Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Soaring Demand for Pet-Friendly Ferry Travel

15th February 2024
Reuben and Captain Bergeroux on board Brittany Ferries Armorique
Reuben and Captain Bergeroux on board Brittany Ferries Armorique

Brittany Ferries has introduced pet-friendly cabins for the first time on its ferry Armorique, which has restarted the twice-weekly Cork Harbour-Roscoff service.

There are 18 ‘pet-friendly’ cabins which, the company says, have been introduced to “significantly enhance capacity for passengers travelling with their beloved pets.”

They even have ‘convenient access’ to a dedicated pet promenade area on the outside deck and with a “hygienic laminate floor” are reached from the garage deck. They were introduced in a winter refit for the ship.

Until now, dogs have had to remain in cars during the crossing on board the Armorique; Brittany Ferries says that 75,000 pets, accompanied by their owners, travelled on their routes - highlighting the “soaring demand and popularity for pet-friendly travel.”

The Brittany Ferries Cork to Roscoff sailings run twice weekly, on the Armorique and the flagship vessel Pont-Aven, which has 28 pet-friendly cabins.

Brittany also operates Rosslare to Cherbourg.

Published in Brittany Ferries
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a column for He is former RTE Marine Correspondent/Presenter of Seascapes and now has a monthly Podcast on the Community Radio Network and Podcast services

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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).