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Displaying items by tag: Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has introduced pet-friendly cabins for the first time on its ferry Armorique, which has restarted the twice-weekly Cork Harbour-Roscoff service.

There are 18 ‘pet-friendly’ cabins which, the company says, have been introduced to “significantly enhance capacity for passengers travelling with their beloved pets.”

They even have ‘convenient access’ to a dedicated pet promenade area on the outside deck and with a “hygienic laminate floor” are reached from the garage deck. They were introduced in a winter refit for the ship.

Until now, dogs have had to remain in cars during the crossing on board the Armorique; Brittany Ferries says that 75,000 pets, accompanied by their owners, travelled on their routes - highlighting the “soaring demand and popularity for pet-friendly travel.”

The Brittany Ferries Cork to Roscoff sailings run twice weekly, on the Armorique and the flagship vessel Pont-Aven, which has 28 pet-friendly cabins.

Brittany also operates Rosslare to Cherbourg.

Published in Brittany Ferries
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Brittany Ferries is continuing its commitment to sustainability with an important upgrade to its flagship vessel, Pont-Aven.

The ferry that serves the Cork Harbour-Roscoff route will undergo economic upgrades to its hull to improve its hydrodynamic performance. 

As part of its annual technical stop, a 'duck tail' will be added to the vessel's stern. This upgrade is expected to increase the ship's length by about three meters, which will improve its hydrodynamic performance and boost fuel economy by around 10% when it returns to service in early 2024.

Hull model of the new design for Brittany Ferries  flagship vessel, Pont-AvenHull model of the new design for Brittany Ferries  flagship vessel, Pont-Aven

Sustainability is a critical aspect for any shipping company, and hydrodynamics plays a vital role in the industry. Reducing resistance while moving through water cuts fuel consumption and, therefore, emissions. This is why sleek design is such a crucial feature for Brittany Ferries' newest vessels, such as Santoña and Salamanca. 

The duck tail was chosen as a retrofit option for Pont-Aven, which began operations in 2004. The project started with Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations developed by the design office of Chantiers d'Atlantique in France. After a dozen proposed design tweaks were put through the program, engineers found little benefit in terms of fuel savings. That is why they turned to the stern.

Brittany Ferries' research and projects manager, Brice Robinson, explained that "when we looked at improvements in stern design, results of the CFD simulations were far more promising. In fact, the data pointed to a significant reduction of around ten percent with the addition of a duck tail, which was very exciting."

Brittany Ferries' research and projects manager, Brice Robinson Photo: Barry HaydenBrittany Ferries' research and projects manager, Brice Robinson Photo: Barry Hayden

A 300m long test pool at the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) in Hamburg was where Pont-Aven's hull was originally tested in 2002 by Meyer Werft. Brittany Ferries' team flew to Germany to test three different duck tail shapes. All of them backed up data from the Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations, and the improvement was obvious the moment the first model took to the water.

The large HSVA model basin at Hamburg for testing the ferry designThe large HSVA model basin at Hamburg for testing the ferry design

The addition of the duck tail flattens the turbulent wake behind the transom, thereby reducing drag around the stern. This should be even more significant when applied to Brittany Ferries' flagship, as it will help compensate for the additional weight of her scrubber system, fitted in 2015. 

Basin tests in Hamburg of the new Ferry hull shapeBasin tests in Hamburg of the new Ferry hull shape

Pont-Aven was one of five ships in the Brittany Ferries' fleet to benefit from a clean-ship investment of around €90 million in scrubber installation, supported by ADEME. Brittany Ferries has also turned to drive-train partner Wartsila to investigate improved propeller design. This could lead to a further improvement of around 5% of propulsion efficiency when retrofitted to Pont-Aven at a later date.

Brittany Ferries has identified the most effective duck tail design, and the work is scheduled to coincide with Pont-Aven's planned technical break this November. With these upgrades, the company's flagship vessel will be more efficient and sustainable in the coming years.

Published in Brittany Ferries
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Ferry company Brittany Ferries has announced its 2024 sailing schedules from Ireland to France, allowing travellers in Ireland to plan and book trips to Brittany and Normandy from now until November 2024.

The operator says it will offer a wider-than-ever choice of routes and departure times from Ireland to France, with sailings year-round from Cork to Roscoff and between Rosslare and Cherbourg.

In a first for the city of Cork, the Ringaskiddy–Roscoff sailings will operate over the winter months 2023/24.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Armorique cruise-ferry will offer sailings to Brittany every weekend during November and December 2023, departing Cork on Saturday afternoons and returning from Roscoff on Fridays overnight. 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.

Then on 22 March 2024, Brittany Ferries’ 650-cabin flagship cruise-ferry Pont-Aven will rejoin Armorique on the Cork–Roscoff route, giving a total of two weekly departures in each direction throughout the summer and autumn right up until November 2024.

Brittany Ferries, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, first opened the Cork–Roscoff service back in 1978, but up until now it had always been a seasonal service, generally running from mid-March to mid-November.

Brittany Ferries will continue to operate year-round to Normandy from Rosslare, with weekly sailings from Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg operated by the company’s latest vessels Salamanca, Galicia and Santoña.

Additionally, freight-orientated vessel Cotentin will offer a sailing in both directions every weekend on the Rosslare–Cherbourg route, replacing the service that had previously operated from Rosslare to Le Havre.

Hugh Bruton, Brittany Ferries’ general manager for Ireland said: “We’re delighted to make our 2024 sailings from Ireland to France available, with more choice than we’ve ever offered before, allowing our customers to put their French holiday plans in place for this winter, next spring, summer and beyond. And by booking now, they’ll also enjoy the very best choice of sailings, fares and cabins.”

Bruton added": “Last year we doubled our sailing frequency from Cork to Roscoff with the arrival of cruise- ferry Armorique on the route. These sailings have proven immensely popular with Irish holidaymakers, so much so that they’re back for 2024, and for the first time in our 50-year history, we’ll keep the Cork to Roscoff link running this winter with sailings in November and December 2023, and in February and March 2024.”

Altogether in 2024, Brittany Ferries will offer up to eight sailings a week between Ireland and France, as well as four linking Ireland and Spain. The new Ireland–France timetables are available now at brittany-ferries.ie.

Published in Brittany Ferries
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Brittany Ferries is doubling its service from Cork to France.

In addition to the regular Saturday sailing to Roscoff there will be an additional midweek service overnight on Wednesdays as part of a three-year deal signed today between the French ferry operator and the Port of Cork company.

Cork Port CEO Eoin McGettigan said the deal marks a 45-year connection and, after a challenging two-year pandemic, is a welcome return to tourism and ferry travel.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons predicted a €4m. boost to local tourism and stressed the importance of ferry services to an island nation. Absolutely critical for Ireland, he said. In 2019, the last major tourism year before the pandemic there had been 557,000 visitors from France to Ireland.

Brittany Ferries President, Jean-Marc Roué, said tourist traffic was 55 to 45 per cent in favour of French holidaying in Ireland. Early bookings are up over 35 per cent on 2019, the last year of ‘normal’ operations due to Covid.

The new deal was announced aboard the MV Arorique at Ringaskiddy. It will sail the midweek service, with the Pont Aven, the company’s flagship again operating on Saturdays.

Sailings will operate from this month until October.

Published in Ferry

French media are reporting that operator CMA CGM is offering €81m ($92m) for a controlling 89% stake in 'La Provence', a daily published in Marseille,the French liner giant’s home city, so writes Tradewinds.

CMA CGM’s bid is said to easily exceed the only rival offer submitted by NJJ Presse Sud, a holding controlled by French media entrepreneur Xavier Niel.

On top of the outright acquisition price, CMA CGM chief executive Rodolphe Saade also pledged to invest an additional €35m in order to spruce up the newspaper.

The 89% stake in La Provence, a title with a circulation of about 80,000 copies in 2020 according to Wikipedia, is sold via court proceedings after the death last year of its former owner Bernard Tapie — a controversial French media mogul.

