© Ray GoodfellowMV Pride of Kent – Past and Present

MV Pride of Kent (II)

ex European Highway

© Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)

© Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic)

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by Schichau Seebeckwerft AG, Bremerhaven ,(Yard No. 1073) Germany for P&O European Ferries in 1992 as a commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by Sulzer Bros. Ltd., Winterthur. 

Technical Data

  • Length: 179.70 m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 28.30 m (extreme)
  • Draught: 6.27 m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 22,986 gross, 6,895 net, 7,509 deadweight (1991), 30,365 gross, 9,190 net, 5,800 deadweight (2002/3)
  • Engines: Four 8ZA 40 S Sulzer Diesels
  • Power: 20600kW
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 200 passengers, 124 x 15m freight units (1991), 2000 passengers, 650 cars, 120 x 15m commercial vehicles (2002/3)
  • Call Sign: MQCJ2
  • MMSI Number: 233009000
  • IMO Number: 9015266
  • Registry: United Kingdom
  • Sister Vessels: European Seaway , Pride of Canterbury, Pride of Burgundy

Current Location

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History

December 14th 1991: Launched.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

June 12th 1992: Delivered to P&O European Ferries, Dover, England.

June 14th 1992: Arrived at Dover.

© Brian Pawley

June 16th 1992: First voyage between Dover – Zeebrugge leaving Dover at 16:15 hours.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

March 3rd 1998: P&O European Ferries and Stena Line merged 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

May 14th 1999: Commenced service between Dover – Calais.

November 1999: Commenced service between Dover – Zeebrügge.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

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

August 2002: P&O Stena 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.

December 15th 2002: Final voyage between Dover – Zeebrügge

December 17th 2002: Departed Dover for the yard of Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany for rebuilding as a passenger vessel.

Project Darwin

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

With the ending of the P&O Stena Line agreement it was announced by the newly formed P&O Ferries that the ex Zeebrügge freight vessels European Highway and European Pathway would be rebuilt at the German Shipyard of Lloyd Werft.

Upon completion of their rebuilds they would be placed on the premier Dover-Calais service replacing the PO Kent (ex Sprit of Free Enterprise, Pride of Kent, POSL Kent) and PO Canterbury (ex Fantasia). This move became widely known by it’s P&O in-house code name, Project Darwin.

It was anticipated that EUROPEAN PATHWAY would leave for Bremerhaven on December 1st 2002, followed later in the month by EUROPEAN HIGHWAY

Key features of the converted ships will include:

  • Passenger capacity up from 200 to 2,000
  • More than 5,000 square metres of passenger accommodation
  • Fifty extra crew cabins
  • Better manoeuvrability

The conversion would take place at the Bremerhaven yard of Lloyd Werft. The rebuilt ferries were to enter service on the Dover-Calais route in April and May of 2003 respectively.

  

  

  

 

 Dover Ferry Photos Library

© Christian Eckardt  © Christian Eckardt

© Christian Eckardt

June 7th 2003: Arrived at the Port of Dover from Bremerhaven.

June 28th 2003: PRIDE OF KENT and PRIDE OF CANTERBURY ships were officially named in a ceremony at the new cruise terminal on Dover’s Admiralty Pier extension.

Dover Ferry Photos Archive  Dover Ferry Photos Archive

Nigel Thornton Collection

Dover Ferry Photos Archive

June 14th 2003: Entered service on the Dover – Calais service.

Personal Note: 29th July 2003: At 12:16 (BST) the Pride of Kent was stopped mid channel on her way back from Calais at position 51°025N 01°359E. At this position Senior master Captain David Miller carried out a service in which the ashes of my late step father Alan `Gunner’ Sugden were duly returned to his second home, the sea, god speed Alan – you will always be missed.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Nigel Thornton

© Ray Goodfellow (left) and © Nigel Thornton (right)

2004: At refit bridge wings upper leading edges painted white to distinguish her from her sister.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

March 29th 2005: Left Dover for refit and gearbox replacement at ARNO, Dunkerque.

May 5th 2005: Returned to service.

2006: Still in service on the Dover-Calais service.

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

May 2nd 2006: At Falmouth for refit lasting two weeks.

May 16th 2006: Completed refit and returned to service.

April 10th 2007: Stood down from service and proceeded to CT2 (Cruise Terminal 2) for a deployment of her Marin Arc evacuation system before proceeding to A&P at Falmouth.

April 12th 2007: Arrived at A&P Falmouth for refit.

April 30th 2007: Refit complete, departed Falmouth for Dover.

December 15th 2007: At 2200 UTC in light winds and good visibility a close quarters situation occurred between Queen Elizabeth 2 and Pride of Kent.

