P&O reduces England/Europe ferry capacity while CLdN expands


P&O Ferries has announced the closure of the long-standing former North Sea Ferries service linking Hull with Zeebrugge. The nightly service has been operated by the cruise ferries, Pride of Bruges and Pride of York for over thirty years and the Line will now put both vessels on the sales market. Each vessel has a passenger capacity of 1,050 and garage of 2,250 lane metres.

The company is also reducing capacity on its Dover/Calais shuttle service from six ferries to four, taking out the sister ships, Pride of Burgundy and European Seaway. The two larger ferries custom built for the route, Spirit of Britain and Spirit of France,will continue to operate between the Channel ports along with two smaller vessels.

CLdN, meanwhile has added 25% extra capacity on both its Rotterdam/Killingholme and Rotterdam/Purfleet services carrying traffic to and from the Humber and Thames estuaries. Commencing next week, a third daily sailing will be added to their Zeebrugge/Purfleet service. As is the case with the CLdN services to and from Dublin, the North Sea operations are maintained by a wide range of vessels including the 8,000 lane metre “Brexit-busters”.

Commenting on the service upgrades, a CLdN spokesman said;” Over the last months, CLdN has seen a steady growth in customer demand for its reliable, low cost and Brexit-proof unaccompanied freight product. Shipping unaccompanied trailers, (tank) containers, finished vehicles or project cargo between its own ferry terminals provides a ‘one stop shop’ to get goods shipped across the North Sea without running the risk of disruption.”

The additional services bring to 130 the number of sailings operated by CLdN each week serving ports along the Atlantic Arc.

On the Irish Sea Stena Line continues to take the opportunity afforded by the effect of COVID-19 in reducing passenger numbers to a very low level to carry out significant upgrades to the fleet. One vessel not previously seen outside Scandinavia is the Stena Vinga displacing the Stena Horizon on the Rosslare/Cherbourg route for the month of October. The vessel is operating in a ‘freight only’ mode. Howard Knott