News has reached NIFS that in the past few days, P&O staff have been told by the company that the charter of HSC Express will NOT be renewed at the end of the current season in October, and is currently being offered for sale by her owners. This confirms previous speculation that Express was indeed up for sale. Officially speaking, P&O are searching for an alternative craft to operate the service from next season onwards, however, it is hard to see where such a craft would be available from given the declining numbers of fast craft in North European waters.
The P&O Larne - Troon service is, of course, the last remaining fast craft service linking Northern Ireland and Scotland, with the only other fast craft serving Northern Ireland being the IOMSPCo InCat Manannan
Picture credit: HSC Express. Copyright © Scott Mackey.