious that accessibility and good distribution of sales outlets are important.”