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  • 2021 July 22 15:11

    Two new hybrid LNG-electric ships join to the Brittany Ferries fleet

    Two new hybrid LNG-electric ships are coming to the Brittany Ferries fleet. They will arrive in 2024/2025 to serve routes connecting Portsmouth with St Malo and Caen. As well as significantly cutting emissions, the hybrids will deliver less noise, less vibration for passengers and a step towards future-proofing the company, according to the company's release.

    The ships operate on the same principle as a hybrid car. At sea, they will be powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuel. But in a first on the English Channel, they will also operate partially or completely on battery power– for example when arriving and departing ports.

    Furthermore, they will be ready to plug in to shore-side power when this is available in ports. This will allow recharging of onboard batteries and power for systems like air conditioning, heating and lighting while at berth, cutting funnel emissions to zero.

    The ships will be chartered from Stena RoRo on a ten-year agreement, with a purchase option after four. They will take the place of Normandie and Bretagne, two grandes dames of the fleet. Designed to better serve freight and passenger traffic, they promise more scope to carry tourists to Normandy and Brittany outside of peak holiday periods.

    The move is all part of Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal plan, one of the pillars of its five-year post-Covid recovery strategy. The vessels will follow the deployment of Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023, both of which will be fuelled by LNG ready to serve UK-Spain routes.

    Each ship has been carefully designed to suit the route on which it will operate, taking account of future trends in both passenger and freight traffic. To begin with, the garage will be longer and higher which means greater freight capacity. However, they will also be better adapted to new types of passenger vehicle.

    This includes the trend towards bigger cars. Today’s Mini for example is 25% longer and wider now than the version on sale when Bretagne was launched. Additional lane space will allow easier access upon boarding and disembarkation, particularly for passengers with mobility problems. The physical size of the garage means they will also be better suited for motorhomes. Meanwhile in-voyage charging will be available for electric car drivers, allowing them to fuel-up en route, ready for their arrival in France.

    There will be more cabins too. While Bretagne and Normandie have high (potential) passenger capacities, the reality is that night-time crossings can be limited by cabin availability. Both new ships will therefore come with more cabins, as well as an improved mix of cabin types.

    For example, there will be a big increase in top-end commodore cabins. Normandie’s replacement will benefit from 30 more commodores, as well as a C-Club airport-style lounge. Bretagne’s replacement will host 79 more commodores with a C-Club lounge as well as 18 more cabins for families of up to six people.

    Both ships will host an increase in pet-friendly cabins, ensuring four-legged travellers are well accommodated too. More details about services on board will be released in the months and years ahead.

    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.




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2021 December 2

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2021 December 1

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2021 November 30

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