P&O Ferries’ EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY returned to Larne from Cammell-Laird Birkenhead earlier today, and is expected to resume service with tomorrows (19th June) 10:30 sailing from Larne. As a result, relief vessel EUROPEAN SEAWAY should make her final crossing on the North Channel this year with tomorrows 07:30 ex Cairnryan. It is expected EUROPEAN SEAWAY will leave for her home port of Dover in the coming days, potentially as early as tomorrow, having completed her relief duties on the North Channel.
Whilst not an ideal ship, it must be said that EUROPEAN SEAWAY‘s maiden spell on the North Channel was pretty successful – particularly for a vessel that is so much physically bigger than any other ferry that has commercially operated between the two ports*! On a personal note, it was great to meet some of her crew (you know who you are) and experience a vessel in passenger service that normally only freight drivers get the opportunity to experience! Hopefully if she is to return in future years, improvements will be made to address some of the issues with EUROPEAN SEAWAY. In the meantime, we have a refurbished EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER and EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY to enjoy!
* When introduced, EUROPEAN SEAWAY was the largest ferry ever to operate commercially from Cairnryan. However, problems with the ramp at Stena Line’s nearby Loch Ryan Port on 6th June meant that she no longer holds this title, with STENA SUPERFAST’s being the largest vessels to ever operate from the Scottish port, though they were only able to load and unload on the bottom level.