Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries
#FrenchD-DayFerries- As the eyes of the world will be focused on Quistreham, as previously reported, the French ferryport in northern France will be where the largest 'international' ceremonial event to commemorate the 70th D-Day Anniversary takes place this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The allied invasion on 6 June 1944, was the largest amphibious assault ever launched and today's commerorative event (click for live TV coverage 3pm) in Ouistreham is the outer port of nearby Caen.
Royal families, heads of states and governments and world leaders and notably members of G'7' among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel, though Russian President, Vladimir Putin will be attending in his own capacity.
Due to the major event, Brittany Ferries which operates between Ouistreham (on the edge of 'Sword' Beach) and Portsmouth have diverted a scheduled round-trip sailing to Cherbourg instead. The diverted sailing from the UK port by Mont St. Michel is expected to arrive in Cherbourg at 16.00, one hour after the start of the major international commemorative event.
The Normandy port on the Cotentin Peninsula is as previously reported on Afloat.ie, is where the Breton based operator runs a service to the Hampshire port as well as to Poole in neighbouring Dorset.
Portsmouth was one of the key strategic locations across the UK south coast, where thousands of Allied troops left for Normandy 70 years ago and landed on Sword Beach, the easternmost of the five Normandy code-named beaches where more than 150,000 men came ashore. Thousands of men and indeed women were lost in the battle to liberate occupied France.
Fittingly both ports will be marking D-Day events in remembrance and Brittany Ferries which started the Ouistreham ferry service in 1986, is also playing a part by holding on board lectures about the historic World War II event.
For many of its customers, the route to the port which is connected to Caen by the Canal de Caen de la Mer, carries an unmistakeable symbolism as the canal is also the location of the famous 'Pegasus' bridge at Benouville.
Special arrangements have also been made to book veterans aboard its ferries also to Cherbourg and Le Havre as they travel to Normandy during this first week of June to pay homage to lost comrades.To accompany these VIPs, additinal staff at its ports and on board are to welcome and look after them.
Some veterans have chosen to hold special on-deck remembrance ceremonies as they approach the Normandy coast, where Brittany Ferries' captains will reduce speed of vessels to enable wreath-laying ceremonies at sea.
The ferry operator has launched a D-Day APP for more details click HERE and much more.
As for the present day, 900,000 passengers annually take the Portsmouth-Caen route and where 'Sword' beach played such an integral and strategic role compared to the peacetime leisure activities in which we all enjoy freedom and liberty.
This is in absolute stark reality to the critical and momentous World War II event, in which those who fought saw the very same beach for the first and also their last during enemy action. Today we all have the luxury to see the France coast and not merely as a fleeting glimpse!
#PontAven10years – This day ten years ago Brittany Ferries flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven, was named in a ceremony, by her Breton owners in Roscoff, from where the luxury vessel sailed last night to Cork Harbour and returns to France this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Pont-Aven is named after an attractive small Breton town also known as the 'cité des peintres' as the location drew artists to sketch its picturesque scenery.
Among those drawn to paint scenes of Pont-Aven were Monet and the flagship celebrates the heritage of its namesake through of course it paintings, even boosting among its artwork collection a painting by Gaugin.
She was designed primarily for the UK-Spain market in which she made her maiden voyage from Plymouth to Santander on 24 March 2004, with crowds lining Plymouth harbour to cheer her off.
Further maiden voyages included her English Channel route from Plymouth to Roscoff which included a reception on 27 March. She made her 'Irish' maiden crossing to Cork's Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal arriving on 2 April. Later that month, on 26 April she was officially named in Roscoff.
A decade on and at 41,700 tonnes, the 184m Pont-Aven, remains an impressive vessel within Brittany Ferries modern fleet. She has a 2,400 passenger capacity and crew of 470 which service the luxurious facilities which can easily be described as cruiseferry standards.
Pont-Aven is unique to any cruiseferry serving Ireland as she features the Finistère indoor swimming pool offering sea-views on a high-deck and with an adjoining bar.
