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Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries

#SeaFilm - Time of Their Lives, the latest film to star Dame Joan Collins saw the actress sail on a UK-France ferry looking to find love, adventure and true friendship.

In the film, Collins is joined by co-star Pauline Collins which sees the superstar actresses on board Brittany Ferries cruiseferry Mont St. Michel from Portsmouth to Caen, Normandy. The scenes were shot on board the cruiseferry last summer, to the delight of 500 passengers and French Captain Bertrand Cuvillier who hosted the stars for breakfast during the crossing.

On arrival of Mont-St.Michel in the French port, the film sees the pair head south in a Citroen 2CV. Love interest comes en-route courtesy of Italian heartthrob Franco Nero, before a dramatic finale on the beautiful island of Ȋle de Ré.

The Atlantic Ocean setting of Ȋle de Ré, Afloat adds is where one of the island harbour's Saint-Martin-de-Ré is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island is reached not by sea but a bridge connecting to the mainland near La Rochelle, the capital of the Charentes-Maritime department.

Accompanying the actresses were a 40 strong film crew, that shot scenes in the cruiseferry’s bar, on deck and from the port. All these scenes cinema-goers will see on the big screen.

The film premiered on Wednesday this week and advanced screenings took place on board the Brittany Ferries fleet on Thursday. This was followed by general release on Friday, both in the UK and Ireland. To see a trailer click here. 

To celebrate the launch of The Time of Their Lives, Brittany Ferries has put together a three-night sail-and-stay break (albeit only available from the operators UK ferryports). For example on the Portsmouth-Caen route that replicates the character's voyage of discovery. 

The offer includes two nights on the idyllic and glamorous Ȋle de Ré island, home to the rich and famous. The offer is available up until 30 June 2017.

Brittany Ferries which also operate a seasonal Ireland-France (Cork-Roscoff) route begins at the end of this month with Pont-Aven. The flagship is scheduled to make an inward bound crossing from France on 31 March.

On the following day, Pont-Aven departs Cork on 1 April to make the debut outward crossing to Roscoff. The overnight French route at 14 hours is the shortest and fastest crossing between Ireland and the continent.

Published in Ferry

#NewLNGbuild - Irish Continental Group (ICG) parent company of Irish Ferries, in May 2016 announced an order for a new cruiseferry in a German shipyard in which Brittany Ferries have also signed a letter of intent with the same yard to construct a newbuild.

Afloat adds the Irish order to Flensburger Schiffbau (FSG) scheduled for delivery in May 2018 notably differs to that of the French ferry given this newbuild will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The 42,000 gross tonnage ferry will operate on the English Channel but the Breton based company has a seasonal service to Ireland as referred below.

The announcement re-states Brittany Ferries' commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its operations by embracing new technologies. It follows the completion of a £65m investment in emission-reducing 'scrubber' systems retrospectively fitted to the flagship Pont-Aven (Cork-Roscoff: seasonal) and five other cruise ferries in the company's ten-ship fleet.

According to Brittany Ferries, the newbuild will be one of the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly ships to operate in UK waters because LNG emits less carbon dioxide during combustion than marine fuel oil and burns with no smoke. In addition it is free of sulphur and is very low in nitrogen oxide emissions.

Christophe Mathieu, CEO, Brittany Ferries said: "The signing of this letter of intent with the Flensburger shipyard is a concrete step towards the construction of a new generation of Brittany Ferries ships. Despite Brexit, we remain confident in our ability to continue to grow and modernise our route network, serving both tourism and trade in the regions of western Europe."

More than four in five people travelling on the French company's ships are British and more than 2.4 million passengers were carried in 2016. A final contract for the 1,680 passenger and 257 cabin vessel is expected to be signed in spring 2017, following which construction will start.

The new ship is expected to launch in 2019 on the Portsmouth­-Caen route which offers three daily return sailings. It will operate in tandem with popular cruise ferry, Mont St Michel, launched in 2002.

 

Published in Ferry

#CancelledSailings - Plans of thousands of holidaymakers have been thrown into disarray after technical problems forced the cancellation of this weekend’s sailings of Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven vessel between Cork and France.

The Irish Examiner writes that the French ferry and holiday company confirmed last night that the Pont-Aven’s scheduled sailing on Friday from Rosscoff to Cork, and its Saturday sailing from Cork to Rosscoff have both been cancelled.

They are among several Pont-Aven sailings between Ireland and England to France and Spain, which have been cancelled this week after the vessel developed propeller problems.

A Brittany Ferries spokesperson said: “Brittany Ferries is endeavouring to contact all affected passengers as soon as possible with advice and available options.

“Passengers are being asked to be patient as there may be difficulty in contacting Brittany Ferries due to the volume of calls.”

