Current Local Ferry FleetFerriesP&O FerriesPast and Present

MV Spirit of France – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9533816

MV Spirit of France

© STX Europe

Spirit of France – © STX Europe ASA

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2011 by STX Europe, Rauma, Finland (Yard No 1368) as a Passenger (Vehicle) Ferry for P&O Ferries, Dover, England.

Technical Data

  • Length: 213 m
  • Breadth of Hull: 31.4 m
  • Draught: 6.5 m
  • Tonnage: 49,000 GRT
  • Engines: 4 x MAN B&W 7L 48 60 main engines driving two propeller shafts.
  • Power: 30,400kW (40,767 hp)
  • Thrusters: 3 x 3,000 kW
  • Speed: 22 Knots
  • Capacity: 2000 Passengers, 180 Lorries or 1,059 Cars (2700 Lane Meters)
  • Call Sign: 2DXD5, 5BDN5
  • MMSI Number:209490000
  • IMO Number: 9533816
  • Registry: Dover/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾 
  • Sister Vessel: Spirit of Britain (1367)


Vesselfinder AIS 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 Vesselfinder 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 article is provided by www.vesselfinder.com and we are therefore neither responsible for it's content or it's accuracy.


History

August 8th 2008: P&O Ferries signs a €360m contract with Aker Yards (STX Europe) for the two largest ferries ever to be constructed for the Dover-Calais service. The first of these ships will enter service in January 2011 and the second in September 2011, replacing the Pride of Dover and the Pride of Calais.

Spirit of France

The new vessels are specifically designed for the Dover-Calais route and are built to Lloyd’s Register ‘Green Passport’ which provides a cradle to grave strategy for all materials used. The ferries will be as environmentally friendly as possible, offering significant advances in fuel efficiency through a hydro-dynamically efficient hull form that will optimise vessel performance with minimum fuel consumption.

The vessels will be the first passenger ferries in the world to comply with the new International Maritime Organisation “Safe Return to Port” requirements ahead of the international compliance date.

These rules require that, in the event of a ship becoming a casualty, basic services are provided to all persons on board and that certain systems remain operational for safe return to port. Performance standards are stipulated for a wide range of ship systems including fire-fighting, power supply, propulsion, steering and navigation. The requirements come into force for vessels built after 1 July 2010.

The ships will have the Lloyd’s Register class notation of PSMR (Propulsion and Steering Machinery Redundancy) which will be assigned where the main propulsion and steering systems are configured to ensure that, in the event of equipment failure, the ship retains availability of propulsion power and manoeuvring capability to provide a safe return to port.

May 13th 2010: It was announced that P&O Ferries will be naming its two new ships the Spirit of Britain and Spirit of France when they come into service in 2011. The Spirit of Britain will enter service in January 2011 followed by the Spirit of France in September 2011.

June 8th 2010: On the same day as the float out of the Spirit of Britain the keel of the Spirit of France was laid at the STX Europe Shipyard in Rauma, Finland. In keeping with maritime tradition ‘lucky’ coins were placed under the keel by P&O Ferries chairman, Robert Woods.


Spirit of France Under Construction

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

Spirit of France – © P&O Ferries


December 2010: Registered owner and ship manager; P&O Ferries Ltd, Dover, United Kingdom.

February 18th 2011: Floated out of the building dock at STX Europe Rauma shipyard for the first time in sub zero temperatures.


Spirit of France Float Out

© STX Europe ASA  © STX Europe ASA

© STX Europe ASA  © STX Europe ASA

Spirit of France – © STX Europe ASA


February 18th 2011: After her float out the Spirit of France was manoeuvred to the fitting out quay.

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

© P&O Ferries  © P&O Ferries

Spirit of France – © P&O Ferries (Fitting out at STX Rauma in May 2011)

May 2011: Fit out works continues apace with sea trials expected sometime in June 2011.

June 29th 2011: Departed STX Rauma for her first sea trials in the Gulf of Bothnia.

September 6th 2011: Further sea trials. Owing to vibration issues delivery is delayed.

October 13th 2011: Further sea trials.

October 26th 2011: Further sea trials.

November 13th 2011: Further sea trials.

November 17th 2011: Reported in some maritime news outlets that P&O had refused delivery due to vibration issues.

November 28th 2011: During a storm the vessel parted her moorings and ran aground within the shipyard. The vessel was dry docked and damage was deemed to be negligible.

December 20th 2011: Further sea trials.

January 3rd 2012: Final sea/yard acceptance trials completed.

© P&O Ferries

Spirit of France – © P&O Ferries (Departing for final sea trials)

January 24th 2012: Official handover to P&O Ferries and commencement of her 1,400 mile journey to Dover. Scheduled to arrive in Dover at 11:00 (GMT) on Saturday 28th January 2012.

  © P&O Ferries

Spirit of France – Handover to P&O Ferries 24/01/2012 © STX Europe ASA (left) and Departure from Rauma © P&O Ferries (right)

January 28th 2012: At 11:00 the Spirit of France duly arrived in her home port of Dover.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Spirit of France – © Ray Goodfellow

January 29th 2012: Conducts berthing trials in the Port of Dover.

January 30th 2012: Maiden arrival in Calais for berthing trials. Departed Calais for Dover and berthed at cruise terminal two for crew familiarisation.

February 8th 2012: Operated a freight crossing to Calais.

