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HSC Seacat France Catamaran, Prince of Wales Pier, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (11)

John Latter on March 24, 2007

A cross-channel Seacat berthed against the Prince of Wales Pier in Dover Harbour on the 21st of July, 2004.

The Breakwater Pier can be seen on the horizon to the left and the Admiralty Pier to the right. The gap between is known as the Western Entrance.

Click here for a satellite view of the harbour.

Snipe on April 10, 2007

What a neat looking ship...

John Latter on May 16, 2007

It is isn't it?

The Seacat took the place of the cross-channel hovercrafts but now its out of service too - guess the Channel Tunnel didn't help!

Another view of the same Seacat

John Latter on May 17, 2007

Standard Info

1) Background

An article in the Illustrated London News of July 22,1893, titled, "The new Harbour works at Dover", describes the proposals for constructing the Prince of Wales Pier, extending the Admiralty Pier, and 'moving' the Granville Clock Tower:

"The scheme of the Dover Harbour Board, for the accommodation of commercial shipping east of the Admiralty Pier, is being carried into execution by Messrs. Coode, Son, and Matthews, engineers, successors to the late Sir John Coode, by whom the works were designed. There will be a new pier, starting from an open iron viaduct. 1260 ft. long, forming an agreeable marine promenade, which will be approached from the esplanade near the Granville Clock-tower. This involves the removal and rebuilding of the clock-tower. The solid pier, at the end of the iron viaduct, will be of concrete blocks faced with granite, equal in height to the Admiralty Pier, and 1500 ft. in length; its direction at first will be south-easterly, but its outer portion will curve to the south-south-west, approaching the end of the Admiralty Pier, to which an extension of 580 ft. will be added."

From "The History of Dover Harbour" by Alec Hasenson (also the source for Dover Port):

"The works marking the beginning of the Harbour Board's new east pier were given a royal inauguration on Thursday, July 20th, 1893, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) laying the first stone of the intended pier in high wind and driving rain. the start of the ceremony two large sealed bottles containing some newspapers and various coins of the realm were placed in the foundations of the approach road...

...That done, an ornate silver trowel was handed to the Prince who solemnly adjusted the foundation bed, after which the stone itself, consisting of Cornish granite, was placed on top. Two or three taps with an ivory mallet and the stone was declared well and truly laid. The east pier now became known as the Prince of Wales Pier."

"The first steamer berthed alongside the Prince of Wales Pier in July, 1902. Others followed at irregular intervals, but not until 1904 was the pier ready to play its full part in Dover in providing for ocean liners and their passengers."

An area between the Prince of Wales Pier and the Admiralty Pier has subsequently been reclaimed, first for the use of cross-channel hovercraft, and then for the Seacat catamaran.

2) Lighthouse Info (from Lighthouse Depot Online)

Tower Height: 46 Height of Focal Plane: 46 Characteristic and Range: Very quick flashing green. Description of Tower: White conical tower. This light is operational Date Established: 1902 Date Present Tower Built: 1902 Current Use: Active aid to navigation. Open To Public? Grounds only.

Lighthouse Photo

3) Fishing

From World Sea Fishing (abridged):

"This pier produces throughout the full flood and ebb tide, though many anglers prefer to fish from high water down to low. The inshore end is favoured in rougher weather and coloured water. Towards the café anglers aim their casts towards the breakwater for the best results, with the Seacat gate mark good for the pollack and flounders.

A good tip when fishing here is to vary your casts and try and locate the deeper gullies sucked out by the dredger as these tend to hold the bulk of the bottom fish.

Although a safe venue in rough seas and high winds the pier can be an uncomfortable place to be."

Dover Sea Angling Association's Prince of Wales Pier Discussion Forum.

4) Other Links

The Dover - Port, Piers and Shipping webpage

"This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the port of Dover, its piers and ships."

"The Prince of Wales Pier was opened in 1902. This had a stone outer end connecting to land by a cast iron section. Liners of Norddeutsche Lloyd and the Hamburg America Line called here for a short period. This was before the completion of the Admiralty Breakwaters and the pier proved to be too exposed for the large liners in bad weather. The cast iron section was boxed in with concrete when the Western Docks Hoverport was built in 1978."

Hoverline International

Photos of the 'Prince of Wales' hovercraft from The Hovercraft Museum

John Latter on September 7, 2009

LD Lines' the "Norman Arrow", the world’s largest diesel-powered catamaran and the first Incat 112 metre craft to operate in Europe, is now based in Dover: see The Norman Arrow entering Dover Harbour via the Western Entrance.

John Latter / Jorolat

My Facebook | My 'Videos of Dover' YouTube | | Dover Blog

John Latter on July 12, 2010

Click to see a new close-up of the Prince of Wales Pier Light.

John Latter on November 30, 2010

Extract from this photo's entry on

"The Seacat France (2002-2005) was renamed Emeraude France later in 2005; previously known as the Seacat Tasmania (1990-1993), then Seacat Calais (1993), Atlantic II (1993-2000), and Croazia Jet (2000-2002).

The Seacat France's usual berthing position was on the other side of the Prince of Wales Pier (Western Docks)."


IMO: 8903703

MMSI: 314101000

Callsign: 8POW

Flag: Barbados

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 24, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2004/07/21 14:36:30
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash