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1
Discussion Board / P&O Liverpool Photos
« on: June 26, 2017, 12:05:07 am »
Hi all. The following photos were taken by myself on Thursday 22nd June. Show the 9.30pm departure of Norbay. The latter, looking immaculate following a refit and quite a generous repaint, was jam packed with freight. Excellent loads. Likewise the European Endeavour was packed full of freight, left the berth on time and arrived in Dublin on time.

Crossing was smooth, food was very good - Fish and Chips were very good - portion was generous, side serving of salad was good. Likewise the breakfast was pretty much spot on. I couldn't fault it. Starter - Prunes. Full English / Irish - rashers, egg, hash-browns, tomato and side serving of toast (with Flora!). Orange juice was the only let down. Crew were very good - got some extra pillows of barman. As for interior - well, same as always. Like the rest of the fleet, P&O have plastered the lobbies with the new P&O logo and house flag on a very loud background colour.

From talking with a few staff members, both in the port and on-board, all seem to feel the route has outgrown Norbank, Norbay and European Endeavour. Looking at the loads, Dublin to Liverpool could do with much larger tonnage. A batch of Chinese or Korean built passenger freighters - similar to the Stena new-builds heading to Belfast, would be very handy - I imagine two of vessels from a potential batch, with higher passenger capacity, could also replace Pride of Bruges and Pride of York.

The existing ships are well maintained and have good reliability records (certainly give Ulysses a run for its money!), but given the demand P&O ought to be capitalizing on the route's success. I do wonder, given the successful operation of European Seaway at Larne, could one of her sisters, with mezzanine decks removed allowing vehicle deck height similar to Seaway, operate in lieu of European Causeway, the latter, with an additional cabins, could operate on Dublin to Liverpool, in addition to Norbank, Norbay, and European Endeavour?

There is the option, I imagine of installing a stern and internal ramp on European Seaway, in a similar fashion to the late Sherbatiskiy (Pride of Free Enterprise / Pride of Bruges), to allow her to operate Dublin to Liverpool.

2
The News Board / New Ships for P&O
« on: May 29, 2016, 11:47:20 pm »
Helen Deeble indicates the company are planning new ships, with the project beginning later this year. 2020 appears to be the target for delivery, however this may be brought forward by a year or two.

Deeble did not hint where the vessels will be constructed, however China or South Korea look real possibilities. This would mark a change from the company's tradition of choosing high-end European yards - eg STX Aker, Lloyd Werft, Fincantieri etc. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/29/po-boss-gets-ferry-business-ship-shape-for-growth/

3
The News Board / 'New Look' European Endeavour
« on: May 13, 2016, 09:06:05 pm »
As most will know the European Endeavour was in for a refit at Birkenhead recently, and Scott Mackey has took some nice photos.

Full repaint by the looks of things, and new P&O livery, typeset, and house flag.

Looks very smart - and photos are excellent.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottmackey/albums/72157632007090576

 

4
Discussion Board / BBC - Ferry Strip Down
« on: February 02, 2016, 09:10:41 pm »
The BBC cover the major overhaul of P&O's Pride of Bruges (Hull - Zeebrugge) at A&P Tyne.

Gives a look at the technical side of modern super-ferries, and the maintenance challenges.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emniBbLBzOc

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Cheaper fuel helps P&O Ferries steer its way to £13m profits, but trading conditions remain 'competitive'

By Sarah Bridge for The Mail on Sunday 

Published: 22:01 GMT, 21 November 2015  | Updated: 22:01 GMT, 21 November 2015 

Passenger and freight shipping operator P&O Ferries jumped back into the black last year as cost-savings and cheaper fuel led to higher profit margins.

Earlier this year in a boost to P&O’s passenger services, rival ferry operator MyFerryLink, owned by Eurotunnel, was ordered by the Competition and Markets Authority to stop running cross-Channel ferries. However, the decision is currently under appeal.

P&O Ferries, which runs ships between the UK, Ireland and the Continent as well as transport across Europe in its Ferrymasters logistics division, recorded sales of £942.5million in the year to December 31, 2014, down slightly on £966.9million the previous year.
 
Challenges ahead: Company directors at the Dubai World Corporation, which owns P&O Ferries, said that trading conditions remained 'extremely competitive', with key issues being low freight rates and overcapacity

However, the company, which is ultimately owned by Dubai World Corporation, turned a previous £10.2million pre-tax loss into a £13 million profit, aided by an internal refinancing, and said that economic conditions in 2015 were improving further.

Company directors said: ‘Trading conditions remain extremely competitive, with the ongoing challenges of overcapacity on key routes and low freight rates continuing to constrain growth and profitability'.

The company, which was founded in the 1960s and is now the largest operator of cross-Channel services, employs 3,700 workers. The highest-paid director – understood to be chief executive Helen Deeble – was paid £435,000 last year.


Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3328582/Cheaper-fuel-helps-P-O-Ferries-steer-way-13m-profits-trading-conditions-remain-competitive.html#ixzz3tOqloGTH
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

7
Hi guys, as the title suggests I had the pleasure of travelling on P&O's, Norbank, and the European Endeavour. I hope this review gives a little insight into the experience.

Norbank - 24/07/2015 - 9:30am

Built in 1993 at yard of Van der Giessen De Noord, near Rotterdam in The Netherlands, Norbank entered service for North Sea Ferries, as a dedicated freighter running beside her sister, Norbay (1994), and the two passenger vessels, Norsun (Pride of Bruges) and Norsea (Pride of York). In 2001 with the arrival of the impressive Pride of Rotterdam and Pride of Hull, Norbank and Norbay were no longer required, and were dispatched to P&O Irish Sea in 2002. Over the past 13 years very little has changed on these tough workhorses.

On arrival at P&O's Dublin terminal (8:30), check-in agents were very friendly and were all Irish (which is always nice!), and were very smartly dressed. According to the check-in agent there were 45 cars booked on the crossing, as well as a motor home, and a van destined for the main deck. Within 10 minutes we were ushered to the Norbank sitting on the river berth, looking smart after a recent paint job, and supporting the new P&O house flag. The cars were driven up the ramp and the Filipino crew worked hard to make them all fit, and manage to get a good few trailers on as well. Once parked, we toddled up the narrow stairs (quite compact) stairs (just forward of the funnel), and handed are boarding card into a busy reception, and headed for the lounge. Both Norbank and Norbay have two small lounges, located port and starboard.

Both lounges were quite full, and the run on restaurant was well in full swing, and the queue was trailing round to the Bar. The selection of food was good. Bacon, sausages, nice fried eggs (not the artificial rubber variety), hash browns, plumed tomatoes, and beans. Non-cholesterol educing options were also available, namely prunes, grapefruit, and a variety of serial. Drinks were all pretty much standard, orange juice, water, and tea/coffee/latte. The fry up was good, the bacon was not over done, and not underdone, and actually looked like if a bit of thought went into cooking it. Prunes were grand as well. Orange was a bit weak though. However as the food is included in the fare I certainly couldn't complain.

Crossing itself was very, very smooth. So smooth in fact P&O and the Irish Coast Guard conducted trial airlifts. The first from the stern, port side, and the latter from the top deck. (I took a good quality video, remarkably on the phone and will try and post it). Despite being 22 years old, Norbank, still looked very smart. The crew were very considerate, I was doing a bit of work in the restaurant, and a crew member asked if I minded him hovering! The whole ship was A1 in all fairness, no rust or dirt, even the Gents was spotless! The brass on The Bar was polished, and prices weren't extortionist like many other routes and operators. Cabins as well were pretty decent.

The evening meal was the best part of the crossing. I was very impressed. The selection was good. I opted for Fish, Mixed Vegetables, and a side portion of chips. The best part was you could help yourself rather than it being weighed out to you. Along with this I had a very nice salad with lots of olives, and for desert a very large slice of sponge cake (the slices were very generous). After the meal the Filipino crew collected the plates, dishes ect, and were very well presented, efficient, and above all friendly and courteous. I got talking to one of the guys and he mentioned he worked previously for P&O Cruises, and so did much of the Filipino crew, hence the quality of the food.

Approach to Liverpool was around 4:00, and we were in the Mersey by about 4:15, entering the lock about 4:20. The lock took about 25 - 30 minutes. As we were going through the lock, I chatted with the purser on Guest Services, about the retirement of the Express, something she said had been on the cards for a good while, and many of her colleagues were surprised she lasted so long on the route given her operational costs. She was a Scottish lady, and was covering for her Dutch counterpart. Her usual ship was Pride of Bruges, which she told me P&O intend to keep till 2019, making her 32 years old! She also mentioned the 'Bruges' and 'York' were going to be receiving a bit of work shortly to keep them going longer (A Brittany Ferries style scrubber?? - Her funnel is big enough!).

Disembarkation was prompt, and we were on our way.


European Endeavour 29/07/2015 - 03:00 am

European Endeavour joined P&O Ferries in 2007, operating a few Dublin to Liverpool runs, and then moving to Dover - Calais running alongside European Seaway. In 2011 P&O moved the European Endeavour to Dublin - Liverpool replacing Norcape, which went for lay-up and then worked Larne - Troon for a time, before being beached in Turkey.

We arrived at P&O's Liverpool Terminal, which is fairly decrepit, and certainly isn't in Hull's league, though the check-in agents were very friendly. According to the check in agent, there were 75 cars on the crossing, and according to guest services, there was 160 passengers onboard.

