Barfleur was built in 1991 for Brittany Ferries’ subsidiary Truckline in order to increase freight and passenger capacities on the route linking Cherbourg-en-Cotentin to Poole. Since 1999 she has been fully part of Brittany Ferries’ fleet.
Her name comes from a small town located west of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.
|M/V Barfleur (1992 - 2012 ; 2013 onwards)|
|Launch||26th July 1991|
|Rebuilt||22nd December 1991|
|Maiden Voyage||5th April 1992|
|Shipyard||Kværner Masa-Yards, Helsinki, Finland|
Truckline (1992 - 1999)
Brittany Ferries (1999 - 2012)
DFDS Seaways (2012)
Brittany Ferries (2013 onwards)
Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (FR) - Poole (GB)
(1992 - 2012 ; 2013 onwards)
Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (FR) - Portsmouth (GB)
|Port of Registry||Cherbourg, Normandy, France|
|Engines||4 Wärtsilä 8R32D engines - 12 cylinders|
|Speed||19.50 knots (service)|
|Passengers & Cargo|
|Passengers Capacity||900 passengers + 50 crew members|
|Cabins and Seats||93 cabins (249 berths proposed) + 295 seats|
|Garage Capacity||550 cars|
Barfleur was ordered in 1990 by Brittany Ferries for its Truckline-marketed service linking Cherbourg-en-Cotentin to Poole. The aim of the company was to proposed a greater capacity for passengers, since the service had proven to be very successful since Tregastel was introduced in 1989 on this line. Therefore, Barfleur was built to be capable of carrying twice more passengers as Tregastel, with also an important capacity for freight since she was also to replace Purbeck on the route.
The building of Barfleur hadn’t been a bed of roses. She was initially to be a sister-ship of Normandie, however Aker Yard shipyard said initially it was unable to built both ships meanwhile. Therefore, Brittany Ferries' managers, wanting to built this new ship, decided to draw a new smaller one and went to other shipyards to find one able to build the new ship. They found a shipyard in Norway that said it was able to built Barfleur. But when Brittany Ferries’ managers went to the shipyard, they were surprised by the size of its dry dock, which was too small to built a ship of that size. Hence, they decided not to order their ship to this shipyard and went in Finland to supervise the building of Normandie. Once there, they were told by Aker Yard’s managers that they have been asked by a Norwegian shipyard to built for them the hull of a RoPax ferries. Enquiring more details about this ship, Aker Yard's managers eventually showed them a draw of their Barfleur. Hence, they understood that Aker Yards have been asked by this Norwegian shipyard to built for them what they were unable to built, just making the completion of the ship. Hence, Brittany Ferries eventually convinced Aker Yards to built for them in Helsinki (where a small building slot have been eventually found) their Barfleur completely, and works began in March 1991.
Barfleur was launched on 26th July 1991, however, the company decided in early-December, to had her an extra 9m section in order to increase her capacity to increase the capacity of her garage. It is also rumoured that this section has been added in order to increase her stability that proved to be unsatisfying during the first sea trials. Thus, the ship was split in two on 22nd December 1991 to enable the addition of that section, and Barfleur was eventually completed in early-1992.
Barfleur was introduced on the Cherbourg-en-Cotentin – Poole route on 4th April 1992. She became the larger ship that has ever visited Poole, whose harbour had benefited major works to enable the new ship to berth.
Moreover, Barfleur was innovative. Indeed, she was the first in Brittany Ferries’ fleet of being equipped with two entrances to her garage on both her bow and stern, enabling her to perform faster turnaround. Poole and Cherbourg-en-Cotentin were as a consequence, equipped with double decks link span. Barfleur's garage is able to carry lorries through the length of two car deck (deck 3 and 5), and she also has a smaller car deck on deck 2 available for lorries, accessible via the use of a lorry lift. She also has an hoistable car deck on deck 6, enabling her to carry more or less cars to cope with the growing passenger traffic. Eventually, thanks to Barfleur's two funnels, there is no impediments on her car deck.
