MS Ostend Spirit

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Oostende Lines Prins Filip.jpg
Name: 1991-1998: Prins Filip
1998-1999: Stena Royal
1999-2002: POSL Aquitaine
2002-2003: PO Aquitaine
2003-2005: Pride of Aquitaine
2006-2010: Norman Spirit
2010-Present: ''
Ostend Spirit'
Operator: 2006-present: LD Lines
Port of registry: 2006-present: Southampton,  United Kingdom
Route: Ostend, Belgium to Ramsgate, England
Cost: $100,000,000
Completed: 1991
Identification: IMO number: 8908466
General characteristics
Tonnage: 28,838 GRT
Displacement: 11,853 Tonnes
Length: 163.4 m (536.1 ft)
Beam: 27.6 m (90.6 ft)
Draft: 6.2 m (20.3 ft)
Installed power: 4 Sulzer diesel engines
Propulsion: 2 propellers
Speed: 21 knots
Capacity: 1,850 passengers
700 vehicles

The Ostend Spirit is a passenger and vehicle ferry operated jointly by LD Lines and TransEuropa Ferries between Ostend and Ramsgate.


The Prins Filip was built for Belgian operator Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT) in 1991, entering service in 1992 on their route between Dover and Ostend. She remained in service with RMT when their UK port was switched to Ramsgate and until their operations ceased in 1997.

On 14 September 1994, a tragic accident resulted in 6 deaths when a linkspan collapsed. Foot passengers were boarding the Prins Filip at Ramsgate. All publicity at the time was focused on Sally Line and Thanet District Council, the port owners, and not RMT or the Prins Filip.[1]

Following a lay-up in Dunkirk, she was acquired by Stena Line in 1998, renamed Stena Royal and initially used on freight services between Dover and Zeebrugge on charter to P&O Stena Line. In 1999 P&O Stena Line decided to extend the charter and transferred the ship to its Dover-Calais route. Stena Royal was extensively refurbished to include the P&O Stena 'Brand World' concept and entered service on the Calais route as the POSL Aquitaine, following the naming pattern for P&O Stena Line vessels.

In 2000, the POSL Aquitaine failed to stop whilst berthing at Calais due to a propeller fault. The crash caused many injuries and extensive damage to both the ship and berth.

P&O Stena Line was a short-lived venture, ending in 2002 when P&O acquired Stena Line's share in the operation. However, the POSL Aquitaine remained in service, initially under the name PO Aquitaine, then as the Pride of Aquitaine from early 2003 until May 2005 when she was withdrawn following the introduction of two new P&O ferries.

In October 2005, she began sailing on her present route between Portsmouth and Le Havre as Norman Spirit. LD Lines, a French-owned company with existing ferry operations on the Mediterranean Sea, began this service following P&O's withdrawal from it the previous month.

Ostend Spirit as MS Norman Spirit

In June 2006, Norman Spirit was reflagged to the British registry from the Italian second registry. She is now registered in Southampton rather than Genoa, although when she entered service with LD Lines she was registered in Dover.

In September 2009, LD Lines announced that from November 2009 the vessel will be used on their service between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dover, which she currently operates.

In March 2010 the Norman Spirit was chartered by TransEuropa Ferries. In a joint service between TransEuropa Ferries and LD Lines, the ship was renamed Ostende Spirit and began sailing between Ostend and Ramsgate. It is believed the ship will remain on the route, on charter, for 6 months.


When built, the then Prins Filip incorporated several state-of-the-art safety features[citation needed], such as flood barriers on the vehicle decks. There was also an airline-style on-board safety video [1].

Current passenger facilities include a number of bars and restaurants, lounges, shops and children's areas. Wireless internet access is available throughout the ship.

Bars and Restaurants

  • Little Italy Self Service Restaurant - Deck 7.
Renamed from the P&O brand International Food Court.
  • Pitstop Freight Drivers Restaurant - Deck 7
Converted from a shop to the Routemasters Freight Drivers Restaurant by P&O Stena Line.
  • Blue Mountain Cafe - Deck 7.
The other Harbour Coffee Company outlets on board the Pride of Aquitaine. Was also part of the shop that was converted to Routemasters under P&O Stena Line. This area was Blue Mountain Cafe Express prior to the 2006 refit but is now the only Blue Mountain outlet on board.
  • The Dirty Duck Pub - Deck 8.
Previously Silverstones Bar under P&O Stena Line and P&O Ferries
  • Cotton Club Lounge Bar/Club Class - Deck 9.
This was formerly the Conference Centre on the Prins Filip and the Club Lounge on the Pride of Aquitaine.
POSL Aquitaine (ex. Prins Filip) fails to stop


  • Ocean Shopping - Deck 7.
Originally a music lounge and bar this was converted by P&O Stena Line into a Duty Free Supermarket under the Channel Shopping brand.

Other Facilities

  • Cotton Club Lounge Bar/Club Class - Deck 9.
This was formerly the Conference Centre on the Prins Filip and the Club Lounge on the Pride of Aquitaine.
  • Sleeper Seat Lounge - Deck 8.
This lounge was installed in late 2006 in the area formerly occupied by the Blue Mountain Cafe and original Velvet Lounge. The area was one of the Harbour Coffee Company outlets installed by P&O Stena Line and before that a Reclining Seat Lounge. The sleeper seats are fully reclinable and with a fold down foot rest turn into a 2.1 metre long bed similar to those found in Business Class on some airlines. Norman Spirit is currently the only Channel ferry to have fully reclinable seats.
  • Club Reclining Seats - Tweed Lounge and Velvet Lounge - Deck 8.
The Tweed Lounge was originally the Club Class Lounge but became Langans Brasserie under P&O Stena Line. The first Velvet Lounge was originally a reclining seat lounge but became part of the Harbour Coffee Company area. When the ship entered service with LD Lines both areas once again were used for their original purpose. The Velvet Lounge was moved to the area previously occupied by the Channel Burger fast food restaurant during a refit in late 2006. It was formerly the Cinemas on Prins Filip but converted to First Base Burger Bar by P&O Stena Line.
  • Horizon Lounge - Deck 7.
Standard reclining seats with bar and snack counter. This area was originally cabins but these were removed by P&O Stena Line and have not been replaced by LD Lines.
  • 59 en-suite cabins (8 single-berth, 42 two-berth and 9 four-berth) - Deck 8.
  • 20 newly installed couchette cabins and 1 en-suite cabin for the disabled - Deck 7.
  • Children's Playroom - Deck 7.


Prins Filip Simulator Game

A Prins Filip simulator game was made for PC


External links