The main lounge on Deck 7 was clean, and the seats were large and supportive. The Bar was open, and reception offered pillows and blankets for passengers who did not choose to take a cabin. The restaurant was open for a complimentary meal, pretty much the usual selection, gamon, chips, potatoes, carrots, and there was a selection of cheese and salad as a starter, and for the lighter option, quasons. Tea, coffee, water and orange juice was also provided. At around 2:55, an Irish voice came on the PA, and it was indeed Captain Meehan, welcoming the passengers, indicating the sea state was moderate, and wishing them a enjoyable crossing. This was followed by a safety announcement, a standard Dover one, though adapted to include a demonstration of the alarm system, something that makes many jump!

The cabin was clean, and pretty standard. All the decks were well maintained. The upper lounge was busy, with alot of people untilising the reclining seats, that looked far from comfortable.

Day break was an impressive sight from the dull lounge. As we neared the Irish coast, the crew was busy preparing breakfast, and the run on the restaurant commenced. A long line formed, that didnt really subside for the 45 minutes that I was in the restaurant. Anyway on to the food. The selection was good enough. Yogurt, Grapefruit, and Prunes were available as starters, accompanied by the normal fry up, Bacon, Sausage, Tomatos, Mushrooms, Hash-browns, and Fried Eggs. The food was surprisingly pretty decent (I have travelled on European Endeavour, and the food was just 'ok'), however I do think the food was better on Norbank.

Arrival was fairly prompt in Dublin, nothing out of the ordinary, but the 160 people became apparant, as nearly everyone was waiting in the two lounges. P&O have taken Stena's lead, opting to use a pre-recorded anouncement calling car drivers on Deck 5, to rejoin there vehicles. Disembarcation took about 10 minutes from the time we got back to the car, but the whole process of 'waiting' in the louge took about 30 minutes. Alot of people have raised this as the only problem they encountered while experiencing the European Endeavour.

All in all both crossings with P&O were pretty good. The crew was helpfull and corteous on both ships, but for me the crew on the Norbank were that tad bit better. The crossing was reasonably priced, and offered very good value for money. Where the route will be in 10 years time will be interesting. Norbank and Norbay, though very good ships are a little too small for the route, and lacking in capacity, in terms of freight and passenger accommodation. In simple terms, like on Hull to Rotterdam, the route has outgrown them. 

I have a strong feeling the route will be recieving a larger pair of vessels in the not too distant future. Over the past six years the passenger numbers have increased. 160 passengers, is 50 over Norbank's cert! A vessel more along the lines of M.V. Europalink, or Stena Transit & Transporter would be a good replacement, i.e. high freight capacity (around 3500 lanemeters, and passenger cert for about 600). I have even heard rumors that P&O were considering moving to the 12 Quays. How accurate this is i'm not sure, but the passneger numbers are growing, and the current configeration of the Gladstone Dock (locking through), means there are limitations on the size of vessels P&O can introduce.

8
Discovered this on Youtube, quite old and rare. Naming Ceremony of P&O's Pride of Rotterdam in 2001, featuring then managing director of P&O North Sea, Chairman of P&O Group, and HRH Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an1h7Z4rUo0

- Nice Find worth a watch, one wonders will she ever serve for another operator or on another route?


Launch of Norbank (1993), at Van der Giessen de Noord.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3xEw2lJBis

9
The News Board / P&O Pride of Hull - Fire
« on: August 23, 2014, 06:23:32 pm »
It's been reported a minor fire started on Pride of Hull, while the vessel was in Rotterdam Europoort. No more info as yet. I expect the fire will be contained.

I expect this evenings sailing has been cancelled. 

10
The News Board / Any idea about development at Berth 52?
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:09:29 am »
Hey guys. I have discovered that there appears to be a big development on Alexandra Basin, and involves moving of P&O's operations. Can anyone shed any light?

11
Discussion Board / Nice video of loading ect of European Endeavour
« on: April 22, 2014, 01:54:54 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeO0csAo2yU

Pretty good video I thought.  :)

12
Discussion Board / Passenger jumps from P&O Ferries
« on: December 28, 2013, 04:14:57 pm »
Hi folks, I'm new here, and a big fan of P&O Ferries, much of there former glory as P&O North Sea Ferries, European Ferries, Pandoro ect.

But anyway, I have learnt a passenger, a young woman, jumped from the Spirit of Britain, when leaving Calais.

To quote Bernard Barron, the lifeboat chief at Calais, "...the speed of the rescue by the P&O crew likely saved the woman’s life... We should congratulate the crew of the Spirit of Britain for the way they reacted. It was hugely impressive. Without them, she might not be alive" (Withnall, 2013). - Good work P&O!

I thought this was interesting as in an article by an American maritime lawyer, about a month ago, he hinted P&O crews were not good at reacting to situations, and the company showed little regard for passenger safety. Hmmm.... very debatable. 

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