P&O Ferries has taken delivery of its second new €180 million ship, Spirit of France, during a handover ceremony at the STX Europe shipyard in Rauma, Finland.
Spirit of France then began its 1,400 mile voyage to Dover under the command of Captain Steve Johnson, Senior Master.
The estimated time of arrival at Dover is 11:00 on Saturday January 28th.
Final preparations will then be made for the new ship to take up service on the Dover – Calais route by mid February.
At more than 47,000 gross tons and 213 metres in length, Spirit of France, and sister ship Spirit of Britain which began service last year, are the largest ferries ever built for the Dover Strait.
The combined cost of €360 million is the largest investment ever made by P&O Ferries.
Helen Deeble, chief executive of P&O Ferries, said: “This investment gives us the finest cross-Channel ferries ever commissioned for the Dover Strait and is a bold statement of our determination to continue to raise the bar in terms of the quality and comfort of ferry travel.
“I look forward to welcoming customers on board the first sailing of Spirit of France in due course.”