P&O Ferries are one of the UK’s most well-known ferry operators. The firm was founded in the late sixties, originally covering areas in the North Sea, and soon became popular with both freight and passenger services. However, the late seventies were a difficult time for the company, and a lot of their property had to be sold. It lasted into the mid eighties, when they had to sell some of their services to European Ferries, even the popular crossing between Dover and Boulogne.

However, the late eighties and early nineties saw a change in the market, and P&O began to acquire ships and takeover and merge with other ferry companies, including European Ferries and Townshend Thoresen. The latter suffered heavily after the 1987 disaster involving the Herald Free Enterprise, and so came under the P&O brand. The brand itself split in the mid-nineties to reflect different aspects of its company. They became P&O North Sea, P&O Stena Line, and P&O Portsmouth.

P&O continued to buy out shares of other companies, one of the most profitable being Stena Line’s services in 2002. The companies joined forces and took over the North Sea, Dover and Portsmouth operations. The company suffered some losses in the mid-naughties due to the increase in popularity of low-cost airlines. A business review in 2004 came to the conclusion that all routes from Portsmouth should be cancelled. There used to be a number of services that ran from Portsmouth, including Portsmouth to Bilbao, Portsmouth to La Havre, Portsmouth to Cherbourg, and Portsmouth to Caen. However, a number of customers who were used to travelling by ferry were now going on holiday by aeroplane, and P&O shut down a number of previously popular routes. Also, the Channel Tunnel was also becoming increasingly famous for being an easy and fast way to get to mainland Europe.

After passing hands numerous times over the years, losing and acquiring a number of ships, P&O is currently responsible for five different passenger ships and two freight ships. These include the Pride of Calais and the Pride of Dover, German-built ships that were acquired in 1987, which operate the busy Dover to Calais journey. However, these two ships will soon be replaced by much larger vessels, measuring an incredible two-hundred and ten metres. An order was placed in 2008 and these super-ships are currently being built. The other ships, Pride of Canterbury, Pride of Burgundy, and Pride of Kent vessels were renamed and put onto routes from the Hull.

Nowadays, P&O Ferries provide customers with services all around Europe. These include ferries to Belgium, France, Holland and Spain, with some of the most popular routes including services from Dublin to Liverpool, Dover to Calais, Hull to Zeebrugge, and Hull to Rotterdam.

P&O Ferries offer customers package deals, such as accommodation when you get to your destination, as well as insurance, and tickets to popular attraction, such as EuroDisney. You can travel on their ferries by car, with a caravan, on a motorcycle or simply by foot. And if you are a frequent traveller, you can also purchase season tickets.