News Brittany Ferries ship Connemara sails into Portsmouth for the first time
A NEW ship built as part of Brittany Ferries' €550m fleet renewal programme has sailed into Portsmouth for the first time.
Portsmouth International Port welcomed Connemara yesterday after it journeyed in from Santander, in northern Spain.
The vessel is due to run one of the transport hub's routes to France in the new year.
Port harbour master Ben McInnes exchanged official plaques with Connemara's captain, François Le Breton, to mark the inaugural visit.
Mike Sellers, port director, said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Connemara to Portsmouth for the first time, and am looking forward to January when she will start operating the popular Portsmouth – Le Havre route.
‘With their recent contract extension committing them to the port until 2032, this long-term reassurance from Brittany Ferries means the city's residents benefit from a thriving municipal port, which contributes nearly £8m to the council's budget.’
Connemara is the first of a new wave of Brittany Ferries' vessels set to call Portsmouth home over the next four years as it extends its fleet.
Honfleur, which runs on liquified natural gas, will be delivered from the FSG shipyard in Germany next year and serve from Portsmouth to Caen.
Three new E-flexer class ships will follow, serving long-haul routes to Spain.
Galicia will arrive in late 2020, Salamanca will enter the city in 2022, and Santoña will sail into Portsmouth in 2023.
Graham Boyes, Brittany Ferries’ Portsmouth port operations manager said: ‘We’re really pleased to welcome another member of our fleet to Portsmouth International Port for the first time. Connemara adds both capacity and flexibility to our routes from Portsmouth to France and Spain, benefiting both our passengers and freight customers.’