A NEW £175m cross-channel ferry is set to be sailing from Portsmouth in two years, Brittany Ferries has confirmed.
The firm said the new Honfleur would operate on its busiest route — Portsmouth to Caen.
Contracts have been signed with the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellshaft shipyard in Germany.
The 187.4-metre long boat will have 11 decks and a top speed of 22 knots.
When in service in 2019, she will take 1,680 passengers across 257 cabins, and take 130 freight trailers or 550 cars and 64 freight trailers.
Christophe Mathieu, chief executive of Brittany Ferries, said: ‘It is important that we invest in new technologies and new vessels that respect the environment in which we operate.
‘Equally, we must not forget that our customers expect Brittany Ferries ships to be comfortable, relaxing and adapted to the digital age. These objectives are compatible and I believe Honfleur will set a new standard for ferries operating on the Channel.’
There will be free wi-fi in all cabins and public spaces and an information lounge will serve as a focal point.
Quiet lounges, panoramic views and reading areas will complement cabins.
Commercial director Mike Bevens said: ‘She will reaffirm our position as a class-leading operator thanks to LNG propulsion and an interior that has been carefully considered to meet the needs of everyone.
‘It’s a huge step forward for us, a clear statement of our intent for the future and a reassuring signal for our customers, eight in 10 of whom are British.’
She will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas) and the firm hopes she will be the most environmentally-friendly vessel operating on the English Channel.
The firm said LNG emitted less carbon dioxide than diesel after combustion and burned with no smoke. It was also sulphur-free.