P&O's European Seaway remains in "tepid !" lay-up in Tilbury awaiting possible further employment in the lucrative offshore windfarm industry. An industry insider recently stated that they hoped for more of this work, as the Seaway had proved well suited to her role as accomodation and support vessel. The Seaway was built in 1991 originally for the Dover - Zeebrugge route and was the first of four ferries ordered by P&O European Ferries at the time.
Her charter to Centrica Renewable Energy Ltd ended in 2012 when she returned from the Lynn and Inner Dowsing windfarm. She returned to Dover - Calais service until earlier this year when she was again laid up in Tilbury
The Pride of Canterbury leaves Calais for another ninety minute crossing to Dover on the 12th October 2013. Constructed in 1991 she was originally a vehicle ferry for Dover to Zeebrugge service and named European Pathway, which incidentally was the last time I travelled on her when I participated in a Ferry Publications "Enthusiast Cruise". Happy Days!!
She was converted to a passenger vessel in 2002, the Pride of Kent receiving similar treatment in what was known as "Project Darwin".
The Pride of Dover was built in 1987 for Townsend Thoresen. One of a pair, she and her running mate the Pride of Calais were placed on the lucrative Dover to Calais service in direct competion to the threat of a potential loss of trade to te newly opening Eurotunnel, Le Shuttle service. She entered service sporting the Townsend orange hull but with the P&O houseflag emblem on her funnel. This was in the dark days following the Herald of Free Enterprise tragedy and with P&O European Ferries having now taken over, the familiar Towsend livery was swiftly removed. The two sisters are considered to be the most successful ever constructed for the service. The Pride of Dover made her last crossing on the 15th December 2010 and she later sailed for lay up at Tilbury. On the 29th November 2012 she left Tilbury named simply Pride under tow of the tug Eide Fighter. She passed Dover for the last time the next day bound for Tuzla, Turkey for breaking, or recycling as it is now called and on the 27th December arrived instead at Aliaga to receive the same treatment.
Pride of Burgundy exits the eastern earlier this year. Originally the European Causeway of 1992, she has been in the news recently when, on the 19th October 2013 she suffered rudder failure and collided with Calais pier on her approach to the port at 1700 hours. Unfortunately she seems to be spending a few periods in drydock recently. On a happier note, the mishap caused no injuries on board.
The Pride of Calais enters the eastern entrance during her last season on the Dover to Calais service. Later becoming Transeuropa's Ostend Spirit and operating from Ramsgate to Ostend, she subsequently went to lay up in Tilbury. I think we all knew what was coming and sadly she sailed from Tilbury and passed Dover for the final time as Ostend Spirit, on the evening of the 30th October 2013 on her last voyage to Aliaga and Turkish breakers. Unconfirmed reports suggest that she was doing nineteen knots at the time, proof perhaps that she still had a lot of life left in her! Alas, farewell old friend.
DHB Doughty brings P&O's European Endeavour to heal during a lively arrival on a stormy day in 2008. With one anchor down and the Doughty's assistance, she eventually berthed on the Eastern Arm. She will also be remembered for her Dover service as Norfolk Line's Midnight Merchant (ex Cenargo's El Greco). She was the second P&O vessel to carry the name.