M/V Kerisnel

Kerisnel leaving Plymouth.
M/V Kerisnel. Courtesy Brittany Ferries.

Kerisnel is a ferry built at first for the Israeli navy. She was laid-up in 1972 in Vigo, where she was found by Jean Hénaff. Actually, Jean Hénaff was looking for a RoRo cargo ship in late-1972 on the purpose of establishing Bretagne Angleterre Irlande SA’s Roscoff – Plymouth service. He thought that the ship was what the company was looking for, he proposed her to the company, which purchase her.

Alexis Gourvennec, which was at this time the chairman of the SICA of Saint-Pol de Léon, convinced its members, which were all farmers, to fund the purchase of this ship that would export their vegetables to England. They brought FF5 millions, the other FF10 millions were funded by the Credit Agricole, of which Alexis Gourvennec was also the chairman for Finistère.

She arrived on 20th December 1972 in Roscoff to perform her first trials, and was then renamed Kerisnel, which was he name of the farming market of Saint-Pol de Léon. Kerisnel performed her maiden crossing on 3rd January 1973, her departure from Roscoff was witnessed by several councillors and by the Bagad from Lann-Bihoué. For this first crossing, Kerisnel carried only 3 lorries and one car, she achieved carrying 6,000 passengers on her first year.

However, seeing that they were a strong demand for passenger service on the Plymouth – Roscoff route, BAI decided to replace her in as soon as early-1973, since Kerisnel did not have proper accommodations (the few cabins she had were located in containers located on her deck). Penn Ar Bed therefore replaced her in early-1974, and Kerisnel was transferred to a new company established by Jean Hénaff, operating services between Vigo and Saint-Nazaire. The first customer of this service was Citroën, which was using it to export its cars produced in Spain.

She was then sold to others operators, being renamed Al Zaher 4 and then in 1995 Agios Dionissios S., registered in Pirea, Greece.

Technical Datas of M/V Kerisnel
M/V Kerisnel (1973- 1974)
The Ship
Launch  1972
Cost FF15 Millions 
Owner Bretagne Angleterre Irlande SA 
Operator Brittany Ferries 
Routes Roscoff (FR) - Plymouth (GB) 
IMO 7105366 
Port of Registry  Morlaix, Bretagne, France
Technical Datas
Length  99.17 m 
Breadth 16.62 m 
Gross Tonnage 1,983 GT 
Passengers & Cargo
Cabins 12 cabins 

Photo Library

See Also


  • In Brittany Ferries, B.A.I. SA, 2015. [retrieved xxxxxxxx]. Available at www.brittany-ferries.co.uk ; (photo only)
  • CHARTIER LE FLOCH, Erwan. "Brittany Ferries: les paysans armateurs", Le Télégramme, 21/06/2015, n°906, p.24.