FerriesP&O European FerriesP&O FerriesP&O Stena LinePast and Present

MV European Seaway – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9007283

🇨🇾 MV European Seaway

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw ‘Super European Class’ motor vessel, built by Schichau Seebeckwerft AG, Bremerhaven, Germany (Yard No 1075) in 1991 as a Roll On/Roll Off Commercial Vehicle ferry for P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd

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, 7,432 deadweight
  • Engines: Four 8ZA 40 S Sulzer Diesels
  • Power: 21120 kW
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 200 passengers, 124 x 15m freight units
  • Call Sign: MPDG, 5BEJ5
  • IMO Number: 9007283
  • MMSI Number: 209528000
  • Registry: Dover/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾
  • Sister Ships: Pride of Kent, Pride of Canterbury, Pride of Burgundy

Location Data

Please note that this vessels AIS transponder and position data may be over an hour old and that this specific vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the MarineTraffic AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is no way related to the safety of navigation at sea. All the AIS ship position data featured within this website is provided by marinetraffic.com and we are therefore not responsible for the content or the accuracy of this data


October 15th 1990: Keel laid.

October 2nd, 1991: Delivered to P&O European Ferries.


October 3rd 1991: Arrived at Dover.

Maiden Arrival at Dover © Ken Larwood

Maiden Arrival at Dover © Ken Larwood

October 3rd – October 4th 1991: Berthing trials in Zeebrugge.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

October 7th 1991: Commenced service between Dover – Zeebrugge.

© Fotoflite  © Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

© Brian Pawley

© Brian Pawley

December 4th 1991: All time record of freight was carried on the Zeebrugge route, with 1,079 trucks being carried on a single day. On the 20.30 sailing from Dover, the EUROPEAN SEAWAY carried 124 trucks. The previous record was 1,045 vehicles carried on 30th January 1990.

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Urbain Ureel (Zeebrugge 17/10/1994)

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.

P & O Stena Line

P & O Stena Line

© Andreas Wörteler  © Douglas Cromby

© Andreas Wörteler (left) and © Douglas Cromby (right)

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

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn

August 2002: P&O Stena alliance ended with P&O purchasing Stena Lines 40% share in the business. All vessels had their Stena house flag removed from their funnels, along with the deletion of the Stena name from their hulls. In future the company would trade as P&O Ferries.

October 15th 2002: EUROPEAN SEAWAY continued on the Dover – Zeebrugge route.

December 15th 2002: Final voyage between Dover – Zeebrügge. In future she operated between Dover and Calais in a freight only capacity.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

November 18th 2003: P&O announced cutbacks on Dover – Calais sailings with the loss of EUROPEAN SEAWAY.

December 1st – December 20th 2003: Annual refit at A&P Falmouth

January 1st 2004: Laid-up at Falmouth. Rumoured inspected by Italian shipowners.

June 10th 2004: Arrived at A&P Birkenhead. Although the vessel was sale -listed there was some possibility she would return to Dover in 2005 if a suitable buyer had not come forward.

© Trevor Kidd (Larne Ferry Web)

A&P Birkenhead © Trevor Kidd

December 29th 2004: Left A&P Birkenhead with the help of Adstream tugs TRAFALGAR and GLADSTONE. Due to start again with the 10.40 from Calais on 03/01/2005.

January 3rd 2005: Re-introduced into service between Dover -Calais

March 12th 2005: Owing to operational problems following the collapse of Calais berth 7 the Seaway operate a number of trips to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

From P&O Ferries:

Mon 14th Mar Dover to Zeebrugge: 1500. Zeebrugge to Dover: 2200.

Tues 15th Mar Dover to Zeebrugge: 0300, 1500. Zeebrugge to Dover: 2200, 1000.

Wed 16th Mar Dover to Zeebrugge: 0300, 1100, 1500. Zeebrugge to Dover: 1000, 1800, 2200 .

Thereafter reverting to Dover – Calais

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

February 15th 2006: Refit at Falmouth.