The spokesperson encouraged passengers to check the company website for sailing updates.

“The company apologises to all passengers for the inconvenience this will cause to journeys,” she said.

The Pont-Aven, Brittany Ferries’ flagship vessel, entered service in 2004.

The newspaper which mas more to report here also adds that plans announced two years ago to replace the vessel have been put on hold, it has emerged.

Published in Ferry

#CutEmissions - Brittany Ferries has invested €17 million to cut fuel emissions from its flagship Pont-Aven with the installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems.

As previously reported on Afloat, Pont-Aven is unique in that it is the only ferry operating in Irish waters in 2016 to be fitted with “scrubbers”, which dramatically reduce sulphur emissions to almost zero and significantly reduce particulate output.

Hugh Bruton, General Manager of Brittany Ferries Ireland said, “As a company, we have a profound respect for the environment and we have made a significant investment to ensure that our passengers will be travelling on the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly ship to operate in Irish waters this year. The installation of the scrubbers is just one of a number of steps that we have implemented as we strive to achieve sustainable tourism.”

The scrubbers were installed at the renowned Gdansk shipyard in Poland, before the commencement of the 2016 Cork-Roscoff sailing season earlier this month. The work on the Pont-Aven marks the completion of a major €80 million project over 18 months by Brittany Ferries to significantly improve the environmental performance of its six-strong car ferry fleet in Ireland and the UK.

Mike Bevens, Group Commercial Director at Brittany Ferries added, “Today we are still largely owned by the collective of French farmers who launched the company more than 40 years ago, with the aim of linking territories and improving trade. These aims have always been framed by a will to respect the environments in which we operate and this significant investment is testament to our on-going commitment.”

Brittany Ferries implements various measures to reduce the impact of its operations and to support organisations that promote conservation work including:

Cutting CO2 emissions while sailing
Brittany Ferries operations are planned to minimise fuel consumption, by reducing speed on overnight crossings. The effects of tides and the wind are also harnessed to optimise fuel efficiency.

Our water discharge policy
The Pont-Aven is fitted with water treatment units so that uncontaminated water is discharged to sea, and at a minimum of 12 nautical miles from the coast. Polluted water is stored on board, then discharged on shore, to be disposed of by certified waste disposal contractors.

Using anti-fouling paints
Brittany Ferries uses the latest silicon-based anti-fouling paints to coat the submerged parts of hulls. These are low in toxicity and also enhance flow through the water, aiding fuel efficiency and thereby reducing CO2.

Conservation work
The Pont-Aven is taking part in the longest running marine biological survey in the world, towing continuous plankton recorders (CPR) for SAHFOS. Brittany Ferries also works with whale and dolphin charity ORCA. Wildlife officers are hosted on the Pont-Aven throughout the summer to monitor and report on whale and dolphin sightings though the Bay of Biscay. This helps government fulfil its obligations under the Habitats Directive, but also supports conservation work to protect these beautiful sea creatures.

The Pont-Aven continues to offer the fastest direct ferry crossing from Ireland to France, taking just 14 hours and operating to a convenient weekend schedule. The state-of-the-art ship is the newest and most modern ship to be found on any direct crossing between Ireland and France. Passengers onboard enjoy unmatched cruise style standards and award-winning service and cuisine. Facilities include pool and bar areas with panoramic sea views, two cinemas, shopping malls, luxurious spa treatments and a wide range of restaurants, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi in all public areas of the ship.

Published in Ferry

Building on a highly successful sailing season in 2015, Brittany Ferries has reported a 19% increase in the number of early bookings compared to the corresponding period last year. The ferry operator, which begins its new season on 02 April has weekly sailings from Cork to Roscoff every Saturday and return sailings departing from Roscoff every Friday until 04 November 2016.

Last year, Brittany Ferries carried an additional 5,000 passengers on its seasonal service from Cork to Roscoff with a total of 84,000 passengers being transported, compared to just under 79,000 the previous year. Over half of passengers (55%) were French, highlighting the contribution that Brittany Ferries is making to Irish tourism and the economy.

Commenting on the 2016 season, Hugh Bruton said, “We have experienced strong passenger growth over the last few years and, based on the significant increase in early bookings, it looks set to continue in 2016. The fact that France is hosting the Euro 2016 tournament has obviously led to an increase in sports fans travelling to cheer on Ireland but there is also a large portion of holidaymakers looking to take advantage of the sandy beaches, glorious countryside, fine food and drink and fascinating heritage sites. We’ve also witnessed an increasing number of French passengers, proving that Ireland remains an exceptionally popular destination for tourists. We are delighted to report that bookings are strong to date and look forward to welcoming passengers on board the Pont-Aven this season.”

The Pont-Aven continues to offer the fastest direct ferry crossing from Ireland to France, taking just 14 hours and operating to a convenient weekend schedule. 

