24 July 2020
By Tom Collins
- New Rosslare – Cherbourg route to open in March 2021
- Additional mid-week sailing added to Cork – Roscoff service
- Cherbourg route launch is in response to demand from Irish and continental hauliers
Brittany Ferries has announced plans to increase services both out of Rosslare and Cork in 2021. The move demonstrates the company’s long-term commitment to Ireland, despite on-going uncertainty over travel restrictions and quarantine requirements this season, and the effect this is having on service viability.
In 2021, a totally new route connecting Rosslare with Cherbourg is to be added to the Rosslare Bilbao sailings from Rosslare which commenced earlier this year. And there is further good news for the Port of Cork with the addition of an extra mid-week sailing from Cork – Roscoff.
The new sailings will also see the utilisation of the Connemara (for Rosslare) and the Armorique (for Cork). The Armorique is new to Ireland. The Pont-Aven, one of the company’s flagship ferries will continue to serve the main Cork – Roscoff sailings at the weekend.
The announcement comes in the same week the company launches its schedules for 2021 sailings connecting the UK & Ireland with Spain. Reservations for all 2021 routes are now open. Passenger reservations can now be made for services up to the end of October next year on the following routes:
Rosslare – Bilbao
Cork – Roscoff
Rosslare – Cherbourg
The new Rosslare Cherbourg connection promises more choice and greater capacity on ships linking France and Ireland.
Earlier this year, Brittany Ferries opened a service connecting Rosslare with Bilbao and Roscoff. Primarily for freight, the twice-weekly Spanish rotations proved popular. However Irish and French hauliers have asked Brittany Ferries to move the weekly French rotation from Roscoff to the transport hub of Cherbourg.
Brittany Ferries has agreed to their request and has now confirmed that Connemara which operates as a no frills economy service, will serve two weekly rotations from Rosslare to Bilbao, as well as a single Rosslare-Cherbourg rotation as of March next near.
There is however good news for the Roscoff-Cork route too. This primarily serves the tourist market with a near 50-50 split of French and Irish holiday makers. These travellers will now benefit from an additional weekly rotation between the two ports, thanks to the introduction of Brittany Ferries’ Armorique to the route.
Roscoff-Cork will now be served by flagship Pont-Aven at the weekend and with this new rotation by the Armorique during the week, significantly increasing capacity out of and into Cork. It will open more choice for those seeking a shorter-break in either Ireland or France, with options to leave and return with Brittany Ferries, either mid-week or at the weekend.
For more information on Brittany Ferries ferry routes, please visit https://www.brittany-ferries.ie/ferry-routes
About Brittany Ferries
In 1967 a farmer from Finistère in Brittany, Alexis Gourvennec, succeeded in bringing together a variety of organisations from the region to embark on an ambitious project: the aim was to open up the region, to improve its infrastructure and to enrich its people by turning to traditional partners such as Ireland and the UK.
In 1972 BAI (Brittany-England-Ireland) was born. The first cross-Channel link was inaugurated in January 1973, when a converted Israeli tank-carrier called Kerisnel left the port of Roscoff for Plymouth carrying trucks loaded with Breton vegetables such as cauliflowers and artichokes. The story therefore begins on 2 January 1973, 24 hours after Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market (EEC). From these humble beginnings however Brittany Ferries as the company was re-named quickly opened up to passenger transport, then became a tour operator.
Today, Brittany Ferries has established itself as the national leader in French maritime transport: an atypical leader, under private ownership, still owned by a Breton agricultural cooperative. 85% of the company’s passengers are British. Around 210,000 freight units are carried each year.
Turnover: Approximately €444.2m per year
Employment – Between 2400 and 3100 employees (including 1,700 seafarers), depending on the season. 360 in the UK.
Passengers: Between 2.5 and 2.7 million each year travelling in approximately 900,000 cars
Freight: 205,400 units transported annually, and one freight-only route linking Bilbao and Poole
In normal times, twelve ships operate services that connect France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain
Twelve ports in total: Bilbao, Santander, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth, Cork, Rosslare, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Malo, Roscoff
At present five freight routes in operation: Portsmouth-Caen, Porstmouth-Cherbourg, Portsmouth-Santander, Bilbao-Poole, Bilbao-Rosslare
Tourism in Europe: There were 854,000 unique visitors, staying 9.2 million bed-nights in France.