A FAMILY-run business has finished the first phase of a contract to refurbish the galleys on one of Europe’s biggest ferries.

Southern Contracts, which has worked with P&O Ferries for 57 years, has been doing the work on P&O Ferries’ Pride of Hull.

The ship is 215 metres (705ft) long, has a gross tonnage of 59,925 and operates on the Hull to Rotterdam route.

She has several bars, restaurants, a casino, shops, a cinema and a show lounge spread across 10 decks. There are 546 cabins to accommodate 1,360 passengers, with a lane capacity of 3,300 metres providing space for 250 cars and 400 freight vehicles.

Boscombe-based Southern Contracts is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of industrial laundry equipment and catering and commercial cleaning equipment, to marine businesses as well as those on land. It has worked with P&O Ferries for many years to provide maintenance and spares but has recently been appointed to replace commercial kitchen appliances.

Adam Elphinstone, managing director of Southern Contracts, said: “We are always delighted to work closely with P&O and this latest refurbishment of the Pride of Hull is a great opportunity for us. The work is being carried out in phases.

“The first phase has now been completed to replace the existing dishwashers and plumbing. The next stage will be the ‘hot work’ which will involve the replacement of grills, ovens and fridges and installation of the hot serveries before finally providing onsite training by our dedicated team, to the P&O staff to ensure they understand the full capabilities of the appliances we have installed.”

Rachael Crepin of P&O Ferries said: “We are proud to have such a strong relationship with Southern Contracts and have dealt with them for over 57 years.

“They are on our emergency speed dial for any urgent maintenance issues and the quality of their products, work, training and customer service are exemplary. We know we are always in safe hands with Southern Contracts and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

Pride of Hull entered service 20 years ago this year and was originally the world’s joint largest cruise ferry with her sister ship Pride of Rotterdam.