P&O’s second new vessel for the Dover-Calais service, Spirit of France, was floated out of the construction dock at the STX Europe shipyard in Rauma, Finland on 18 February, with P&O officials, including chief executive Helen Deeble and the ship’s senior master Captain Steve Johnson, braving sub-zero conditions to see the flooding of the dry dock.

Spirit of France is due to be delivered in September to join identical sistership Spirit of Britain (47,592gt), which entered service on 21 January and was formally named at a ceremonyin Dover on 24 March by Olympic gold medal-winning athlete Dame Kelly Holmes.

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