Brittany Ferries' new flagship will be fuelled by liquefied natural gas
Brittany Ferries has placed an order for a €270m gas-powered vessel that will be used to service its route between Cork and Roscoff in France from 2017. The ferry will compete with Dublin-listed Irish Continental's ships.
Powered by liquefied natural gas, the ship will be the first such vessel operating out of either Irish or British waters. It will also be one of the largest such ships in the world. It will also operate on routes between England and Spain.
Brittany Ferries said the new ship will be built by STX France in St Nazaire on France's west coast. Europe's ferry operators are facing tighter pollution controls and need to reduce sulphur emissions by 0.1pc by next year.
The new vessel will replace Brittany Ferries' current flagship, the Pont-Aven, and will emit about 25pc less carbon dioxide than a similar vessel powered by marine fuel oil and no smoke while being propelled under gas. It also has back-up oil power. The Pont-Aven will move to servicing the company's Portsmouth-St Malo route when the new vessel joins the fleet.
The new vessel will feature 675 cabins, an indoor swimming pool, two cinemas, pet kennels and free Wi-Fi. The 12-deck ship will be able to carry 2,474 passengers, 800 cars, or a mix of 325 cars and 80 freight units, for example. It will also have 189 crew members.
Brittany Ferries was founded in 1972, originally to transport cauliflowers and artichokes from Roscoff in northern France to Plymouth. The company remains majority owned by French farming cooperatives. It has serviced the Irish market since 1978.
The company has pledged that passengers won't see fares rise as a result of the introduction of the new ship.