SeaFrance Berlioz Passenger and Vehicle Ferry

The SeaFrance Berlioz was built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique for SeaFrance. The passenger ferry runs between Dover and C


SeaFrance Berlioz


Alstom Marine


Chantiers de l'Atlantique




The SeaFrance Berlioz was built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for SeaFrance. The passenger ferry runs between Dover and Calais, with a crossing time of around 70 minutes. It carries out up to ten English Channel crossings per day.

The SeaFrance Berlioz is 186m in length and has a mounded breadth of 27.7m. It measures 43m from funnel to keel and has a draught of 6.5m. It has a gross tonnage of 34,000t.


In total, there are 11 decks. The passenger areas account for the upper two decks, with the lower decks used for the vehicles. The passenger area includes a retail space and children’s play area. The retail area covers around 500m² and includes a boutique and a shopping area offering clothes, cosmetics, confectionary, beer, wines and spirits. There is also a newspaper kiosk, bureau de change and information desk.

There are six bars and restaurants. The Latitudes café bar and the Le Parisien café are located in the ship’s bow – the former on the upper deck and the latter on the lower deck. The Latitudes can seat 260 passengers with waiter service for 60 and the Le Parisien café can accommodate 350 diners. The other areas are the Relais self service restaurant, the la Brasserie Restaurant, the Le Pub bar, which has seating for 400 people, and a commercial driver’s restaurant catering for
160 people. The Relais is situated at the stern and overlooks the children’s play area. It has seating for 350 customers.

The vehicle deck comprises 2,000 lane metres. The decks are connected via a hoistable ramp. Over 3,200m³ of cladding has been fitted to the ceilings.

The access to the ship is by the stern and bow (plus inner bow) doors. There are also forward bulkhead doors.


The ferry is driven by two Wartsila 12-cylinder 12V56B engines producing 11,700kW, and two eight-cylinder Wartsila 8L46B engines producing 7,800kW. This large engine power provides redundancy, allowing repairs be undertaken to the engines while the ship is in operation. The larger and smaller engines are arranged on the same shaft line. Each pair is linked to a Renk gearbox in a double input, single output arrangement. There is also a pair of Leroy Somer shaft alternators. Steering is enabled by two Becker rudders.

Manoeuvrability is important for a vessel having to make 20 port movements a day. To assist in manoeuvring at port, the vessel has four transverse thrusters, three in the bow and one in the stern. The Wartsila thrusters are rated at 1,800kW each. The propellers and thrusters can be controlled individually, with the aid of a joystick, or simultaneously. It can berth in wind speeds of 50 knots without tug assistance.

Electricity is also provided by four 1,455kW gensets which are connected to two 3,800kW alternators.


The key feature of the bridge design is its panoramic visibility; lookout station wings are on each side of the main viewing area. The bridge contains a variety of navigational aids, including a radar, magnetic compass gyrosystem, ECDIS and voyage data recorder. The navigation systems are provided by Sperry.

For safety, the SeaFrance Berlioz has an Autronica fire detection system and Parma fire doors.

In an emergency, there are four 150-person lifeboats and two Fassmer rescue boats. There is also a helicopter landing area for emergency evacuation.

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