Brittany Ferries will charter two brand new natural gas-ready cruise-ferries to serve its long-haul UK to Spain routes. Both ships will be built at the Avic International Weihai shipyard in China, with the first arriving in time for the 2021 holiday season.
The investment decision follows work beginning this spring on a brand new LNG (liquefied natural gas) cruise ferry called Honfleur to serve its most popular Portsmouth – Caen crossing. Like Honfleur, which arrives in 2019, both ships announced today will be registered under the French flag and will be crewed by French seafarers.
Together the three ships will spearhead a wide-ranging, five-year fleet-renewal and modernisation programme worth around £400m (approx. USD 540 million).
Portsmouth is Brittany Ferries’ UK hub and will serve as the base for both ships. Upon arrival they will cater for an ever-increasing demand for long-haul ferry travel to Spain. In 2017 the company operated 844 sailings on routes from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth to Santander (Cantabria) and Bilbao (Basque Country), carrying 331,000 passengers and 150,000 cars. Around 40,000 freight units were shipped from UK to Spain.
Measuring 42,400 tonnes and 214.5 metres long, the new vessels will be the longest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. These impressive dimensions will allow them to carry almost two miles of freight vehicles apiece. Service speed is 22 knots.
The new ships are being chartered from Swedish shipping company Stena RoRo, as part of its new generation of state-of-the-art ‘E-Flexer’ vessels. Both will be gas-ready and promise a combination of luxury and Spanish style. About 300 en-suite cabins will cater for approximately 1,000 passengers and many will be adapted for customers with disabilities, as well as those travelling with their pet dog or cat (Brittany Ferries carries around 70,000 annually).
Source: Brittany Ferries