On Tuesday 8 June 2010 the launching of the car-passenger ferry NB 1367 “Spirit of Britain”, built for P&O Ferries by STX Europe’s Rauma shipyard, took place.
At the same time as the launching of the “Spirit of Britain”, preparations for the keel laying of the ship's sister vessel NB 1368 “Spirit of France” began by carrying out the traditional lucky coins ceremony. The lucky coins ceremony is conducted by lowering the vessel’s first building block on to the top of the keel-block which has the lucky coins on top of it. The lucky coins ceremony is believed to bring fortune to the ship, and it also symbolises the working cooperation between the customer and the shipyard. Representatives of P&O Ferries, the classification society Lloyd's Register, flag authority Maritime & Coastguard Agency and STX Europe, as well as a number of shipyard and shipping company guests were on site to witness the event.
Construction activities on the newly launched ship, “Spirit of Britain”, will continue at high speed. Test runs are expected to take place in early August 2010 and the ship's sea trial is expected to take place mid October 2010. The ship will be delivered to the customer in December 2010.
When the vessel is completed, the “Spirit of Britain” will be the biggest ferry operating on the English Channel. The 49 000 gt vessel is 213 meters long with a capacity of 3746 lane meters (lm) for trailers, cars and other cargo. In addition to space for approx. 180 freight trucks and 195 passenger cars, the vessel has capacity for 1750 passengers. The newest and the most advanced technology is being utilised in the design and construction of the vessels. Special attention is paid to environmentally friendly solutions and safety.