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Service "first" for Brittany Ferries

The French ro-pax operator will introduce its first ever direct link between Ireland and Spain (Cork-Santander) in April

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Starting at the end of April, the service will link Cork and Santander, making two return-sailings a week. The move will be the first time there has ever been a ferry service linking Ireland and Spain.

The announcement comes as Brittany Ferries celebrates its 40th year in Ireland. The Cork to Roscoff route opened on St Patrick’s Day in 1978 and has been serving holiday makers and haulage companies ever since.

A new ship will be chartered to serve the route to Spain, and to deliver an additional weekly return sailing from Cork to Roscoff. To be called CONNEMARA, she will follow the économiemodel that Brittany Ferries has established on services from the UK to France and Spain.

The vessel currently operates between Italy and Greece and will be chartered from Stena RoRo for an initial period of two years. Pax intake is 500 with space for 195 cars. The vessel has 2,225 lane metres of garage space and Brittany Ferries expects a 50:50 split between passengers and freight carried.

The Port of Cork welcomed the announcement. Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy made the point that 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."

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