February 9th 2012: Operated her maiden passenger voyage from Dover to Calais at 12:05.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

Spirit of France – © Andreas Wörteler

© Ray Goodfellow  

  

Spirit of France – © Ray Goodfellow

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

Spirit of France – © Andreas Wörteler

© Carsten Dettmer

Spirit of France – © Carsten Dettmer

December 19th 2013: To Dunkerque for refit.

Spirit of France – © Robert Fournier

January 2nd 2014: Departed Dunkerque and resumed service.

Spirit of France – © Ray Goodfellow

June 29th 2015: Prevented from docking in Calais due to industrial action. Vessel returned to Dover and berthed bow in to discharge her load before departing for the Downs anchorage.

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

© Ray Goodfellow  © Ray Goodfellow

Spirit of France – © Ray Goodfellow (Loading at Dover before returning from Calais after being refused entry 29/06/2015)

June 30th 2015: Owing to Industrial Action, which closed the port of Calais, sailed to Boulogne for berthing trials. Returned to Dover “in ballast”. With further disruption probable, expected further sailings to Boulogne.

© Manuel Dhondt

Spirit of France – © Manuel Dhondt (Arriving in Boulogne)

© Manuel Dhondt  © Manuel Dhondt

Spirit of France – © Manuel Dhondt (Boulogne)

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

© Jean-Guy Hagelstein  © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

Spirit of France – © Jean-Guy Hagelstein

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

December 19th 2015: Stood down from Dover-Calais service and proceeded to Scheldepoort Drydock at Damen Vlissingen (Flushing).

December 20th 2015: Entered Dry Dock.

© Co de Vos  © Co de Vos

Spirit of France – © Co de Vos (Scheldepoort Drydock at Damen Vlissingen (Flushing) 20/12/2015)

December 24th 2015: Departed Vlissingen for Dover.

© Arjan Van Gelder  © Arjan Van Gelder

© Arjan Van Gelder  © Arjan Van Gelder

Spirit of France – © Arjan Van Gelder (Departing Scheldepoort, Vlissingen (Flushing) for Dover on the 24/12/2015)

December 27th 2015: Resumed service from Dover to Calais.

© Nigel Scutt (Dover Marina)

Spirit of France – © Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping) (Back in service, seen arriving in Dover on the 29/12/2015)

  

Spirit of France – © Frank Behrends

December 26th 2016: Sailed to Damen , Dunkerque for refit.

  

Spirit of France – © Robert Fournier

January 12th 2017: Left Dunkerque.

January 13th 2017: Resumed service Dover – Calais

© Cedric Hacke  © Cedric Hacke

© Cedric Hacke

Spirit of France – © Cedric Hacke

January 14th 2019: Came off service and sailed to Hamburg for refit.

January 15th 2019: Arrived Hamburg.

January 2019: Noted as having been re-registered to Cypriot flag.

January 25th 2019: Refit completed, left Hamburg and sailed to Dover.

January 26th 2019: Arrived in Dover commenced service between Dover and Calais.

January 22nd 2020: Came off service and sailed to Ijmuiden.

January 23rd 2020: Arrived Ijmuiden and onward to Amsterdam for refit.

January 23rd 2020: Arrived Amsterdam.

February 4th 2020: Refit complete arrived IJmuiden and continued to Dover.

February 5th 2020: Arrived in Dover to  resume service Calais – Dover.

February 6th 2020: Resumed service.

February 10th 2021: To Schiedam (Rotterdam) for refit and alterations to service areas.

March 3rd 2021: Returned to Dover.

March 5th 2021: To Tilbury for completion of internal works.

March 18th 2021: Returned to Dover.

March 19th 2021: Resumed service Dover – Calais.

Spirit of France –  © Julien Carpentier (Calais, 31/10/2021)

February 12th 2022: Came of service at Dover and sailed to Scheidam, Rotterdam for refit.

February 13th 2022: Arrived Scheidam. Circulated information suggested she had severe problems with a propeller shaft.

February 13th 2022: Entered dry dock  6 at Rotterdam Botlek.

March 17th 2022: P & O announced that all crews within their fleet had be made redundant. Vessels were ordered to return to their service ports. It is not currently known how this affects this vessel.

July 8th 2022: Floated out of dry dock 6 and moored nearby.

July 21st 2022: Left Rotterdam for sea-trials.

July 21st 2022: Returned to Rotterdam.

July 27th 2022: Left Rotterdam showing destination as Dover (eta: 2022-07-27 14:00 LT (UTC +1).

July 27th 2022: Arrived in Dover, conducted trials and berthed at the Eastern Arm, Dover. 

July 28th 2022: Moved to ED9, Dover.

© Mike Jackson © Mike Jackson

Spirit of France – © Mike Jackson (Dover, 28/07/2022)

August 3rd 2022: Sailed to Calais for trials and lay-over.

August 5th 2022: Resumed service – Calais – Dover.


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: I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Chris Laming, Brian Rees, Michelle Ulyatt, Natalie Hardy and Daniel Maidment at P&O Ferries, STX Europe ASA, Frank Behrends, Carsten Dettmer, Manuel Dhondt, Robert Fournier, Cedric Hacke, Jean-Guy Hagelstein, Mike Jackson,  Dover Sea Safari, Nigel Scutt (Dover Strait Shipping), Arjan Van Gelder, Co de Vos, and  Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: