Brittany Ferries apologies after flagship eco-vessel Salamanca breaks down leaving passengers trapped 'like hostages' in Spain

BRITTANY Ferries has apologised after its new eco flagship broke down after just its third journey, leaving passengers feeling like ‘hostages’ trapped in Spain.

By Tom Cotterill
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 4:10 pm

The Salamanca first left Portsmouth with more than 600 passengers last weekend for Bilbao, Spain, following a fireworks celebration to mark her maiden voyage.

But the ferry, which is the first in the UK to run off liquefied natural gas (LNG) rather than the more polluting fuel, suffered a fault in her engine on Saturday after arriving in Bilbao.

Passengers were allowed to board the ship but say they have been left stuck on board and left in the dark about when the ship will be repaired.

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Brittany Ferries' new eco ship, the Salamanca, pictured stuck in a Spanish port following a technical issue with its engine. Photo: Adam Yates.

Adam Yates from Portsmouth was meant to be travelling home on Saturday with his partner Katrina Reizere, his mum Debbie and dog Dozer.

The 33-year-old was appalled at how staff treated him and claimed passengers were only allowed to have two 500ml bottles of water for free. Brittany Ferries has denied this.

‘It’s been an absolute disaster,’ he said. ‘There’s been a complete lack of communication and the staff have had an attitude.

‘Everyone is furious and disappointed. It started off as a laugh. We thought we might be able to get a few beers or wines for free. But then when we were told that nothing is free and we will only get two bottles of water, the mood really changed. Everyone is completely hacked off.’

Stuck: Adam Yates, left, pictured with his partner Katrina Reizere and his mum Debbie Yates, right. Photo: Adam Yates

He added he had asked if he could leave the ship, which is docked in Spain, to stay in a hotel overnight but claimed he was given an ultimatum by staff.

‘They basically told us if we leave, we won’t be allowed back on,’ he said. ‘So we’re trapped on this boat. My partner said it feels like we’re hostages on a ferry.

‘I’ll 100 per cent be looking for a refund. It’s been ridiculous.’

Brittany Ferries said it had acted ‘as swiftly as possible’ to find a replacement part to fix the faulty engine component, which arrived with the ship earlier today.

Brittany Ferries' new Salamanca eco ship pictured in the Spanish port of Bilbao. Photo: Adam Yates

A spokesman added: ‘Engineers are now urgently working on the repair.

‘We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience to all passengers, both those on board and those whose sailings will be affected by amended schedules in the days ahead. We expect Salamanca to depart at around 20:30 tonight, all being well.’

The spokesman insisted all passengers who had been due to depart on Saturday were given free meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, excluding alcohol.

Salamanca is expected to arrive in Portsmouth on Monday evening.

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