#Increase – An increase of 5% has been reported by operator Brittany Ferries in the number of passengers travelling to Ireland in 2016, compared to the previous year.
The company begins its seasonal Ireland-France service next month operated by Pont-Aven. On Saturday, 1 April, sailings depart from Cork (Ringaskiddy) and every subsequent Saturday throughout the season. The return sailings depart from Roscoff every Friday until early November.
Ireland’s popularity as a travel destination show no signs of waning as the number of French passengers travelling with the cruise-ferry operator has been rising steadily over the last number of years. General Manager Hugh Bruton said ‘We’ve noticed an increase in the number of French passengers travelling to Ireland, which has been a continuing trend in the last few years, and demonstrates both the popularity of Ireland as a travel destination and the valuable contribution that Brittany Ferries is making to the Irish economy.’
Bruton added, ‘There’s no better way to experience all that France has to offer than on a self-drive holiday and the figures reveal that passengers enjoy the many advantages of ferry travel. Not only does it allow holidaymakers to explore the region at their own pace, it also means you can pack as much as you want, which is particularly convenient for families with a large amount of luggage, adventurers travelling with bikes or keen golfers hoping to get into the swing of things on France’s greenways.
The service in 2016 ended strongly with 4,500 passengers and 1,100 cars on the last two sailings of the season. 2017 looks set to be an even more successful year with ferry bookings up 4% on the previous year.
Pont-Aven will resume the fastest direct ferry crossing between Ireland to France, taking just 14 hours and operating to a convenient weekend schedule. The state-of-the-art ship is the most modern to be found on any of the direct continental crossings .
#BrittanyFerries – Brittany Ferries this year celebrate 35 years of Cork-Roscoff service currently served by flagship Pont-Aven, which every weekend makes a round-trip up to early November, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Pont-Aven arrives every Saturday morning and departs in the afternoon bound for Breton port which is a 14 hour crossing.
The luxuriously appointed Pont-Aven has top-class facilities and where French chefs and friendly bi-lingual staff all add to create a typically Gallic and chic atmosphere on board.
Brittany Ferries are offering an early autumn break. Book now and enjoy 6 days in France from €338 return for a car plus two passengers including cabin each way - the equivalent of just €169 per person return.
But hurry...as bookings are to be made by tomorrow (15 September) for travel dates up to 26 October 2013. For further details visit: www.brittanyferries.ie/6-day-late-summer-autumn-getaway
The Irish-French route began operations in 1978 firstly served by the Armorique, followed by Quiberon, Bretagne and Val de Loire.
#BrittanyFerries35th – Today Brittany Ferries celebrates launching into its 35th year in operating the Cork-Roscoff seasonal service served by 'flagship' Pont-Aven, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Speaking about the upcoming 2013 season, General Manager of Brittany Ferries, Mr Hugh Bruton said: "This is always a busy time for us as we re-commence our service from Cork to Roscoff. We are delighted to report that the route is currently ahead by 12% on last year which is a great sign for The Gathering!
"It's also an exciting time for the business as we are celebrating our 40th anniversary globally and 35 years of sailing from Cork to Roscoff. Our continued service offers affordable, convenient holidays to France which is perfect for families of all ages".
Pont-Aven, is not just 'any' ferry as at 41,000 tonnes, she has an array of luxurious facilities to include a spa and swimming pool and an on board ambiance of French flair combined with a bilingual crew.
The flagship departs every Saturday from Ringaskiddy Ferry Terminal until November 2013. She offers the shortest and fastest route between Ireland and France, taking 14 hours, several hours shorter than rivals running routes from Rosslare.
The origins of Brittany Ferries can be directly derived to Breton vegetable farmers who wanted to export their produce to markets in the UK following the closure of other west English Channel ferry routes more than forty years ago.
A co-operative of French farmers got to together to form Bretagne-Angleterre Irlande (B.A.I) otherwise as we know today as Brittany Ferries, which started a new service to Plymouth in 1973.
Brittany Ferries soon found demand not just from agricultural exports but in the reverse direction with passengers from the UK which really boosted the fortunes of the company. On foot of this success and within the next few years further routes were added to include its first route to Ireland opened in 1978.
Armorique, Quiberon, Bretagne and Val de Loire are not just nice-sounding names from locations in Brittany and beyond to conjure images and memories of travels past but these placenames were also given to name the ferries that served the route down through the decades.
The route has also brought closer ties through Irish-Gallic history and heritage but also Celtic cultural connections.
For more information on Brittany Ferries 2013 season schedule and more visit www.brittanyferries.ie
#FrenchFerry- Cork-Rosscoff is the shortest route to France and Brittany Ferries will open the 2013 season in a month's time with sailings served by the luxury cruiseferry Pont-Aven.
Connections to Cork have improved with M7 and M8 motorways, with driving times from Dublin just 2.5 hours and from Belfast taking 4.5 hours.
Brittany Ferries have a range of cottages, apartments and chalet camping in Brittany, Western Loire or beyond.Until the end of the month, savings of 15% can be made on holiday accommodation and 15% on sailings. But hurry, the offer to save twice must book by 28 February.
