Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Bookings Increase at Brittany Ferries as More French Tourists Choose Ireland for Holidays

25th May 2022
Boost for Brittany Ferries as more French holidays makers choose to visit Ireland through the Port of Cork (above Armorique arriving off Cobh) and Rosslare Harbour Boost for Brittany Ferries as more French holidays makers choose to visit Ireland through the Port of Cork (above Armorique arriving off Cobh) and Rosslare Harbour Credit: Brittany Ferries-retweeted

Operator Brittany Ferries has announced that this year's bookings, in and out of Cork and Rosslare, are up by 44 per cent on figures for 2019, the last ‘normal’ year before Covid disrupted travel and holiday plans.

The company's Irish general manager Hugh Bruton said that while it is still early in the year, numbers travelling on all Brittany Ferries’ routes to and from both France and Spain are showing healthy increases.

“Undoubtedly the lack of travel during the last two years has created pent-up demand, particularly amongst Irish holidaymakers travelling abroad. But we are also seeing healthy increases in the number of French and Spanish visitors coming to Ireland.

“While the UK has always been the primary destination for French customers, across our total Ireland/UK business currently we are attracting 49 per cent of all the French holidaymakers travelling with the company, to Ireland. Those numbers are unprecedented.”

Last month, Brittany Ferries’ President Jean Marc Roué and the company's chief executive Christophe Mathieu were in Ireland to make a number of important investment announcements in relation to the company's long-term commitment to its Irish routes.

They confirmed that the new midweek sailing launched last year connecting Cork with France and operated by cruise-ferry Armorique (see photo) will become a permanent feature of the company’s sailing schedule in future years.

They also announced that in November of this year they would be introducing a larger and more cruise-orientated ship Galicia on their Rosslare-Bilbao route, replacing Connemara. The Galicia cruise-ferry is one of the newest additions to the Brittany Ferries fleet having been launched in December 2020.

Speaking in relation to the announcement Siobhan McManamy, Acting Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “As we restart overseas tourism to Ireland this year, the announcement that Brittany Ferries’ bookings for sailings from Roscoff to Cork and from Cherbourg and Bilbao to Rosslare are up by 44 per cent on 2019 is very good news and a real vote of confidence in Irish tourism.

“As an island, the importance of convenient, direct access cannot be overstated – it is absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. We already work very closely with Brittany Ferries and we look forward to continuing to co-operate with them to maximise the promotion of their services.”

Published in Brittany Ferries
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 2022

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