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Passengers Claim Brittany Ferries is Deducting Payments for Sailings that Are ‘Impossible’

8th May 2020
Passengers of Brittany Ferries are concerned about being offered vouchers instead of refunds for cancelled sailings. AFLOAT adds the flagship Pont-Aven is seen last season within Cork Harbour when bound for Roscoff, France Passengers of Brittany Ferries are concerned about being offered vouchers instead of refunds for cancelled sailings. AFLOAT adds the flagship Pont-Aven is seen last season within Cork Harbour when bound for Roscoff, France Credit: Bob Bateman

Holidaymakers of Brittany Ferries have expressed concern at the way the company is managing summer bookings.

The ferry operator says it is working on the basis that Irish holidaymakers may be in a position to travel to France as early as June – even though the Government’s phased exit from lockdown means people will be unable to travel far from their homes until the second half of July at the earliest.

One customer who has contacted The Irish Times says he was told that, unless they paid the balance in full, his family would lose a substantial deposit they had put on a sailing that they believe is extremely unlikely to go ahead because of the Covid-19 crisis. He says he was also told that, if the ferry crossing were eventually cancelled, he would then be given a credit note instead of a refund.

For more on this story click here. 

Afloat adds since 1978 Brittany Ferries has operated a seasonal service on the Cork-Roscoff route.

The company earlier this year launched a new Rosslare-Bilbao service to northern Spain having abandoned Cork-Santander.  The new route however 'suspended' passengers due to French Government Covid-19 restrictions. 

A second new route from Rosslare Europort to Roscoff was scheduled to have begun in March but again the Covid-19 situation forced sailings not to operate on the continental Europe connection.

According to Brittany Ferries website, all sailing schedules (update today) on the Ireland-France/Spain services will as alluded above commence in June.

Published in Brittany Ferries, Ferry
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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