<p>The P&O Ferries vessel Spirit Of Britain is set to sail again from Wednesday(Gareth Fuller/PA)</p>

The P&O Ferries vessel Spirit Of Britain is set to sail again from Wednesday(Gareth Fuller/PA)

P&O Ferries set to restart between Dover and Calais

Exclusive: Controversial ship operator is selling tickets for Wednesday morning sailings

Simon Calder
Monday 25 April 2022 09:55
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Forty-one days after P&O Ferries made almost 800 crew redundant and halted sailings between Dover and Calais, the controversial ship operator is set to resume the link in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

On 17 March, captains of the cross-Channel fleet were ordered to tie up their ships and stand by for announcement. P&O Ferries, which is owned by the Dubai-based firm DP World, said all its crew were to be made redundant and replaced by cheaper agency crew.

The move was a response to competition from Irish Ferries between Dover and Calais, which uses low-paid labour.

But P&O’s move triggered outrage across the political spectrum, with the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, saying that all ferry operators using British ports should pay at least the national minimum wage.

That policy has not yet taken effect.

Research by The Independent shows that Spirit of Britain – one of two super ferries on the route – will make her first commercial voyage for nearly six weeks from Calais at 1.30am on Wednesday 27 April.

She is set to arrive in Dover two hours later, at 2.30am local. The return from Dover to Calais is at 4.25am.

Fares for a car plus driver start at £34.50 one way.

Spirit of Britain is one of several P&O vessels previously detained for safety checks by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

She was released three days ago.

On Monday P&O Ferries tweeted: “Our services remain suspended today, however we have secured space with DFDS.

“Please call us on 01304 44 88 88 and we will rebook you. Alternatively, if you do not wish to travel, please email help@poferries.com and we will process a refund for you.”

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