Published in Ferry
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#NewFreightService – Irish hauliers trading to Iberia, will have added choice as Brittany Ferries are to charter a conro vessel to launch a new Poole-Bilbao freight route to begin service next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 12,079 tonnes conro Pelican with capacity for 100 unaccompanied trailers and 12 drivers, had been on long term charter to the French Ministry of Defence. The 1999 built vessel is to serve Brittany Ferries for one-year with an option to extend.

Pelican will carry out two round-trips per week on the UK-Spain service. Previously, LD Lines until 2014 had run two routes from Poole but to other northern Spanish ports and also operated an Iberian link to Ireland via France but that too closed in the same year.

Brittany Ferries reported a 20 per cent increase in freight traffic across all routes and that 2016 has also started strongly. The introduction of the Pelican with additional capacity it is hoped by the company will drive even more business through Poole.

"There is a very limited charter market for this type of vessel and we were delighted to find a cost-effective vessel on the French International Register," commented Simon Wagstaff, Brittany Ferries' freight director. This will allow us to operate effectively, but also to balance the books in this important area of our activity."

The charter of Pelican will assist Brittany Ferries to meet growing demand from freight customers and free up more garage space on other ships on their Spainish network. The conro is owned by Compagnie Martime Nantaise (MN) which also operates and manages a fleet of mostly ro-ro vessels serving on the international charter market.

Notably, MN also manage the 1896 built three-masted barque Belém, (which has called to Irish ports), on behalf of the Belem Foundation for the Caisses d’Epargne group. The long career of the historic barque built in Dubigeon Nantes had involved several owners, among them, Arthur Ernest Guinness who during the 1920 had her sailing as the Fantôme II.

Published in Ferry

#FerryScrubbers - Pont-Aven operated the final Cork-Roscoff round trip sailings last weekend with the Brittany Ferrries flagship scheduled to reopen the seasonal service in April 2016, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Saturday’s sailing also marked the last Irish-France crossing of the 2,400 passenger /650 cabin cruiseferry before the 41,748 tonnes ferry’s funnel are to be installed with 'scrubbers' this winter. The fitting of scrubbers are a result of new stricter 'green' controls following the EU Low Environmental Low Sulphur Directive that came into effect at the beginning of this year.

Pont-Aven will be unique in that she will be the only ferry operating in Irish waters during 2016 fitted with the sulphur emission scrubbers. This is due to the fact that the ferry also plies on the Roscoff-Plymouth route in the English Channel, one of several geographical zones that are under the EU directive to curb on emissions.

The Irish Sea nor surrounding waters are part of such a sulphur zone, SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area). In addition to the English Channel, the other SECA zones include the North Sea and the Baltic.

Work to install the emission reduction technology on the 2004 German built Pont-Aven are understood to take place early next year at the Astander shipyard in Santander. The installation of scrubbers are essentially gas filters which allow the ferry to burn cost-effective heavy fuel oil, whilst still complying with new, stringent regulations applying to ships' emissions.

The Spanish port is also where the Pont-Aven serves a regular service to Plymouth.

So far the majority of Brittany Ferries fleet have undergone work to fit scrubbers, as briefy referred in Afloat, notably in the case of Normandie last year. It transpired following her return to the Caen (Oustreham)-Portsmouth route, the alteration of the funnel's appearance was rather boxy.

As for Pont-Aven, it will be interesting to see if the modifications carried out, albeit important, do not overwhelming detract from what is an overall attractive looking ferry.

The latest fleetmate currently receiving scrubbers is Normandie’s route-mate, Mont St. Michel. Likewise, the work is been currently carried out in Santander and is due to be completed in December.

Mont St. Michel sailings are instead been taken by Armorique, which stood down from her main Roscoff-Plymouth duties. In turn the most western English Channel route services are been maintained by Bretagne. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Bretagne ended the final 2014 round trip sailings on the seasonal link to Ireland. 

Getting into more technical details, a scrubber cleans the ship's exhaust, removing about 90% of the sulphur dioxide, this is to comply with new MARPOL VI limit of 0.1% sulphur emissions. They have the added benefit of removing about 70% of particulate matter which is also harmful to health.

One scrubber is required for each engine, which requires considerably investment, for example Pont-Aven has seven engines (four for propulsion, and three for electrical power). So each will require seven scrubbers.

Approximately, the cost is £10 million per ship - as well as the length of time it takes to install the scrubbers of around eight weeks. Afloat understands that Brittany Ferries are expected to pay more than €31m to complete the programme of installing the scrubbers across almost the entire ferry fleet. 

During a recent sailing on board Armorique, a senior crew member commented to Afloat.ie that the 2009 Finnish built ferry will also undergo the work to install scrubbers between January and March.