© Stéphane Poulain  © Stéphane Poulain

© Stéphane Poulain

March 3rd 2006: Back in service at Dover

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

December 2006: After Christmas laid up at the Eastern Docks due to a seasonal downturn in freight traffic.

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton

January 2007: Back in service from Dover to Calais.

Showing her P&O Stena Line heritage below her Port bridge wing. © Cedric Hacke  Showing her P&O Stena Line heritage below her Port bridge wing. © Cedric Hacke

Showing her P&O Stena Line heritage below her Port bridge wing. © Cedric Hacke

8th- 24th February 2007: Annual overhaul at A&P Falmouth.

© Charlie Chambers

© Charlie Chambers

25th February 2007: Back in service.

Late February 2007: Following her refit it was found that there was a major fault with engine number four. She served all Summer on only three engines and she is due to step down from service for repairs in October 2007 when she is replaced by the EUROPEAN ENDEAVOUR (ex Midnight Merchant).

December 22nd 2007: Arrived in Falmouth for refit and extensive engine rebuild/repairs.

January 8th 2008: Left Falmouth and returned to Dover.

© Charlie Chambers

© Charlie Chambers

January 9th 2008: Resumed service.

© "France"

© “France”

December 29th 2008: After Christmas day lay-up at Cruise Terminal 2, sailed to Portland for underwater video inspection of her hull in lieu of refit.

December 30th 2008: Returned to Dover.

February 9th 2009: Due to poor underwater visibility at Portland to ARNO, Dunkerque for hull inspection.

February 11th 2009: Resumed.

June 27th 2009: Off service with damage to her “aft catch leading edge”

Dover Ferry Photos Archive

June 29th 2009: Resumed service.

16th October 2009: Carried out berthing trials at the new `Hub’ port in Boulogne. P&O denied any rumours that they were going to commence a service to Boulogne and stated that the trials were carried out to ascertain if there vessels could dock in Boulogne in the event of Calais being closed.

Hub Terminal Boulogne © Jean-Guy Hagelstein  Hub Terminal Boulogne © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Hub Terminal Boulogne © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Hub Terminal Boulogne © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

December 15th 2009: Due at ARNO, Dunkerque.

© Francois Longuet  © Francois Longuet

© Francois Longuet  © Francois Longuet

© Francois Longuet

December 28th 2009: Left ARNO and returned to Dover.

August 1st 2010: Due to the peak summer downturn in freight volumes, the European Seaway is put into temporary lay over at anchor for the period 1 – 31 August. The ship is available to cover freight peaks but will not be required to do more than two round trips in any day during the month.

August 10th 2010: The European Seaway was noted to be in service today only having missed a few trips due to her pending “lay up”. The reason stated was that due to the amount of tourist traffic wishing to cross from Dover to Calais she was required to carry freight to free up space on the passenger vessels.

5th September 2010 0800: Carried out berthing trials at the Port of Ramsgate. These were necessary due to the Pride of Burgundy being chartered to Vattenfall to host the official opening of the Thanet wind farm. The Burgundy couldn’t be released from the Dover-Calais service and as the European Seaway shares the same hull form, she was sent instead.

Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson  Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson

Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson  Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson

Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson  Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson

Ramsgate 5/9/10 © Mike Jackson

5th September 2010 0900: Following successful berthing trials she departed Ramsgate for Dover to resume service.

December 24th 2010: Arrived at the Port of Dunkerque and entered the ARNO dry dock, berthing next to the European Trader.

December 29th 2010: Departed Dunkerque and re-entered service.

September 5th 2011: It was announced that she would be withdrawn from the Dover-Calais service.

“The European Seaway dedicated freight ship is to be taken off the Dover – Calais service and laid up on 30 September 2011. This commercial decision will help us better match capacity to current levels of freight demand in the Short Sea sector, pending the arrival of the much larger Spirit of France later in the autumn. Affected seafarers will be redeployed to other ships in the Short Sea fleet.”

September 30th 2011: Operates her last crossing from Dover to Calais.

