Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Bretagne Returns to Brittany's Ferries Service for End of Season Sailings

19th October 2014
Bretagne Returns to Brittany's Ferries Service for End of Season Sailings

#BrittanyFerries – Bretagne, Brittany Ferries first custom-built 'cruise-ferry' made a rare call to Cork Harbour's Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal yesterday, the arrival of the vessel from Roscoff was the first this season which started in March, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Cork-Roscoff sailings are otherwise operated by the larger Pont-Aven (2004/41,746grt), another cruiseferry ordered by the Breton based company which required a vessel to cater for 2,400 passengers in luxurious surroundings and space for 650 cars.

As previously reported, Pont-Aven this season marked her 10th season since introduction on the Ireland-France link replacing Bretagne (1989/24,543grt). Two year's after Pont-Aven's Irish debut, the Bretagne returned to the route for a once-off round trip in 2006 as Pont-Aven was chartered for spectator duties during the yachting spectacle of the Race de Rhum.

Bretagne's normal route is Portsmouth-St. Malo in which sailings are currently covered by Pont-Aven which in addition to running on the Irish link serves Roscoff-Plymouth as well to UK-Spain routes.

The reason for switching vessels is to meet requirements of winter sailings and rosters for each member of the Brittany Ferries fleet to take turns to dry-dock for annual overhauls.

This year, Bretagne celebrates her 25th anniversary since entering service in 1989. The cruiseferry with a capacity for 1,926 passengers and 580 cars is the only member of the Brittany Ferries fleet to have been built in France, when she was launched by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire. Likewise of Pont-Aven she was commissioned to serve Roscoff-Plymouth, UK-Spain services and operate a once weekly service to Cork.

Bretagne will continue to operate the shoulder season of the Irish service with a further two Roscoff-Cork round trips of the weekend-only operated route. The final sailing from France is on 31 October and from Ireland the last crossing is to take place on 1 November.

The 2015 season starts with the return of Pont-Aven with an outward bound sailing from Cork on 21 March. Sailings take 14 hours on what is the shortest crossing time between Ireland and France.

 

Published in Ferry
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

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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 Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

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