Ship previously Thought to have been visiting Belfast
P&O Ferries NORBAY left Liverpool earlier today with a destination of Tyne. As recently as last night the Dutch-built ferry was showing on the Belfast Harbour website as visiting Harland & Wolff. It appears, however, that the ship will instead visit A&P’s Tyne facility at Hebburn. Had the Dublin – Liverpool ferry dry docked in Belfast she would have shared Belfast Building Dock with STENA SCOTIA.
NORBAY‘s place on P&O Ferries Dublin – Liverpool roster has been taken by “fourth ship” MISIDA. As a result the route is returning to a three ship operation. MISIDA is a freight only vessel rather than a Ro-Pax like NORBAY and sister NORBANK, so only one passenger ship will be available during the dry docking period. This means that only the 09:00 Dublin – Liverpool (Tuesday to Saturday) and 21:00 Liverpool – Dublin (Monday to Saturday) will take non-commercial driver passengers.
Presently NORBAY is expected to return to service on August 19. Capacity on MISIDA is limited to 3 commercial drivers only, while the other ship on the route CLIPPER PENNANT can take 12. Social distancing requirements mean that capacity may also be restricted on NORBANK, as is the case on ferries elsewhere. Passenger demand for services to and from is understood to still be low, however, due to current 14 day isolation requirement on arrival in the Republic of Ireland.