The keel of a ferry to be built for P&O Ferries was laid at STX Europe, Rauma on 25 August, 2009. The vessel is the first of the two ferries scheduled for delivery from Rauma shipyard in 2010 and 2011.
Following a traditional ceremony, some lucky coins were placed under the keel. The purpose is to bring luck for the vessel and also to symbolize the smooth co-operation of the shipyards and the shipowner. Delegates of P&O Ferries, Lloyds Register and STX Europe were witnessing this ceremony.
When completed, this vessel will be the largest ferry in the English Channel. This means a 49,000 GT vessel with the length of 695.5 ft and having 3,746 lane meters of vehicle space. There will be space for more than 180 freight vehicles and, additionally, for up to 195 tourist vehicles. The vessels will be capable of carrying up to 1,750 passengers.
The ferries will be as environmentally friendly as possible, offering significant advances in fuel efficiency through a hydro-dynamically efficient hull form that will optimize vessel performance with minimum fuel consumption. The latest technologies of the industry will be applied both in design and construction of the vessel. Special attention will be paid to safety aspects and environmental friendliness.