In a major boost for travel on the North Sea, P&O Ferries announced on 28 November 2016 that it will spend £8.5 million on upgrading the two ships on its Hull-Zeebrugge route in a move which guarantees the future of the combined tourist and freight service into the next decade.
Pride of York and Pride of Bruges – two 32,000-ton sister vessels which can carry up to 880 passengers on their overnight sailings to and from the continent – will benefit from the major investment in their physical infrastructure and passenger areas. The objective is to provide first class eating, drinking and shopping areas for freight customers and tourist passengers to enjoy during the 12 hour voyage.
Janette Bell, Chief Commercial Officer at P&O Ferries, said: “This year we have introduced weekend mini-cruises to the historic Belgian city of Bruges for customers on our Hull-Zeebrugge route. In my opinion, there is no more enjoyable or relaxing way of travelling between Britain and Europe than on our ships.”
“This major investment – carried out at the Remontowa shipyard in Poland – will take both vessels up to the next level in terms of outstanding customer service. In the cabins, we will upgrade the lighting, bedding and en-suite bathrooms so that our passengers have the most comfortable night’s sleep possible.”
“We will be adding a wide variety of international dishes to our menus. Our Kitchen dining area, which hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet, will be given an informal, family friendly feel. And our Brasserie will be refurbished to provide a premium dining experience at affordable prices.”
“Our on-board shops stock alcohol, confectionery, toys and fragrances at prices which are up to 50 per cent less than the high street and these retail areas will be revamped so that shoppers can browse and enjoy a first class shopping experience.”
P&O Ferries is a major pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. The company operates 20 vessels which carry more than 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.
Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland and Romania. A P&O Ferrymasters-owned rail terminal in the northern Romanian city of Oradea, which will facilitate the onward movement of goods to Britain from the Silk Road, became operational earlier this year.