P&O Ferries cancels plans to resume services

P&O Ferries has cancelled plans to resume its services and told passengers to book with another operator instead.

On Wednesday (April 6), it said it was planning to resume services on key routes this weekend, including the Dover-Calais crossing.

The company controversially made almost 800 seafarers redundant on March 17, replacing them with agency workers on lower wages.

But it said on Twitter on Friday: “All P&O Ferries Passenger Services are suspended this weekend. For travel 8/9/10th April please re-book directly with another operator before arriving at the port. DFDS will not be able to transfer P&O customers onto their services.”

It also said the Larne-Cairnryan services remain suspended, adding: “It is no longer possible for us to arrange travel via an alternative operator on this route. For essential travel, customers are advised to seek alternatives themselves.”

On Wednesday it said it was “working closely with regulators to ensure our ships are safe to sail” and expected to have two vessels ready to sail on the Dover-Calais route, “subject to regulatory sign-off”.

The news comes as Dover District Council is warning of potential disruption on the roads this weekend as the Easter getaway starts.

“With P&O Ferries cancelling all services, and potential for poor weather, tourists and hauliers using cross-Channel services are being advised to allow extra time for their journey, and to be prepared for long delays,” said the council.

The Dover-Calais link is the busiest ferry route between the UK and continental Europe, and DFDS has been carrying P&O Ferries customers on its ships.

However, DFDS warned on Wednesday that it will have no availability for P&O Ferries passengers on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (April 8-10).

An alternative option is Irish Ferries, which launched operations on the Dover-Calais route in June 2021. It operates up to 20 sailings a day on the Isle of Inishmore and Isle of Innisfree ships.

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