In Brief

By | 2023 Newsletter week 8 | No Comments
  • In addition to boosting capacity on Finnlines’ own Zeebrugge – Rosslare route, FINNPULP is also to be chartered to P&O Ferries for one roundtrip per week. The vessel will depart Zeebrugge on Tuesdays and Teesport on Wednesdays from 28 February.  The ferry companies have an existing cooperation, P&O Ferries providing stevedoring and ship handling for Finnlines’ Rosslare service at the Belgian port.
  • Viking Line has announced that 13 March to 25 June, CINDERELLA will call at Kapellskär on her morning departure from Mariehamn to Stockholm. The sailing is a result of the sale of the ROSELLA and the loss of her sailings from Åland to Kapellskär.

Photo: Viking Line

  • Björn Blomqvist, CEO of Rederi Ab Eckerö Group, has revealed that there has been recent interest in the sale or charter of their idle cruise vessel BIRKA STOCKHOLM. The ship has been laid up since the Covid pandemic arrived in March 2020.  With interest from Europe and Southeast Asia there have also been enquires for using her as an accommodation vessel.
  • From 1 March, Brittany Ferries will switch from Pound Sterling to Euro as the base currency onboard. Sterling will still be accepted onboard at the daily exchange rate but all products and services will have prices displayed as Euro. Full details of the change can be found here.

Photo: Brittany Ferries

  • Molslinjen has been given permission to replace the MAX MOLS with the EXPRESS 1 when the newbuild EXPRESS 5 is delivered as the main Bornholm fast ferry. Due to the subsidised service, the decision required approval of the Danish Ministry of Transport.  The capacity of EXPRESS 1 up to that of the MAX MOLS will be sold within the contract but the additional part is to be sold commercially at Bornholmslinjen’s own risk.  This arrangement will initially be for one year.
  • Molslinjen’s fast ferries on the Kattegat are now registered with the Too Good To Go food waste scheme. This means that ferry passengers on the last departures of the day to Aarhus have the opportunity to buy food to take home from the ferries’ catering outlets. The scheme attempts to reduce food waste.  A bag of food purchased on the app costs DKK 39 and can contain items such as croissants, sandwiches or salads.

Photo: Molslinjen

Brittany Ferries confirms the order for rail wagons between Normandy and Nouvelle Aquitaine

By | 2023 Newsletter week 4 | No Comments

French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, presided the signing of the contract for the supply of wagons that will circulate on the Cherbourg-Mouguerre multimodal motorway on behalf of Lohr and Brittany Ferries.

Main characteristics of this ‘rail motorway’:

A rail service with sea connections linking Poole, Portsmouth and Rosslare to Cherbourg, allowing seamless transport of unaccompanied trailers from Ireland and UK to the Iberian Peninsula and vice versa.

A 970km rail journey replacing a 920km road journey.

A regular year-round service, with one daily return journey, six to seven days per week, operated by two trains:

Each train is composed of 21 MODALOHR UIC wagons with double pockets, allowing 42 trailers to be transported. Trailers are rolled on and off using specialised horizontal handling equipment.

From 2024 trains will be routed via Saintes, then from 2026 via the Poitiers-Angoulême-Bordeaux mainline.

Journeys have been timetabled to connect with ferry arrival and departure times, whilst also avoiding periods of peak road traffic in Cherbourg.

Passengers will return to Le Havre in 2023

By | 2022 Newsletter week 51 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries will re-open its Portsmouth to Le Havre service for passengers

  • When? 1 March 2023
  • What? The route had been run in freight-only mode for the last few years, a consequence of the Covid
  • Ship? COTENTIN (114 pax in well-appointed cabins)

As well as Portsmouth – Le Havre, the ship will carry passengers on Le-Havre to Rosslare. Her schedule includes one round-trip to each destination:

Sunday and Thursday

  • Le Havre – Portsmouth : departure 17h30 – Arrival 22h00
  • Portsmouth – Le Havre : departure 23h30 – Arrival 08h30 Friday
  • Le Havre-Rosslare : departure 19h00 – Arrival 14h30 Saturday
  • Rosslare-Le Havre : departure 17h45 – Arrival 15h00 Sunday

Brittany Ferries: long routes have surged forwards but Channel is a concern

By | 2022 Newsletter week 44 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries has published figures outlining passenger and freight performance for its financial year (November to October).


Freight struggled to recover 2019 levels: -27% on UK-France routes, and -22% on UK-Spain. Brexit border controls have played a role in this trend.

Freight France-Ireland and Ireland-Spain are welcome exceptions to the downward trend.

Brexit opportunities: new services have been launched connecting France directly with Ireland, exploiting what operators call The Brexit by-pass. Volumes have risen more than six-fold to 9,587 units.

Ireland-Spain has also posted positive results. Freight volumes rose 172% to 13,644 units, with an accelerating trend towards unaccompanied or driverless loads. These now comprise 45% of the total carried.


Volumes on Channel routes are a concern. The post-Brexit imposition of passports for French passengers visiting the UK has dramatically hit this side of the BF business. “What is needed now is a concerted push from tourist bodies in France and the UK to boost tourism volumes,” says CEO Christophe Mathieu.

Long routes have seen a significant increase in passenger numbers.
This has helped Brittany Ferries record a positive financial performance for the year.

“While our long routes have surged forwards, the Channel is a real concern for Brittany Ferries and our partners,” said Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu.

Brittany Ferries says it is optimistic for the year ahead. Forward reservations are positive, and there are no barriers to passengers crossing borders, as there were in France at the beginning of 2022.

