New U.K.-Spain ferry service promises greater freight options

Countries More News Most Read Top Stories
New U.K.-Spain ferry service promises greater freight options

France's Brittany Ferries plans to mark a new dawn for freight transportation between England and northern Spain, with gas-powered ships expected to connect Portsmouth with ports like Santander and Bilbao by 2017. Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has officially announced the order of the 210-meter long ferry which will be able to carry 2,474 passengers, 800 cars including around 80 freight units, have a gross tonnage of 52,500 and a maximum speed of 24.5 knots.

The announcement comes after a two year period of consultation between French company Brittany Ferries and STX France, which will be building the €270 million (US$368 million) vessel in St Nazaire, a western French harbor town with a long ship manufacturing history.

The luxury cruise ship will be one of the biggest vessels of its kind in the world and completely powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new ferry, which has been pitched by the company as "eco-friendly", could signal a significant change in the transportation of fresh produce between the two countries.

Although the service is geared towards a passenger and car service within the tourism industry, there is capacity for freight on board, which pleases the Chamber of Commerce in Hampshire and Brittany Ferries.

"This is so hot off the press right now the exact schedule and timings from northern Spain to the UK are yet to be confirmed; however we will be looking at running between two locations in northern Spain and the U.K.," a company spokesperson said.

"From a freight perspective, this aspect will most definitely be improved because the length of the ship is 210 meters, it will have 675 cabins and a garage capacity which includes a large space for freight vehicles which we are anticipating will be using the new service on a very regular basis.

"It is also important to consider the schedule of this new ship, which although has not been confirmed yet, but will more than likely be running all the year round which will be another improvement from a freight perspective. So there will be year-round freight capacity which I think is really good news."

Photo: Brittany Ferries

Subscribe to our newsletter