Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries
In an announcement Brittany Ferries is to move its Ireland/Spain sailings from Cork to Rosslare Europort, with the first sailing due to take place on 28 February. The new Spanish arrival port from Rosslare will be Bilbao as Afloat also reported yesterday.
The French ferry company nevertheless emphasised its continuing commitment to its popular Cork-Roscoff route which celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2018. Each year the Cork-Roscoff route carries nearly 100,000 holidaymakers between Ireland and France.
“This was not a decision we took lightly and follows extensive consultation with our freight customers who sought better road connections and reduced driving distances,” said Christophe Mathieu Brittany Ferries CEO. “We opened the route in 2018 with a two-year trial window. While passenger numbers have been encouraging, the reality is that freight numbers, which are key to route viability, were not sufficiently robust. However I want to make it clear that we remain committed to Cork, with our flagship Pont-Aven cruise-ferry service to Roscoff. We’re also committed to an Ireland-Spain route, now via Rosslare, and we’ll look after existing passengers whose future travel will be affected by this change.”
All customers already booked on affected sailings from the Port of Cork (see: response) will be given the option to transfer their booking to sailing between Rosslare and Bilbao/Roscoff. An allowance will be given to cover additional transfers. Alternatively, a full refund will be provided to those who choose to cancel.
The Cork-Santander route which was launched in 2018 was primarily aimed at the freight market into Europe although it also carried holidaymakers, with an ‘économie’ no-frills onboard experience. The new route out of Rosslare will again concentrate on freight with an option for holidaymakers.
Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said: “We are delighted to welcome Brittany Ferries to Rosslare Europort. This new Rosslare to Bilbao service will be attractive for trade and tourism alike. We very much welcome that this service is being launched because of demand from freight customers, due to Rosslare’s strategic position and access to key markets. Brittany Ferries will also benefit from our €25 million investment in port facilities, infrastructure and technology, as part of the Port’s strategic plan. We look forward to working closely with Brittany Ferries to ensuring the success of their new service.”
Why Rosslare - Bilbao?
- Rosslare-Bilbao replaces Cork-Santander as key freight route to Europe
- The change is in response to demand from Irish and continental hauliers
- Company confirms ongoing commitment to Cork-Roscoff, which will continue to be primary tourism route
- New Rosslare services will include an Ireland-France rotation to Roscoff
- Rosslare sailings to commence 28 February 2020
The consensus among hauliers is that Rosslare, with its proximity to Dublin and the east coast road network, is a preferred option. Equally hauliers operating on the European mainland noted that Bilbao is more attuned to freight traffic and has easier transport links into Europe. Detailed discussions also took place with the Ports of Cork and Rosslare. The company has confirmed that Cork-Roscoff will remain a vital route for tourism, both into and out of Ireland.
As with the current Cork-Santander sailings, the new Rosslare-Bilbao sailing will be twice-weekly and will incorporate a weekly Ireland/France rotation. It is expected that despite the concentration on freight, the route will carry a number of holidaymakers to both Spain and France. This has been the experience with the existing Cork-Santander route.
Rosslare Europort has welcomed the announcement by Brittany Ferries that it is to launch its new Rosslare Europort to Bilbao twice-weekly service from 28th February 2020. In addition, the French-owned shipping line will also operate a weekly Rosslare to Roscoff service during the peak season (March to October).
Earlier today, Port of Cork responded to the decision by Brittany Ferries to depart Cork Harbour ending a link from Ireland's second city to Santander in Spain.
The arrival of Brittany Ferries means that Rosslare Europort will now offer business up to seven weekly sailings in each direction between Ireland and mainland Europe, cementing the port’s status as Ireland’s Gateway to Europe.
Brittany Ferries will be Rosslare Europort’s fourth major shipping line customer, and along with Stena Lines, Irish Ferries and Neptune Line, offers both freight and passenger customers a comprehensive range of connections to both mainland Europe and Britain.
Rosslare Europort’s General Manager Glenn Carr said “this is an exciting and positive announcement which not only shows the appeal of Rosslare Europort to shipping lines, freight and tourism customers, but also is the first of what we intend to be a number of new business announcements, building on our €25 million investment plans in port facilities, infrastructure and technology. Rosslare Europort is Ireland’s closest port to mainland Europe, and is now the only port outside of Dublin with a Border Inspection Post facility, and will provide the quickest direct services for exports and imports to both Europe and the UK post-Brexit.”
