Skip to content P&O and Pandoro PRIDE OF RATHLIN. Chantry Classics Postcard. Photograph © Gordon Hislip.
PRIDE OF RATHLIN leaving Larne. Laterly called BSP III, she appears to still be in service (2015) in Indonesian waters, despite being some 42 years old! Copyright © Gary Andrews.
PRIDE OF AILSA. Originally named ‘Free Enterprise VI’, she had a similar history to her sister, PRIDE OF RATHLIN, prior to her North Channel career (including her jumboisation in 1985. Between 1987 and February 1993 she was called ‘Pride of Sandwich’. She finished service in 1996 was sold to Egypt’s El Salam shipping for whom she carried pilgrims between Suez and Jeddah as ‘Pride of Al Salam ’95’. On October 17th 2005 she collided with a cargo vessel at the entrance to the Suez canal, sinking 3 hours later. The bulk of the 1350 passengers onboard at the time where saved. By this stage she had been significantly modified and could accommodate some 2500 passengers (giving her a rather top-heavy appearance), significantly more than the 610 she accommodated in North Channel service. Photograph Copyright © Scott Mackey.
PRIDE OF AILSA. Photograph Copyright © Scott Mackey.
NORTHERN STAR operated P&O’s short-lived Larne-Liverpool freight service between August 2001 and December 2002. Albert Bridge [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons The mainly-freight ferry EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR departing Larne for Cairnryan 3/7/02. Albert Bridge [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons EUROPEAN TRADER. Copyright © Gary Andrews.
BISON (almost) as built, in the black “Pandoro” livery arriving with the daylight freight service from Fleetwood. The ST DAVID is following with the 15.30 from Stranraer. BISON was originally stretched in 1981, and had an additional freight deck added in 1995 (see next picture). Between 1989 and 1994 she ran between Dublin and Liverpool before returning to the Larne to Fleetwood run. Albert Bridge [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons BISON on the berth at Larne in 1996. The following year she was renamed EUROPEAN PIONEER, and in 1999 had her passenger accommodation increased. She was sold to Stena along with the Larne – Fleetwood route in 2004, becoming STENA PIONEER. She was sold to Russian interests in 2012 after Stena closed the Fleetwood route in 2011. She was broken up at Aliaga in 2014. Albert Bridge [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons IONIC FERRY. Photograph Copyright © Scott Mackey.
IONIC FERRY. The veteran vessel was the main passenger ferry on the Larne to Cairnryan route before the PRIDE OF AILSA and PRIDE OF RATHLIN arrived. Photograph Copyright © Scott Mackey.
IONIC FERRY. Copyright © Neil Tierney.
P&O’s EUROPIC FERRY. Built in 1968, she operated between Larne and Cairnryan between 1983 and 1993 (laterly as EUROPEAN FREIGHTER), by which time the much larger and modern PRIDE OF AILSA and PRIDE OF RATHLIN had taken up the service. Copyright © Gary Andrews.
The veteran (and much-loved) ferry EUROPIC FERRY arriving at Larne from Cairnryan. Built by Swan Hunter in 1967 and part of the Falklands Task Force as a STUFT (ship taken up from trade). Albert Bridge [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons P&O’s JETLINER. Often referred to by her unflattering nickname “The Vomit Comet”, the monohull fast craft JETLINER was P&O’s first answer to the Seacat. She was plagued by technical difficulties, before being replaced by the Austal AutoExpress catamaran SUPERSTAR EXPRESS. As her nickname suggests, she had some rather ‘lively’ crossings on occasion. Copyright © Gary Andrews.
P&O’s second attempt at a fast ferry was the Austal Autoexpress Catamaran SUPERSTAR EXPRESS. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
HSC EXPRESS was P&O’s final attempt at a fast craft, operating both to Cairnryan and finally Troon. She last operated in 2015 when she closed P&O’s Larne to Troon service. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
Two of what were Townsend Thorsen’s ‘European Class’ freighters, EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR (originally European Enterprise) and EUROPEAN TRADER at Larne. Copyright © Gary Andrews.
The freight ferry EUROPEAN MARINER lies alongside the quay at Larne, lined by trailers awaiting shipment to Troon. Anne Burgess [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons P&O’S VIKING VISCOUNT, then operating on the Portsmouth – Cherbourg service, arriving at Larne from Cairnryan in 1989 while relieving during the annual refits. Later re-named the PRIDE OF WINCHESTER, this was her second spell on the route. She had operated during the 1988 re-fits while still in Townsend Thoresen livery. © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The relief vessel P&O’S 1991 Cairnryan ferry overhauls was the freighter ROSEANNE. She is pictured here at Larne on 16th of March that year. Albert Bridge [ CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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