Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 16:32 UK

Change of names for new ferries to avoid Olympics clash

Artist's impression of new ferry
Artist's impression of the new Spirit of Britain, formerly Olympic Spirit

Two new ferries for the Dover-Calais route have been re-titled to avoid clashes over Olympic naming rights.

Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes is to name one of the new P&O ferries, which was to have been called Olympic Spirit, next year.

The vessel will now be called Spirit of Britain. Its sister ship, originally known as Olympic Pride, will now be named Spirit of France.

P&O said they had been told the titles may infringe rights under English law.

The London 2012 Olympics organising committee has protected its brand as it raises about £2bn from the private sector to organise the games.

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

Its sister ship, Spirit of France, will be unveiled in the autumn of 2011.

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

Kent-born athlete Kelly Holmes, who was made a Dame in 2005, won both the 800m and 1500m events at the 2004 games in Athens.



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