Freight and holiday boost is hoped for as Brittany Ferries buys two new ships for Portsmouth to Spain route
Brittany Ferries is to order two new cruise-ferries for its Portsmouth to Spain routes.
The ships will be built at the Avic International Weihai Shipyard in China, with the first due to arrive in time for the 2021 holiday season.
As Brittany Ferries’ UK hub, Portsmouth will serve as the base for both new ships, and on their arrival a high demand for long-haul ferry trips to Spain is to be expected.
The news follows the ferry operator’s work on its brand new LNG (liquefied natural gas) cruise ferry, Honfleur, which began in the spring.
The eco-friendly vessel will serve the Portsmouth-Caen crossing.
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Like Honfleur, the two new cruise ferries will be registered under the French flag and will be crewed by French seafarers.
The new vessels will be Brittany Ferries’ longest measuring 42,000 tonnes and 215 metres long, outstretching Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower by 45 metres.
This will allow each ship to carry two miles of freight vehicles.
There will be around 300 en-suite cabins across three passenger decks for approximately 1,000 passengers, and many will specifically cater for travellers with disabilities and those on-board with an animal.
Brittany Ferries’ president Jean-Marc Roue said: ‘Spain is by far the most popular foreign destination for UK holidaymakers, and we have seen significant growth in demand.
‘Post-Brexit, we expect this to continue and today’s announcement is a clear statement of intent.
‘As well as passenger traffic, we believe that an increase in freight capacity will open the door to more hauliers seeking direct access between Britain and the Iberian peninsula.’
Strategy director Catherine Querné said: ‘These ships will be like twins,
‘Outwardly, they will have the same dimensions and shape, but they will be dressed very differently.
‘And of course each will have its own unique personality.’