Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 16:53 UK

Dame Kelly to name new cross-channel ferry

Dame Kelly Holmes
The Kent-born athlete recently received an honorary degree

Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes is to name a new ferry, it has been announced.

Holmes, who won both the 800m and 1500m events at the 2004 games in Athens, will name P&O Ferries' new 49,000-tonne vessel Olympic Spirit in January 2011.

The 699ft (213m) ferry will become the largest ship to operate on the Dover-Calais route when it comes into service at the end of the year.

A sister ship, the Olympic Pride, will be unveiled in the autumn of 2011.

The two vessels are currently being built at Rauma in Finland at a cost of about £330 million.

The Kent-born athlete, who was made a Dame in 2005, was awarded an honorary degree from Brunel University in west London last year.

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