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Season Concludes With Increased Passengers for Brittany Ferries in 2017

16th November 2017
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Brittany Ferries 2017 seasonal Cork-Roscoff route had a 4% increase in passengers compared to the previous year. Above: Cruiseferry Pont-Aven Afloat adds has 'scrubber' funnel technology to reduce sulphur emissions, is seen in Spanish waters where the 40,000 gross tonnage cruiseferry is currently operating Santander-Portsmouth sailings. The cruiseferry will resume Ireland-France sailings in late March, 2018. Brittany Ferries 2017 seasonal Cork-Roscoff route had a 4% increase in passengers compared to the previous year. Above: Cruiseferry Pont-Aven Afloat adds has 'scrubber' funnel technology to reduce sulphur emissions, is seen in Spanish waters where the 40,000 gross tonnage cruiseferry is currently operating Santander-Portsmouth sailings. The cruiseferry will resume Ireland-France sailings in late March, 2018. Photo: Santander Pilots (Ignacio Rey) twitter

#ferrynews - Cruiseferry Pont-Aven has made its final Ireland-France voyage of the year, marking the end of the Brittany Ferries 2017 sailing season.

Building on the success of 2016 when numbers were up by 3%, 2017 showed a further 4% increase on the number of people travelling on the Cork-Roscoff route. The cruise-ferry operator carried more than 87,000 passengers in the year and ended the season strongly with 4,100 passengers and 1,157 cars on the last two sailings of the season.

While France continues to be a popular travel destination for Irish travellers, equally the number of French people visiting Ireland with Brittany Ferries show no signs of waning as the number of French passengers travelling with the cruise-ferry operator continued to grow. 2017 saw nearly 45,000 French passengers avail of the route, representing 52% of all passengers carried on the Cork-Roscoff crossings.

Commenting on the 2017 season, General Manager Hugh Bruton said, "2017 was another successful season for Brittany Ferries. We have experienced strong passenger growth over the last few years and we are delighted to report that this trend has continued again this year. France has so much to offer holidaymakers, from family fun, to those searching for adventure activities, to golfing getaways. We’re also delighted to see that our French passenger numbers remain strong, as Brittany Ferries continues to make a valuable contribution to the Irish economy. We look forward to building on the success of 2017 and welcoming new and returning passengers in 2018, in what will be the 40th anniversary of our Cork-Roscoff route.”

Earlier this year, Afloat reported on Brittany Ferries £175m order of a new LNG-powered ferry,Honfleur to operate the Portsmouth-Caen route. Due to be delivered in 2019, she will come with an innovative fuel delivery and storage system to help navigate a way around the absence of LNG storage in ports.

Although the 2017 season has concluded, holidaymakers planning their next escape can book now for 2018 and avail of a 15% early booking discount. Passengers will also have the added benefit of being able to secure their preferred travel dates and accommodation.

The Pont-Aven continues to offer the fastest direct ferry crossing from Ireland to France, taking just 14 hours and operating to a convenient weekend schedule. The state-of-the-art ship is the newest and most modern ship to be found on any direct crossing between Ireland and France. Afloat adds that the first outbound sailing from Cork to Roscoff resumes on 31st March.

Passengers can enjoy an authentic French on board experience, unmatched cruise style standards and award-winning service and cuisine. Facilities include pool and bar areas with panoramic sea views, two cinemas, shopping malls, luxurious spa treatments and a wide range of restaurants as well as complimentary Wi-Fi in all public areas of the ship.

Published in Ferry
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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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!

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