Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries’ Connemara has been welcomed today to the shipping register of France, creating jobs for French seafarers and bringing to 11 the number of ships of the fleet sailing under the red, white and blue of the tricolour.
Afloat adds that ferry Connemara at the end of October completed its final Cork-Santander sailing, however another ropax Kerry has taken over on the year-round operated Irish-Iberian link by crossing the Bay of Biscay with an arrival to the Spanish port this morning. A previous scheduled sailing was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions which led Kerry vacating the ferry linkspan at Ringaskiddy terminal. Afloat tracked the ropax upriver in Cork Harbour at the Marino Point jetty.
As for the seasonal Cork-Roscoff route, Pont-Aven carried out the final crossing of 2019 departing the Irish port last Saturday. Services resume in March 2020.
Returning to Connemara, Brittany Ferries add that the ropax originally joined the fleet in May 2018 to open a new route between Cork and Santander – the first ever direct ferry route between Ireland and Spain. The chartered ship (Afloat also adds served Cork-Roscoff) had initially sailed under a European flag, but with a clear commitment that it would be transferred to the French register and crewed by French sailors after two years of operation.
This commitment has now been fulfilled six months early, allowing for the creation of 111 jobs for French crew-members, including 25 officers.
“We’re delighted and proud to raise the French flag aboard Connemara,” says Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “Despite the current uncertain economic and political waters we’re navigating Brittany Ferries continues its development, and reaffirms its long-term commitment to the French flag, and its position as the biggest employer of French seafarers.”
Following regulatory checks by maritime authorities in Spain, France and UK, Connemara will sail for the first time under the French flag on 13th November, operating a service from Santander in northern Spain to Portsmouth, UK. During December it will link Poole with Cherbourg, covering for fleet mate Barfleur which will undergo an extensive refit. Then in January 2020 Connemara will begin operating services between Portsmouth and Le Havre.
Connemara is at the vanguard of a wave of French-flag ships which will arrive over the next four years as part of a €550 fleet renewal programme.
Honfleur will be delivered from the German FSG shipyard in 2020 and will serve the Portsmouth-Caen route. This is to be followed by three brand new ‘E-Flexer’ class ships to serve longhaul on UK-Spain routes: Galicia in late 2020, Salamanca in 2022, and Santoña in 2023.
Some 300 passengers and their travel plans have been disrupted this weekend, reports the Irish Examiner, following the last-minute cancellation of Brittany Ferries sailings between Cork and Santander.
Passengers received texts (yesterday) morning advising that tonight's 10.30pm ferry from Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork to Santander in northern Spain, was cancelled due to a technical problem.
One passenger, Bernice Russell, from Cork, said initially they were told the ferry would leave instead at 9am on Saturday morning, but that too was cancelled.
For more on this story click here.
Afloat.ie adds that the next sailing on the year-round route to Spain scheduled for next Monday has too been cancelled as according to Brittany Ferries. For the latest information this can be found on the operator's sailing updates page by scrolling down for Irish routes.
Afloat.ie also adds that the ferry concerned the Connemara had to vacate the single-linkspan at Ringaskiddy so to enable fleetmate Pont-Aven to berth at the terminal as it operates the Cork-Roscoff route at the weekends. The flagship is scheduled to depart to France today at 16.00hrs.
As for the whereabouts of the Connemara, the 500 passenger capacity ropax proceeded upriver of the River Lee to the Marino Point jetty which as Afloat previously reported is to be redeveloped.
Operator Brittany Ferries has marked two key milestones in its €550 million fleet renewal programme which includes a pair of E-Flexer newbuilds destined for UK-Spain routes.
At the AVIC Weihai shipyard in Shandong, eastern China, shipyard workers and Brittany Ferries teams gathered to celebrate the launch of cruise-ferry Galicia, and the start of building work for sister ship Salamanca.
The 215-metre long hull of Galicia was majestically floated out at a traditional Chinese ship-launching ceremony. Then, alongside in the building dock the very first steel was cut for fleet mate Salamanca marking the beginning of the ship’s construction.
When complete, the two ships will serve Brittany Ferries’ long-haul routes connecting Portsmouth to Santander and Bilbao in northern Spain, with Galicia due to enter service in late 2020 followed by Salamanca in spring 2022. They will be joined a year later by a third sister ship to be named Santoña.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here in China today (11 Sept) to celebrate the launch of Galicia and the start of work on Salamanca,” said Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “Our customers rightly expect our fleet to be modern, comfortable and efficient, with the promise of minimal environmental impact from operations and we can only achieve this aim with the very best, innovative new ships. Galicia and Salamanca are perfectly suited to our long-haul Spanish operations, and will allow us to further enhance our service to holidaymakers and hauliers taking advantage of these routes.