October 1st 2011: Departs Dover for Tilbury, Essex and lay up.

Tilbury 1/10/11 © Paul Cloke  Tilbury 1/10/11 © Paul Cloke

Tilbury 1/10/11 © Paul Cloke

Tilbury 1/10/11 © Paul Cloke

November 16th 2011: Owing to the suspension of Seafrance services from Dover to Calais the “Seaway” is reactivated for a return to Dover to offer additional sailings to Calais.

 Onboard the European Seaway

Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke  Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke

Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke  Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke

Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke  Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke

Onboard the European Seaway © Paul Cloke

November 17th 2011: Re-entered service between Dover and Calais offering 3 round trips a day. Services reduced at weekends in line with demand.

Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow  Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow

Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow  Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow

Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow  Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow

Back in service 28/11/11 © Ray Goodfellow

February 12th 2012: Left Dunkerque.

February 12th 2012: To ARNO, Dunkerque.

February 19th 2012: Left Dunkerque.

February 20th 2012: Resumed service.

March 8th 2012:  It was announced that the vessel would be chartered to Centrica Renewable Energy for three to four months.

“Centrica Renewable Energy signed a deal with ferry-operator P&O to adapt one of its vessels into a mothership capable of housing technicians working on North Sea wind farms. The deal, which is a first for P&O, will involve Centrica taking a three-to-four month charter of the 23,000-tonne European Seaway. The ship will be manned by P&O Ferries deck, technical and catering crew providing local hotel services to Centrica staff. It will be anchored seven kilometres off the coast of eastern England whilst technicians undertake operations and maintenance work at the 194 mW Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm. The 180-metre vessel was refitted at the Arno Dunkirk shipyard in France.”

April 26th 2012: To ARNO, Dunkerque prior to charter.

© Ed Connell   © Ed Connell

© Ed Connell (both)

April 28th 2012: Left ARNO after additional modifications for her charter.

April 28th 2012: Arrived in Dover, 2 berth.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

April 29th 2012: Moved to Cruise Terminal 1.

April 30th 2012: Left Dover bound for Skegness LID (Lynn and Inner Dowsing Wind Farm).

May 1st 2012: Arrived at Skegness.

October 18th 2012 (07.50 hrs): Returned Dover (berth 2).

© Mike Jackson   © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson   © Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson (all)

October 18th 2012 (17.30 hrs): Moved to Eastern Arm, Dover

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson (both)

October 22nd 2012 (11.30 hrs): Re-entered service Dover – Calais.

February 15th 2013: To Tyne for refit.

February 16th 2013: Arrived Tyne.

February 28th 2013: Left Tyne.

March 1st 2013: Resumed Dover – Calais

© Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow

© Paul Cloke  © Paul Cloke

© Paul Cloke (both)

April 4th 2013: Left Dover for “warm” lay-up at Tilbury.

April 4th 2013: Arrived Tilbury.

June 2014: Remains laid up in Tilbury.

August 18th 2014: Left Tilbury bound for ARNO, Dunkerque.

© Doug Shaw

© Doug Shaw (Departing Tilbury)

August 19th 2014: Arrived in Dunkerque. After refit “The European Seaway will be an accommodation ship providing services for up to 150 wind farm technicians working at RWEI’s Offshore Wind farm Nordsee Ost (NSO). The vessel will be anchored 23 nautical miles NNW off Helgoland in the North Sea”.

© Julien Carpentier‎

Dunkerque © Julien Carpentier‎

Internet Source

September 4th 2014: Departed Dunkerque.

September 5th 2014: Arrived in Cuxhaven (Germany)

September 6th 2014: Sailed from Cuxhaven destination “Offshore wind farm Nordsee Ost” north-east of the island of Helgoland in the German North Sea region.

March 4th 2015: According to the Port of London Authority the European Seaway is due in Tilbury at 0800 on the 07/03/15.

July 17th 2015 (14.43 hrs): Owing to industrial action blockading the port of Calais, reactivated and sailed for Dover.

