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Brittany Ferries Moves to Reassure English Channel Passengers In Event of No-Deal Brexit

1st February 2019

#ferries - Brittany Ferries last week released a statement (below) to reassure passengers concerned by changes following the UK Government's £108m spending initiative to use ferries to ease potential problems in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The French operator highlighted to schedules on three of its English Channel routes. All affected passengers will be rebooked onto alternative services. In the vast majority of cases, this involves a change to departure time on the same day of travel.

It does not mean that the booking has been cancelled and that no alternative sailing will be provided by Brittany Ferries.

Furthermore, the company would like to make clear that passengers can book crossings to France and Spain, and sail-and-stay holidays as normal. There is absolutely no truth in speculation that passengers are being advised not to book because all space has been allocated to freight.

The reality is that Brittany Ferries has added 19 crossings on three of its nine routes leaving the UK. The additional sailings create more space for freight, as requested by the Department for Trnsport (DfT). As a consequence, there is now more choice for passengers rather than less, albeit departure and arrival times may have changed.

This does not mean that holidays have to be cancelled, that future bookings cannot be made or that there is any material change to Brittany Ferries business model: we are and will remain a predominantly passenger service and look forward to welcoming everyone on board.

For further information as to which routes and ferries are affected click here.

 

Published in Brittany Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

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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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