NEW ferry services between Ireland, western France and northern Spain are to be introduced.
The LD Ferries service will bring passengers from Rosslare, Co Wexford, to St Nazaire on the west coast of France and on to Gijon in northern Spain.
The crossing from Ireland to France will take 22 hours. The France-Spain leg will take a further 15-16 hours.
The weekly ferry service, which commences in early January, will be bookable from today.
The announcement comes just days after a new Cherbourg-to-Dublin route was confirmed. Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar welcomed the development of the new routes, saying they provided "a valuable new land bridge from France and Spain into Ireland".
"It's the first service of its kind to Ireland, and it's great news for our tourism industry."
He added: "We are already well serviced in terms of air access, but this new route will help us to grow ferry tourism into Ireland.
"Driving holidays encourage visitors to spend longer in Ireland and to explore more of the country."