Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Agreement Sees Long Term Freight and Passenger Ferry Services in Place for Over a Decade

Port and Shipping Group Take a Long Term View
Shipping News Feature
UK – FRANCE – Casting aside any doubts over Brexit, European ferry operator Brittany Ferries has strengthened its relationship with Portsmouth International Port with the extension, by an additional five years, to a joint long-term agreement. The French group utilises the Hampshire port for services to and from Portsmouth to Caen, St Malo, Le Havre and Cherbourg. Whilst Cherbourg is served only by the fast ferry the other three are all popular freight routes for drivers heading to France and Spain.

Brittany Ferries has committed to Portsmouth until the end of 2031, during which time a further three ships will join the current fleet serving routes from the city. Alongside the Honfleur, Brittany Ferries' state-of-the-art environmentally friendly passenger vessel powered by Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), the Galicia and Salamanca will both be based in Portsmouth from 2021.

Currently the port welcomes over 1.85 million Brittany Ferries' passengers annually, and additional ferries should lead to an increase in freight tonnages and holiday maker numbers. To make sure the UK Port can meet its customers' expectations recently the council approved £19 million of investment to transform the facilities and overhaul existing infrastructure. It is now a critical priority to replace the 30-year-old passenger boarding tower, required for foot passengers to get access onto the ships.

Major projects to improve facilities have already included a brand new, energy efficient £9 million linkspan, the mechanised drawbridge to embark and disembark cars and lorries on and off of ferries. This latest piece of infrastructure is slated to be in place for the next 30 years. Christophe Mathieu, CEO for Brittany Ferries, said:

“Brittany Ferries is delighted to reaffirm its commitment to Portsmouth International Port, our international hub for operations serving France and Spain. Extending our relationship until 2032 will provide further certainty for future plans and supports the on-going investment we are making in fleet renewal.”

Brittany Ferries first sailed into Portsmouth International Port in 1976 as one of its earliest customers. Owned and operated to this day by Portsmouth City Council, the Port has worked closely with Brittany Ferries for the last 40 years. It has been the one and only ferry operator to use the Port on a constant basis during the last four decades.

Photo: An artist's impression of the Honfleur.