In April, Brittany Ferries introduced a new Cork - Santander ferry route. Due to its popularity, it has now been extended to include a winter sailing schedule to cater for the growing Ireland <> Spain freight and commercial vehicle traffic.
The new schedule will see Connemara leaving Cork on Mondays and Fridays at 11:30pm and arriving in Santander at 8am on the Wednesday and Sunday.
The new schedule marks the first time Brittany Ferries has offered a full time, year-round service out of Ireland. Its Cork <> Roscoff route (which has been running for 40 years) will recommence in March 2019. The schedule has been introduced to make the route more compliant with the needs of transporters in Ireland.
Brittany Ferries freight director, Simon Wagstaff, explained;
"We consulted with hauliers who unanimously fed back that they would like to see later evening departures to allow time to travel to the port. This in turn allows for an earlier start in Santander for the onward journey. As Brexit uncertainty continues, our new service provides a guaranteed connection for exporting freight from Ireland directly to mainland Europe, allowing freight carriers and passengers to bypass the UK and French land-bridge to Spain. We've had an encouraging start to the change in schedule, but time will tell."
The Port of Cork CCO, Conor Mowlds adds;
"Freight figures to date using this RoPax service are very encouraging and the new schedule will help boost further freight during the winter season. With Brexit negotiations developing weekly, the option for freight carriers to bypass the UK land bridge will be even more attractive and we are committed to working closely with Brittany Ferries to ensure this route continues to be a success."
The winter schedule will be running until the 1st March 2019, with the exception of the Christmas and New Year period.