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New Look Brittany Ferries Gets A Boost In Passenger Bookings

22nd April 2019
A fresh new look for Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven as seen off Cobh during a departure from Ringaskiddy on the Cork-Roscoff route. The resumption of the service comes in a season that no longer includes rivals Irish Ferries Rosslare based routes to France, though Stena Line continue to operate to Cherbourg. A fresh new look for Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven as seen off Cobh during a departure from Ringaskiddy on the Cork-Roscoff route. The resumption of the service comes in a season that no longer includes rivals Irish Ferries Rosslare based routes to France, though Stena Line continue to operate to Cherbourg. Credit: Robert Bateman

#ferries - It's a busy time for Brittany Ferries as the Easter Holiday is well underway with passengers travelling on the Cork-Roscoff seasonal service, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On Good Friday the flagship cruiseferry Pont-Aven departed from France to arrive in Cork the next day before returning with Irish holidaymakers to Roscoff, Brittany. The Ireland-France route which this year is running its 41st season had resumed service last month.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the cruiseferry Pont-Aven sports a new livery scheme incorporating an updated logo and typeface. The new more colourful look comes with an announcement by the French operator of a 16% rise in bookings for 2019 in the Irish market.

Figures for 2018 show that the French company reported a 12% increase in the number of passengers on the route when compared to the previous year. The Ireland-France route had carried more than 97,000 passengers last year.

According to TravelExtra, Brittany Ferries hope to capitalise on the decision by Irish Ferries to drop Rosslare based routes to France by enticing holidaymakers in the south-east to travel to Cork rather than Dublin Port.

In addition Brittany Ferries also operate Cork-Roscoff sailings on Monday's. This weekday crossing to the continent is served by Connemara which offers an 'economie' style service.

The chartered in ropax is also kept busy by maintaining Ireland-Spain duties on the year-round Cork-Santander service launched almost a year ago. This is the first ever direct Ireland-Spain link.

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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