In 1997, Barfleur has operated a weekly Poole – Santander service through winter, enabling Brittany Ferries to provide extra-capacity on the Spanish route.
In 1999, Barfleur was fully repainted to Brittany Ferries’ corporate image. It drove the end of the Truckline’s brand on the Cherbourg-en-Cotentin service, since Coutances, the other ship that was operating this service was also repainted.
In September 2000, Barfleur has been operated for one week on the Roscoff – Cork and Plymouth – Santander services to replace the faulty Val de Loire. The following week, Barfleur was replaced by Bretagne, until Val de Loire's service resuming.
For summer 2005, Barfleur has been operated on the Cherbourg-en-Cotentin – Portsmouth service, cutting the Poole service to one daily crossing. However, the service was scrapped the following year due to lack of passengers.
In early-2010, Brittany Ferries announced that the Poole service would only be operated by Cotentin and Normandie Vitesse for Summer 2010 due to lack of profitability since 2004. Barfleur was immediately laid up and Armorique replaced her on the route until March. Barfleur was laid-up in Caen, offered for charter or purchase. However, no company seemed to be interested by the ship and Brittany Ferries decided to resume service with her as a trial for the Summer 2011. Barfleur was sent to ARNO shipyard in Dunkirk for a refurbishment. She lost during her refurbishment her À la carte Restaurant (Les Dunes) and her Café (L’Arc en Ciel). This was made to enable Brittany Ferries to cut Barfleur operating cost, making therefore her services profitable. The number of crew members was therefore also cut, and her passenger certificate was changed from 1212 passengers to 900. The number of sailings operated each day by Barfleur was also cut to one return sailing a day. However, this trial failed since the service didn’t become profitable and once again Brittany Ferries announced the scrapping of Barfleur's services between Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and Poole for summer 2012.
In early-2012, DFDS Seaways announced that it would charter in Barfleur for the summer 2012 for operation between Calais and Dover, a line the company had been operating for two years. Barfleur was sent to ARNO shipyard in Dunkirk to be repainted to DFDS Seaways corporate image, and she was also equipped for operation in Calais and Dover with new access to her car deck, since both ports hadn’t been made for ships equipped with inner ramps.
Renamed Deal Seaways, she was introduced on the route on 21st April. She became soon very popular to DFDS’s customers thanks to her comfortable accommodation decks. However, Deal Seaways proved soon to be fully adequate for service in Calais, especially at low tide since Calais' linkspans hadn’t been built for ships like Deal Seaways. Meanwhile, with Barfleur chartered to DFDS, rumours were made about the possible closure of the Cherbourg-en-Cotentin – Poole service by Brittany Ferries.
At the end of Summer 2012, Brittany Ferries announced that Barfleur’s charter would not be renewed after October 2012. It was planned that Barfleur would resume service with Brittany Ferries on her route, alongside Cotentin. However, the High Speed Service operated with Normandie Vitesse in a partnership with Condor Ferries was scrapped. At the end of Summer 2013, it was decided to scrap the freight-only service operated by Cotentin, leaving Barfleur operating alone the Cherbourg-en-Cotentin service.
Meanwhile, Brittany Ferries announced that in order to comply with the latest European regulations about the exhausts of the ships, Barfleur would be equipped with exhaust scrubbers.
Barfleur operated her last service before being equipped with scrubbers between Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and Poole on 7th March 2015, when she set sail to Portsmouth to operate a freight-only Santander – Portsmouth service, in order to replace faulty Étretat that was laid up at the time. She was then equipped with scrubbers between March and May 2015 in Santander, whilst Normandie Express replaced her from late-April on the Poole service. During the installation of scrubbers, Barfleur’s funnels were enlarged and she was repainted.
She will be drydocked for one week during winter 2016-2017, replaced by Armorique between Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and Poole.