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P&O Ferries Plans Limited Resumption of Services From This Weekend

Under fire ferry operator, P&O Ferries has confirmed that it intends to offer a limited service on its Dover – Calais and Cairnryan – Larne routes from this weekend.  Subject to regulatory approval, the company intends to offer a two ship service on the Dover route and a single ship between Northern Ireland and Scotland.  

Additionally, the company is hopeful that PRIDE OF HULL will return to service on the Hull – Rotterdam route, returning that link to full strength.

P&O Ferries' PRIDE OF HULL. Image © Gary Andrews.
P&O Ferries’ PRIDE OF HULL. Image © Gary Andrews.

At Dover, P&O plans for one of the oldest ships in its fleet, PRIDE OF KENT, to return to service along with one of the newest, SPIRIT OF BRITAIN.  This means that PRIDE OF CANTERBURY and SPIRIT OF FRANCE will remain out of service for the time being.  

SPIRIT OF FRANCE is currently in dry dock in Rotterdam with a serious technical problem.  Reportedly parts have been removed from SPIRIT OF FRANCE to repair SPIRIT OF BRITAIN following an incident where an engine was run while flooded with water.

P&O Ferries' EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER (l) and EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY seen tied up together at Larne, 31 March 2022. Image: © Steven Tarbox.
P&O Ferries’ EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER (l) and EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY seen tied up together at Larne, 31 March 2022. Image: © Steven Tarbox.

On the North Channel route between Larne and Cairnryan, only EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY is currently expected to return at the weekend.  She is currently tied up near her part-sister EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER at Larne.  Witnesses have reported drills taking place on both ships over the past couple of weeks.  

Stena Temporarily Suspends Fishguard route

The timetable for partial resumption of P&O Ferries’ suspended services comes days after Stena Line suspended its Fishguard – Rosslare route in order to release its ship, STENA EUROPE, to cover the busier Dublin – Holyhead route.  The STENA EUROPE has been redeployed to the Holyhead service in place of STENA NORDICA.  The latter ship was supposed to be covering the absence of STENA ESTRID, which is covering for STENA HORIZON on the Rosslare – Cherbourg service, at Holyhead. At present Stena expects the suspension to last until 12 April.

Stena Line's STENA EUROPE arrives at Dublin Port, 17.02.2021. The veteran multi-purpose ferry has been temporarily redeployed from the Fishguard - Rosslare route to Dublin - Holyhead. Image: © Gordon Hislip.
Stena Line’s STENA EUROPE arrives at Dublin Port, 17.02.2021. The veteran multi-purpose ferry has been temporarily redeployed from the Fishguard – Rosslare route to Dublin – Holyhead. Image: © Gordon Hislip.

STENA NORDICA was the designated Irish Sea dry dock relief vessel for this year, but the suspension of P&O Ferries services led to ‘Nordica being redeployed to Stena’s Belfast – Cairnryan route as additional tonnage due to capacity issues between Scotland and Northern Ireland.  

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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