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P&O signs £282m deal for new super ferries

An artist's impression of the new P&O ferry
An artist's impression of the new P&O ferry

A multi-million pound deal for two new ships has been signed between P&O Ferries and Finish shipyard Aker.

The £282m contract is for the two largest ferries ever to be constructed for the Dover-Calais route.

The first of these ships will enter service in December, 2010, and the second in September, 2011, replacing the Pride of Dover and the Pride of Calais.

They will be built in Rauma, Finland.

The company has taken options on a further two vessels of the same design.

At 49,000 gross tonnes and 210 metres in length, the two ferries will have space for more than 180 freight vehicles, more than doubling the freight carrying capacity of the ships they are replacing, whilst additionally providing a third vehicle deck for up to 195 tourist vehicles.

They will be capable of carrying up to 2,000 passengers.

The ships will be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Robert Woods, chairman of P&O Ferries, said: "This contract reflects our Dubai shareholder's strong belief in P&O Ferries and its support of our determination to grow our business over the long term."

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