CMA CGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment or to clarify whether the bid comes from the company or personally from Saade, who has been open about wanting to invest in the newspaper.

When quizzed in an interview with French daily Le Monde earlier this month about the reasons for his interest, Saade was quoted as saying: “Don’t look for any complex reasons: I read the paper and I like it. La Provence is on sale, so I went for it.”

An investment in La Province would help safeguard hundreds of jobs at the newspaper. In line with booming profits during the coronavirus pandemic (see graph), big liner companies like CMA CGM have been eager to display more social responsibility amid calls for windfall taxes to be imposed on them.

In a similarly motivated move, CMA CGM invested $30m in ailing compatriot Brittany Ferries last year, to help the shortsea operator recover from its loss of passenger traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For further reading on the French containership giant and European rival, Meditterranean Shipping Company (incl. Irish operations) that also is looking into making substantial investments.

Published in Ports & Shipping

On Saturday, 13 November, it was a record day at Rosslare Europort, says Glenn Carr.

Over the course of the day, almost 1,000 units of freight travelled through the ferry hub, according to the port’s general manager, making it one of the busiest days in the history of the Wexford port.

This level of activity is something that Carr and his team have had to get used to in 2021.

So far this year, the volume of cargo travelling through the Wexford port has ballooned by 55%, according to Carr. Because of an increase in direct trade with Europe, continental freight volumes — which have skyrocketed by 378%, Carr says — are driving the overall numbers.

Once upon a time not long ago, Stena Line’s Fishguard and Irish Ferries’ Pembroke services, both in Wales, accounted for most of Rosslare’s business.

Much more the Journal.ie has to report on the dramatic fortunes of the ferryport.

The record in trade volumes preceded as Afloat adds, Brittany Ferries recently announced new route, Rosslare-Le Havre which began operations from the French port on Friday, 12 November. This involved the freight-only ro-ro Contentin to arrive at Rosslare Europort the next day.

Contentin is the French operator's custom-built freighter which can be seen above berthed at the Irish port upon completion of that inaugural crossing from Le Havre, Normandy.  

Published in Rosslare Europort

As from today, Brittany Ferries has opened its books for 2022 reservations in a move that comes three months earlier than normal and is partly designed to meet customer demand for holidays next year.

But as the French ferry operator highlights, this is also aimed to deliver reassurance to those who hold 2021 reservations, should a return to international travel be delayed.

“We share the prime minister’s optimism that international travel will be back on the menu by May 17,” said Paul Acheson, sales and marketing director Brittany Ferries. “But we also know that many travellers may be concerned about the situation in the countries we serve. Opening early means we cover all bases. We can serve those wishing to book ahead, offering the best choice for 2022 sailings. We can also bring flexibility and reassurance for those with a 2021 booking who may wish to amend their reservation at some point in the weeks ahead.”

The launch will come in two phases, starting today. In phase one, most Brittany Ferries routes to France and Spain will open, covering services extending to November 2022. The list includes ferries linking Portsmouth with Caen and St Malo, Portsmouth & Plymouth with Santander, and Cork with Roscoff. Other routes will be open for sale too, but for now these will be limited to services operating into March next year.

For more details visit this link here.

Published in Brittany Ferries

Operator, Brittany Ferries has published some of the most disappointing figures in its history, following its AGM in St. Pol de Leon, France today.

In a year dominated by the Covid crisis and amid on-going Brexit concerns, 2020 passenger numbers fell to less than a third of normal levels. Freight fared slightly better, with figures down by 20 per cent. Company turnover halved, as lockdown measures and restrictions on travel in all markets forced passengers to stay at home.

Despite a dreadful 2020, the company is already plotting a course towards a brighter future. It has embarked on a robust five-year recovery plan to bridge the immediate crisis and prepare for a return to normal service.

It has also commissioned an independent analysis of the passenger market by London-based consultancy LEK. Their findings suggest that passenger volumes are expected to have recovered to 2019 levels by 2022. Freight volumes are also expected to improve. Thanks to its five-year recovery plan - and with ongoing support from banks and the French government - Brittany Ferries says it can therefore look beyond the current storm with optimism.

