The familiar lines of a Merchant Ferries "racehorse" class ship are well known on the Mersey from the now sadly departed DAWN MERCHANT and BRAVE MERCHANT. However on Sunday October 28, one of their younger sisters arrived on the Mersey for the first time - The former MIDNIGHT MERCHANT, ex EL GRECO has been acquired by P&O to operate as a relief vessel.
MIDNIGHT MERCHANT was originally completed in 2000 for a proposed Liverpool to Belfast service which would have operated in competition with Norse Irish Ferries. However, the then owners of Merchant Ferries - the Cenargo Group bought out Norse Irish. Therefore MIDNIGHT MERCHANT was chartered to Norfolk Line for a new Dunkirk - Dover service. She remained on that route until summer 2006 when she was sold to Acciona Trasmediterranea as the EL GRECO. In June 2007 P&O announce that they had agreed to purchase the ship which will be used on Dover - Calais, Irish and North Sea services to provide refit cover.