A new hybrid P&O Ferries ship has made its maiden voyage, sailing the English Channel between Dover and Calais.

The hybrid diesel-electric P&O Pioneer is one of a pair of new double-ended 230m ferries designed to help the company further reduce carbon emissions following its 9% reduction in 2022.

The 'P&O Pioneer'

Source: Simon Boulanger Port Boulogne Calais/P&O Ferries

The ‘P&O Pioneer’

As the longest ferry to sail between Dover and Calais, P&O Pioneer and its sister ship P&O Liberté, which will join the fleet later this year, will replace the capacity of three older vessels with just two, delivering further efficiency benefits.

“P&O Pioneer marks a new era in low-carbon travel and trade for the UK and France, with the investment of £250m in new hybrid ships on the iconic Dover-Calais route,” said Peter Hebblethwaite, chief executive of P&O Ferries.

“For the millions of passengers who sail with P&O Ferries between the UK and France, our two ultra-modern vessels being introduced this year will deliver a fantastic travel experience.

“We are determined to make P&O Ferries the best ferry company in Europe. That means the best ships, the best routes, and the best value for our customers.”

Designed with the capacity to become entirely fossil-fuel free in future, the battery packs are modular and more can be added as the technology develops and more charging stations are installed at ports.

The P&O Pioneer can carry up to half a million goods units per year and produces a reported 40% less CO2 than its predecessor.

On board are zones for children and teenagers, a pet lounge, duty free shopping, food markets and dining areas, fully-accessible changing facilities and a private club lounge.