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Brittany Ferries Cease All Route Network Including Ireland-France & Ireland-Spain

21st March 2020
Brittany Ferries have been forced to 'cease' all services for the time being, across their route network including Ireland-France/Spain due to Covid-19 advise from governments among them Ireland. Above flagship Pont-Aven which otherwise operates the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route is seen last year arriving in Cork Harbour where on the left is Cobh Cruise Terminal (see blue pontoon) on to the right is the Irish Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island. Brittany Ferries have been forced to 'cease' all services for the time being, across their route network including Ireland-France/Spain due to Covid-19 advise from governments among them Ireland. Above flagship Pont-Aven which otherwise operates the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route is seen last year arriving in Cork Harbour where on the left is Cobh Cruise Terminal (see blue pontoon) on to the right is the Irish Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island. Credit: John Hickey - twitter

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and following advice given by governments in all countries in which Brittany Ferries operate the company have been forced to temporarily suspend passenger services connecting the UK, Ireland, France and Spain.

All passenger sailings between the UK and France, Ireland and France and Ireland-Spain have 'ceased' operating for the time-being. The operator apologise sincerely to all those affected.

As Afloat previously reported, the final 'passenger' ferry service on the Ireland-Spain route involved an inward sailing to Rosslare Europort on Monday in advance of this latest all route network development.

For further information on Covid-19, travel advice updates from Governments consult Brittany Ferries 'Irish' website, click HERE In addition for future reference sailing updates HERE.

As for the final passenger repatriation service leaving Spain for the UK which takes place this weekend is full.

A small number of ships in the fleet will continue to operate with limited crew as a lifeline freight-only service. During this period of uncertainty the operator must and will do all they can to ensure that essential goods continue to flow freely.

In a message from Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries he said that the actions have been taken in the best interests of passengers and colleagues. Our priority, of course, is the safety and well-being of passengers, crew, shore-side staff, suppliers, as well as the communities we serve across four countries.

The CEO added our teams have been working hard to answer calls, but due to the exceptionally high level of affected bookings we now have to close our phone lines and divert all resource to contacting passengers proactively over the coming days. If you have a booking with us over the coming days and haven’t heard from us, please bear with us. For urgent enquiries, you can still contact us via a web form on our website.

For amendments to sailings from mid-April onwards, (again using Irish website HERE) please use the online ‘manage my booking’ facility. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and we hope to return to normal service as soon as we can.

We know that everyone is doing the best they can during this ever-changing and unprecedented situation. And that’s what we are trying to do too.

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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