#Ferryéconomie – Brittany Ferries launch their "économie" alternative services to France and Spain with the ro-pax vessel Etretat, which welcomed her first passengers on board today for a midday sailing from Portsmouth to Le Havre, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported, the économie services are marketed as an alternative to sailing on the company's other cruiseferry style UK-Spain operated route to Bilbao. The move to 'no frills' service is similar to Irish Ferries 'economy-style' Dublin-Cherbourg service that the Epsilon serves on as a third route option to the established French routes from Rosslare served by the cruiseferry Oscar Wilde.
The former Norman Voyager was renamed Etretat, which is a coastal village in Normandy made famous for its stunning sea cliffs and dramatic chalk arches. Facilities on the ro-pax which is chartered from Stena RoRo, are limited compared to Brittany Ferries' cruise ferries, but still include a self-service restaurant, bar, small boutique and movie lounge as well as free Wi-Fi internet access.
Norman Voyager first launched LD Lines short-lived Rosslare-Le Harve service in 2008 and then she had a career with Celtic Link Ferries but running instead to Cherbourg. Also in 2008 the route to Ireland which was only run at weekends as her mainstay route was Le Havre-Portsmouth which LD Lines still maintain despite her recent switch to Brittany Ferries. LD Lines continue to operate their service by the Seven Sisters, a vessel from a sister company, Transmanche Ferries.