After the winter break, the regular twice-weekly Brittany Ferries service between the port of Bilbao and Portsmouth, in the south of England, will be back in full operation from 1 April with the incorporation of the Galicia, one of the company’s most modern, comfortable and sustainable vessels.
Launched in December 2020, the Galicia is an E-FLEXER type vessel, a cruise ferry with a capacity for up to 1,050 passengers and 2,714 linear metres of passenger vehicles and trucks. The vessel has been engineered for optimum efficiency thanks to the design of its long, slender hull, which ensures a high level of hydrodynamic performance, and to the silicone coating on the hull, which reduces friction, helping to smooth its passage through the water and thus reduce fuel consumption.
Passenger comfort has also been factored into the design of the Galicia to offer a unique travel experience on a vessel named after its homeland, and on which the decoration and works of art that can be enjoyed on board, uniquely and exclusively designed for this ship, are inspired by Galician culture and countryside.
A new feature this year is that the routes operated by Brittany Ferries between Bilbao, the United Kingdom and Ireland will have a Spanish crew on board, as announced last summer by Christophe Mathieu, CEO of the Breton shipping company. After the selection process, which took place last February, and completion of the corresponding administrative procedures required to sail on a French-flagged vessel, the new crew will be gradually incorporated into the company’s fleet.
Brittany Ferries and the Port of Bilbao
Founded in 1973, the result of the union and joint efforts of Breton farmers who wanted to take their products beyond their borders, Brittany Ferries’ activity in the Port of Bilbao began in 2011, since when it has become one of the leading shipping companies for the transport of cargo and passengers between Bilbao and the United Kingdom and Ireland, with three crossings and six weekly calls.
In addition to the Galicia ferry service between Bilbao and Portsmouth, the company also connects Bilbao with the Irish port of Rosslare twice a week thanks to the Salamanca, the first LNG-powered vessel of the Brittany Ferries fleet and one of the most efficient vessels worldwide on account of its innovative design and construction. The Salamanca made its maiden voyage in March 2022 following refurbishment work carried out at berth by the Port Authority of Bilbao, and the construction of an LNG refuelling station by the company Repsol.
With the exception of being powered by LNG, the Salamanca and its twin vessel Galicia share all the innovations in terms of efficiency to reduce the carbon footprint, such as the design of the hull or the use of silicone paint to reduce friction and, consequently, fuel consumption.
Finally, Brittany Ferries’ Pelican, with a capacity for around 100 unaccompanied goods vehicles and up to 8 drivers, offers a twice-weekly freight service between Bilbao and Poole, in the United Kingdom.