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Brittany Ferries to Welcome Irish Holidaymakers Back On Board

15th July 2021
Brittany Ferries flagship cruise ferry, Pont-Aven which operates their main passenger service in­ Ireland from Cork to Roscoff. Brittany Ferries flagship cruise ferry, Pont-Aven which operates their main passenger service in­ Ireland from Cork to Roscoff. Credit: Bob Bateman

With non-essential international travel set to reopen for Ireland from 19th July, Brittany Ferries is today urging holidaymakers to factor in the many good reasons why ferry travel is the best option for travelling abroad this summer.

  • Early Irish bookings already look promising but plenty of space still available
  • No mingling in crowded terminals: drive on board where social distancing comes as standard
  • North west France offers an array of different holiday options in unpopulated areas

The French ferry company, whose main passenger service in­ Ireland operates the Cork-Roscoff route, says booking numbers are looking positive with over 600 passengers due to travel from Cork on flagship cruise ferry, Pont-Aven on Saturday, 24th July. The operator says there is still plenty of availability for anyone looking to get away this summer.

Pont Aven passes Roches Point in July 2021 Photo: Bob BatemanPont Aven passes Roches Point in July 2021 Photo: Bob Bateman

“We want to remind people of all the great reasons to travel by ferry this summer,” said Hugh Bruton, Brittany Ferries General Manager for Ireland.

“Taking the ferry means there’s no need to mingle in a busy terminal building, or arrivals hall, alongside passengers from multiple destinations. Drive on-board in your own car, then head straight to a cabin which is fed by fresh sea air. Step outside on deck, visit a bar, restaurant or shop, and do so while social distancing in safety and comfort. This is the modern ferry experience and it’s why we urge everyone to consider a sail-and-stay holiday in 2021.”

Roscoff offers a gateway to north west France and Brittany Ferries stresses that anyone concerned about holidaying in big cities or busy resorts, should be reassured that you will not be arriving in population centres, but rural regions characterised by sweeping beaches, coastal paths and ancient forests.

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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