Pride of Bruges

The Pride of Bruges was built in 1987 as the Norsun for North Sea Ferries as part of their response to the need for larger ferries in the late 1980's. The 1974 ships Norland and Norstar were proving so popular that they were running at capacity on many occasions. North Sea Ferries therefore designed their 3rd Generation overnight ferry for use on their Hull to Rotterdam route. The order for the two ships was split by the two operating companies within North Sea Ferries. The English company (P&O) placed their order on the Clyde and the Dutch company placed theirs in Japan.

The Norsun entered service in 1987 following a delivery voyage from Japan. Unusually the vessel was fully loaded on its delivery voyage as Nissan took the opportunity to transport 800 brand new cars to Rotterdam.

In May 2001 the ship, now owned and operated solely by P&O Ferries following their takeover of North Sea Ferries was replaced by the newly built Pride of Rotterdam. The Pride of Rotterdam and sistership Pride of Hull were designed and built by P&O Ferries due to once again the current ships not being big enough for the route. Once relieved by the Pride of Rotterdam the ship was sent off for two months major refurbishment and branding realignment prior to entering service on the Hull to Zeebrugge route replacing the 27-year-old war veteran Norstar in the newly revised P&O colours, also as part of these changes the ship was renamed Pride of Bruges to bring the naming convention into line with the rest of the fleet.

The Pride of Bruges still operates alongside sistership Pride of York (ex. Norsea) and many of the old North Sea Ferries traditions remain. The ships only have a full refit every other year, this is due to their relaxed operating schedule of remaining in port throughout the day and only sailing overnight. Also every other each of the ships covers during January their original route of Hull to Rotterdam whilst one of those ships stands down for refit.

In 2017, the Pride of Bruges, now 30 years old, received a life extending overhaul to allow the ship to remain in service for a further five or more years. The ship does show its age in places and given that it has sailed over 2 million nautical miles and through many harsh winter storms on the North Sea this is only to be expected.