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Further Suspension of Brittany Ferries’ Passenger Services Notably Rosslare to France & Spain

16th March 2020
Due to COVID-19 there is further widespread travel disruption and cancellations with changes to Brittany Ferries schedules on Ireland-France and Ireland-Spain routes and notably that the new Rosslare-Roscoff route will not open on 23 March, which Irish Ferries withdrew the seasonal service last year. AFLOAT also adds the ropax ferry Kerry berthed at Rosslare Europort for the first time (as when seen last month) prior to its maiden voyage to Spain and from the ferry returned this afternoon to the Wexford port with the last 'passengers' to use the service before it becomes freight-only.  Due to COVID-19 there is further widespread travel disruption and cancellations with changes to Brittany Ferries schedules on Ireland-France and Ireland-Spain routes and notably that the new Rosslare-Roscoff route will not open on 23 March, which Irish Ferries withdrew the seasonal service last year. AFLOAT also adds the ropax ferry Kerry berthed at Rosslare Europort for the first time (as when seen last month) prior to its maiden voyage to Spain and from the ferry returned this afternoon to the Wexford port with the last 'passengers' to use the service before it becomes freight-only. Credit: Brittany Ferries Ships Enthusiasts and Crew-facebook

There is further suspension of Brittany Ferries passenger services as a consequence of the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis which Afloat adds the French ferry operator has posted on its website, so click for updates. 

According to Brittany Ferries this is in response to changing government policy in France, Spain and Ireland, and to protect all passengers and crew members at this difficult time. This decision has not been taken lightly, but has been taken in the best interest of all.

Changes France-Ireland routes:

Brittany Ferries will cease its weekly rotation connecting Roscoff in France with Rosslare Europort (however Afloat adds the new seasonal service was scheduled to start next Monday, 23 March). Afloat also adds the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route was to begin tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day, however sailings have been re-scheduled to Saturday, 11 April, according to their 'Irish' website

The French operator added that the Kerry will however continue two rotations per week, carrying freight between Rosslare and Bilbao in Spain as Afloat previously reported on Saturday. (Since then Afloat adds the ropax ferry was tracked this afternoon arriving at Rosslare with the last 'passenger' service prior to becoming freight-only). 

We are systematically contacting all affected customers by telephone, email and SMS but there is enormous pressure on our contact centre staff. The speed of response may not be up to its usual standard for which Brittany Ferries apologises in advance. Passengers are being asked not to contact us by telephone but to visit website: www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/routes/sailing-updates (scroll down for Irish routes) for the latest information.

Brittany Ferries very much regrets the effect that this ongoing disruption will have on customers. Directors will continue to monitor the situation with a view to resuming normal service as soon as the situation allows.

We respectfully ask all customers who are not booked to travel within the next two weeks to delay contacting our customer call centres. In addition, normal two-way interaction via social media may not be possible due to the volume of enquiries and availability of staff. Brittany Ferries apologises in advance for delays in usual response times.

As outlined below there are other changes on Brittany Ferries network from the UK to France and Spain. 

Changes UK-France routes:

  • Cherbourg to Poole service – Barfleur (until 23 March at least)

The last sailing will leave Cherbourg tonight 16 March 2020 at 21:45 for Poole.

  • St Malo to Portsmouth service – Bretagne (until 24 March at least)
    The last sailing will leave St Malo on Tuesday 17 March at 20:30 for Portsmouth
  • Roscoff to Plymouth service – Armorique (until 26 March at least)

The last sailing will leave Roscoff on Wednesday 18 March at 15:00 destined for Plymouth

As things stand, sailings between Portsmouth and Caen on Mont St Michel and Normandie will continue as normal, for passengers and freight.

Changes UK-Spain routes:

For now ships serving routes connecting Spain with the UK will continue to sail. However, they will only carry passengers who must return home, therefore offering a lifeline-only service for British and Spanish whose travel is essential. Freight will continue to be carried as normal.

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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