Brittany Ferries charters AF Michela for Summer 2020

Brittany Ferries charters for Summer 2020 a new RoPax ferry to the Swedish company Stena Roro AB. This new ferry replaces directly Connemara on the Spain - Ireland routes and indirectly Baie de Seine on the Spain - England lines.

The ferry AF Michela under her Adria Ferries colors. The ferry is currently operating a route linking the Italian ports of Ancona and Trieste to the Albanese port of Durres.
The ferry AF Michela, one of the first ferries of the class Visentini. Courtesy Adria Ferries.

Although it has not been confirmed by Brittany Ferries yet, this new ferry might be the AF Michela, which is currently operated by Adria Ferry on a route linking the Italian ports of Ancona and Triste to the Albanian port of Durres. She would be replaced with one of her own sisterships, California Star. Built in 2001, AF Michela is part of the first generation of the Visentini-class RoPax. Connemara and Etretat are part of the second generation of these RoPax, built from 2003. This first generation of the Visentini-class RoPax differs by an increased passenger capacity, at the cost of a smaller garage capacity.

Baie de Seine seen whilst entering Portsmouth harbour in late-2017.
With its charter ending in April 2020, Baie de Seine will be returned to her owner, DFDS Seaways.

Once renamed, AF Michela will join the Brittany Ferries' fleet in November 2019 and replace Connemara, which will be then registered under the French flag, on its current routes. Connemara will then be used as a back-up vessel, whose main task is to provide additional capacity across the fleet whilst Pont-Aven will have her fire-destroyed engine replaced.

Connemara will then replace Étretat on the Le Havre - Portsmouth route from April 2020. The latter will then be transferred to the Spain - England routes whilst Baie de Seine will be returned to her owners DFDS Seaways. Indeed, her five-year charters ends in April 2020.

The introduction of AF Michela enables the fleet to be sized in case of a further postpone of the delivery date of Honfleur, which is currently expected for Summer 2020. Nonetheless, if Honfleur was delivered on time, the back-up vessel Connemara could operate additional rotations for Brittany Ferries in case of an hard Brexit.

AF Michela will eventually be replaced with the introduction of Galicia for Summer 2021.