Schichau -Unterweser AG BremerhavenMV Pride of Dover – Past and Present

MV Pride

ex Pride of Dover, PO Dover, P&OSL Dover, Pride of Dover

Schichau -Unterweser AG Bremerhaven

Schichau -Unterweser AG Bremerhaven

Steel triple screw motor vessel, built Schichau -Unterweser AG, Bremen-Vegesack, Germany in 1987 as a passenger and roll-on roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by Sulzer Bros. Ltd., Winterthur. (Yard No. 93). Launched September 20th, 1986.

Technical Data

  • Length: 169.60 m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 28.27 m (extreme)
  • Draught: 6.12 m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 26,433 gross, 11,399 net, 4,203 deadweight
  • Engines: 3 x CCM Sulzer ZA40S Diesels
  • Power: 23170kW
  • Speed: 22.0 knots
  • Capacity: 2,290 passengers, 650 cars/100 x 15m freight units
  • Call Sign: GJCR
  • MMSI Number: 232001670
  • IMO Number: 8517736
  • Registry: United Kingdom
  • Sister Vessel: Pride of Calais


April 9th 1986: Keel Laid.

September 20th 1986: Launched at a cost of approximately £42mn.

January 19th 1987: The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) acquired the European Ferries Group Plc (Townsend Thoresen).

May 12th 1987: Departed Bremerhaven for sea trials.

May 27th 1987: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd. (Stanhope Steamship Co. Ltd.), Dover, England. Managers; Townsend Car Ferries Ltd.

May 28th 1987: Departed Bremerhaven on her delivery voyage.

© Christian Eckardt  © Andreas Wörteler

© Christian Eckardt (left) and © Andreas Wörteler (right)

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott

May 29th 1987: Arrived in Dover.

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

June 2nd 1987: Commenced service between Dover – Calais under the command of Captain John Martin.

Schichau -Unterweser AG Bremerhaven  Schichau -Unterweser AG Bremerhaven

Schichau -Unterweser AG Bremerhaven

Schichau -Unterweser AG Bremerhaven (all)

© Ken Larwood  © Michael Woodland

© Ken Larwood (Left) 🆕© Michael Woodland (Right)

December 31st 1987: Registered to P&O European Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.

© Tony Garner

© Tony Garner In the process of receiving her new P&O European Ferries livery

February 1988: Laid up at Wilton Feijenoord, Schiedam Harbour near Rotterdam, owing to seaman’s strike

© Brian Fisher  © Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher (both)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1990/1991: “Club Class” lounge added and modified forward superstructure.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (April 1992)

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

© Brian Pawley  © Brian Pawley

© Brian Pawley

© Fotoflite, Ray Goodfellow Collection

© Fotoflite, Ray Goodfellow Collection

© Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn

🆕© Pieter Inpyn

March 3rd 1998: P&O European Ferries and Stena Line merge their operations on the short sea. The new company was called P&O Stena Line. Registered as a British private sector company, 60% owned by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) and 40% owned by Stena Line AB of Sweden. The new company took over the Dover and Newhaven services of P&O European Ferries and Stena Line.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (March 1998, having returned from refit sporting new livery, but old name)

December 1998: Renamed P&OSL DOVER

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

April 2002: P&O announced its intention to buy out the 40% stake in P&O Stena Line owned by Stena.

August 2002: The P&O Stena Line alliance ended with P&O purchasing Stena’s 40% share in the business. The Dover-Calais fleet adopted the appropriate P&O “Pride of ….” names, losing there P&OSL prefixes. All vessels had their Stena house flag removed from their funnels, along with the deletion of the name Stena from their hulls. In future the company would trade as P&O Ferries.

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Dover Ferry Photos Library

© `Ferry Boy'   © `Ferry Boy'

© `Ferry Boy'

© `Ferry Boy’ @ The Dover Ferry Photo Forum

October 15th 2002: Commenced service for P&O Ferries between Dover – Calais. Renamed PO DOVER.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

2003: During refit at A & P Falmouth in which bridge-wings were enclosed she was renamed PRIDE OF DOVER.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Craig Nelson

© Ray Goodfellow (left) and © Craig Nelson (right)

February 22nd 2005: To A&P Tyne for refit.

March 24th 2005: Arrived back in Dover.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

March 2006: DP World purchase the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O).

February 20th 2007: The Pride of Dover made contact with a berth in Calais damaging her ‘cow catcher’. She remained at the Dover cargo terminal until the 24th February 2007 undergoing emergency repairs.

2nd May 2007: Pride of Dover underwent an MES deployment bow in at berth 2. Later the same day she departed for her annual overhaul at A&P Falmouth.

May 24th 2007: Failed to re-enter service with 07.15 hrs, 12.15 hrs and 16.35 hrs being cancelled.

