Brittany Ferries has announced a new freight route into northern Spain. Starting at the end of April, the service will link Cork and Santander, making two return-sailings a week. The move will be the first time there has ever been a ferry service linking Ireland and Spain.
A new ship will be chartered to serve the route to Spain, and to deliver an additional weekly return-sailing from Cork to Roscoff. To be called Connemara, she will follow the successful économie model that the company has established on services from the UK to France and Spain.
Hugh Bruton, General Manager Brittany Ferries Ireland, said: “This is a significant move for Brittany Ferries, offering haulage companies a direct route to Spain and passengers a far greater range of holiday options from Cork.”
The ship is currently operating on routes between Italy and Greece and will be chartered from Stena RoRo for an initial period of two years. She will carry around 500 passengers with space for 195 cars. She hosts 2,225 lane metres of garage space and Brittany Ferries expects a 50-50 split between passengers and freight carried.
The Port of Cork welcomed the announcement. Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy said: “The Port of Cork wholeheartedly welcomes a service we have been trying as a port to establish for some time now. We are delighted that our long term customer, Brittany Ferries, has committed to this new service which will see an increase in tourism and freight. The option for freight carriers to bypass the UK land bridge will be seen as very attractive, as Brexit uncertainty continues. We have no doubt that both exporters and importers will make this a viable service.”
The announcement comes as Brittany Ferries celebrates its 40th year in Ireland. The Cork to Roscoff route opened on St Patrick's Day in 1978 and has been serving Irish holidaymakers and haulage companies ever since.
Brittany Ferries' new Cork-Santander service is expected to be on sale by the end of January.
Posted on: January 16th 2018