Also among her extensive amenities is Le Fastnet Piano Bar to reflect her Irish trading route connections with her season-only sailing schedule operating to a weekend round-trip from Roscoff to Cork.
Pont-Aven was custom-built for Britanny Ferries by Meyer Werft shipyward in Papenburg, Germany, to serve the UK-Spain market as well to the Breton-Cornwall link between Roscoff and Plymouth.
The western Engish Channel route was Brittany Ferries first route in 1973 with its origins stemming from exporting Breton vegetable produce to the UK market. Since then the company have dramatically expanded to offer gite, cottages, chalets holidays and more.
The Irish service followed five years afterwards and the Roscoff-Cork route is currently the only ferry route from Munster and therefore the longest continous operating service since its inception in 1978.
In addition to the the Irish route, Pont-Aven is kept busy linking three other nations on an intensive schedule. In order to maintain the sailing roster, the 28 knot Pont-Aven can achieve this from an engine power of 50,400 kW and propulsion power of 43,200 kW.
#BrittanyFerryCraft – Brittany Ferries reopen Portsmouth-Cherbourg seasonal services by Normandie Express, the fast-craft adding another alternative to their English Channel routes among them, as previously reported the new "économie" services to France and Spain, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The first sailing is this afternoon's 17.00hrs (local time) departure from Cherbourg to Portsmouth and which sees the InCAT built 98m Normandie Express craft that takes both cars and foot passengers at high-speed across in only three hours to the UK. She will operate the season with a single sailing daily in each direction up to 9 September.
The first day operating to a full sailing schedule with sailings in both directions will start with tomorrow's UK-France sailing at 09.00hrs and corresponding France-UK sailing departing at 17.00hrs.
The route provides options for passengers travelling from London and the south of England who want to get to France fast.
Arriving in Cherbourg likewise of its UK counterpart, the Normandy port has a long naval history and a large harbour plus marina to explore in addition to an old fishing port. For onward travel, Cherbourg located on the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula has access to the country's extensive motorway network.
As previously reported, last year Pont-Aven completed the 35th season of services on the Ireland-France route that began in 1978 and which was served by the Armorique. This season sees the Pont-Aven enter her 10th season on the 14 hour service.
She sets sail from Roscoff on Friday 14 March and arrives next day at Ringaskiddy ferry terminal, Cork Harbour.
The outbound sailing from Cork departs Saturday 15 March with an arrival in Roscoff the following morning at 07.00hrs.
This leaves plenty of time to reach the French capital should one consider celebrating our national day abroad.
Once again the season continues up to early November.
#NewFerry - Brittany Ferries has announced an order for its largest ever cruiseferry, a 52,000 tonnes giant powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and entering service in 2017 on Cork-Roscoff and UK-Spain routes.
The 12 deck cruiseferry with a capacity for 2,474-passengers, 675 cabins and 800 vehicles will be the first such ferry to serve in Irish and UK waters and one of the biggest vessels of its type in the world.
Brittany Ferries' current flagship, Pont-Aven is to move to the Portsmouth-St. Malo route when the 210-metre long newbuild is expected to enter service in late Spring of 2017.
She is to be built by STX France shipyard in St. Nazaire. For the last two years Brittany Ferries and the shipyard have been co-operating for two years on a study regarding the feasibility of powering a cruise-ferry by LNG.
The newbuild will also be the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly ship to operate in UK waters because LNG emits about 25 per cent less carbon dioxide during combustion than marine fuel oil and burns with no smoke. It is entirely free of sulphur and is very low in nitrogen oxide emissions.
Operating on the longer routes between UK and Spain, she will have many of Pont-Aven's features, such as an indoor swimming pool, two cinemas, restaurants, pet kennels, and so on. In addition, she will have 30 pet-friendly cabins which have proved so popular on the operatorsother ship to Spain, Cap Finistère, as well as a quiet reading lounge, an observation area, and a sophisticated spa treatment room with panoramic views. The latest technology will be applied and free Wi-Fi will be available in every cabin and throughout the ship.