“As a French company operating ferries between the UK, France, Spain and Ireland, we are, for sure, concerned by the current political uncertainty in Europe. But we are certain of the course that Brittany Ferries will follow in the years to come. And these brand new ships are tangible evidence – in steel – of our confidence and optimism looking ahead”.
The three 42,200-tonne ‘E-Flexer’ class ships will be amongst the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet, measuring 215 metres long, with around three kilometres of space for cars and lorries.
Not only will they be capacious, comfortable and efficient – they’ll also be better for the environment. Whilst Galicia will be fitted with funnel exhaust gas cleaning systems, Salamanca and Santoña will be amongst the first ferries of their type to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) offering significant environmental advantages over traditional marine fuels, burning more efficiently and producing no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95 per cent less nitrogen dioxide.
The company’s very first LNG-powered ship Honfleur currently under construction in Flensberg, Germany (albeit delayed see story) will enter service on the busy Portsmouth to Caen route in 2020.
Speaking to French newspaper Ouest-France, Jean-Marc Roué confirmed the news but said he thought that other businesses would also be submitting an offer.
The news follows another report from the same newspaper in June that the French-based shipping company was putting in the offer to counter a ‘rapid-expansion plan’ from one of its competitors, Danish company DFDS.
The article also said that the move would secure vital ports – St Malo, Poole and Portsmouth – from their competitors.
However, it has been rumoured that other carriers, such as Stena and Irish Ferries, could also be interested.
For more on the Channel Islands operator click here.
Kerry has been announced as the name of Brittany Ferries ropax vessel that Afloat.ie previously reported is to be introduced in November 2019.
The ship Afloat adds is a Visentini-class designed ropax likewise to the existing Ireland-Spain serving Connemara. Kerry will cover the Cork-Santander route from November 2019 to November 2020.
The company has also revealed that Santoña (a town located in Cantabria and pronounced Santonia in English) has been chosen for the company’s third E-Flexer class ship. To be chartered from Stena, Santoña is part of the company’s €550 million fleet renewal programme, with a clear focus on sustainable development. Santoña will arrive in 2023 and like sister ship Salamanca, she will be powered by environmentally-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Three new LNG vessels on the horizon:
Santoña will be the third LNG powered vessel to join the Brittany Ferries fleet. The fuel burns more efficiently than diesel,so promises significant improvements in air quality as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Combustion produces no sulphur, virtually no particulates and 95% less NOx (nitrogen dioxide) than diesel. LNG is also up to 28% better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions according to findings of an independent, peer-reviewed report published in April this year*.
“Brittany Ferries is committed to LNG as the most environmentally-friendly fuelling solution currently available for shipping,” said Frédéric Pouget, Brittany Ferries director of fleet and port operations. “Despite the significant investment made in scrubber technology for our ships, we know that the best way to respect the environments in which we operate, and to exceed emission reduction targets, is to commit to LNG. This is what we have done with an investment worth half a billion euros.”
The company’s first LNG ship, Honfleur, will be operational next year. She is currently under construction in Germany and will serve the company’s busiest Portsmouth to Caen route. Salamanca will arrive in 2022 to carry passengers and freight on long haul routes between the UK and Spain. Santoña will join the fleet in 2023.
Cutting CO2 per passenger by 46%:
The company’s fleet renewal programme promises a significant reduction in carbon emissions per passenger compared with vessels currently operating between the UK and Spain. That’s because Cap Finistère and Baie de Seine, are less efficient vessels with much smaller passenger and freight capacities than the LNG e-Flexer class ships that will replace them
The company will also run four round trips from the UK to Spain each week, instead of five. This means a significant saving in fuel consumption and emissions, while still promising a 10% improvement in passenger capacity and 28% increase in freight space.
These savings, combined with improved efficiency thanks to better hull design and modern engines, and the use of LNG to power vessels, will realise an estimated saving of around 46% CO2 per passenger compared with current vessels on the company’s long-haul routes.
In terms of refuelling infrastructure, Brittany Ferries has developed an innovative solution to re-fuel its first LNG vessel, Honfleur. In partnership with Total, industry-standard, containerised LNG will be trucked on board, then lifted into position by on-board cranes where they will replenish Honfleur’s fixed, on-board LNG storage tank. The process will be reversed when mobile tanks are empty.
Additional costs of Honfleur’s LNG systems and equipment have been partially offset by the support of the French Government “Program of Investments for the Future” (“Vehicle of the Future” sub-program) and operated by ADEME.
For Spanish operations, Brittany Ferries has signed a letter of intent with Spanish energy company Repsol for the delivery of LNG. Under the agreement between the two companies, Repsol will install quayside LNG storage facility at ports in northern Spain. Confirmation is expected later this month. This will then be used to fuel both E-Flexer ships during their calls.
