DFDS has been forced to cancel a plan to acquire two ferries to serve the Newcastle-Amsterdam route.

An agreement with Italian ferry company Moby was made in September to acquire two vessels, Moby Wonder and Moby Aki.

Moby would in turn acquire the two passenger ferries currently operating on the North Sea route, King Seaways and Princess Seaways.

The deal was expected to be completed in the second half of October.

But Moby “has unfortunately not been able to meet the delivery terms of the agreement,” DFDS said. “The agreement has therefore been cancelled.”

DFDS ferry division head Peder Gellert said: “We will continue to explore solutions for a renewal of the ferries on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route in line with our customers’ wishes and our strategic ambitions for the route and for DFDS.

“The two current ferries offer a great service today, and they will continue doing so until a new solution with new ferries is in place.

“Therefore, this will not change our plans for developing the route, it will merely delay it.”