“In the last few years Brittany Ferries faced a double strike, firstly as a consequence of Brexit challenges and then as a result of Covid,” said Jean-Marc Roué, company president. “On Brexit, the unfavourable Sterling-Euro exchange rate hit our bottom line. The value of Sterling plummeted directly after the 2016 vote and, since then, the company lost €115 million in potential income as the majority of revenue is generated in Sterling and costs come in Euros.

Brexit concerns also affected demand. Three potential dates for the UK’s departure from the EU in 2019 created uncertainty and anxiety in the marketplace and passenger numbers fell by 5%. Despite these challenges, we remained profitable.

However, last year, the Covid crisis brought our company to its knees. It struck a blow for the regions we serve and enrich, and the French seafarers we are proud to employ. Despite this, we are determined to remain part of the fabric of life in the north west of France as well as in the UK, Ireland and Spain and we must thank the regions of Normandy and Brittany, the banks and French state for their on-going support throughout this dark period. With a collective will to return stronger, I believe Brittany Ferries will overcome the greatest challenge in its history.”

Passenger numbers:
Passenger numbers:  Last year, Brittany Ferries carried 752,102 passengers. That was less than a third of the total it would carry in a normal year. By comparison, in 2019 it carried 2,498,354 passengers across all routesPassenger numbers: Last year, Brittany Ferries carried 752,102 passengers. That was less than a third of the total it would carry in a normal year. By comparison, in 2019 it carried 2,498,354 passengers across all routes

Around 85 percent of passengers are British. In 2019, the uncertainty of three potential Brexit deadlines created concern among passengers which hit demand for travel. Total passenger traffic fell by 5 percent in 2019 to 2,498,354. However, this dip was dwarfed by the 70% crash in passenger volumes last year, caused by government restrictions that prohibited international travel.

Around 80 percent of company income is generated through passenger traffic: the effect that travel restrictions had on turnover was therefore devastating. In 2020 the company turned €202.4 million, compared with €469m in 2019, a 57% decline.

Freight figures:

Brittany Ferries largely returned to its roots as a freight-only operation towards the end of last year. in total it carried 160,377 units in 2020, down around 20 percent on the previous year’s tally of 201,554. Market distortions were caused by stockpiling at the end of the Brexit transition period and amid concerns about new border controls and import/export processes. The Covid crisis also impacted freight volumes, albeit not as significantly as it did for passenger traffic.

Freight figures:  Brittany Ferries largely returned to its roots as a freight-only operation towards the end of last year. in total it carried 160,377 units in 2020, down around 20 percent on the previous year’s tally of 201,554. Market distortions were caused by stockpiling at the end of the Brexit transition period and amid concerns about new border controls and import/export processes. The Covid crisis also impacted freight volumes, albeit not as significantly as it did for passenger trafficFreight figures In total Brittany Ferries carried 160,377 units in 2020, down around 20 percent on the previous year’s tally of 201,554. Market distortions were caused by stockpiling at the end of the Brexit transition period and amid concerns about new border controls and import/export processes. The Covid crisis also impacted freight volumes, albeit not as significantly as it did for passenger traffic

Highlights in 2020:

In an otherwise miserable year, there were some notable highlights for Brittany Ferries.

It won the third in a series of Brexit-related ferry contracts with the UK government (Department for Transport, DfT). This guaranteed DfT space aboard vessels to ensure the supply of essential goods like medicines in the event of potential chaos at short-sea ports on the Channel. As well as supporting routes like Le Havre to Portsmouth, these contracts reinforced the strategic significance of Brittany Ferries’ route network to national governments, as well as to local regions.

Thanks to the flexibility of its fleet the company was also able to meet demand from Irish and French hauliers to open direct routes connecting Ireland with France, thus avoiding the need to transport goods via the UK land-bridge.