The E-Flexer class ships will be amongst the largest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will be 215 metres long with 3,000 garage lane metres for freight vehicles, and capacity for around 1,000 passengers.
The UK government's Brexit ferry programme was "rushed and risky", according to a cross-party group of MPs, who confirmed the botched project had cost £85m.
As BBC News reports a procurement process to provide extra ferry services was held in anticipation of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March.
But MPs said taxpayers had "little to show" for the cost after the UK failed to leave the EU on that date and had to cancel deals reached with three firms.
The government defended the contracts, calling them an "insurance policy".
- UK seeks new no-deal Brexit freight plan
- UK government cancels Brexit ferry deals
- Seaborne Freight no-deal ferry contract scrapped (see related Irish shipping company story).
The contracts had to be cancelled after the date for Britain to leave the EU was pushed back from 29 March to 31 October.
For much more click here from the Public Accounts Committee report covering the ferry contracts and Out of Court settlement concerning EuroTunnel.
Brittany Ferries is reportedly considering buying Channel Islands based operator Condor Ferries.
The French company which operates ferries between the UK, France and Spain, has confirmed to ITV News an announcement is expected later today (yesterday, 24 June).
The owner of Condor Ferries, Macquarie, announced last year it was looking for buyers for the operator which sails between the UK, Channel Islands and France.
French media have reported Brittany Ferries has received a mandate from its shareholders to come up with a purchase plan, but that it would be reliant on other co-investors.
Macquarie purchased Condor Ferries in 2008 for an undisclosed sum thought to be around £260m though today has declined to comment on the development.
Speaking last year, when the prospect of a sale emerged, the CEO of Condor Ferries, Paul Luxon, said a sale would have no effect on the operation of the ferry service.
Afloat adds the fleet of Condor comprises of two high-speed ferries, a conventional ferry (Commodore Clipper) in addition to a freight-only ferry.
A one-year charter by Brittany Ferries of an additional ropax ship is being finalised ahead of the 2020 season.
The ropax will be operated by Brittany Ferries from November 2019 until November 2020. The goal is to deliver additional flexibility to a route network that connects Ireland, France, Spain and the UK.
The ship is to be chartered from Stena Ro-Ro and currently sails between Ancona and Trieste in Italy. The Visentini-class vessel will be the third of its kind on the Brittany Ferries fleet, joining Etretat and Connemara in November.
“This charter is an important step in our 2020 season planning,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO. “We know that our flagship Pont-Aven will be out of service for at least ten weeks in the winter for the replacement of one of her four engines. This will leave a significant gap in capacity across our network.
“We also need to be sure that our fleet can cope with any potential delays in the delivery of our next cruise-ferry Honfleur, ahead of the busy 2020 summer season. For these two reasons, we have taken the prudent decision to charter a new vessel for one year.
“Furthermore, and given what we learnt from Government Brexit no-deal preparations in March and April, we believe it is sensible to generate additional capacity to prepare for the impacts of Brexit, should it happen at the end of October and should our services be needed.”
The new charter will take over Brittany Ferries sailings from Cork to Santander, extending the operating window for this service. The route, which represents the first time Spain and Ireland have been connected by ferry in their history, was opened in May 2018 for an initial two-year trial.
Connemara, which operates between Cork and Santander today, will be brought under the French-flag. This is six months earlier than originally planned and reinforces Brittany Ferries commitment to the employment of French seafarers.
Following her re-flagging, Connemara will be free to cover scheduled dry-dock periods for other vessels over the winter and to release Etretat (currently operating Portsmouth to Le Havre) to cover services from the UK to Spain in April.
It has been confirmed by Brittany Ferries that its Cork-Roscoff route will resume service this Friday as expected.
Difficulties in securing parts for repairs to the ship meant the vessel was out of action longer than Brittany Ferries had originally expected.
While Brittany Ferries said it was working with those affected in arranging alternative plans or refunds, some people felt they were left in the dark.
More on the story can be read here.
Customers in their thousands due to travel with Brittany Ferries are facing holiday disruption with the company's flagship Pont-Aven ferry now out of action until June 14.
"Despite these efforts it has now become apparent that this work will take longer than initially planned, whilst replacement parts are delivered and installed, and comprehensive checks are carried out," the company has announced.
The Pont Aven will not resume sailings until Friday, June 14.
For passengers, that means sailings on the Cork/Roscoff route have been cancelled for this weekend (May 31/June 1) and next (June7/8), along with a number of sailings on the company’s Plymouth/Santander and Plymouth/Roscoff routes.
Since May 17, a total of some 6,500 customers will be affected.