Published: MARCH 2008

“Queen Elizabeth 2, on passage from Zeebrugge to Southampton, was south west bound in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. Her track was biased to the starboard side of the traffic lane. Pride of Kent departed Dover for a scheduled voyage to Calais, observing the voluntary separation scheme established for ferry operators. As the vessels approached, a close quarters situation developed in which Queen Elizabeth 2 was required to give way.

When it became apparent that no avoiding action was being taken by Queen Elizabeth 2, Pride of Kent reduced her speed allowing Queen Elizabeth 2 to pass 0.6mile ahead of Pride of Kent.

There were no injuries to personnel and no pollution”

May 2nd 2008: To A&P Falmouth for refit.

May 25th 2008: Departed Falmouth for Dover.

May 21st 2008: Resumed service.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

March 27th 2009: Anticipated arrival at ARNO, Dunkerque for mini-refit.

© Robert Fournier

© Robert Fournier

April 3rd 2009: Returned to Dover.

April 18th 2009: Stood down from service for Marin ARC (MES) deployment etc.

April 23rd 2009: Resumed service.

March 10th 2010: Marin Arc (MES) deployment at Cruise Terminal 1 prior to departure for refit.

March 10th 2010: Departed Dover for refit on the Tyne lasting 16 days.

March 11th 2010: Arrived on the Tyne and entered A&P Heburn.

March 27th 2010: Departed the river Tyne for Dover.

© Kevin Blair  © Kevin Blair

The `Kent’ on the Tyne © Kevin Blair

March 28th 2010: Arrived at Dover and resumed service between Dover and Calais.

October 17th 2010: Off service with a technical problem.

March 10th 2011: Stood down from service for refit.

April 2011 (early): Returned to service.

February 20th 2012: Following an evacuation drill the vessel departed for refit at A&P Falmouth, Cornwall.

February 21st 2012: Arrived at A&P Falmouth and entered dry dock 2.

© Ferry Boy  © Ferry Boy

© Ferry Boy  © Ferry Boy

© Ferry Boy  © Ferry Boy

© Ferry Boy

March 7th 2012: Arrived back in Dover and re-entered service.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

July 25th 2012: Off service on the Eastern Arm due to technical problems. Resumed service with the 2015 ex Dover.

© Paul Smith

Off service on the Eastern Arm © Paul Smith

December 23rd 2012: To ARNO, Dunkerque for dry-docking.

December 24th 2012: Left Dunkerque and sailed to Dover.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

January 18th 2014: Departed Dover for refit at A&P Falmouth.

© Barrie Clark

© Barrie Clark

© Ben Reed  © Ben Reed

© Ben Reed  © Ben Reed

© Ben Reed  © Ben Reed

© Ben Reed  © Ben Reed

In dry dock at A&P Falmouth © Ben Reed

© Barrie Clark  © Barrie Clark

© Barrie Clark

© Barrie Clark (all)

February 5th 2014: Expected departure Falmouth.

February 6th 2014: Arrived back in Dover.

February 7th 2014: Resumed service.

December 18th 2014: To ARNO, Dunkerque for refit and conversion of the engines to cater for the new fuel/emissions regulations. Anticipated return to service late January/early February 2015.

January 30th 2015: Left Dunkerque and returned to service Dover – Calais sporting new livery.

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Departing Dover 20/04/15 and loading in Calais 28/06/15 © Ray Goodfellow

June 30th 2015: Owing to Industrial Action, which closed the port of Calais, sailed to Boulogne to discharge passengers. No embarkation owing to lack of border control facilities. Returned to Dover “in ballast”. With further disruption probable, expected further sailings to Boulogne.

© Jean - Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Arrival in Boulogne © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Manuel Dhondt  © Manuel Dhondt

Arrival in Boulogne 01/07/15 © Manuel Dhondt

July 2nd 2015: Resumed service between Dover and Calais.

February 22nd 2016: To Damen, Dunkerque for refit.

© Robert Fournier

© Nathan Burt   © Nathan Burt

© Nathan Burt

© Nathan Burt

© Julien Carpentier

© Ben Reed  © Ben Reed

© Ben Reed  © Ben Reed

© Ben Reed

March 19th 2016 (13.28 hrs LT): Departed Damen yard (Port de Dunkerque) and sailed to Dover. Resumed service.

  

© Frank Behrends

© Carsten Dettmer  © Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer

February 20th 2017: To Damen, Dunkerque for docking re a propeller problem

  

 © Julien Carpentier

March 21st 2017: Left Dunkerque.

March 22nd 2017: Resumed service Dover – Calais.


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), Frank Behrends,Nathan Burt, Julien Carpentier, Barrie Clark, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), Carsten Dettmer,  Mike Jackson, Andreas Wörteler, Brian Pawley, Christian Eckardt, Ferry Boy, Paul Smith, Ben Reed, Jean-Guy Hagelstein, Manuel Dhondt and Robert Fournier for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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


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