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Operator Brittany Ferries Rows In to Help Irish Ferries Customers

14th June 2018
Port of Cork chairman John Mullins and Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu at a special ceremony yesterday which Afloat adds that the cake of the flagship 'Pont-Aven' was to celebrate 40 years of the Ireland-France service.  Port of Cork chairman John Mullins and Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu at a special ceremony yesterday which Afloat adds that the cake of the flagship 'Pont-Aven' was to celebrate 40 years of the Ireland-France service.

#FerryNews - Trying to help people is Britanny Ferries with those who booked with Irish Ferries WB Yeats, but may not be able to accommodate many because they are nearly full for July and August.

As the Irish Examiner writes, Brittany Ferries chief executive Christophe Mathieu said some people who had booked trips to France with Irish Ferries had rebooked with his company for the Cork-Roscoff route, but space is now nearly at a premium.

Around 19,000 people have had their summer sailings to France cancelled due to a delay in the delivery of a new ferry to Irish Ferries.

Mr Mathieu made the comments yesterday at a special reception in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, which marked 40 years since Brittany Ferries opened its Cork-Roscoff service.

“Brittany Ferries was only five years old when we launched services linking Roscoff and Cork back in 1978. In our first year of operations we carried just under 22,000 passengers on the MV Armorique,” said Mr Mathieu.

The newspaper had more here on the new Ireland-Spain service and the impact of Brexit. 

Published in Brittany Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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About Brittany Ferries

In 1967 a farmer from Finistère in Brittany, Alexis Gourvennec, succeeded in bringing together a variety of organisations from the region to embark on an ambitious project: the aim was to open up the region, to improve its infrastructure and to enrich its people by turning to traditional partners such as Ireland and the UK. In 1972 BAI (Brittany-England-Ireland) was born.

The first cross-Channel link was inaugurated in January 1973, when a converted Israeli tank-carrier called Kerisnel left the port of Roscoff for Plymouth carrying trucks loaded with Breton vegetables such as cauliflowers and artichokes. The story, therefore, begins on 2 January 1973, 24 hours after Great Britain's entry into the Common Market (EEC).

From these humble beginnings however, Brittany Ferries as the company was re-named quickly opened up to passenger transport, then became a tour operator.

Today, Brittany Ferries has established itself as the national leader in French maritime transport: an atypical leader, under private ownership, still owned by a Breton agricultural cooperative.

Eighty five percent of the company’s passengers are British.

Key Brittany Ferries figures:

  • Turnover: €202.4 million (compared with €469m in 2019)
  • Investment in three new ships, Galicia plus two new vessels powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas) arriving in 2022 and 2023
  • Employment: 2,474 seafarers and shore staff (average high/low season)
  • Passengers: 752,102 in 2020 (compared with 2,498,354 in 2019)
  • Freight: 160,377 in 2020 (compared with 201,554 in 2019)
  • Twelve ships operating services that connect France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain (non-Covid year) across 14 routes
  • Twelve ports in total: Bilbao, Santander, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth, Cork, Rosslare, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Malo, Roscoff
  • Tourism in Europe: 231,000 unique visitors, staying 2.6 million bed-nights in France in 2020 (compared with 857,000 unique visitors, staying 8,7 million bed-nights in 2019).

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