FerriesNorth Sea FerriesP&O Irish SeaP&O North Sea FerriesPast and Present

MV Norbay – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9056595

MV Norbay

© Robbie Cox

© Robbie Cox

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1994 by Van der Giessen-De Noord, Holland (Yard No 962) for North Sea Ferries, Hull, England

Technical Data

  • Length: 166.7m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 23.40 m
  • Depth: m
  • Draught: 5.80 m
  • Tonnage: 17464 gross/5239 net/6722t deadweight
  • Engines: Two 9-cylinder and Two 8-cylinder Sulzer – Zgoda diesels
  • Power: 24320 kW/HP
  • Speed: 23 knots (max)
  • Capacity: 114 passengers/ 156 x 12m freight units/2040 lane metres
  • Call Sign: MSLN2, ZCDD8
  • IMO Number: 9056595
  • Official Number: 723652
  • Port of Registry: Hull/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Hamilton/Bermuda 🇧🇲
  • Sister-Ship: Norbank (961)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the 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 in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


NORBANK (961) and NORBAY (962) are the first of a new generation of ‘super freighters’ built in the 1990’s and are an evolution of the design used for 5 freight ferries built by Finacantieri (in Italy) and Van der Giessen (the Netherlands) for Italy’s Viamare sea motorway project.

November 13th 1993: Launched.

February 1994: Delivered to North Sea Ferries, Hull, England.

February 28th 1994: Commenced service between Hull – Rotterdam.

© Andreas Wörteler © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

1996: Transferred to P&O North Sea Ferries.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Europoort, 01/05/1998)

December 2001: Transferred to Bermuda flag, home port of Hamilton.

© Leo Johannes

© Leo Johannes (Liverpool, 14/03/2001)

January 7th 2002: Commenced service for P&O Irish Ferries between Liverpool – Dublin.

© Gary Andrews

© Gary Andrews (Larne on 16/04/2006 for an underwater hull inspection)

May 24th 2009: After dry-docking and modifications to her stern ramp at Harland and Wolff, Belfast, sailed to Cairnryan for berthing trials.

May 24th 2009: Sailed to Curran Quay at Larne.

May 26th 2009: Took up service between Larne – Cairnryan (relief for EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER).

June 21st 2009: Sailed to Dublin and resumed service Dublin – Liverpool.

May 6th 2011: After refit at Birkenhead sailed to Larne to act as refot cover for EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY and EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER.

May 7th 2011: Commenced service Larne – Cairnryan.

June 5th 2011: Came off service and sailed to Troon for berthing trials during which she damaged a fender.

June 5th 2011: Sailed to Liverpool and resumed service Liverpool – Dublin.

© Pieter Inpyn (Dublin, 14/09/2012)

May 2013: Dry-docked at Harland and Wolff, Belfast.

May 9th 2013: Left Harland & Wolff and sailed directly to Larne.

May 11th 2013: Due to commence service Larne – Cairnryan as cover for EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER but she broke her moorings in high wind and the sailing was abandoned. Sailed later that day.

May 30th 2013: Came off service and sailed to Liverpool to resume service Liverpool – Dublin..

© Robert J Smith

© Robert J Smith (Liverpool, 28/10/2014)

April 13th 2015: Sailed from overhaul at Birkenhead to Cairnryan for berthing trials at the new Cairnryan linkspan.

April 14th 2015: Took up service Cairnryan – Larne as refit cover for EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER and EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY.

© Robbie Cox © Robbie Cox

© Robbie Cox (Dublin, 05/02/2018)

May 18th 2018: Resumed service Liverpool – Dublin.

February 23rd 2019: Left Dublin for refit in Gdansk


© (www.portalmorski.pl) (Gdansk March 2019)

March 23rd 2019: Returned to service Liverpool – Dublin.

© Ian Collard

© Ian Collard (Liverpool, 13/10/2019)

April 16th 2020: Detained in Liverpool:

“It followed a dispute with Peel Ports, who own and administer the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, demanded a cheque for nearly £600,000 of what they claimed were outstanding fees.

P&O disagreed with that figure, believed it was two thirds that amount, and asked for flexibility to pay the bill at a time when they are losing many tens of thousands pounds a day in revenue due to the global pandemic lockdown.

The shipping company also added that their key contact at The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company had been furloughed without their knowledge, interrupting their communications.”.

Liverpool Echo

April 20th 2020: Detention removed

© Robert Foy © Robert Foy © Robert Foy

© Robert Foy (Liverpool, 09/06/2020)

March 26th 2021: Discharged in Liverpool after arrival from Dublin and sailed  to enter dry dock at Cammell Lairds in Birkenhead.