25th May 2007: Re-entered service following her overhaul.

19th June 2007: Whilst coming astern to berth 7 in Dover the vessel suffered a power failure and made heavy contact with the quay causing damage to her stern spade. Due to the damage the stern doors were unusable necessitating a visit to the ARNO shipyard in Dunkerque for repairs.

© Robert Fournier  © Robert Fournier

Seen at ARNO’s undergoing repairs © Robert Fournier

 © Ed Connell   © Ed Connell

Another view from ARNO’s showing the damaged stern of the Dover. © Ed Connell

25th June 2007: The `Dover’ re-enters service between Dover and Calais.

© Paul Woolhouse  © Paul Woolhouse

© Paul Woolhouse  © Paul Woolhouse

© Paul Woolhouse

April 7th 2008: Left Dover bound for refit at Falmouth.

April 29th 2008: According to “Falmouth Movements” due to leave at 21.30 hrs for Dover

April 30th 2008: Refit completed and returned to Dover.

13th June 2008: P&O announced that they had placed an order with Aker Yards of Finland for two 49,000 GRT vessels for there Dover to Calais operation. The first of these units would be delivered in December 2010 with the second unit coming on stream in September 2011. These two new vessels would replace the Prides of Dover and Calais.

October 10th 2008: To Rotterdam with “prop” problems.

October 14th 2008: Returned from Rotterdam and resumed service between Dover and Calais.

April 16th 2009: Due to a French fisherman’s blockade of the Channel ports the Pride of Dover is sent to Ostend to undertake berthing trials at berth 202.

Ostend 16th April 2009 © Cedric Hacke  Ostend 16th April 2009 © Cedric Hacke

Ostend 16th April 2009 © Cedric Hacke  Ostend 16th April 2009 © Cedric Hacke

Ostend 16th April 2009 © Cedric Hacke

April 16th 2009 (14.56 hrs Euro Time): Departed for Dover

April 20th 2009: Anticipated arrival at A&P Tyne for refit.

April 23rd 2009: Left Dover for Newcastle.

April 24th 2009: Arrived on the Tyne.

© Neil McBride  © Neil McBride

© Neil McBride

May 7th 2009 (02.30 hrs): Left dry-dock and moved to RSQ East.

May 7th 2009 (18.00 hrs): Anticipated departure for Dover.

May 8th 2009: Arrived in Dover.

May 9th 2009: Resumed service.

November 17th 2009: Experienced engine problems in one of her three engines.

November 19th 2009: After riding out storm force winds at “The Downs” went to lay-by berth at Calais.

November 22nd 2009: To ARNO, Dunkerque.

November 25th 2009: Left ARNO.

November 26th 2009: Arrived in Dover and then proceeded to lay-off the port (a.m.), entering at about midday.

November 27th 2009: Resumed service and reportedly suffering from gearbox problems. Also rumoured to be using only two of her three engines.

January 15th 2010: Entered ARNO, Dunkerque for repairs to gearbox/prop and refit.

© Ed Connell  © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell

January 27th 2010: Returned to Dover

April 24th 2010: To Dover Cruise Terminal 1 for “centre main engine” work.

April 30th 2010: Resumed service.

October 2010: It was announced that the Pride of Dover would stand down from Dover-Calais service on the 14th December 2010. Her last commercial crossing will be at 23:55. She is due to depart for Tilbury on the 16th December where she will lay up pending a decision on her future.

December 14th 2010: Last day in commercial service for P&O Ferries on the Dover to Calais route. Her last sailing was the 23:55 from Dover under the command of Captain Alexander.

Last Day in Commercial Service, 14th December 2010

Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow  Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow

Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow  Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow

Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow  Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow

Last daylight crossing from Calais 14/12/10 © Ray Goodfellow

December 15th 2010: Departed Calais in ballast (light ship) at 01:50. She arrived in Dover at 03:20 and proceeded to berth 6 in the Eastern Docks to commence de-storing.

De-storing at Dover's Berth 6 © Ray Goodfellow

De-storing at Dover’s Berth 6 © Ray Goodfellow

December 16th 2010: Departed Dover for the last time via the Western entrance at 10:54 and proceeded to Tilbury, Essex for lay up.

The Final Departure From Dover, 16th December 2010

10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow  10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow

10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow  10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow

10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow  10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow

10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow  10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow

10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow  10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow

10:54 The final Goodbye :'( © Ray Goodfellow

December 16th 2010: Noted passing Gravesend on the River Thames at about 15:30 before heading up river into Tilbury Docks.

Gravesend, Kent © Paul Cloke  Gravesend, Kent © Paul Cloke

Gravesend, Kent © Paul Cloke

December 16th 2010: “17:40 Finished with Engines”

Laid up in Tilbury, Essex © Craig Nelson  Laid up in Tilbury, Essex © Craig Nelson

Laid up in Tilbury, Essex © Craig Nelson

May 2011: Remains laid up in Tilbury, Essex.

