6,500 customers disrupted as Brittany Ferries cancels Irish sailings
Delayed repairs to Brittany Ferries' Pont-Aven mean the ship won't sail until at least June 14, the company says
Thousands of Brittany Ferries customers are facing holiday disruption with the company's flagship Pont-Aven ferry now out of action until June 14.
The cruise-ferry, which sails from Cork to Roscoff in France, has been out of service since May 17 to facilitate repairs to a fault.
"Despite these efforts it has now become apparent that this work will take longer than initially planned, whilst replacement parts are delivered and installed, and comprehensive checks are carried out," the company has announced.
The Pont Aven will not resume sailings until Friday, June 14.
For passengers, that means sailings on the Cork/Roscoff route have been cancelled for this weekend (May 31/June 1) and next (June7/8), along with a number of sailings on the company’s Plymouth/Santander and Plymouth/Roscoff routes.
Since May 17, a total of some 6,500 customers will be affected.
Affected customers will be contacted "over the coming days," the company says, with those due to sail soonest being contacted first.
Additional sailings will be operated on the Plymouth/Roscoff route, and some Cork/Santander rotations will be diverted to Cork/Roscoff, it says.
"An alternative sailing will be offered where it is available, but if no suitable alternative is available then a full refund will be offered," it adds.
Customers are being advised to wait for contact, but many have taken to social media to complain about not being able to reach customer service agents.
"We recognise that many customers have struggled to get through on busy lines and that we haven't been able to respond as quickly as we would have liked to concerns via email and on social media," the company told the Irish Independent.
"For this we apologise and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding."
“On behalf of everyone at Brittany Ferries I would like to apologise profusely for the further delays to the return of our flagship Pont-Aven, and the disruption that this will cause to travel plans," said the company's CEO, Christophe Mathieu.
The company’s technical teams have been working "around the clock" with the Damen shipyard in Brest to carry out repairs to the ship’s starboard-side steering gear, it adds.
Brittany Ferries' Cork to Roscoff route is a popular summer holiday service that last year celebrated its 40th anniversary. In 2018, the company also added a Cork to Santander route - Ireland's only direct ferry link with Spain.
Last year, thousands of ferry customers had their holiday plans thrown into disarray after the delayed arrival of Irish Ferries' W.B. Yeats cruise-ferry.
Read more:Irish Ferries 'WB Yeats' to set sail after delays of several months