September 23rd 2021: Replaced EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY (scheduled refit at Harland and Wolff, Belfast) on Larne – Cairnryan service.

© Ashley Hawkins 

© Ashley Hawkins (Larne, September 2021)(Both)

© Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 28/09/2021)

© Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Larne, 28/09/2021)

© Ashley Hawkins (Larne, 29/09/2021)

October 6th 2021: Came off service and departed Larne with a one-off commercial sailing to Liverpool.

October 7th 2021: Resumed service Liverpool – Dublin.

March 17th 2022: Instructed to come off service at Liverpool as crews had been made redundant.

April 21st 2022: Having passed MCA inspection resumed service Liverpool – Dublin.

July 6th 2023: Owing to technical reasons, came off service at Liverpool and sailed to Harland & Wolff, Belfast for repairs.

July 7th 2023: Arrived Belfast.

© Rob Wicks

© Rob Wicks (SRQ (Ship Repair Quay, Belfast, 07/07/2023)

July 17th 2023: Aborted departure from Belfast and returned to Harland and Wolff.

July 28th 2023: Left Belfast and sailed to Dublin.

July 29th 2023: Resumed service Dublin – Liverpool.

© Robert Foy © Robert Foy © Robert Foy

© Robert Foy (Birkenhead, 11/08/2023)

August 22nd 2023: P&O Ferries internal announcement of route closure Liverpool – Dublin where Peel Ports (Liverpool) stated current berth would no longer be available after the end of 2023.

October 16th 2023: Completed final sailing Dublin – Liverpool and laid up in Liverpool pending disposal.

November 2023: Chartered to Irish Ferries.

November 1st 2023: Sailed from Liverpool destination showing as Holyhead for berthing trials.

November 1st 2023: Arrived Dublin and expected to take up 6 month “time charter” to Irish Ferries for services Dublin – Holyhead/Cherbourg.

November 4th 2023: Inaugural commercial sailing Dublin – Holyhead.

© Robbie Cox © Robbie Cox © Robbie Cox

© Robbie Cox (Dublin, 04/11/2023)

© Trevor Kidd© Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Dublin, 12/11/2023)

December 16th 2023: Services Dublin – Cherbourg.

January 29th 2024: Sailed from Dublin.

January 30th 2024: Arrived at Pembroke Dock for berthing trials in anticipation of acting as refit cover for OSCAR WILDE.

January 30th 2024: Arrived Rosslare.

January 31st 2024: Inaugural sailing Rosslare – Pembroke.

February 25th 2024: Came off service at Rosslare.

February 26th 2024: Left Rosslare for refit at Falmouth.

February 27th 2024: Arrived Falmouth.

© Geoff Hoather

© Geoff Hoather (Falmouth, 05/03/2024)

March 23rd 2024: Left Falmouth for Rosslare.

© Roger Salter

© Roger Salter ( Falmouth, 23/03/2024)

March 24th 2024: Arrived Rosslare.

March 24th 2024: Took up service Rosslare – Pembroke Dock.

© Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd (Rosslare, 01/06/2024)

June 2nd 2024: Final daytime arrival Pembroke Dock before transferring to Holyhead (will be replaced by OSCAR WILDE)

© George Holland © George Holland

© George Holland (Pembroke, 02/06/2024)

June 3rd 2024: Came off service at Rosslare.

June 3rd 2024: Sailed to Holyhead to take up service Dublin – Holyhead/Cherbourg until she is replaced by  JAMES JOYCE.

July 7th 2024: Came off service at Holyhrad and sailed for Larne.

July 8th 2024: Arrived Larne.

© Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd                                                              © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd © Trevor Kidd

🆕 © Trevor Kidd (Larne, 07/07/2024)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Gary Andrews, Ian Collard, Robbie Cox, Fotoflite, Robert Foy, Ashley Hawkins, Geoff Hoather, George Holland, Pieter Inpyn, Leo Johannes, Roger Salter, Simonwp, Robert J Smith, Rob Wicks and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to Trevor Kidd (Good job!)

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


  1. Oh – these are really “spot on” sensational photos and information. The page looks clean, crisp, inviting and professional. Well done Nigel.

    1. Caroline,

      Thanks for your continued “glowing” comments.

      I just do the research.

      It is the site owner/technician, Ray Goodfellow, and the many contibutors who make this site possible.

      The praise should go to them

      Best wishes
      Nigel T

  2. Thank you very much for this page. I spent 4 years on that ship with Tony Cooperwhite and Andy Saville. Beautifull ship, pefectly mantained to a really high standard. Left in 2005 against my will and warms my heart to see that she keeps going strong and in the same route 15 years later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

From the Archives
Back to top button