© Nigel Scutt

Arrival back in Dover 17/07/15 © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)

July 20th 2015: Resumed service between Dover and Calais as a stern loader.


Arriving in Calais © Julien Carpentier‎

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Berthed stern first in Calais 07/08/15 © Ray Goodfellow‎

December 19th 2015 (Eve): Stood down from the Dover-Calais service.

December 20th 2015 (AM): Departed Calais for Dunkerque West and entered dry dock at Damen Dunkerque.

Damen Dunkerque 20/12/15 © Julien Carpentier‎



Damen Dunkerque 24/12/15 © Ray Goodfellow

January 5th 2016: Departed Damen Dunkerque‎.

January 6th 2016: Resumed service between Dover and Calais.

December 18th 2016: To Dunkerque for mini-refit, then expected to lay-up until January 9th 2017

© Julien Carpentier

© Nigel Scutt

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)

May 1st 2017: Left Calais bound for Larne (eta 08.00 hrs 03/05/2017) where she will act as refit cover until June.

May 3rd 2017: Arrived Larne

© Gary Andrews  © Gary Andrews

© Gary Andrews

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd

© Gordon Hislip

© Gordon Hislip

May 3rd 2017: Sailed to Cairnryan for trials.

May 5th 2017: Commenced service Larne – Cairnryan.

© Keith Moorcroft  © Keith Moorcroft

© Keith Moorcroft  © Keith Moorcroft

© Keith Moorcroft  © Keith Moorcroft

© Keith Moorcroft

June 11th 2017: Left Larne, bound for Dover (e.t.a. 21/06/2017)

June 21st 2017: Resumed service Dover -Calais

© Julien Carpentier

December 27th 2017: Sailed to Dunkerque for proposed refit.

December 29th 2017: Sailed from Dunkirk to Calais and resumed service.

December 22nd 2018: Departed Calais for Dunkerque West and entered dry dock at Damen Dunkerque.



© Julien Carpentier

January 2019: Resumed service Dover – Calais.

© Cedric Hacke   © Cedric Hacke

© Cedric Hacke (Calais 24/02/2019)

April 23rd 2019: Sailed to Falmouth.

April 24th 2019: Arrived Falmouth for refit prior to 3 month relief duties on the Irish Sea.

© Sean Ambler

© Sean Ambler

© Darren Holdaway  © Darren Holdaway

© Darren Holdaway  © Darren Holdaway

© Darren Holdaway

May 13th 2019: Departed Falmouth to Larne

May 14th 2019: Arrived at Larne anchorage.

May 14th 2019: Arrived Larne.

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd

May 15th 2019: Service Larne – Cairnryan

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 18/05/2019)

© Gordon Hislip

© Gordon Hislip (Stena Superfast VIII and European Seaway pass off Corsewall)

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard (Loch Ryan 19/06/2019)

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 06/07/2019)

July 15th 2017: Departed Larne and headed for Dunkirk and warm lay up.

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 15/07/2019)

July 16th 2019: Arrived Dunkirk Anchorage.

July 17th 2019: Arrived Dunkirk East.



© Julien Carpentier (Dunkirk, 17/07/2019)

August 26th 2019: Whilst in dock suffered a generator fire. Damage was severe and required extensive repair.

September 17th 2019: As a “Dead  Ship” towed from the port of Dunkerque by tugs FAROUCHE, VB ADROIT and VB PUISSANT. Tow transferred to FAIRPLAY 33 for onward to Gdansk


© Julien Carpentier

© Nathan Burt

© Nathan Burt (Dunkerque Fairway, 17/09/2019)

September 25th 2019: Arrived in Gdansk.

December 20th 2019: Left Gdansk, apparently for trials (AIS reported destination Calais, eta 23/12/2019).

December 23rd 2019: Arrived in Calais.

© Julien Carpentier

© Julien Carpentier (Calais, 23/12/2019)

January 8th 2020: Sailed to Dunkerque (East), Damen.

