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Disruption As Brittany Ferries New LNG-Powered Salamanca Breaks Down On UK-Spain Service

5th April 2022
Salamanca departed Portsmouth on its inaugural voyage on 27 March, however AFLOAT adds the first LNG-powered ferry operating in UK waters, broke down in Bilbao, Spain. Salamanca departed Portsmouth on its inaugural voyage on 27 March, however AFLOAT adds the first LNG-powered ferry operating in UK waters, broke down in Bilbao, Spain. Credit: Brittany Ferries

Asides delays to Stait of Dover ferry operators as Afloat reported, Brittany Ferries UK crossings to Spain and France are set to be disrupted after a new liquefied gas-powered (LNG) ship broke down days after its inaugural voyage.

Brittany Ferries said an engine fault delayed the departure from Bilbao of its Salamanca ferry by 26 hours.

The vessel powered by LNG, yesterday reported BBC News, was hailed as being cleaner and reducing emissions.

It is due to return to Portsmouth at 22:00 BST with knock-on delays expected for future sailings.

In a statement, the company said the fault was discovered during embarkation for Salamanca's 18:00 departure from Bilbao to Portsmouth.

For more on the first LNG ferry to operate out of the UK, click here.

Last month Afloat reported of Brittany Ferries seasonal Ireland-France route of Cork-Roscoff which resumed service almost a week ago by Armorique.    

Published in Brittany Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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About Brittany Ferries

In 1967 a farmer from Finistère in Brittany, Alexis Gourvennec, succeeded in bringing together a variety of organisations from the region to embark on an ambitious project: the aim was to open up the region, to improve its infrastructure and to enrich its people by turning to traditional partners such as Ireland and the UK. In 1972 BAI (Brittany-England-Ireland) was born.

The first cross-Channel link was inaugurated in January 1973, when a converted Israeli tank-carrier called Kerisnel left the port of Roscoff for Plymouth carrying trucks loaded with Breton vegetables such as cauliflowers and artichokes. The story, therefore, begins on 2 January 1973, 24 hours after Great Britain's entry into the Common Market (EEC).

From these humble beginnings however, Brittany Ferries as the company was re-named quickly opened up to passenger transport, then became a tour operator.

Today, Brittany Ferries has established itself as the national leader in French maritime transport: an atypical leader, under private ownership, still owned by a Breton agricultural cooperative.

Eighty five percent of the company’s passengers are British.

Key Brittany Ferries figures:

  • Turnover: €202.4 million (compared with €469m in 2019)
  • Investment in three new ships, Galicia plus two new vessels powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas) arriving in 2022 and 2023
  • Employment: 2,474 seafarers and shore staff (average high/low season)
  • Passengers: 752,102 in 2020 (compared with 2,498,354 in 2019)
  • Freight: 160,377 in 2020 (compared with 201,554 in 2019)
  • Twelve ships operating services that connect France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain (non-Covid year) across 14 routes
  • Twelve ports in total: Bilbao, Santander, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth, Cork, Rosslare, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Malo, Roscoff
  • Tourism in Europe: 231,000 unique visitors, staying 2.6 million bed-nights in France in 2020 (compared with 857,000 unique visitors, staying 8,7 million bed-nights in 2019).

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