The “ferroutage” multimodal project also progressed, reflecting a wider trend in the ferry sector to link ferry services with European rail routes. Work began on the SNCF rail network which will allow freight to be carried by train between Bayonne and Cherbourg. Freighter MV Cotentin made a welcome return to the fleet, in preparation for the project launch in 2022. She adds capacity to the route network and started operations by supporting DfT contracts in early 2021.­

In December 2020, the company welcomed its new ship Galicia to the fleet. This greener super-ferry, part of investment made before the Covid crisis struck, operates two weekly rotations between the UK and Spain and one from Cherbourg to Portsmouth. Like the ferroutage project, Galicia’s launch illustrates the company’s commitment to more environmentally friendly modes of transport and a drive towards energy transition.

Recovery plan

Energy transition is one of the four pillars of an internal recovery plan that will deliver Brittany Ferries from the current crisis. The five-year plan spans the period in which the company is expected to pay back loans that have helped carry it through the bleakest summer and winter in decades.

Greener vessels are essential for the company’s future, both from the perspective of anticipated regulatory requirements and the expectations of its customers. Two further E-Flexer class vessels will join sister-ship Galicia in 2022 and 2023. Salamanca and Santoña will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the infrastructure to support LNG bunkering will begin construction in Bilbao this year in preparation for their arrival.

As well as energy transition, Brittany Ferries had reaffirmed its commitment to the French flag and French seafarers. It salutes all its employees for their support, understanding and hard work during an unprecedented period of disruption - and has called for all French seafarers to be recognised as essential workers.

The third pillar of Brittany Ferries’ recovery plan is the support it receives from farming cooperatives and its shareholders. The commitment and determination of Brittany Ferries’ founders, and the French farmers who continues to support it today, is reflected in a will to continue the journey taken by the company since 1972. Enriching regions, linking people and facilitating trade between nations is in the company’s DNA.

The final pillar of the plan re-states the imperative of profitability. This is essential if recovery is to be sustained. The pillar goes hand-in-hand with on-going support from the regions, banks and government for which the company is grateful. 

Difficult decisions to limit costs have already been taken, for example delaying the opening of routes the company had planned to re-start in March 2021. However, the goal is always the long-term viability of Brittany Ferries and there is good news on the road ahead. Independent analysis has confirmed that, following short term shock, passenger demand is likely to return quickly to support a strong and sustained recovery.

Independent analysis

As part of recovery planning Brittany Ferries commissioned an independent review of the passenger market by London-based consultancy LEK. In a wide-ranging study, they looked at external evidence such as projections for the UK economic recovery and internal factos such as customer profiles. Its conclusions were encouraging both in relation to challenges posed by both Covid and by Brexit. A rapid and full recovery in passenger volumes is forecast within the next few years.

On Covid, LEK predict a return to 2019 volumes by 2022:

“The relative stability of Brittany Ferries’ passenger volumes over the last 12 years demonstrates resilience. It has an advantaged catchment area with customers who show high loyalty and repeat rates; 70% of bookings come from repeat clients, 27% from those who made more than nine reservations in the last three years.”

On Brexit, LEK suggest that concerns should be short-lived, noting that changes to the pet travel scheme are the only significant change for passengers. Pet travel accounts for around 6% of the company’s business. However, even this year, all pet-friendly cabins have already been booked for summer 2021 on UK-Spain routes.

“While some consumers are currently concerned about Brexit’s impact on travel, these concerns should reduce as they become aware that actual restrictions are likely to have limited impact in practice,” LEK concluded.

Commenting on the year ahead and the conclusions of the LEK study, Brittany Ferries’ chief executive officer Christophe Mathieu added, “There is no doubt 2021 will be another tough year for our company. However, we will continue on the path to recovery, taking tough decisions if necessary but encouraged by the findings of this independent report which show the market is ready to bounce back.

 We will always place the long-term interest of Brittany Ferries at heart and as long as we continue to be supported by our staff, shareholders, the banks, as well as by regional and national governments, I believe we can navigate a path through the storm. The future for Brittany Ferries can be as bright as the rich history which precedes it.”

