MS European Endeavour

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Rear deck of the Midnight Merchant
Name: European Endeavour
Owner: P&O Ferries Ltd
Operator: P&O Ferries
Port of registry: London,  United Kingdom
Builder: Astilleros Espanoles S.A. (AESA) Seville, Spain.
Yard number: 290
Christened: Midnight Merchant
Completed: 2000
Maiden voyage: 5 October 2000
In service: 5 October 2000
Identification: IMO number: 9181106
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 22,152 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 179.95 m (590.4 ft)
Beam: 25.24 m (82.8 ft)
Draught: 6.5 m (21.3 ft)
Installed power: Four Wärtsilä 9L38 engines
Propulsion: Twin controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 22.5 kn (41.7 km/h)
Capacity: 300 passengers
120 freight vehicles[1].

The MS European Endeavour is a freight ferry which is owned and operated by P&O Ferries. P&O took delivery of the ship in October 2007 from Acciona Trasmediterranea. She is the 28th member of the current P&O fleet and is the second P&O ship to have carried the name European Endeavour, the first is now the Gardenia of Transeuropa Ferries.


The ship was built in 2000 for Merchant Ferries as the Midnight Merchant for a planned service between Liverpool and Belfast, however the ship was chartered to Norfolkline for their new service between Dover and Dunkirk and remained on that route until July 2006 when she was replaced by one of three new ships for the service.

In August 2006 she was chartered to Acciona Trasmediterranea for service in the Mediterranean Sea and renamed El Greco registered under the Spanish flag.

On 26 June 2007 it was announced that P&O Ferries had agreed to purchase the ship in order to meet the growing demand for space from haulage customers throughout its operations. The ship will primarily be used on the Dover-Calais route but also on P&O Ferries Irish Sea and North Sea routes to cover for the refit of other vessels [2]. The ship entered service with P&O on their Liverpool-Dublin route on 6 November 2007.

The ship has been involved in two incidents. On 22 March 2008 the ships mooring ropes parted resulting is her drifting across the eastern entrance of Dover Harbour. The ship was assisted back to her berth by a Dover Harbour tug [3]. On 29 August 2008 the ship suffered a partial lost of electrical power which resulted in a collision with Linkspan 7 in Calais. European Endeavour's 'cow catcher', a metal structure welded to the bow to support the bow ramp when deployed, was demolished and significant damage was caused to the linkspan[4].

Regular Routes

Though the ship will primarily be used between Dover and Calais it will also cover the refits of other ships on the following routes:-

  • Hull-Rotterdam
  • Hull-Zeebrugge
  • Liverpool-Dublin 6 November 2007 - 16 December 2007
  • Tilbury - Zeebrugge January 2009.

The Ship will be used on the upcoming Dover to Zeebrugge ferry service.

Sister ships

The ship was one of four ordered for Merchant Ferries services on the Irish Sea. Collectively the are known as the Racehorses because of their naming. The other ships were:-

  • Dawn Merchant now Pau Casals of Balearia. Built 1998 Named after the race horse "Dawn Run".
  • Brave Merchant now Norman Bridge of London. Built 1999 Named after the race horse "Dancing Brave".
  • Northern Merchant now Zurbaran of Acciona Trasmediterranea. Built 2000.

The Murillo of Acciona Trasmediterranea is of a similar design to the Racehorses but has an altered lower passenger deck and was completed in 2002.


External links