Ferry and holiday company Brittany Ferries has announced it has chartered a vessel, which will operate under its ‘no-frills’ Brittany Ferries economie brand, starting May 2015.
The additional ship will serve the Portsmouth to Le Havre route (four times a week) and the Portsmouth to Bilbao route (once a week).
Launched last March, the economie brand is aimed at customers who wish to travel to France or Spain without the cruise-style experience typically provided by Brittany Ferries. One-way fares for a car plus two this May start from £79 to France and £209 to Spain. Bookings for the additional ship will open in early February.
The new vessel is currently named ‘Sirena Seaways,’ although she will be renamed on entering service with Brittany Ferries. Facilities and space on board are limited compared to Brittany Ferries’ cruise-ferry services, but will include a cafe, bar, boutique and restaurant, as well as free Wi-Fi internet access and a reading lounge.
Brittany Ferries also said that customers can mix and match economie sailings with the company’s other cruise-ferry and high speed sailings to Normandy, Brittany and northern Spain, travelling out by one route and returning by another. In total there are 10 routes and up to 142 weekly sailings, giving customers a degree of added flexibility and choice.
Mike Bevens, Group Commercial Director, said: ‘We have been really pleased with the demand for our new no-frills service so this additional ship will provide a welcome boost in capacity and provide our customers with an even wider range of sailing times. Furthermore, it now brings the total number of services to Spain to seven a week, again providing more choice.’
The ship is certified to carry 610 passengers, but Brittany Ferries has said that it will restrict the numbers well below so that passengers have enough space to enjoy the journey. There are 196 cabins, of which 14 will be pet-friendly. Portsmouth-Le Havre remains the only route between the UK and France to offer this feature, aimed at meeting the rising demand for cross-Channel pet travel.