Early May brought a return to her original LD Lines route between Le Havre and Portsmouth for Norman Spirit after a year away on the now discontinued co-operation with TransEuropa Ferries between Ramsgate and Ostend. Completed in 1991 as the RMT flagship Prins Filip, Norman Spirit was sent to Poland for an extended refit at Remontowa which included repainting with a new LD Lines livery, before replacing Côte D’Albâtre which was laid up in Le Havre while crew was transferred between the two ships.

Engine problems with sistership Seven Sisters soon caused Côte D’Albâtre’s slumbers to be disturbed for a spell from late May deputising on the Newhaven-Dieppe service. Now registered in Le Havre, Norman Spirit makes a teatime departure to Portsmouth, returning overnight, and from 26 May to 5 September 5 chartered 112m Incat Norman Arrow offers a high-speed trip.

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