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With Storm Ciarán approaching, Brittany Ferries Cherbourg-Rosslare ferry was affected by such weather related conditions and was diverted to the Port of Cork yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Salamanca in the morning arrived to Cork with an unscheduled call from Cherbourg and berthed at the Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal from where passengers disembarked and vehicles were discharged. Salamanca also normally operates the Rosslare-Bilbao route. 

Following completion of unloading at Ringaskiddy, the first E-Flexer series ship to enter Cork Harbour shifted berths to enable the inbound Armorique which was making a routine mid-week call from Roscoff.

Salamanca had moved to take shelter alongside the Cork Container Terminal opposite of the Deep Water Terminal, where bulk-cargo operations continued. Among them involved yesterday evening’s arrival of Arklow Rambler, which Afloat tracked its maiden call to the port, albeit earlier than scheduled, (see previous related coverage) and discovered the Salamanca was also in port.

The impact of Storm Ciaran subsequently took place off the south coast, however the brunt of the weather battered north-west France. Overnight gusts of 115kph were reported in Brest, in western Brittany as the full affects from the Atlantic storm also swept across southern Britain and the English Channel.

A red warning weather alert for the Channel Islands was in effect which led to operator, Condor Ferries cancelling crossings in advance with further wet and windy weather ahead for the weekend.

On the Brittany Ferries Irish website, it stated that weather related delays and or cancellations will occur today (2 Nov.) and forecasts will be monitored over the net 24 hours.

The Ireland-France route cruiseferry, Armorique is to sail this evening with a scheduled departure of 18:30 to Roscoff.

The Salamanca is to remain in Ringaskiddy and in an (update 3 Nov) the cruiseferry is currently alongside at Cobh. On return to the south-east port, Salamanca will be able to resume services out of Rosslare with a scheduled departure at 23:30 tommorrow (3 Nov) to Bilbao.

This weekend’s final Roscoff-Ringaskiddy round trip (operated by flagship, Pont-Aven) is also cancelled.

The seasonal route is however to be extended for the first time with winter sailings scheduled to take place this month and into December, with Armorique taking over the roster next weekend of the flagship’s France-Ireland-France rotation.

Following a winter refit during the first six weeks of 2024, Armorique will then reopen the Cork–Roscoff earlier than before, returning on 9 February 2024 with Pont-Aven rejoining in March to provide a two-ship service.

Published in Brittany Ferries

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).