One of the most popular operators to navigate European waters, Brittany Ferries, first set sail in January 1973.
The company began freight ferry sailings between Roscoff in Brittany and Plymouth in the South West of England, with the aim to provide a service to Brittany's cauliflower and artichoke farmers and easier access to the British market.
It wasn’t until five years later that the first crossing from Cork to Roscoff became available on St Patrick’s Day 1978. It is now forty years since the first ferry service between Southern Ireland and France.
Since then the company has continued to thrive offering over a dozen routes on over twenty ships, expanding to become a top contender for both passenger and freight ferries.
To celebrate its forty year achievement on one of its most popular routes, earlier this year Brittany Ferries announced that they will be the first operator to offer a direct route between Ireland and Spain.
Port of Cork Commercial Manager, Captain Michael McCarthy said,
"The Port of Cork wholeheartedly welcomes a service we have been trying as a port to establish for some time now. We are delighted that our long term customer, Brittany Ferries, has committed to this new service which will see an increase in tourism and freight. The option for freight carriers to bypass the UK land bridge will be seen as very attractive, as Brexit uncertainty continues. We have no doubt that both exporters and importers will make this a viable service."
There isn’t long to wait; the first sailings are expected by the end of the month and the vessel (MV Connemara) will make two return voyages each week with around 2,225 lane metres of garage space for freight and passengers.
"This is a significant move for Brittany Ferries, offering haulage companies a direct route to Spain and passengers a far greater range of holiday options from Cork"
said Hugh Bruton, general manager Brittany Ferries Ireland.
Freight bookings will soon be on sale for the new ferry route and we are very excited at the prospect of being able to send our clients directly to Spain from Ireland for the first time in sailing history.