P&O Ferries to launch largest-ever Dover–Calais ships – 13/06/08
Source: ©The Moodie Report
By Matt Willey
UK. P&O Ferries has signed a Letter of Intent with Finnish shipbuilder Aker Yards to construct two new ships for its Dover–Calais crossing route. And commercial services are at the heart of plans for the new vessels.
The first of the ships will enter service in December 2010 and the second in 2011. They will replace the existing Pride of Dover and Pride of Calais vessels.
P&O has engaged retail design experts to ensure the new ships' retail environments are in line with future trends, says Neil Towns
At 49,000 gross tonnes the new ferries will be the largest to ever operate in the short-sea sector and will double the freight carrying capacity of the ships they are replacing, while providing an additional third vehicle deck for cars and caravans. The third deck will be capable of carrying up to 250 tourist vehicles.
“Facilities for freight drivers and passengers alike will set a new benchmark in quality standards. This is a major investment in the future of our business and is a very exciting development,” said P&O CEO Helen Deeble.
The company said the new additions to its fleet would consolidate its position as the "quality operator of cross-channel ferry services", and improve its already impressive onboard retail and food & beverage offers.
“We have engaged with industry design experts from shipping, food & beverage and retail markets to ensure the designs we build and base our service around are in line with ‘future’ trends,” P&O Ferries Head of Buying Neil Towns told The Moodie Report.
“Our retail offer will progress our current strategy, with the core categories forming the basis of the shops. We will be signing a design contract with a retail industry-renowned company in the next week to help ensure we take our already excellent shops onto the next stage, with the customer remaining, as always, central to our thinking,” Towns concluded.
For a more detailed look at P&O Ferries' onboard retail strategy click here
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