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P&O Ferries’ new £150 million ship Spirit of Britain is the largest and most revolutionary ferry ever seen on the Dover Strait.
With capacity for up to 2,000 passengers, and three separate vehicle decks capable of carrying nearly four kilometres of traffic parked end to end, this leviathan of the seas opens a new era in cross-Channel travel for the 21st Century.
Her revolutionary design, with a unique hull form that reduces drag in shallow Channel waters and enhances fuel economy, means P&O Ferries will be able to carry twice the payload of today’s ferries for the same running costs, both boosting the company’s environmental credentials and helping to keep ticket prices low.
Passengers will experience unparalleled levels of comfort and convenience on board the largest ever cross-Channel ferry that is so long and wide in comparison to every other Dover ferry that it requires a unique offset docking arrangement in the ports of Dover and Calais just to be able to tie up.
Huge floor-to-ceiling picture windows with stained glass enhance the luxurious ambience on board and no expense has been spared in ensuring the quality of all the fixtures and fittings in the bars, restaurants and superb lounges.
Motorists access the ship via their own private car deck which has special lanes for those selecting priority loading. There are also reserved spaces for customers simply parking on the ship in order to shop on board in the extensive airport-style retail outlets during a return Channel cruise.
For those wanting a bit more luxury and style, the ship’s exclusive Club Lounge comes complete with its own private sheltered outside deck equipped with cruise-style teak furniture.
There is a choice of dining on board in either The Brasserie waiter service restaurant, with its wide range of traditional British signature dishes, or the self-service Food Court which offers a massive choice of food to go and a wide range of cooked meals, salads and desserts catering for British, Continental and Oriental tastes.
The youngest passengers get an entertainments area in the Family Lounge equipped with tables and chairs for toddlers and small children while teenagers get their own sound-proofed video arcade.
The giant new ferry sails for Calais five times per 24 hours and standard return ticket prices start at £39 each way for a car and up to nine passengers travelling throughout 2011.
Helen Deeble, chief executive of P&O Ferries, said: “We are delighted to welcome this fantastic new ship to Dover ready to start service later this month. She offers a leap forward in terms of her size and the quality of the build and I’m confident that she’ll provide a fantastic experience for all of the customers who will travel on her in the years to come.”
Spirit of Britain, officially named by Dame Kelly Holmes, will be joined on the Dover-Calais service by a sistership, Spirit of France, in September.