Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Third Brittany Ferries Ship to Lay-Up as Operator Faces 'Worst Crisis' Ever

2nd September 2020
The French ferry firm takes drastic action as passenger number continue to dwindle due to UK quarantine restrictions. Above AFLOAT adds Brittany Ferries is to cease the Rosslare-Roscoff route from 7 September. The new route only launched during the summer is operated by ropax Kerry which will continue to serve the year-round operated Ireland-Iberian link of Wexford-Bilbao in northern Spain. The French ferry firm takes drastic action as passenger number continue to dwindle due to UK quarantine restrictions. Above AFLOAT adds Brittany Ferries is to cease the Rosslare-Roscoff route from 7 September. The new route only launched during the summer is operated by ropax Kerry which will continue to serve the year-round operated Ireland-Iberian link of Wexford-Bilbao in northern Spain. Credit: Rosslare Europort-twitter

Brittany Ferries which has been affected by quarantine measures, has laid up another ferry and cut more services as it continues to lose passengers due to coronavirus restrictions and faces the worst crisis in its 47-year existence.

As BusinessLive reported the French ferry firm said it continues to struggle due to a “terrible” summer season” and weak demand for services this autumn, and has therefore been forced to take “further decisive action”.

The company, which has already laid up two vessels (last month) and scrapped some services following the imposition of quarantine restrictions for passenger landing from France and Spain, had now made further schedule changes, which will be implemented within the next week. The aim is to reduce costs as part of the company’s five-year recovery plan, the firm said.

It will see the (former Irish serving ropax) Connemara, currently serving Portsmouth to Cherbourg and Le Havre, taken out of service entirely from September 7. This means the closure of these routes until further notice.

Afloat adds as regards to Ireland-France route and operations the following applies:

Pont-Aven, flagship cruiseferry on the Roscoff – Cork will continue to operate a once weekly sailing, though ropax Kerry on the Roscoff – Rosslare service will cease service from 7 September (originally to end the season next month). The new Wexford-Brittany route was to be launched in March but the emerging Covid-19 crisis led to the service beginning in the summer.

Kerry which also maintains the year-round Ireland-Spain service of Rosslare – Bilbao remains unaffected with sailing schedules continuing as normal. Likewise of the French route, the Ireland-Iberian route was launched this year but earlier, having begun in late February.

Published in Brittany Ferries, Ferry
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).

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 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

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