The appeal of Rosslare for business is improving all the time, with the port providing a real alternative for the movement of RO-RO, RO/Pax traffic to and from Ireland, with berth capacity, storage availability and the improving road networks connecting to the port - including the opening today of the New Ross Bypass on the N25.
As Port Authority, Iarnród Éireann is committed to investing in the port to ensure its growth and support both for the region and the wider economy. Port management is continuing discussions with existing and potential new shipping lines, and will continue to explore new possible routes with Ports in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Carr continued “we have had tremendous local support from the business, tourism and local authority stakeholders in the region as we develop our plans, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen the role of Rosslare Europort in the regional and national economy.”
French operator, Brittany Ferries is realising the benefits of its drive to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of single use plastics on board its fleet of ferries by purging almost 5.7 million items of plastic per year.
The operator has a network sering the UK, France, Spain and Ireland. Over the last 18 months the company has been purging its onboard restaurants and cabins of single use plastic items, including cutlery, cups, lids, stirrers and straws.
Altogether 5,664,400 items of plastic have been eliminated per year, including over two million cups. In their place have come environmentally friendly alternatives made from bamboo, cardboard, paper and wood. If all these items were placed end to end, they’d stretch over 400 miles – the distance from London to Edinburgh.
Already the vast majority of meals consumed on Brittany Ferries ships are served on china plates alongside stainless steel cutlery, whilst most drinks are already served in glasses and china cups.
Other measures include the replacement of disposable shower gel sachets in cabin bathrooms with dispensers filled with eco-friendly gels, and the elimination of plastic bags in dustbins.
“The sea is our home, so of course we’re deeply aware not only of its beauty, but also its fragility,” says Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “By tackling single use plastics we are determined to take responsibility and make a significant contribution to collective efforts to protect the seas upon which we sail. I’m delighted to see this project already bearing fruit.”
“We couldn’t have done this alone: we’re working closely with our suppliers to raise standards and to find innovative and creative solutions. And we’re also working with our customers and colleagues, who are increasingly driving our efforts to make changes. We want to make it easier for them to consume and recycle in line with their and our values whilst they’re on board our ships.”
“For sure, there’s much more to do, but this is a positive step forward, part of our long term mission to incorporate sustainability into everything that we do.”
In 2020 the company will renew its focus on airborne emissions when it welcomes its first LNG-powered ship, Honfleur as Afloat reported previously.
In addition a further pair of E-flexer class newbuilds are to follow: Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023. The trio will be amongst the first ferries of their type to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
The introduction of LNG powered tonnage will offering significant environmental advantages (see cutting CO2) over traditional marine fuels, burning more efficiently and producing no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95 per cent less nitrogen dioxide.
Channel Islands operator Condor Ferries has been sold to an investment consortium involving Brittany Ferries, ending months of speculation.
The current owners, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) announced they have reached an agreement with the new owners to take on 100% of Condor Ferries.
Contracts have been signed and the deal is expected to be finalised following scrutiny from regulatory bodies.
The company carries 1 million passengers between Guernsey, Jersey, the UK and to St Malo in Brittany.
More here on this ferry development.
For coverage of Condor/Commodore's 70th anniverary in 2017 click here.
Brittany Ferries’ Connemara has been welcomed today to the shipping register of France, creating jobs for French seafarers and bringing to 11 the number of ships of the fleet sailing under the red, white and blue of the tricolour.
Afloat adds that ferry Connemara at the end of October completed its final Cork-Santander sailing, however another ropax Kerry has taken over on the year-round operated Irish-Iberian link by crossing the Bay of Biscay with an arrival to the Spanish port this morning. A previous scheduled sailing was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions which led Kerry vacating the ferry linkspan at Ringaskiddy terminal. Afloat tracked the ropax upriver in Cork Harbour at the Marino Point jetty.
As for the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route, Pont-Aven carried out the final crossing of 2019 departing the Irish port last Saturday. Services resume in March 2020.
Returning to Connemara, Brittany Ferries add that the ropax originally joined the fleet in May 2018 to open a new route between Cork and Santander – the first ever direct ferry route between Ireland and Spain. The chartered ship (Afloat also adds served Cork-Roscoff) had initially sailed under a European flag, but with a clear commitment that it would be transferred to the French register and crewed by French sailors after two years of operation.
This commitment has now been fulfilled six months early, allowing for the creation of 111 jobs for French crew-members, including 25 officers.
“We’re delighted and proud to raise the French flag aboard Connemara,” says Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “Despite the current uncertain economic and political waters we’re navigating Brittany Ferries continues its development, and reaffirms its long-term commitment to the French flag, and its position as the biggest employer of French seafarers.”
