Brittany Ferries to deploy luxury ship on Portsmouth-Santander

Brittany Ferries has confirmed plans to start a new luxury cruise-ferry service from Portsmouth to Santander in northern Spain with effect from April 2009 using its €165 million flagship, Pont Aven.The crossing time of 24 hours will be some 8 hours faster than other ferry services from Portsmouth to northern Spain.

This new route expands the Brittany Ferries network at a time when both passenger and freight traffic to Spain is growing. The existing twice-weekly Plymouth-Santander service will continue, as will the weekly freight-only operation between Poole and Santander, which is in keeping with the Marco Polo EU transport policy of diverting freight from the roads and on to the sea.

David Longden, Managing Director, commented: “Portsmouth is easily accessible via an excellent road network for a huge number of people located in Greater London and the Home Counties. The appeals of Northern Spain are becoming more widely appreciated and, by providing a faster crossing than anyone else is able to, thereby allowing passengers to spend just one night at sea, we believe we can grow the market.”

Phil Gadd, Portsmouth Ferry Port Manager is looking forward to the arrival of the new service: “We are pleased about the new Brittany Ferries route from Portsmouth to Santander. The French routes Brittany Ferries operate from our port are very popular and we are sure the Santander crossing will be just as successful. This new destination offers more choice to our loyal passengers who use Portsmouth regularly, and it will also attract new customers who are keen to get to Northern Spain by ferry.”

Pont Aven is just 4 years old and has more in common with a cruise ship than a ferry. Its features including a superb pool and leisure area, a wrap around promenade for pleasant deck strolls, a dramatic five deck high atrium with panoramic views from the lifts, and no fewer than four different categories of cabin, all with en-suite facilities. There are two cinemas, restaurants, bars and sundecks.