Aker Yards and P&O Ferries have signed a letter of intent for building two large car-passenger ferries. The total contract price for both vessels would be approximately EUR 360 million. The vessels, scheduled for delivery in 2010 and 2011 respectively, would be of crucial importance for the Finnish maritime industries.

The intention is to build the vessels in Aker Yards, Rauma, where they would create some 1,800 manyears of work.

Becoming the largest ferry in the English Channel means a 49,000 GT vessel with the length of 210 metres, taking 1,500 passengers and having 2,700 lane metres of vehicle space.

"We are glad to have P&O Ferries as our customer. The company is an esteemed operator on the Englsih Channel vehicle and passenger traffic". says Juha Heikinheimo, President of Aker Yards, Cruise & Ferries. "When the contract is finalised, it will be of crucial importance for the whole Finnish maritime cluster", he continues.

P&O Ferries is a new customer to Aker Yards, but they are operating four vessels built by the company, so they have already solid experience of our products.

Aker Yards, Cruise & Ferries, consisting of three yards in Finland and two in France, has today a total of 13 passenger vessels in the orderbook, 6 of which are ferries.

As one of the world's two largest cruise ship builders and the leading ferry builder, the company has for years set new standards in vessel design, size, and comfort, both in the cruise industry and the ferry transportation market.