Brittany Ferries unveils today it has reached an agreement with Stena Line AB for the commission of a second E-Flexer class vessel, with the first (ordered a few months ago) to be delivered for Summer 2021, a year later than initially planed.
As the her already-ordered sister, the new E-Flexer Class RoPax ferry will be chartered from Stena Line AB for an initial 5-year period with an option or purchase.
This announcement comes only a few days before Summer 2018 begins, which will confirm the keep-growing trend of passenger and freight traffic carried each year on the increasingly popular Portsmouth - Spain link. Actually, in just a decade, theses traffics have grown up by 80%.
Jean-Marc Roué, Chairman of the company's supervisory board, claims: ‘Spain is by far the most popular foreign destination for UK holidaymakers, and we have seen significant growth in demand. Post-Brexit, we expect this to continue and today’s announcement is a clear statement of intent. As well as passenger traffic, we believe that an increase in freight capacity will open the door to more hauliers seeking direct access between Britain and the Iberian peninsula.’
These new vessels will be the biggest of the fleet, with a length of 215 m (Cap Finistère, the current longest, is only 204 meters long), a wide of 27.8 m and a Gross Tonnage of 48,000 t. Therefore, they will have room for 927 passengers in 300 en-suite cabins and a garage of 3,100 lanemeters, the biggest garage ever operated by Brittany Ferries.
As aboard the most-recent ferries of the fleet, these two E-Flexer ferries will pay a particular attention to passengers travelling with their best and to disabled passengers.
Both ships will be equipped with Dual-Fuel engines, meaning although they will initially be operated with HFO, they could in the future be operated with LNG, as Honfleur.
The first of these new ships will be delivered for summer 2021, a year later than initially planned, with the second one expected to be delivered in the following months. Both are being built at the Avic International Weihai Shipyard (China), as part of a six-ship set already ordered by Stena Line AB. One of the remaining ships is intended to be chartered to DFDS Seaways with Stena Line retaining the three others for its own services.
Although both ships will be sisters, Brittany Ferries will pay a particular attention to design one-off accommodations for both ships. According to strategy director Catherine Querné, they will therefore have "their unique personality", which will be inspired by Hispanic culture.
The first ship will replace Étretat and MN Pelican in the fleet, with the second one expected to enable Brittany Ferries to operate the entire Spain - UK services only with these two ships. Therefore, the second E-Flexer vessel would replace both Cap Finistère and Pont-Aven meanwhile, with the latter being redeployed on the Cork - Roscoff service in addition of a France - England link.