Britannia Still Rules The Waves

P&O’s Newest Ferry the Spirit of Britain

The largest ever ferry to operate between Calais and Dover recently took its maiden voyage. Here we pay homage to this £150 million, 49,000 tonne, 700ft long vessel.


The Spirit of Britain operates in Dover, England, as a ferry boat crossing the English Channel from England to France. It is the name given to a ferry boat that was built by P & O Ferries of a ferry boat that is used to cross the English Channel to France. Its sister ship is called The Spirit of France. Both The MS Spirit of Britain and The MS Spirit of France are owned and managed by the Dubai owned and operated P & O Ferries for the Dover and Calais crossing. Both ships are built identically. The MS Spirit of Britain entered Dover on January 9, 2011. The ferry is one of the largest of its kind in the world and can carry as many as 2000 passengers, all at the same crossing. As seen in photographs, it looks more like a cruise ship than a ferry. The MSS Spirit of Britain was launched on June 8, 2010 and was put into service on June of 2011.

Facts & Figures

  • The Spirit of Britain has a shopping centre, swimming facilities, restaurants, Internet and, of course, a private lounge.
  • The crossing takes 90 minutes and passengers can bring their cars on the ship.
  • The Spirit of Britain is the 6th channel crossing ferry owned by P & O all transporting Channel crossing passengers.
  • The Spirit of Britain is a popular ferry operating this quick sea crossing.

The Channel Crossing added a new transportation path when the English Channel tunnels was built in 1994. However, most passengers prefer the ferries to the tunnel. There are two other ship operators besides P&O who transport passengers from England to France. All 6 ferries owned by P&O were built by the shipbuilding company STX Europe, Bauma, Finland Yard No. 136 in Finland.

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