MS Spirit of Britain berthed in the Eastern Docks at Night, Dover Harbour, Kent, UK

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Comments (7)

John Latter on January 21, 2011

The MS Spirit of Britain super-ferry arrived in Dover Harbour from her shipbuilders in Finland just after 11 am on Sunday, 9th of January, 2011. Six photos of the event have been uploaded and are linked to below..

The above view of the super-ferry, from a vantage point near the Victorian Coastguard Cottages at Broadlees Bottom on the White Cliffs of Dover, was taken 11 days after later on the morning of Thursday, 20th of January, with the ship due to start service on the Dover to Calais route the following day.

The Spirit of Britain is shown berthed at Ferry Terminal 6 (FT6) in the Eastern Docks with the Southern Breakwater towards top-right and the Eastern Arm pier just above the top left-hand corner of the "Dover 6" sign. The Eastern Entrance to Dover Harbour from the English Channel lies between the two.

If you're crossing the channel this year and specifically want to travel on the new ferry then check out the 2011 Timetable for the Spirit of Britain.

I hope you like this photo: after I got home it took ages for my toes to thaw out and I would like to think the effort was worthwhile! :)

Photos taken on the 9th of January:

1) Dover Tugs welcoming the MS Spirit of Britain

2) Dover Tugs escorting the MS Spirit of Britain

3) MS Spirit of Britain and a Water Cannon Salute

4) MS Spirit of Britain before the White Cliffs of Dover

5) MS Spirit of Britain near the White Cliffs of Dover

6) MS Spirit of Britain and the White Cliffs of Dover

Standard information

Abridged extract from a P&O Ferries blog (1):

P and O Ferries took delivery of its new 180 million euro ship Spirit of Britain on the 5th of January after a handover ceremony at the STX Europe shipyard in Rauma, Finland.

The ship then followed a route initially cleared by icebreakers in the Baltic Sea.

The ship will now undergo final preparations for entry into service on the cross-channel Dover to Calais route from the 21st of January.

At 49,000 gross registered tonnes and 213 metres in length, Spirit of Britain is by far the largest ferry ever designed for service on the Dover Strait. The new ship is the first of a pair coming into service for P&O Ferries between Dover and Calais this year, with sister ship Spirit of France to follow in September. Each has capacity for up to 2,000 passengers and vehicle deck space for a line of traffic almost four kilometres long.

The MS Spirit of Britain, which is replacing the MS Pride of Dover, was originally going to be called the Olympic Spirit. Then in may, 2010, BBC News reported (2):

Two new ferries for the Dover-Calais route have been re-titled to avoid clashes over Olympic naming rights. Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes is to name one of the new P&O ferries, which was to have been called Olympic Spirit, next year. The vessel will now be called Spirit of Britain. Its sister ship, originally known as Olympic Pride, will now be named Spirit of France.

Ship's Details (3):

Name: Spirit of Britain

Operator: P and O Ferries

Port of registry: Dover, United Kingdom

Route: Dover-Calais

Builder: STX Europe, Rauma, Finland

Yard number: 1367

Launched: 8 June 2010

Status: Completed

General characteristics (3) (4):

Tonnage: 49,000 tonnes

Length: 213 m (698.8 ft)

Beam: 31.4 m (103.0 ft)

Draft: 6.5 m (21.3 ft)

Installed power: 4 x MAN 7L 48/60 Diesels

Propulsion: 2 x controllable pitch propellers

3 x Bow thrusters

Speed: 22 kn (41 km/h)

Capacity: 2,000 passengers, 650 vehicles

Call Sign: 2DXD4

IMO: 9524231

MMSI: 235082716

"P and O", or "P&O", is derived from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

Click to see all Ferry and Tug photos (including the Pride of Canterbury; related tags: Boats, Cruise Ships, Ships, Workboats).

(1) P&O Ferries New Ships Blog

(2) Change of names for new ferries to avoid Olympics clash

(3) Wikipedia entry for MS Spirit of Britain

(4) Marinetraffic entry for MS Spirit of Britain

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on March 15, 2011

The Night Panorama of the Ferry Port and Eastern Docks of Dover Harbour photo was also taken at this time.

Click to see all Dover at Night photos.

John Latter on December 30, 2012

When in range of AIS, the vessel's current position is shown at:

MS Spirit of Britain Ferry

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base stations. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 21, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2011/01/20 07:17:13
    • Exposure: 10.000s
    • Focal Length: 0.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/22.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash