According to various unconfirmed reports, P&O Ferries has sold PRIDE OF YORK and PRIDE OF BRUGES to a subsidiary of MSC Group. The ferries, which were completed in 1987 in Scotland and Japan, have been surplus to requirements at P&O Ferries since the closure of their Zeebrugge – Hull route at the end of last year. The reported sale follows similar reports last month, which were denied by P&O Ferries.
At present, both ships are laid up. PRIDE OF BRUGES is moored in Zeebrugge while PRIDE OF YORK is at Rotterdam. In recent days photos have emerged on social media of P&O Ferries branding being painted over on both ships.
This morning, Shipping Italy reported that Italian crew have boarded the vessels to prepare them for a voyage to an unspecified mediterranean port. The report also states that the ships will be chartered to MSC subsidiary Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV).
GNV already operates some older former Northern European tonnage, including some former P&O tonnage. Examples include GNV ALLEGRA, GNV CRYSTAL, GNV ATLAS, and SNAV ADRIATICO. These are the former OSCAR WILDE, OLAU HOLLANDIA / PRIDE OF LE HAVRE, OLAU BRITANNIA / PRIDE OF PORTSMOUTH, AND KONINGIN BEATRIX / STENA BALTICA respectively.
P&O Ferries has been contacted for comment. This will be added once it is available.
Update 13.04.2021: Sources suggest that PRIDE OF BRUGES is to be renamed GNV ANTARES and PRIDE OF YORK will be renamed GNV ARIES. It has also been suggested that the ships will be employed on the Naples – Palermo route. PRIDE OF BRUGES was witnessed taking on bunkers from the tanker INVENTORY last night.
P&O Ferries has not yet responded to our (or others) request for comment.
|Pride of York||Pride of Bruges|
Govan Shipbuilders, United Kingdom
Nippon Kokan Kabushiki Kaisha, Japan
|Tonnage||31,785 gt||31,598 gt|
|Vehicle Capacity||2,230 lane metres or up to 850 cars||2,230 lane metres or up to 850 cars|