UK

First cross-Channel P&O sailing for tourists since controversial sackings

P

&O Ferries will restart cross-Channel sailings for tourists for the first time since sacking nearly 800 seafarers.

The ferry firm said its ship Spirit of Britain will leave Dover for Calais at 4.05pm on Tuesday.

It comes after it resumed freight-only sailings on the key route between the UK and France on April 26.

Spirit of Britain is the only ship the company can currently use for its cross-Channel operations.

It was cleared to sail on April 22 after being detained 11 days earlier, when 23 failures were found by Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) inspectors.

Pride of Kent is being reinspected after failing two previous examinations.

Pride of Canterbury and Spirit of France are also out of action as they have not been inspected.

Spirit of Britain’s initial tourist sailings following the resumption of operations are fully booked.

The earliest date passengers can buy a ticket for a cross-Channel trip is Saturday.

P&O Ferries was widely condemned after replacing 786 crew members with cheaper agency staff on March 17.

It suspended most of its operations following the decision.

Passenger services have already resumed on its three other UK routes, which are between Liverpool and Dublin, Ireland; between Cairnryan, Scotland and Larne, Northern Ireland; and between Hull and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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