P&O Ferries has launched the Spirit of Britain, which will be the largest ferry that operates on the English Channel. The vessel weighs 49,000 tons, is 213 meters long and was rolled out of its STX Europe construction dock earlier this week. In advance of the arrival of the ship, the Port of Dover commissioned £8m of investment in its infrastructure in the last 2 years in order to support major customer P&O Ferries and their long-term plans for the future.
The Spirit of Britain is the first of a pair of new ships coming into service for P&O Ferries on the Dover-Calais route this year, with sister ship Spirit of France due for delivery in September this year. The €360 million investment in the two ships represents the largest ever made by P&O Ferries. The new ships will replace the Pride of Dover and Pride of Calais on the route.
The Spirit of Britain will be the largest ferry operating in the English Channel. The 47,600-gt vessel has a capacity of 3,746 lane metres for trailers, cars and other cargo. In addition to space for about 180 freight trucks and 195 passenger cars, the vessel can accommodate 2,000 passengers.
The yard says that the hull design of Spirit of Britain was optimised for the vessel’s specific Dover-Calais route to ensure maximum performance and good manoeuvring characteristics. Special attention was paid to environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solutions and safety. The ship is claimed to be the first car-passenger ferry to meet IMO’s Safe Return to Port requirements. It also meets the requirements of the Lloyd’s Register Green Passport scheme.