MS Pride of Canterbury

MS Pride of Canterbury is a cross-channel ferry operated by P&O Ferries between Dover and Calais.

Pride of Canterbury approaching Calais
  • European Pathway (1991-2003)
  • Pride of Canterbury (2003-onwards)
  • P&O European Ferries (1991-1998)
  • P&O Stena Line (1998-2002)
  • P&O (2002-onwards)
  • P&O European Ferries (1991-1998)
  • P&O Stena Line (1998-2002)
  • P&O Ferries (2002-onwards)
Port of registry: Limassol,  Cyprus
Route: Dover - Calais
Builder: Schichau Unterweser AG, Germany
Yard number: 1076
Launched: 8 October 1991
Completed: 29 December 1991
Maiden voyage: 4 January 1992
Identification: IMO number: 9007295
Status: in service
General characteristics
  • 1991-2002: 22,986 gt
  • 2003 onwards: 30,365 gt
Length: 179.7 m (589.6 ft)
Beam: 28.3 m (92.8 ft)
Draft: 6.27 m (20.6 ft)
Installed power: 4 x Sulzer 8ZA40S Diesels
Propulsion: Two controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
  • 1991-2002: 200 passengers
  • 124 15m freight vehicles
  • 2003 onwards: 2,000 passengers
  • 650 passenger vehicles or 120 15m freight vehicles


MS Pride of Canterbury was the second of four 'European Class' freight ferries ordered for P&O European Ferries' Dover-Zeebrugge route. Between 1992 and 2002 she sailed between Dover and Zeebrugge for P&O European Ferries and later P&O Stena Line. She was converted in the winter of 2002/spring 2003 and re-entered service as Pride of Canterbury (replacing the ageing P&OSL Canterbury). She currently sails from Dover to Calais.[1]

On 31 January 2008 she struck the wreck of SS Mahratta[2] while manoeuvring into The Downs off the Kent coast during heavy weather. The collision caused the loss of one of her propellers and damaged the prop shaft and gear box.[3] Although she was able to sail to Dover unaided, the ferry required assistance berthing.[2] Following emergency repairs in Falmouth she returned to service operating with only 1 propeller. As a result, she was unable to operate in rough weather and was frequently laid up in Dover or sheltering off the Kent coast waiting for the wind to drop. The ferry was due to be drydocked at a European repair yard in November 2008 to be fitted with a new propeller with a view to being back in service for the Christmas 2008 period. The vessel is now back in service again on the Dover to Calais route.[4]

On 29 September 2014 a fire broke out in the engine room at around 8am as it arrived into Calais. The fire was quickly extinguished by the ship's fire protection system. Nobody was injured and the ship disembarked all the passengers safely. The stricken ferry was taken to Arno Shipyard in Dunkerque for repairs; to make up for the missing ship, Pride of Burgundy's services were increased from three to five.[5]

In early 2019, the Pride of Canterbury, like all P&O vessels on the Dover-to-Calais route, has been flagged out to Cyprus, a measure explained by the company as motivated by tax advantages in view of Brexit. She is now registered in Limassol.

Sister ships

As built, European Pathway was identical to European Seaway and European Highway. The fourth 'European Class' freight ferry was converted to a multi-purpose vessel for the Dover-Calais route and named MS Pride of Burgundy though she still retained a number of similarities. Following conversion to multi-purpose ship, Pride of Canterbury is nearly identical to Pride of Kent.

Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Kent are commonly known as the 'Darwin Twins' or 'Darwins' after the project name given by P&O to the conversion of the ships.[6]


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