Brittany Ferries announces it charters a new vessel, which is to be named Connemara, to reinforce its services on the Irish Sea. Connemara will operate a new mid-week Cork - Roscoff crossing to propose new services new possibilities of short travel to Ireland from France. Moreover, the new vessel will operate a new twice-weekly service between Cork and Santander, in order to address a growing need.
The first crossing is expected to take place in late-April with bookings opening in the coming days. Connemara will be operated on one of the most popular service of the company, which attracted more than 80 000 passengers each year.
The vessel is a sister-ship to Etretat, and was previously known as Asterion and operated between Venice and Patras. Connemara is 186m-long and will have room for 500 passengers accommodated in cabins (with some of them being pet-friendly) and 2 225 linear meter of freight.
Chartered for two years, she will be operated under the “Brittany Ferries Economie” brand, which already proposes no-frill value-for-money services France, Great Britain and Spain.
Jean-Marc Roué, chairman of the supervisory board explain that “in the uncertain context of Brexit (80% of Brittany Ferries’ customers are brittish), we have to reconcile growth and risk dominion in order to protect the shareholders and the current workers of the company". Therefore, Connemara, which is by the way the first vessel of the fleet which will not bear a name inspired by the History and Geograhy of Western France, will not be at first operated under the French flag.
The Cork - Roscoff service was launched by Armorique (1) 40 years ago on 17th March. It is the first time since the mid-90s that a twice-weekly service is proposed on that route.
With the introduction of Irish Ferries’ W.B. Yeats this summer, Brittany Ferries will be faced to further competition on the Roscoff - Ireland link, with Oscar Wilde being mainly redeployed on the Roscoff - Rosslare service at this date.