P&O Ferries and Finnlines newest ferries received awards at an industry event in Sweden this week. Finnlines’ FINNSIRIUS, which made its maiden commercial voyage a week ago, was awarded “Ro-Pax of the Year 2023” at The Ferry Shipping Summit in Malmö.
P&O Ferries picked up the award for “Short Sea Ferry of the Year 2023” for P&O PIONEER at the same event. This follows the same vessel being awarded the Shippax Ferry Concept & Efficiency award at the Shippax Summer earlier in the year.
Another winner at the Ferry Shipping Summit 2023 was Rosslare Europort. The Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) owned port picked up the “European Ferry Port of the Year” award. Located on the south east coast of Ireland, Rosslare Europort currently hosts ferry services from Stena Line, Irish Ferries, DFDS, Finnlines, and Brittany Ferries.
Designed in Europe, built in Asia
FINNSIRIUS and P&O PIONEER were both designed in Europe but built in China. This was in part due to a lack of suitable yard capacity in Europe due to the number of cruise ships being built or on order in recent years. China Merchants Jinling (Weihai), the same yard that is building Stena’s E-Flexer and NewMax series, delivered FINNSIRIUS earlier this year. Guangzhou Shipyard International was responsible for the construction of P&O PIONEER.
While Knud E. Hansen produced the initial concept and tender design for FINNSIRIUS, Finland based Deltamarin took over the brief for the contract design. P&O PIONEER was designed by OSK Group in close cooperation with P&O Ferries own teams.
Though some elements from the interior design concept for P&O PIONEER by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co were retained, the bulk of the final interior design for the Dover to Calais hybrid ferry was by OSK subsidiary Steen Friis Design.
As a truly double-ended ferry with an almost symmetrical shape when viewed from the side or above, the layout of P&O PIONEER is like no other Dover Strait ferry. The designers of the ship have used this profile to maximise the amount of natural light and outside deck space offered, as well as to optimise the loading and unloading of the vessel.
Finland-based dSign Vertti Kivi & Co was responsible for the final interior design of FINNSIRIUS, however. dSign also scooped the Shippax Ro-Pax Interior Design Award for Tallink’s MYSTAR during Spring. Among the company’s other references are Tallink’s MEGASTAR and Viking Line’s VIKING GRACE.
Hybrid power, lower emissions
FINNSIRIUS and P&O PIONEER both use hybrid propulsion with battery packs used to supplement or replace entirely the power generated by the onboard engines to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
While the Finnlines ship can plug in to shore power to charge while in port, a lack of shore power connections in Dover and Calais means that the P&O vessel can only use excess power generated by its engines for charging. The batteries for FINNSIRIUS were supplied by Corvus Energy while P&O PIONEER’s 8.8MWh installation was supplied by XALT under subcontract from ABB.
Despite the lack of shore power, P&O Ferries claims that fuel consumption of P&O PIONEER is up to 40% less than its older vessels. The ‘Pioneer is one of a limited number of large ferries which uses electric pod propulsion instead of traditional shafts and propellers.
Older vessels move on
Finnlines 235m long Superstar class FINNSIRIUS and FINNCANOPUS are replacing older Star class vessels on the Naantali-Långnäs-Kapellskär route, doubling the passenger capacity and adding 1,000 lane metres of freight space to each sailing. The displaced Star class ships are to be cascaded elsewhere within the Grimaldi/Finnlines network.
The arrival of P&O Ferries’ Fusion Class P&O PIONEER and forthcoming delivery of sister P&O LIBERTÉ has seen the veteran RoPax’s PRIDE OF BURGUNDY, PRIDE OF KENT, and PRIDE OF CANTERBURY leave the Dover to Calais fleet. The trio were converted 1990’s freighters and much less efficient and cost effective to run than newer vessels, particularly with tougher emissions regulations on the horizon.
PRIDE OF BURGUNDY, which was converted to a RoPax on the blocks prior to her original delivery, has already been recycled in Turkey. At the time of writing, PRIDE OF KENT is tied up a Tilbury and PRIDE OF CANTERBURY is tied up on Dover’s Eastern Arm.
P&O LIBERTÉ is currently undergoing sea trials in China. FINNCANOPUS is expected to be delivered later this year.
Next years Ferry Shipping Summit will be hosted in Athens on November 7/8 2024.