Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Newbuild E-Flexer Pair Mark Double-Celebration for Brittany Ferries

12th September 2019

Operator Brittany Ferries has marked two key milestones in its €550 million fleet renewal programme which includes a pair of E-Flexer newbuilds destined for UK-Spain routes. 

At the AVIC Weihai shipyard in Shandong, eastern China, shipyard workers and Brittany Ferries teams gathered to celebrate the launch of cruise-ferry Galicia, and the start of building work for sister ship Salamanca.

The 215-metre long hull of Galicia was majestically floated out at a traditional Chinese ship-launching ceremony. Then, alongside in the building dock the very first steel was cut for fleet mate Salamanca marking the beginning of the ship’s construction.

When complete, the two ships will serve Brittany Ferries’ long-haul routes connecting Portsmouth to Santander and Bilbao in northern Spain, with Galicia due to enter service in late 2020 followed by Salamanca in spring 2022. They will be joined a year later by a third sister ship to be named Santoña.

“It gives me great pleasure to be here in China today (11 Sept) to celebrate the launch of Galicia and the start of work on Salamanca,” said Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “Our customers rightly expect our fleet to be modern, comfortable and efficient, with the promise of minimal environmental impact from operations and we can only achieve this aim with the very best, innovative new ships. Galicia and Salamanca are perfectly suited to our long-haul Spanish operations, and will allow us to further enhance our service to holidaymakers and hauliers taking advantage of these routes.

“As a French company operating ferries between the UK, France, Spain and Ireland, we are, for sure, concerned by the current political uncertainty in Europe. But we are certain of the course that Brittany Ferries will follow in the years to come. And these brand new ships are tangible evidence – in steel – of our confidence and optimism looking ahead”.

The three 42,200-tonne ‘E-Flexer’ class ships will be amongst the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet, measuring 215 metres long, with around three kilometres of space for cars and lorries.

Not only will they be capacious, comfortable and efficient – they’ll also be better for the environment. Whilst Galicia will be fitted with funnel exhaust gas cleaning systems, Salamanca and Santoña will be amongst the first ferries of their type to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) offering significant environmental advantages over traditional marine fuels, burning more efficiently and producing no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95 per cent less nitrogen dioxide.

The company’s very first LNG-powered ship Honfleur currently under construction in Flensberg, Germany (albeit delayed see story) will enter service on the busy Portsmouth to Caen route in 2020.

Published in Brittany Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

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. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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).

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating