P&O Irish Sea – Fleet

European Causeway/ European Highlander

Built 2000/2002
Mitsubishi, Shimonoeki, Japan
Size 20, 646gt/21,188
159.5M x 23.4
Capacity Passengers: 410
Berths: 331
Cars: 375
4 x Wärtsilä (31,860)
Route Larne-Cairnryan/Troon

P&O significantly upgraded the North Channel link between Larne and Cairnryan, originally started by the Transport Ferry Service, when replacing four vessels – the passenger and vehicle ferry Pride of Rathlin (1973, 12,50Bgt), sold to Indonesia, and three ro-ro freight units – with these Japan-built sisters. Their high service speed enabled crossing times to be reduced by half an hour to 100 minutes and up to 14 return services are provided daily. After delivering European Causeway at the beginning of 2000, Mitsubishi then completed the larger European Ambassador for the Dublin-Mostyn route before European Highlander arrived to complete the Larne line-up in May 2002.

On 7 June 2012, The European Hildander carried the Olympic Flame across the Irish Sea from Northern Ireland to Scotland.


Built 1993/1994
Van der Giessen-de Noord, Rotterdam, Holland
Size 17,464gt,
166.7m x 23.4M x 5.8m
Capacity Passengers 114
Berths 114
Lane Meters 2,040
4 x Sulzer (22,259kW),
22 kts Route
Route Dublin-Liverpool

Built for North Sea Ferries to provide a fast overnight freight link with Rotterdam Europoort from a Humber river berth at Hull, the Dutch-flagged Norbank opened the service in 1993 and was first to leave, moving to the FeIixtowe-Europoort freight route after the introduction of Pride of Rotterdam in May 2001. The British-flagged Norbay came on stream in 1994 staying until Pride of Hull’s debut towards the end of 2001. Both ships switched to the P&O Irish Sea Dublin -Liverpool freight service in January 2002 since when passengers travelling with cars have been carried at special fares inclusive of meals and with cabin accommodation for night crossings. Both route and vessels are included in the sale to Stena Line.