Following regulatory checks by maritime authorities in Spain, France and UK, Connemara will sail for the first time under the French flag on 13th November, operating a service from Santander in northern Spain to Portsmouth, UK. During December it will link Poole with Cherbourg, covering for fleet mate Barfleur which will undergo an extensive refit. Then in January 2020 Connemara will begin operating services between Portsmouth and Le Havre.
Connemara is at the vanguard of a wave of French-flag ships which will arrive over the next four years as part of a €550 fleet renewal programme.
Honfleur will be delivered from the German FSG shipyard in 2020 and will serve the Portsmouth-Caen route. This is to be followed by three brand new ‘E-Flexer’ class ships to serve longhaul on UK-Spain routes: Galicia in late 2020, Salamanca in 2022, and Santoña in 2023.
Some 300 passengers and their travel plans have been disrupted this weekend, reports the Irish Examiner, following the last-minute cancellation of Brittany Ferries sailings between Cork and Santander.
Passengers received texts (yesterday) morning advising that tonight's 10.30pm ferry from Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork to Santander in northern Spain, was cancelled due to a technical problem.
One passenger, Bernice Russell, from Cork, said initially they were told the ferry would leave instead at 9am on Saturday morning, but that too was cancelled.
For more on this story click here.
Afloat.ie adds that the next sailing on the year-round route to Spain scheduled for next Monday has too been cancelled as according to Brittany Ferries. For the latest information this can be found on the operator's sailing updates page by scrolling down for Irish routes.
Afloat.ie also adds that the ferry concerned the Connemara had to vacate the single-linkspan at Ringaskiddy so to enable fleetmate Pont-Aven to berth at the terminal as it operates the Cork-Roscoff route at the weekends. The flagship is scheduled to depart to France today at 16.00hrs.
As for the whereabouts of the Connemara, the 500 passenger capacity ropax proceeded upriver of the River Lee to the Marino Point jetty which as Afloat previously reported is to be redeveloped.
Operator Brittany Ferries has marked two key milestones in its €550 million fleet renewal programme which includes a pair of E-Flexer newbuilds destined for UK-Spain routes.
At the AVIC Weihai shipyard in Shandong, eastern China, shipyard workers and Brittany Ferries teams gathered to celebrate the launch of cruise-ferry Galicia, and the start of building work for sister ship Salamanca.
The 215-metre long hull of Galicia was majestically floated out at a traditional Chinese ship-launching ceremony. Then, alongside in the building dock the very first steel was cut for fleet mate Salamanca marking the beginning of the ship’s construction.
When complete, the two ships will serve Brittany Ferries’ long-haul routes connecting Portsmouth to Santander and Bilbao in northern Spain, with Galicia due to enter service in late 2020 followed by Salamanca in spring 2022. They will be joined a year later by a third sister ship to be named Santoña.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here in China today (11 Sept) to celebrate the launch of Galicia and the start of work on Salamanca,” said Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “Our customers rightly expect our fleet to be modern, comfortable and efficient, with the promise of minimal environmental impact from operations and we can only achieve this aim with the very best, innovative new ships. Galicia and Salamanca are perfectly suited to our long-haul Spanish operations, and will allow us to further enhance our service to holidaymakers and hauliers taking advantage of these routes.
“As a French company operating ferries between the UK, France, Spain and Ireland, we are, for sure, concerned by the current political uncertainty in Europe. But we are certain of the course that Brittany Ferries will follow in the years to come. And these brand new ships are tangible evidence – in steel – of our confidence and optimism looking ahead”.
The three 42,200-tonne ‘E-Flexer’ class ships will be amongst the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet, measuring 215 metres long, with around three kilometres of space for cars and lorries.
Not only will they be capacious, comfortable and efficient – they’ll also be better for the environment. Whilst Galicia will be fitted with funnel exhaust gas cleaning systems, Salamanca and Santoña will be amongst the first ferries of their type to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) offering significant environmental advantages over traditional marine fuels, burning more efficiently and producing no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95 per cent less nitrogen dioxide.
The company’s very first LNG-powered ship Honfleur currently under construction in Flensberg, Germany (albeit delayed see story) will enter service on the busy Portsmouth to Caen route in 2020.
Speaking to French newspaper Ouest-France, Jean-Marc Roué confirmed the news but said he thought that other businesses would also be submitting an offer.
The news follows another report from the same newspaper in June that the French-based shipping company was putting in the offer to counter a ‘rapid-expansion plan’ from one of its competitors, Danish company DFDS.