Families will be well provided for, with two children's play areas as well as a teenager zone. As you would expect on any cruise ship, entertainment features prominently and there will be 3 stylish bars and a high-tech stage area.
Brittany Ferries already has an enviable reputation for the quality of its ships, as well as its service and cuisine, but this will be further enhanced by some of the luxury features of this new cruise-ferry. For example, each of the Commodore Suites will have its own balcony.
Mike Bevens, Group Commercial Director comments: "This represents a huge investment which will benefit not simply our customers but the environment as well. Unlike other forms of transport, such as aircraft or trains, every one of our ships is different, each possessing its own unique character."
"This addition to our fleet will be no exception, but will incorporate all the best features of our other vessels so as to provide our customers with a truly exceptional experience. No other ferry in the UK will come close to offering this new ship's range of facilities and its launch will mark the beginning of a new era in ferry travel."
#BrittanyBaltic – Stena Line are to introduce a larger ro-pax vessel on the Karlskrona-Gdynia route next week with Stena Baltica II, the Brittany Ferries former freight-ferry Cotentin (2007/19,909gt), writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 2,188 lane metre ro-pax Stena Baltica II which as Cotentin ran French-UK-Iberian routes replaces Stena Alegra on the Karlskrona-Gdynia route. The vehicle stern-only loading 'Alegra' of 1,950 lane metres had only began operating in July. She originally entered service as Dawn Merchant in 1999 for Merchant Ferries Dublin-Liverpool service.
Cotentin was built by Aker Finnyards, Helsinki and her return to the Baltic Sea sees the 210 -passenger ro-pax launch the Sweden-Poland route to meet the growing demand for increased freight deck capacity. The 163m long vessel with accommodation for 120 freight-drivers has the ability to load both bow and aft, so-called double tier loading and drive-through on both decks.
Tony Michaelsen, Route Manager Karlskrona-Gdynia said: "We are pleased to have a long-term solution in place that enables us to meet the growing needs of our customers, providing increased flexibility and a greater loading capacity. We have huge demand for capacity on the route and require a third vessel to be able to take care of all the cargo.
Freight volumes between Sweden and Poland have continued to grow. Up to October 2013, freight volumes have increased by 18%, car volumes by 7% and passenger volumes by 9% compared with the same period in 2012.
Michaelsen added, "We expect this trend to continue in the coming years as economic development in Poland and Eastern Europe remains very strong".
Stena Baltica takes over the 'Allegra's schedule by operating three departures a week from Karlskrona and Gdynia. She starts sailings on 24 November with a departure from the Polish port and will operate alongside Stena Vision and Stena Spirit which run regular schedules.
The previous Stena Baltica operated on the same service when the Rosslare-Fishguard ferry Koningin Beatrix was transferred in 2002 to Scandinavia. Her direct replacement Stena Europe currently maintains the St. Georges Channel route. The original 'Baltica' served alongside Stena Nordica which now runs between Dublin Port and Holyhead.
#FerryNews – Brittany Ferries final Cork-Roscoff end of season sailing for 2013 took place on Saturday as the flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven headed past Cork Harbour's Roches Point Lighthouse, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish-French service began operations 35 years ago when Breton based operator Bretagne-Angleterre Irlande (B.A.I) otherwise known as Brittany Ferries introduced the small and sleek Armorique into service in 1978.
Over the decades the French ferry company has continued to grow the service with a range of stylish ferries. The deck interiors exude a typical air of French flair and an extensive art collection of Breton scenes all adding to the holiday atmosphere.
Pont-Aven is a custom-built 41,748 tonnes cruiseferry that features luxury cabins with balconies and there's an indoor swimming pool, the only ferry to have this unique facility serving in Irish waters. The 2,400 passenger /650 cabin cruiseferry returns onto the Irish service in March 2014 on the shortest and fastest route linking the continent with a 14 hour sailing time.
