Brittany Ferries, based in Roscoff, France, has announced that it will launch a new service between the Port of Bilbao and the Irish port of Rosslare, south of Dublin, on 28 February, replacing the service between Santander and Cork. The change is in response to demand from continental and Irish carriers as well as the investments made by the Bilbao Port Authority in recent years, the excellent commercial relations between the Port of Bilbao and Brittany Ferries, and an attractive and comprehensive offer from the Port Authority to Brittany Ferries itself.
The new Bilbao – Rosslare route will run twice a week. Though still catering for passenger transport, the service will once again be geared to freight transport. This new service will be added to the five existing weekly departures of Brittany Ferries in the Port of Bilbao, which link this location with the British ports of Portsmouth and Poole.
Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, said, “This was not a decision taken lightly and is the result of continuous discussions with our freight customers who need better road connections and shorter journey times”. According to Brittany Ferries, “carriers operating on the European continent pointed out that Bilbao is more in tune with freight traffic and has more direct transport connections to Europe. Similarly, the carriers
consider that Rosslare, with its proximity to Dublin and the East Coast road network, is a better option”. The company also reported that “Bilbao has invested heavily in recent years to become a safer port. This was one of the key factors in the decision to provide a safer service to our cargo customers”.
In turn, the Chairman of the Port Authority of Bilbao, Ricardo Barkala, thanked Brittany Ferries for their trust in the port and expressed his satisfaction with this decision “which will make the Port of Bilbao more competitive, improving the wide range of maritime services already on offer with the United Kingdom and Ireland”.