#LEGOferry - This week the European Shipping Week held its flagship conference in Brussels, where major European and global shipping delegates joined the officialdom of the EU and its Parliament with the presence of the world’s largest model ship built of Lego bricks, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Danish shipping and logistics giant DFDS which celebrates its 150th anniversary built the giant plastic ropax ferry, dubbed 'Jubilee Seaways' with over 1,000,000 individual Lego bricks. During the European Shipping Week which concludes today, the LEGO ship in its protective open container was outside the conference venue of a Brussels hotel and later relocated to the European Parliament.
According to DFDS, the Lego ship was constructed by more than 7,000 employees of the operator that celebrated its Jubilee anniversary late last year. The Jubilee Seaways is modelled after one of DFDS ferries. Afloat has identified that to be the Athena /Regina Seaways, both sisters operating in the Baltic Sea. The model also resembles that of former Irish Sea ropax Liverpool Seaways.
As previously reported DFDS has a brief foray operating Irish Sea routes before Stena Line acquired the portfolio for £40m in 2011. DFDS no longer has a ferry presence in this region, however DFDS Logistics since 1997 operate a container feeder network linking Ireland, UK and Belgium/Netherlands. In addition to running a Ireland-UK-Spain service.
In fact the Jubilee Seaways which measures 12m long (39 ft 4 in) was built using over one million interlocking plastic bricks and weighs a whopping 2,860kg.
All this led to the Lego ship been recognised with a new Guinness World Records title that was awarded at an event organised to celebrate DFDS’s 150th anniversary in Copenhagen, Denmark. An official certificate was presented by Guinness World Records adjudicator Christopher Lynch to the company which has a fleet of almost 50 ships.
As for the process of building a ferry entirely out of plastic building blocks, it was rather appropriate that they were manufactured by Lego, another Danish company. It took 900 person hours to build involving not just DFDS employees but assistance in the challenge which also tasked to several Lego building professionals.
Jubilee Seaways was given the same traditional treatment to that of a real ferry in that the Lego ferry was christened. That duty went to Inge Grønvold, Director of the commercial foundation Lauritzen Fonden – a parent company of DFDS. The naming ceremony featured the customary bottle of champagne smashed against the side of the plastic model.
Since last summer the Jubilee Seaways has been shipped around northern Europe for the public to view the Guinness record breaking ferry model. This involved transporting on board DFDS ships among them the apt use of Athena Seaways.