Published in Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has announced that due to the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, its flagship passenger route out of Cork Harbour to Roscoff,France will not now resume at the end of March.

The operator which in 1978 began the route, will be kept under review and it is anticipated that services will recommence in mid-May. 'Freight' only Brexit-Bypass sailings out of both Cork and Rosslare to France will continue as scheduled. In addition Afloat adds, 'freight' routes of Rosslare-Cherbourg and to Bilbao, Spain.

The move follows the continued stringent travel restrictions for passengers with only essential travel. The decision by Brittany Ferries (re-think) also sees the continuing suspension of a number of their other passenger services between the UK, France and Spain.

In the coming days, Brittany Ferries will contact customers who hold bookings on affected sailings, to offer alternative travel or a refund.

“Naturally we very much regret any inconvenience that these changes will cause our customers,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries’ CEO. “We had hoped for a return to service for all our routes in mid-March, but the reality is that most people are simply unable to travel at this time. Booking levels are extremely low and we are relying on loans to carry us through this difficult period. It is therefore simply not viable to run loss-making routes at this time.

“But we continue to monitor the health and travel situation in all our markets – UK, Ireland, France and Spain. As soon as our customers can travel again, we will be there for them. We are also pushing governments to set out a pragmatic, co-ordinated and clear roadmap to safely re-open travel as soon as the health situation permits. We believe that the ramp-up of vaccines means that this re-opening could be considered sooner rather than later.”

Brittany Ferries says it will remain a predominantly freight-only service for now. However, while it thanks all freight customers and drivers for their support during the crisis, only 20 per cent of its annual turnover comes from freight traffic. Around 80 per cent of annual income is generated by holidaymakers.

Published in Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has called for a “re-think on travel corridors” between the UK and mainland Europe as figures suggest a high take-up of COVID vaccines by the lucrative summer months.

As reported by Marine Industry News this week, the chief executive of the ferry and shipping company — which now operates four ‘Brexit bypass’ freight-only routes between Ireland and France — predicts that by late spring “there will be a clear case for the adoption of vaccination-led travel corridors that allow holidays to go ahead this summer and for hope to return”.

Christophe Mathieu adds: “Now is the time for optimism, not a shutdown on the summer getaway.”

Marine Industry News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry
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About the Melges 15 Dinghy

The Melges 15 was designed by Reichel/Pugh and built by Melges.

The design prioritises stability, comfort, ease of use, and performance. 

The Melges 15 is built to be sailed by everyone from friends and couples to families and kids. The design offers performance, comfort, and stability in one sleek package.

The Melges 15’s stable hull shape and ergonomic cockpit make it a suitable layout for adult racing and educational sailing. Easy conversion from a club configuration (non-spinnaker) to a one-design setup, provides more versatility to club programs and options for individual owners.

“The Melges 15 creates a clear pathway for junior sailors to get started and stay excited about sailing while also being comfortable and accessible enough for adults to learn, race, or cross-train,” according to Harry Melges III.

With the main design goals focused on stability and performance in various conditions, the boat features a narrow overall beam and a flat cross-section shape for stability, righting moment, and ease of planing. For a more forgiving feel upwind and to navigate larger sea states, the Melges 15 has just the right amount of fore and aft rocker.

Melges conducted extensive research and product testing to produce this layout factoring in cockpit depth, backbone height, and floor plan. The result, they say, is a comfortable environment for both the skipper and crew. The deeper cockpit takes the load off the sailor’s knees helping them feel locked into the boat while the high boom and gnav vang system work together to make the boat easier to manoeuvre.

The asymmetric spinnaker offers an additional performance element, while the single-pull launch and retrieval system makes handling the sail easy and fast.

 

At a Glance - Melges 15 Specifications

  • LENGTH 15 ft 
    BEAM 5 ft 6 in
    DRAFT 2 ft 7 in 
    HULL WEIGHT 230 lbs
  • SAIL AREA
    MAIN 93.6 sq ft 
    JIB 39.8 sq ft 
    ASYMMETRICAL SPINNAKER 156 sq ft 
  • CREW 2

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