The article also said that the move would secure vital ports – St Malo, Poole and Portsmouth – from their competitors.
However, it has been rumoured that other carriers, such as Stena and Irish Ferries, could also be interested.
For more on the Channel Islands operator click here.
Kerry has been announced as the name of Brittany Ferries ropax vessel that Afloat.ie previously reported is to be introduced in November 2019.
The ship Afloat adds is a Visentini-class designed ropax likewise to the existing Ireland-Spain serving Connemara. Kerry will cover the Cork-Santander route from November 2019 to November 2020.
The company has also revealed that Santoña (a town located in Cantabria and pronounced Santonia in English) has been chosen for the company’s third E-Flexer class ship. To be chartered from Stena, Santoña is part of the company’s €550 million fleet renewal programme, with a clear focus on sustainable development. Santoña will arrive in 2023 and like sister ship Salamanca, she will be powered by environmentally-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Three new LNG vessels on the horizon:
Santoña will be the third LNG powered vessel to join the Brittany Ferries fleet. The fuel burns more efficiently than diesel,so promises significant improvements in air quality as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Combustion produces no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95% less NOx (nitrogen dioxide) than diesel. LNG is also up to 28% better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions according to findings of an independent, peer-reviewed report published in April this year*.
“Brittany Ferries is committed to LNG as the most environmentally-friendly fuelling solution currently available for shipping,” said Frédéric Pouget, Brittany Ferries director of fleet and port operations. “Despite the significant investment made in scrubber technology for our ships, we know that the best way to respect the environments in which we operate, and to exceed emission reduction targets, is to commit to LNG. This is what we have done with an investment worth half a billion euros.”
The company’s first LNG ship, Honfleur, will be operational next year. She is currently under construction in Germany and will serve the company’s busiest Portsmouth to Caen route. Salamanca will arrive in 2022 to carry passengers and freight on long haul routes between the UK and Spain. Santoña will join the fleet in 2023.
Cutting CO2 per passenger by 46%:
The company’s fleet renewal programme promises a significant reduction in carbon emissions per passenger compared with vessels currently operating between the UK and Spain. That’s because Cap Finistère and Baie de Seine, are less efficient vessels with much smaller passenger and freight capacities than the LNG e-Flexer class ships that will replace them
The company will also run four round trips from the UK to Spain each week, instead of five. This means a significant saving in fuel consumption and emissions, while still promising a 10% improvement in passenger capacity and 28% increase in freight space.
These savings, combined with improved efficiency thanks to better hull design and modern engines, and the use of LNG to power vessels, will realise an estimated saving of around 46% CO2 per passenger compared with current vessels on the company’s long-haul routes.
In terms of refuelling infrastructure, Brittany Ferries has developed an innovative solution to re-fuel its first LNG vessel, Honfleur. In partnership with Total, industry-standard, containerised LNG will be trucked on board, then lifted into position by on-board cranes where they will replenish Honfleur’s fixed, on-board LNG storage tank. The process will be reversed when mobile tanks are empty.
Additional costs of Honfleur’s LNG systems and equipment have been partially offset by the support of the French Government “Program of Investments for the Future” (“Vehicle of the Future” sub-program) and operated by ADEME.
For Spanish operations, Brittany Ferries has signed a letter of intent with Spanish energy company Repsol for the delivery of LNG. Under the agreement between the two companies, Repsol will install quayside LNG storage facility at ports in northern Spain. Confirmation is expected later this month. This will then be used to fuel both E-Flexer ships during their calls.
The E-Flexer class ships will be amongst the largest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will be 215 metres long with 3,000 garage lane metres for freight vehicles, and capacity for around 1,000 passengers.
The UK government's Brexit ferry programme was "rushed and risky", according to a cross-party group of MPs, who confirmed the botched project had cost £85m.
As BBC News reports a procurement process to provide extra ferry services was held in anticipation of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March.
But MPs said taxpayers had "little to show" for the cost after the UK failed to leave the EU on that date and had to cancel deals reached with three firms.
The government defended the contracts, calling them an "insurance policy".
- UK seeks new no-deal Brexit freight plan
- UK government cancels Brexit ferry deals
- Seaborne Freight no-deal ferry contract scrapped (see related Irish shipping company story).
The contracts had to be cancelled after the date for Britain to leave the EU was pushed back from 29 March to 31 October.
For much more click here from the Public Accounts Committee report covering the ferry contracts and Out of Court settlement concerning EuroTunnel.