MS Pride of Kent

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Pride of Kent.JPG
Pride of Kent approaching Calais
Name: 1992-2003: European Highway'
2003-present: Pride of Kent
Owner: 1992-2002: P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd
2002-present: P & O Ferries Ltd
Operator: P&O Ferries
Port of registry: Dover,  United Kingdom
Route: 1992-2002: Dover-Zeebrugge
2003-present: Dover-Calais
Builder: Schichau Unterweser AG, Germany
Yard number: 1073
Launched: 14 December 1991
Completed: 12 June 1992
Maiden voyage: 16 June 1992
Identification: IMO number: 9015266
Status: in service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1992-2002: 22,986 tonnes
2003 onwards: 30,365tonnes
Length: 179.7 m (589.6 ft)
Beam: 28.3 m (92.8 ft)
Draft: 6.27 m (20.6 ft)
Installed power: 4 x Sulzer 8ZA40S Diesels
Propulsion: Two controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 21 knots
Capacity: 1992-2002: 200 passengers
124 15m freight vehicles
2003 onwards: 2,000 passengers
650 passenger vehicles or 120 15m freight vehicles

The ship Pride of Kent is a cross-channel ferry operated by P&O Ferries, generally on the Dover to Calais service. It is the current 'flagship' of the P&O Dover-based fleet. She is the second ship to bear the name—the Spirit of Free Enterprise was renamed Pride of Kent in 1987 (later P&OSL Kent in 1998 and PO Kent in 2002) and continued to sail the Dover-Calais route until 2003[1].


Colloquially known as the Kent, she was built as the European Highway in 1991, a sister ship to the Pride of Canterbury, Pride of Burgundy and European Seaway. Originally servicing Zeebrugge, like the Pride of Canterbury, she was converted in 2003 before re-entering service on the Dover–Calais route as the Pride of Kent.

On board

The Pride of Kent has six 'active' decks - cardeck 3 freight and cars, cardeck 5 freight and cars, cardeck 6 cars only, deck 7 & 8 passenger facilities and deck 9 outside deck area. The ship is both divided vertically (as decks) and horizontally, into 3 ventilation zones, with stairs assigned the colours red, yellow, orange, green and blue. There are three passenger lifts from the main and car decks to the passenger facilities. Her onboard facilities include (amongst others) several lounges, a self-service cafeteria "The Food Court" (the former company branding for this facility was 'International Food Court'), 2 'Costa Coffee' cafés (one previously operated as Cafe Olliveto's until 2004), a Langan's Brasserie restaurant, a French duty-paid shop ("Offshore Shopping") and a bar previously branded as "Silverstones Sports Bar". There are also open decks on levels 8 and 9. Since June 2006, the interior passenger accommodation has become non-smoking throughout, with smoking permitted in designated parts of the outside deck 9 only.

Sister ships

As built the ship was identical to European Seaway and European Pathway. The fourth 'European Class' freight ferry was converted to a multi-purpose vessel for the Dover-Calais route and named Pride of Burgundy though she still retained a number of similarities. Following conversion to multi-purpose ship the Pride of Kent is nearly identical to the Pride of Canterbury[2].

Pride of Kent and Pride of Canterbury are commonly known as the 'Darwin Twins' or 'Darwins' after the project name given by P&O to the conversion of the ships[3].