P&O Irish Sea
|Fate||rebranded as P&O Ferries|
|Predecessor||P&O European Ferries|
|Footnotes / references
P&O House Flag
P&O Irish Sea was the trading name of P&O Ferries in the Irish Sea from 1998 to 2010, when it was merged back into and rebranded P&O Ferries.
P&O Irish Sea was formed in 1998, following the merger of the Cairnryan-based service of P&O European Ferries (Felixstowe) Ltd and Pandoro Ltd (who operated routes between England, Scotland and France to Ireland).
In 1999, P&O Irish Sea announced its intentions to purchase a purpose-built Ro-Pax (roll-on, roll-off, vehicle/passenger) vessel from Mitsubishi of Japan for the Liverpool – Dublin route. This would see the transfer of the European Leader to the Fleetwood route.
In 2004, P&O closed its Fleetwood – Larne services with the sale of all interests. In addition to the service rights, European Leader, European Pioneer and European Seafarer were sold to the Swedish Stena Line group. At the same time, P&O announced the closure of the Mostyn – Dublin service due to low passenger numbers; this led to the sale of European Ambassador and European Envoy for further service in Europe. In 2005, the company withdrew from the Rosslare – Cherbourg route; this was taken over by a new company, Celtic Link Ferries, who also purchased European Diplomat.
In 2010, P&O Irish Sea was merged back into P&O Ferries and rebranded accordingly.
P&O Irish Sea operated many routes across the Irish Sea:
- Cairnryan – Larne - conventional ferries (all year round with fast craft service during conventional ferries refit period; in 2013 this was 10 May to 10 June)
- Troon – Larne - fast craft service (Spring to Autumn) Gone
- Liverpool – Dublin - conventional ferries (all year round)
- Fleetwood – Larne (route and ships sold to Stena Line in 2004)
- Mostyn – Dublin (2001–2004)
- Ardrossan – Larne (service moved to Troon in 2001)
- Rosslare – Cherbourg (route and ship taken over by Celtic Link Ferries in 2005; now operated by Stena Line)
- Dublin – Cherbourg (2001–2004)
P&O Irish Sea operated a large fleet of vessels during its twelve years in operation.
|European Ambassador||2000||2000–2004||24,206 GT||Sold to Stena Line|
|European Causeway||2000||2000–2010||20,646 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|European Diplomat||1978||2001–2005||18,732 GT||Sold to Celtic Link Ferries|
|European Endeavour||1978||1998–2002||8,097 GT||Sold to Transeuropa Ferries|
|European Endeavour||2000||2007–2010||22,152 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|European Envoy||1979||1998–2004||6,310 GT||Sold to Kystlink|
|European Highlander||2002||2002–2010||20,464 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|European Leader||1975||1998–2004||12,879 GT||Sold to Stena Line|
|European Mariner||1978||1998–2010||1,598 GT||Broken up in 2011|
|European Navigator||1976||1998–2002||3,809 GT||Sold to AB Maritime|
|European Pathfinder||1976||1998–2002||3,335 GT||Sold to Transeuropa Ferries|
|European Pioneer||1975||1998–2004||10,957 GT||Sold to Stena Line|
|European Seafarer||1975||1998–2004||10,957 GT||Sold to Stena Line|
|Express||1998||2005–2010||5,902 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|Norbank||1994||2002–2010||17,464 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|Norbay||1993||2002–2010||17,654 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|Norcape||1979||2010–2010||14,087 GT||Continued service with P&O Ferries|
|Pride of Rathlin||1973||1998–2000||12,503 GT||Sold to Indonesian ferry operator|
|RR Triumph||1997||2006–2007||7,606 GT||Chartered|
|Superstar Express||1998||2000–2004||5,517 GT||Chartered|
- P&O Irish Sea Corporate Site
- 'The Pride of Aisla and the Pride of Rathlin' - Scaled models built for Motis Ireland Ltd.
- Larne Ferry Web - for news & history of ferry services to Larne