Holiday firm Brittany Ferries has today announced it has commissioned a new ferry to add to its fleet – which will be powered by gas.
The new cruise ferry will be the largest in the French firm’s fleet, and will operate out of Portsmouth International Port, where the company bases its UK operations.
It will be the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly ship to operate in UK waters because LNG emits about 25 per cent less carbon dioxide during combustion than marine fuel oil and burns with no smoke. It is entirely free of sulphur and is very low in nitrogen oxide emissions.
The commissioning of the ferry is a response to EU anti-pollution regulations, which are due to be updated and add a hefty levy for ship firms emitting sulphur into protected parts of the Channel.
The aim of the new rule is to reduce fuel sulphur levels from 3.5 per cent to 0.1 per cent by 2015, but Brittany Ferries said it could see its costs soaring by 60 per cent because of its speedy introduction.
The new ship, costing some 270 million Euros (£225m) will be built by STX France in St Nazaire and she will enter service in late spring 2017 on the Portsmouth to Spain routes.
This new ship will replace Brittany Ferries’ current flagship, Pont-Aven, which will move to the Portsmouth-St Malo route.
Mike Bevens, group commercial director, said: ‘This represents a huge investment which will benefit not simply our customers but the environment as well. Unlike other forms of transport, such as aircraft or trains, every one of our ships is different, each possessing its own unique character.
‘This addition to our fleet will be no exception, but will incorporate all the best features of our other vessels so as to provide our customers with a truly exceptional experience. No other ferry in the UK will come close to offering this new ship’s range of facilities and its launch will mark the beginning of a new era in ferry travel.’
The new ship will have an indoor swimming pool, two cinemas, restaurants, pet kennels, and 30 pet-friendly cabins.
It will also have a quiet reading lounge, an observation area, and a sophisticated spa treatment room with panoramic views.