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Surge in Brittany Ferries' Bookings on Ireland-France Routes

11th November 2021
In terms of breakdown by market, Brittany Ferries France-Ireland route soared 234%. Afloat adds the Breton based operator also reported on UK-France reservations up 40% while UK-Spain routes they rose by 35%. Last week Afloat reported on the operator's new Rosslare-Le Havre 'freight' route also due to surging demand given a post-Brexit Britain. Above Pont-Aven in Cork Harbour recently on the final sailing to Roscoff this year, however the cruiseferry resumes service in March 2022. In terms of breakdown by market, Brittany Ferries France-Ireland route soared 234%. Afloat adds the Breton based operator also reported on UK-France reservations up 40% while UK-Spain routes they rose by 35%. Last week Afloat reported on the operator's new Rosslare-Le Havre 'freight' route also due to surging demand given a post-Brexit Britain. Above Pont-Aven in Cork Harbour recently on the final sailing to Roscoff this year, however the cruiseferry resumes service in March 2022. Credit: Port of Cork twitter

Brittany Ferries, which operates the Ireland-France route of Cork-Roscoff, has reported a surge in bookings for summer 2022.

Since the onset of the pandemic, as Echo Live reports, the ferry company has navigated what it calls two "disastrous" summer seasons, where they lost €220m in 2020 alone.

However, an increase in reservations for next year has brought renewed optimism.

In a statement released today the company said that by the end of last month, 188,878 passengers had booked trips for July to September 2022 - a 48% increase from the 2020 summer season.

Reservations on routes between Ireland and France are currently up 234% and reservations on the Rosslare and Bilbao, Spain route are up 80%.

“The storm clouds are beginning to lift and I welcome the boost in reservations for next year,” said company CEO Christophe Mathieu.

“We are so grateful to our loyal customers. The support of the French government combined with the loyalty of our Irish and British customers will allow us to continue the beautiful voyage of this company.”

Published in Brittany Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

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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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