July 2011: Remains laid up in Tilbury, Essex.

 © Paul Smith  © Paul Smith

Laid up in Tilbury, Essex, July 20th 2011 © Paul Smith

September 2012: Despite numerous rumours of a sale or charter the Pride of Dover remains laid up in Tilbury.

October 30th 2012: P&O Ferries livery removed and renamed `Pride’. Preparations started to get the vessel ready for departure by tug.

© Carl Tunnicliffe  © Carl Tunnicliffe

© Carl Tunnicliffe  © Carl Tunnicliffe

© Carl Tunnicliffe  © Carl Tunnicliffe

© Carl Tunnicliffe (all)

November 6th 2012: P&O Ferries announced that the Pride of Dover had been sold to German shipping interests.

P&O Ferries has sold the Pride Of Dover to German shipping interests. P&O Ferries Twitter Account

29th November 2012: Departed the Tilbury dock system under tow (dead ship) for the Tilbury landing stage. Once upon the stage the deep sea tug ‘Eide Fighter‘ was made fast to the bow and departed with the ‘Pride’ in tow at 10:35 (GMT), AIS destination ‘Tuzla, Turkey’.

© Paul Cloke  © Paul Cloke

© Paul Cloke  © Paul Cloke

© Paul Cloke  © Paul Cloke

© Paul Cloke (all)

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson

© Fay Jordan

© Fay Jordan

December 28th 2012: After much speculation about her true destination and disposal, she was finally beached at Aliaga.

© Selim San

© Selim San

© Selim San 2013  © Selim San 2013

© Selim San 2013  © Selim San 2013

© Selim San 2013

bookFor those wishing to remember the Pride of Dover and Pride of Calais you may be interested to know that Ferry Publications have recently published a book entitled ‘Remembering the Chunnel Beaters’.

Written by local author John Hendy the book covers the service lives of both of these iconic vessels from their entry into service until their ultimate ending on a beach in Turkey. Priced at £9.95 this 60 page softback book is richly illustrated throughout and is highly recommended by myself.

For more information and to order your copy please visit the Ferry Publications website.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Paul Cloke, Ed Connell (Ships in the Port of Dover), Ferry Boy, Christian Eckardt, Brian Fisher, Robert Fournier, Tony Garner, Cedric Hacke, Ted Ingham, Pieter Inpyn, Fay Jordan, Michaël Moons, Ken Larwood,  Mike Jackson, Craig Nelson, Brian Pawley, Selim San, Bob Scott, Paul Smith, Michael Woodland, Paul Woolhouse and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

 Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


  1. Great pictures of the Pride of Dover.

    I have just posted a new piece on my blog with pictures of the “Pride of Dover” departing from Tilbury as the “Pride” under tow.

    I don’t know if you noticed but earlier today the “Eide Fighter” has done a u-turn and is now heading back up the Channel…

    Rumours are that the “Pride” may have been reprieved.

    1. Hi Glen,

      Thank you for the kind words and the link to your blog 🙂

      We did notice that the Eide Fighter had turned around, there is quiet a long debate going on about it on our forum at present (

      There has been lots of rumours in the last 36 hours, from TEF (again) having acquired her to join the Pride of Calais at Ramsgate to Scandlines having acquired her. I hope she has had a reprieve but my gut feeling is that she is taking a break waiting for a perfect weather window for a Biscay transit (which may take a while this time of year).

      Best Wishes

      1. Hi Ray,

        Thanks. I agree with you. I reckon she is just sheltering in Lyme Bay waiting for a suitable weather window to cross the Bay of Biscay. No doubt time will tell.

        Best regards,

  2. So very sad, one of the last traditional ferries at Dover built by Schichau Unterweser AG. Perhaps is she had been looked after better, she would have lived another day like the Pride of Calais. I loved those two sisters, part of my childhood too! Rest in peace Pride of Dover.

  3. hi
    I was in Germany for 10 months building both PRIDE OF DOVER and, THE cardboard cutout–Pride of Calais.
    sailed as S.E.T.O.on Dover until 1998.
    sorry to see the best one has now gone

    1. Hi John,

      The Seaway has been put into warm layup due to a reduction in traffic. This time last year she was chartered out for wind farm work and there was talk of her doing the same this year but no charter has been found for her.

      As for the future who knows at the moment.

      Best Wishes

  4. so sad to see the passing of the old lady. Had 5 great years. Then moved to the “Bruges”. Truly was the best galley/kitchen team that i have had the privilege of being a part of in 30 years as a chef.

    Some hard crossings were made but the boat always looked after us.

    So Sad an ending.

    Dave Parrott

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