Fleet renewal continues apace

  • Launched in March 2022, Salamanca is the first of four Brittany Ferries vessels to be powered by LNG as part of investment in fleet renewal. She will operate throughout the winter and into next summer on the Cherbourg and Bilbao to Rosslare routes. The aim is to grow by 50,000 the number of holiday makers sailing between Ireland and Spain.
  • A second LNG-powered vessel called SANTOÑA will join the fleet in March next year. She too will be based in Portsmouth.
  • SANTOÑA will be followed by two LNG-electric hybrid vessels in 2024/2025, replacing two of the longest serving ships in the fleet BRETAGNE (1989) and NORMANDIE (1992). The hybrids will call Portsmouth home, and will serve St Malo in Brittany and Caen in Normandie.

Brittany Ferries Chairman defends French flag against the laws of the jungle

By | 2022 Newsletter week 35 | No Comments

In an interview with French BFMTV, Brittany Ferries’ chairman Jean-Marc Roué talks about the return of the passengers, and the challenges.

  • Customers are back: 1.9 million pax over 7 months (2.5 million in 2019)
  • For the first time the effects of Brexit can be seen in the freight figures on the Dunkerque-Roscoff range: -15% (which is like an economic barometer, in other words, less economic activity and exchange)
  • Each crisis is followed by economic disruption. After the crisis of 2008 SEafrance disappeared. This year a ‘major Channel ferry operator’ fired 800 British crew members, and replaced them with staff from Peru, Boliva, Madagascar etc. “I am happy for them but they don’t have social security,” says Roué.
  • “We could call it ultra-liberalism. I call it the laws of the jungle.”
  • “Would the French passengers accept to work with the labour conditions of the people who serve them onboard? No way!”
  • “There was a modus vivendi on the Channel, with A British Flag and a French flag. This is gone. The British Government is trying to rebuild this modus vivendi. DFDS, Stena Line, Condor Ferries and Brittany Ferries have decided to sign an agreement, when it’s ready. P&O, Irish Ferries and Cobelfret said no.”

Roué asks French Ministers to fight social dumping, to create rules. “Shipping does not have EU rules as aviation or transportation sectors.”

Prince: Eventually arrived in Alang for dismantling

By | 2022 Newsletter week 25 | No Comments


She left Greece on July 2021 as the PRINCESS with destination Sri Lanka. Then she was seen at Chittagong and Bengal Bay, before arriving in India.

The famous ferry was sold in Greece in 2018 and served on the Patras-Igoumenitsa-Brindisi run as PRINCE, for A-Ships Management until 2020.

Photo: Shipbreaking (fb)

Brittany Ferries’ Saint-Malo will be the largest hybrid-vessel ever built

By | 2022 Newsletter week 25 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries SAINT-MALO will be the world’s largest hybrid ship, when she joins the fleet in 2024. Her batteries will boast a capacity of 11.5 MWh, approximately double that typically used for hybrid propulsion in marine vessels.

To improve efficiency further, she will integrate multiple systems allowing real-time, energy optimisation while sailing. Optimised energy efficiency, hybrid power and shore-side plug-in has the potential to yield an improvement of up to 15% on greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel propulsion – according to engine and battery supplier Wärtsilä

In total, StenaRoRo are constructing three hybrid ships, supplied with Wärtsilä hybrid technology. Two were specified by Brittany Ferries, with recently named SAINT-MALO (destined for the St Malo – Portsmouth route) scheduled for delivery in 2024. Shortly thereafter, an as-yet-unnamed hybrid will join the fleet, running the company’s most popular Caen-Portsmouth route.

The hybrids will replace BRETAGNE and NORMANDIE respectively, two of the longest serving vessels in the family.

Source: Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries interested to operate the ferry services to seven islands

By | 2022 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

A call for tenders has been issued for the DSP serving the Islands of islands of Ouessant, Molène, Sein (Finistère), Belle-Île, Groix, Houat and Hoëdic (Morbihan) in France.

The contract is for the period 2023-2029.

One of the candidates is Brittany Ferries.

The two current operators Penn ar Bed and Océane are also under consideration but the region wants one single operator.

HONFLEUR on the move to Poland

By | 2022 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

HONFLEUR, the ropax ferry ordered by Brittany Ferries at Flensburger Schiffbau and completed by Fosen Yard in Rissa has been handed over to its owner Siem Industries (Seven Yield Pte Ltd)

The white ferry is expected in Gdynia, Poland for completion.

So far, we don’t know who the operator will be.

Cherbourg-Bayonne rail motorway: Brittany Ferries gives the green light

By | 2022 Newsletter week 17 | No Comments

Brittany Ferries has given the go-ahead to a new rail-freight link between Cherbourg and Bayonne. The ferry company first announced the rail project back in February 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 health crisis hit, forcing a reduction in ferry services for nearly two years. But while the project—which Brittany Ferries deems strategic—was delayed, it was never cancelled.

During the pause, Brittany Ferries worked with French rail network operator SNCF Réseau and the Ministry for Ecological Transition to determine the routing for the new service, which will provide daily return journeys between Cherbourg and Mouguerre. Following a study into the modification of four railway tunnels on the Atlantic corridor route to allow the lowest available wagons to pass through, a framework agreement was signed, allowing the project to enter its concrete development phase.

With support from the State, Europe, and the regions of Normandie and Nouvelle Aquitaine, Brittany Ferries will open the ‘rail motorway’ linking the port of Cherbourg to the European Freight Centre at Mouguerre, near Bayonne, thereby connecting Spain to the UK and Ireland via the French railway network.

The launch of the new service, initially planned for 2022, is now expected by mid-2024.