P&O Ferries takes delivery of the first of 2 new “fusion class” ferries for its Dover-Calais route

   March 2, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Dover-based ferry company P&O Ferries took delivery of the first of 2 new “fusion class” ships for its Dover (England UK)-Calais (France) route on February 28th. 

P&O Pioneer, built by Guangzhou Shipyard International in China, is expected to leave for the United Kingdom soon.  

The new ferry is designed to accommodate ~1,500 passengers and has 10,000+ square metres (107,640 square feet) of passenger space. A standout feature is the large glass areas on either side of the vessel. These span 2 full decks, flooding the guest spaces with natural light. P&O Pioneer ferry is scheduled to enter service on the Calais (France) service ahead of the summer season.

P&O Pioneer is the largest double-ended ferry in the world and carries one of the biggest battery installations ever fitted to a ship. The ship has been designed without the need to turn around in port, thus saving time/fuel, which is a first for cross-channel service.

P&O Ferries revealed it intended that P&O Pioneer would operate entirely on battery power while manoeuvring in port. The batteries, with a capacity of up to 8.8MW hours, will be recharged by the ferry’s 4 Wartsila diesel engines during the passage. P&O estimated that in service Pioneer would use 40% less fuel than its existing cross-channel ferries.  

Once charging facilities become available in Dover/Calais, the ferry (designed to be converted to plug-in all battery operation) would eliminate the need for the 4 main engines, which would be replaced with more battery packs, and make the ship zero-emission.

Another first for an English channel ferry is that propulsion will be provided by 4 ABB-supplied electrically powered azipods giving unrivalled manoeuvrability and removing the need for bow/stern thrusters and rudders as each of the pods can be independently rotated 360 degrees.

Pioneer will also be the first Dover-Calais ship to be fitted with 2 pairs of stabiliser fins, with a different pair deployed depending on the direction.

PO Pioneer ferry

Later in 2023, P&O Ferries is due to take delivery of P&O Pioneer’s sistership, P&O Liberte. The pair represents an investment of EUR 260 million by the Dubai-owned/Dover-based company and is expected to replace Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Kent.

Your personal data will be processed and information from your device (cookies, unique identifiers, and other device data) may be stored by, accessed by and shared with third party vendors, or used specifically by this site or app. Some vendors may process your personal data on the basis of legitimate interest, which you can object to by managing your options below. Look for a link at the bottom of this page or in our privacy policy where you can withdraw consent.