Returning to the Irish route, Pont-Aven is scheduled to resume seasonal sailing service with the first inbound crossing to Cork on 1 April 2016. The outward return leg departs Ringaskiddy ferryport the next day on 2 April to Roscoff.

Published in Ferry

#BrittanyBegins – Brittany Ferries first Cork-Roscoff season sailing for 2015 took place today as the flagship Pont-Aven departed Irish shores on the Cork-Roscoff service, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Pont-Aven is the French operator's custom-built 41,748 tonnes cruiseferry that features luxury cabins with balconies. The 2,400 passenger /650 cabin vessel also boasts an indoor swimming pool, the only ferry to have this unique facility serving in Irish waters.

This year will be the 36th season of Brittany Ferries on the direct Ireland-France link that was begun by Breton based operator Bretagne-Angleterre Irlande (B.A.I) otherwise known as Brittany Ferries. Since then over the decades the company has continued to grow the service with a range of stylish ferries on the 14-hour route between Munster and Brittany. In addition to running a network of cruiseferry-style services on UK-France routes and services also linking the UK and northern Spain. 

It is only since last year that Brittany Ferries have introduced their no frills  'économie' marketed UK sailings on the Portsmouth-Le Havre and Portsmouth-Bilbao routes. This allows passengers to have an option to travel on services with fewer on board amenties while offered at lower-fares.  

Due to passenger demand and no doubt competition from former rivals, LD Lines who subsequently closed all their routes last year, Brittany Ferries have responded.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the company are to launch a second ship to join Etretat when the no frills concept service is boosted by the launch in May of chartered ro-pax Baie de Seine.

Published in Ferry

#LNGferryOnHold - Brittany Ferries have been forced to suspend plans to upgrade much of its fleet which according to Ships Monthly were to operate on Liquefied Natural Gas and also put on hold construction of an LNG-powered 'Pegasis Project' cruise ferry.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the giant 52,000 tonnes LPG powered ferry proposed for the Cork-Roscoff seasonal route in 2017 was also to serve primarily Bay of Biscay services from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander in Spain.

Plans to comply with new emissions rules from 2015 included the installation of scrubbers on three ships and the conversion to allow three newer vessels to operate on LNG. The process started on 18 October, when Normandie arrived in Santander for installation of scrubbers.

Work was to start on the €270 million LPG 'Pegasis' – Power Efficient Gas Innovative Ship – at STX Saint Nazaire in 2015, with delivery of the 52,000gt vessel in 2017, but the yard was struggling to fit the ferry into its sequence of cruise ship orders.

To read the full Ships Monthly report, also click HERE.

The Bretagne operated end of season Cork Roscoff sailings just over a month ago and the 14 hour routes usual cruiseferry Pont-Aven is scheduled to reopen services in March 2015.

 

Published in Ferry

#BrittanyFerries – Bretagne, Brittany Ferries first custom-built 'cruise-ferry' made a rare call to Cork Harbour's Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal yesterday, the arrival of the vessel from Roscoff was the first this season which started in March, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Cork-Roscoff sailings are otherwise operated by the larger Pont-Aven (2004/41,746grt), another cruiseferry ordered by the Breton based company which required a vessel to cater for 2,400 passengers in luxurious surroundings and space for 650 cars.

As previously reported, Pont-Aven this season marked her 10th season since introduction on the Ireland-France link replacing Bretagne (1989/24,543grt). Two year's after Pont-Aven's Irish debut, the Bretagne returned to the route for a once-off round trip in 2006 as Pont-Aven was chartered for spectator duties during the yachting spectacle of the Race de Rhum.

Bretagne's normal route is Portsmouth-St. Malo in which sailings are currently covered by Pont-Aven which in addition to running on the Irish link serves Roscoff-Plymouth as well to UK-Spain routes.

The reason for switching vessels is to meet requirements of winter sailings and rosters for each member of the Brittany Ferries fleet to take turns to dry-dock for annual overhauls.

This year, Bretagne celebrates her 25th anniversary since entering service in 1989. The cruiseferry with a capacity for 1,926 passengers and 580 cars is the only member of the Brittany Ferries fleet to have been built in France, when she was launched by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire. Likewise of Pont-Aven she was commissioned to serve Roscoff-Plymouth, UK-Spain services and operate a once weekly service to Cork.

Bretagne will continue to operate the shoulder season of the Irish service with a further two Roscoff-Cork round trips of the weekend-only operated route. The final sailing from France is on 31 October and from Ireland the last crossing is to take place on 1 November.

The 2015 season starts with the return of Pont-Aven with an outward bound sailing from Cork on 21 March. Sailings take 14 hours on what is the shortest crossing time between Ireland and France.

 

Published in Ferry
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