Sailings begin on 23 March from Ringaskiddy ferryport and operate on Saturdays with an afternoon departure.
For further details on this offer visit: www.brittanyferries.ie/holidays/2013-holiday-offer
#FERRY NEWS- Brittany Ferries are to resume sailings today, following the end of an industrial dispute as previously reported on Afloat.ie, which was carried out by employees that led to services halted between UK, France, Ireland and Spain.
The Breton ferry company was forced to suspend services for 10 days after strikes erupted and employees fought to disrupt the operator which sought cuts in costs by reducing salaries and the frequency of crossings.
The Irish service, operated by the Pont-Aven on the weekend only round-trip route from Roscoff to Cork, is to depart the French port this Friday 5th October, at 21.15hrs. The return sailing departs Cork (Ringaskiddy) on Saturday 6th October at 16.00hrs.
All English Channel routes are to resume today though the company had to cancel tomorrow's 11.00hrs sailing from Portsmouth to Santander as the ship is out of position.
#SAILINGS CANCELLED – Due to a series of wildcat strikes yesterday by French employees of Brittany Ferries, the company has cancelled sailings on the Cork-Roscoff route until further notice and on its other routes to the UK and Spain.
The cancellation of sailings on the weekend only (round-trip) operated Irish route, led to passengers having to take alternative travel arrangements. Instead of departing Roscoff last night, passengers were given passage on board last night's departure from Cherbourg using the Celtic Link Ferries service to Rosslare, which is scheduled to arrive later today at lunchtime.
It has been suggested by Brittany Ferries, that customers who had booked on today's (cancelled) 16.00hrs sailing from Cork to Roscoff, should instead depart Rosslare with Celtic Link Ferries or Irish Ferries which also operates to Cherbourg.
For information and sailing updates from Brittany Ferries click HERE.
#FERRY TO FRANCE – Brittany Ferries flagship Cork-Roscoff route is underway, as the first sailing in 2012 of the seasonal-only operated service started last weekend and runs to early November. Serving on the 14 hour route which is the shortest sailing to France, is the luxurious flagship Pont-Aven, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 2,400 passenger /650 vehicle capacity Pont-Aven is unique to Irish services as she features a swimming pool. The indoor facility located on the top deck, includes a leisure area and pool bar which is open during the summer season and on busy off-season crossings.
In addition there are restaurants, a piano bar, main lounge, café and shop facilities. She has a wide choice of cabin accommodation that includes 'Commodore' cabins complete with balconies. For details about sailing schedules click HERE.
Roscoff is set in picturesque surroundings on the north-west Breton coast and the ferryport is a short distance even by foot to the town which has restaurants facing the coast. There is a botanical garden and a century-old thalassotherapy that has seawater and seaweed treatments used for healing and relaxation therapies.
#FERRY NEWS – By this weekend three seasonal-only operated routes from the island of Ireland will have resumed service since the recent change of the clocks marking the start of summertime, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Sailings started today on Stena Line's Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead (120 minutes) fast-craft HSS Stena Explorer operated service. The central corridor route closed last September due to cost-saving measures as previously reported. For further details on sailing schedule click HERE.
The reopening of the Welsh route follows yesterday's launch of P&O Ferries fast-craft sailings to Scotland between Larne-Troon (2 hours) served by the 92m Express. She also runs additional sailings on the year-round Larne-Cairnryan route served by a pair of conventional ferry sisters. To read more information on both sailing route schedules click HERE.
The remaining route to re-open is Brittany Ferries Cork-Roscoff (14 hours) service operated by the 2,400 passenger 'flagship' Pont-Aven, which features an indoor swimming pool. Her first sailing for this year is tonight's sailing from the Breton port.
The corresponding Irish sailing departs tomorrow afternoon and the inaugural round trip is due to be completed with an arrival in France on Sunday morning. For sailing times click HERE.
Pont-Aven's final end of season sailing will be departing Ringaskiddy on Saturday (29th) at 15.00hrs and she is due to arrive at her homeport of Roscoff at 06.00hrs local time.
The €100m luxurious ferry was built in Germany in 2004 and she entered service that year on the three-route roster linking Ireland on the 14-hour overnight weekend sailings in addition to serving on French-UK and UK-Spainish routes.
Uniquely she is the only ferry operating in Irish waters with a swimming pool which is enclosed on the upper deck. Of the various facilities, services and entertainment, they may vary depending on the date and time of year.
Also operating on the same route to Normandy are Celtic Link Ferries which run the modern sleek Italian built 800 passenger /200 vehicle ro-pax ferry Norman Voyager. Short wine breaks are from €200 return for a car, driver and a two-berth outside cabin. Additional passengers can travel for €10 each way and subject to sailing schedules passengers can stay in Cherbourg for up to five hours.
A third operator to France is Brittany Ferries which sails on the Cork-Roscoff route and which is served by their 'flagship' Pont-Aven. The €100m ferry has a swimming pool and this is unique to any route operating out of Ireland. The company are offering one-way fares from €70 per person based on a car with four adults in an inside cabin.
Sailings depart Saturday's from Cork and arrive in the Breton port 14 hours later, making the route the shortest and fastest of the four continental services.