Pont-Aven opens the season with a sailing from Roscoff on 14 March. The following morning she arrives in Cork (Ringaskiddy) ferryport to unload before resuming on her first round-trip leg to Roscoff with a sailing departing in the afternoon.
#FerryNews – Brittany Ferries final end of season sailings on the weekend-only operated Cork-Roscoff route is next Saturday (2 November), writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Irish-French route as previously reported was started 35 years ago when the operator Bretagne-Angleterre Irlande (B.A.I) otherwise known as Brittany Ferries introduced the Armorique in 1978.
Current route vessel the custom-built 41,748 tonnes flagship Pont-Aven has been running on the 14-hour service since her launch in 2004.
The 2,400 passenger /650 cabin cruiseferry equipped with a swimming pool returns to the Irish route to start the 2014 season with a sailing from Roscoff on 14 March.
Pont-Aven also serves the Roscoff-Plymouth route in tandem with the Armorique dating from 2008. In addition Pont-Aven runs on the 20.5 hour route from Plymouth to the northern Spainish port of Santander.
#BrittanyFerries – Brittany Ferries this year celebrate 35 years of Cork-Roscoff service currently served by flagship Pont-Aven, which every weekend makes a round-trip up to early November, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Pont-Aven arrives every Saturday morning and departs in the afternoon bound for Breton port which is a 14 hour crossing.
The luxuriously appointed Pont-Aven has top-class facilities and where French chefs and friendly bi-lingual staff all add to create a typically Gallic and chic atmosphere on board.
Brittany Ferries are offering an early autumn break. Book now and enjoy 6 days in France from €338 return for a car plus two passengers including cabin each way - the equivalent of just €169 per person return.
But hurry...as bookings are to be made by tomorrow (15 September) for travel dates up to 26 October 2013. For further details visit: www.brittanyferries.ie/6-day-late-summer-autumn-getaway
The Irish-French route began operations in 1978 firstly served by the Armorique, followed by Quiberon, Bretagne and Val de Loire.
#BrittanyFerries35th – Today Brittany Ferries celebrates launching into its 35th year in operating the Cork-Roscoff seasonal service served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Speaking about the upcoming 2013 season, General Manager of Brittany Ferries, Mr Hugh Bruton said: "This is always a busy time for us as we re-commence our service from Cork to Roscoff. We are delighted to report that the route is currently ahead by 12% on last year which is a great sign for The Gathering!
"It's also an exciting time for the business as we are celebrating our 40th anniversary globally and 35 years of sailing from Cork to Roscoff. Our continued service offers affordable, convenient holidays to France which is perfect for families of all ages".
Pont-Aven, is not just 'any' ferry as at 41,000 tonnes, she has an array of luxurious facilities to include a spa and swimming pool and an on board ambiance of French flair combined with a bilingual crew.
The flagship departs every Saturday from Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal until November 2013. She offers the shortest and fastest route between Ireland and France, taking 14 hours, several hours shorter than rivals running routes from Rosslare.
The origins of Brittany Ferries can be directly derived to Breton vegetable farmers who wanted to export their produce to markets in the UK following the closure of other west English Channel ferry routes more than forty years ago.
A co-operative of French farmers got to together to form Bretagne-Angleterre Irlande (B.A.I) otherwise as we know today as Brittany Ferries, which started a new service to Plymouth in 1973.
Brittany Ferries soon found demand not just from agricultural exports but in the reverse direction with passengers from the UK which really boosted the fortunes of the company. On foot of this success and within the next few years further routes were added to include its first route to Ireland opened in 1978.
Armorique, Quiberon, Bretagne and Val de Loire are not just nice-sounding names from locations in Brittany and beyond to conjure images and memories of travels past but these placenames were also given to name the ferries that served the route down through the decades.
The route has also brought closer ties through Irish-Gallic history and heritage but also Celtic cultural connections.
For more information on Brittany Ferries 2013 season schedule and more visit www.brittanyferries.ie