14th August 2006, 19:55
I am not a ferry expert and I will happy to be corrected by our more knowledgeable members, but I believe that the following information is correct and may be of interest to those of us who are joining the Pride of Bilbao next month: -
Built as “Olympia” for Viking Line by O/Y Wartsilla A/B, Abo and delivered in 1986 for employment on the Stockholm – Helsinki service. As built she was 37,799 grt; 176.8m x 28.4m; four Wartsilla – Pielstick 12 cylinder diesel engines driving two shafts and providing a service speed of 22 knots. She carried 2,333 berthed and 128 unberthed passengers plus 600 cars. Her crew numbered 212.
Olympia was sold to Irish Ferries in 1993 and is on charter from them to P&O as “Pride of Bilbao”. Her current statistics are 37,583 grt, machinery unchanged, 2447 berths, max passenger load of 2,500, with 580 cars.
14th August 2006, 21:01
Just a few tweaks needed I think.!
She was chartered by P&O European Ferries in 1993 for the inaugral Pompey-Bilbao route, also she did some Pompey-Cherbourg sailings, and then sold to the Irish Continental Group in 94.
As she sails now - capacity for 2553 passengers and 600 cars and 77 trailers.
Hope you all have a great time..!
14th August 2006, 22:43
Here is a bit more info, deck by deck. On deck 2 are cabins bar, treatments room(Steiner's) 4x saunas, main swimming pool, childrens swimming pool and jacuzzi.
Deck 4 is all cabins where our cabins are.
Deck 5 is all cabins.
Deck 6 are cabins forward and aft. Midships are Childrens play area, Steiner's Health and Beauty Salon, Bureau de change, guest services on starboard side with a large duty free shop and Cafe Olivos on port side.
Deck 7 has Silverstones Showbar aft, Casino port side, Langan's Brasserie and Grill, Felix pub port side International Food Court and Four Seasons Carvery looking forward. This is a very nice room.
Deck 8 has a Terrace Bar aft, 10 cabins port side Peninsular Lounge and Oriental Lounge both port side, Posh Bar, Tapas Bar, Megadrome Video Arcade, Card Room, and Whale and Dolphin Information Room all on starboard side. Forward are 2 Cinemas side by side with a quiet room forward of them. Above is a sun deck.
When we embark, we will be given a guide with all this information and activities on board south bound and northbound. There are many activities you would find on a cruise ship like bingo, quizzes, cards, showtime, films, cocktails in Silverstones Barn, name that tune game show, and much more. The ship has a Cruise Director and Entertainment Team.
Because this ship offers so much, I am truly amazed that I can only find 16 members to go. As a group, we are paying £64 for the cabin, plus £40 per person. Outside cabins are slightly more expensive, but only slightly. For two people an outside cabin in £168. That is for four days. Pride of Bilbao may be a working ferry, but she is a cruise ferry, and you will not find a cheaper 4 days plus being at sea.
I will give more information for all members going nearer the time. David
19th August 2006, 18:19
29th July 2007, 18:54
Video of P&O Pride of Bilbao entering Portsmouth Harbour: