P&O Ferries Fleet Update – January 2023

By: NI Ferry Team
BORE SONG. Image: P&O Ferries.
BORE SONG. Image: P&O Ferries.

Ferry operator P&O Ferries will be hoping for a more stable year in 2023, after the re-crewing drama of March 2022.

However, the company is kicking off the New Year with some fleet changes.


The BORE SONG, mostly used on the routes from Zeebrugge to Teesport and Tilbury, completed service with P&O Ferries just before Christmas.  The vessel has now joined her sister, BORE SEA, on Transfennica’s freight services in the Baltic Sea.

BORE SONG had been chartered to P&O Ferries by Bore since shortly after completion in 2011.   Bore and Transfennica are both part of the giant Spliethoff Group, from the Netherlands.

NORSTREAM.  Image: P&O Ferries.
NORSTREAM. Image: P&O Ferries.

From what can be gleaned from the online P&O Freight Timetable, it appears that in the next weeks the following will be offered;

  • 2 roundtrips per week on Teesport – Europoort, using ESTRADEN.
  • 2 roundtrips per week on Teesport – Zeebrugge, using NORSTREAM and NORSKY.
  • 8 roundtrips per week on Tilbury – Zeebrugge, using NORSTREAM and NORKSY.

NORSTREAM, NORSKY and ESTRADEN are also Bore ships. The last information received was that their charters were renewed in January 2022 for 12 months.

Hull – Europoort Dry-dock

PRIDE OF HULL will take a break from service after arrival at Rotterdam/Europoort on 9 January for overhaul.  She will return to service from the Dutch port on 21 January 2023.

This year no refit cover is being provided on the Hull – Rotterdam service.  This means that for what is believed to be the first time in the history of the route, there will only be a service every second day during the overhaul period.

PRIDE OF HULL.  Image: P&O Ferries.
PRIDE OF HULL. Image: P&O Ferries.

For many years, the PRIDE OF BRUGES from the Hull – Zeebrugge route provided refit cover on the Rotterdam route.  

Following the sale of that vessel and her sister PRIDE OF YORK to GNV in 2021, the 2022 dry-dock cover was provided by the NORBANK.  However, this vessel can no longer be released from the Liverpool – Dublin route.  (See below).

Goodbye Seatruck Pennant

Another vessel leaving the P&O Ferries fleet is the CLIPPER PENNANT.  The vessel was renamed SEATRUCK PENNANT during the 2022 Christmas period, reflecting the change in ownership of the company.

The vessel has operated the “third ship” schedule on the Liverpool – Dublin route since 2019.  After a break during the Christmas and New Year period, the ship returned to service on 2 January 2023.  After covering for maintenance days of the NORBAY, SEATRUCK PENNANT will complete her P&O service on 6 January.

CLIPPER PENNANT at Dublin. Photo by David Faerder.
CLIPPER PENNANT at Dublin. Photo by David Faerder.

For the first time in many years, it is understood that P&O Ferries will only offer a two-ship service on the Dublin route.  They had used four vessels only a few years ago.  The remaining vessels are the veteran Ro-paxes NORBAY and NORBANK.

SEATRUCK PENNANT will then enter service for her owners, Seatruck Ferries also on the Liverpool – Dublin route.

P&O Ferries' NORBAY on the River Mersey. Photo by David Faerder.
P&O Ferries’ NORBAY on the River Mersey. Photo by David Faerder.

Seatruck Ferries was acquired by Belgian roro giant CLdN in autumn 2022 from the Clipper GroupIn December, CLdN announced a doubling in frequency of their Ireland – Spain service.  As a result, Liverpool bound freight from Spain will now be shipped via Seatruck from Dublin.  

This means that Seatruck will deploy four ships on the route, instead of the current three.  The other ships on the route are SEATRUCK POINT, SEATRUCK POWER and SEATRUCK PROGRESS.

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