Back to start

Short Sea Services

In 1965 the P&O subsidiary, GSNCo., joined forces with a Dutch and German consortium to begin a roll-on/roll-off service between Hull and Rotterdam.

The new service was operated, under the banner of North Sea Ferries, by the British-registered Norwave and the Dutch-flagged Norwind. As ro-ro ferries, with twin vehicle decks, the new ships could carry freight, 70 cars and 249 passengers each. Between them they ferried 40,000 passengers in their first year of operation in 1966.

Following the success of the North Sea route, GSNCo., embarked on a second endeavour, Normandy Ferries, together with a French company. This second ro-ro service ran from Southampton to Le Havre with two ships, Dragon and Leopard, and accommodation for 850 passengers and 250 cars.

In the UK and in New Zealand, the Company had taken its first foray into ro-ro ferries - a business that P&O would make its own in the years to come.