January 8th 2020: Arrived Dunkerque (East).

March 19th 2020: Left Dunkerque (East) and sailed to Dunkerque Anchorage, then anchored off Folkestone.

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)

March 20th 2020: Sailed to Tilbury.

March 21st 2020: Arrived Tilbury for indefinite lay-up owing to Coronavirus Pandemic.

September 30th 2020: Announcement made that the vessel would not return to service and her future is unknown.

January 8th 2021: Left Tilbury

January 8th 2021: Arrived in Dover.

© Arthur Devlin

European Seaway on berth ED2 at Dover (09/01/21) © Arthur Devlin

January 9th 2021: Departed Dover for Falmouth.

9th January 2021: The Final Departure from Dover

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson  © Mike Jackson

© Mike Jackson

🆕 © Mike Jackson


© Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping)

January 10th 2021: Arrived at Falmouth and proceeded up the River Fal for long term layup.

© King Harry Ferry

© King Harry Ferry

© C. Perrott  © C. Perrott

© C. Perrott  © C. Perrott

© C. Perrott  © C. Perrott

Arriving at her mooring on the River Fal © C. Perrott

© Simon Moore  © Simon Moore © Simon Moore  © Simon Moore © Simon Moore  © Simon Moore

🆕 © Simon Moore

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: Arthur Devlin, Sean Ambler, Gary Andrews, Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), Nathan Burt, Julien Carpentier, Charlie Chambers, Paul Cloke, Ian Collard, Ed Connell, Douglas Cromby, Robert Fournier, Cedric Hacke, Jean-Guy Hagelstein, Gordon Hislip, Darren Holdaway, Pieter Inpyn, Mike  Jackson, Trevor Kidd, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, Francois Longuet, Keith Moorcroft, Stéphane Poulain, Brian Pawley, Paul Smith, Doug Shaw and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

A special thanks goes to C. Perrott, Terry Conybeare, Mike Jackson, the King Harry Ferry and Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping).

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


  1. Looks like new with that paint job! – Little Helgoland fact, there are no cars on the island. I Recommend a visit there if you can! Thank you for the pics.

    1. Hi John,

      It is a vast improvement isn’t it. We wish the ship and her crew well and all success with this charter and on a personal note I hope to see her in Dover again in the future. Re Helgoland, they say “you learn something new everyday” and in this case I have learnt something new 🙂

      All the best

  2. According to the Maritime Traffic website she is currently in Yorkeys Knob (AU) although the map clearly shows Calais – have our antipodean friends bought the place?

    Rodin, Berlioz and a few P&O’s are listed as nearby vessels.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      😀 You do get some odd moments with Marine Traffic sometimes, according to AIS the other day there was a Finish SAR helicopter on the berth in Calais. As the information is derived from radio communications I take it that atmospheric conditions can affect it, just like longwave radio broadcasts.

      I tend to use a PC based system called ShipPlotter for AIS and I currently have the the European Seaway outbound from Calais heading for Dover.

      Best Wishes

    1. Hi Karl,

      Apologies for the late reply. The European Seaway has had her upper bow door access reinstated so she can now operate in ‘drive through’ mode.

      Best Wishes

  3. Not so good when you were an unfortunate passenger on this ship.I used her many times whilst doing a nightly trunk route from Rochester to Arras.I dreaded getting to Dover and being put on the seaways.Limited amenities,often delayed,and once when the toilets on the saloon deck were closed for refurbishment we were told to use one of several accomodation cabins opened for toilets use.No soap,no towels.No sorry not a ship I liked very much.

  4. Hi I knew some of the Captains on the European Seaway the European Seaway was a excellent ship

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for leaving us a comment. We were lucky enough to be offered a trip on the European Seaway in 2011 with Captain Patrick Phillpott and I have to say it was one of the more memorable trips we have undertaken from Dover over the years.

      Best Wishes

  5. A glorious ship who rescued me from Calais more than once! Currently building a model of her, with such wonderful memories!

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