Portsmouth International Port welcomed Brittany Ferries’ Connemara for the first time on Sunday 17 November, which had sailed from Santander in northern Spain. To commemorate this inaugural visit, Harbour master Ben McInnes exchanged official plaques with the captain of the Connemara, François Le Breton, on the ship’s bridge.
Mike Sellers, port director said: “I’m delighted to welcome Connemara to Portsmouth for the first time, and am looking forward to January when she will start operating the popular Portsmouth – Le Havre route. With their recent contract extension committing them to the port until 2032 this long-term reassurance from Brittany Ferries means the city's residents benefit from a thriving municipal port, which contributes nearly £8m to the council's budget.”
Graham Boyes, Brittany Ferries’ Portsmouth port operations manager said: “We’re really pleased to welcome another member of our fleet to Portsmouth International Port for the first time. Connemara adds both capacity and flexibility to our routes from Portsmouth to France and Spain, benefiting both our passengers and freight customers. She’ll be the first of several new Brittany Ferries vessels to make Portsmouth their homeport in the months and years to come as part of our €550 fleet renewal programme.”
Connemara is the vanguard of a wave of Brittany Ferries vessels which will arrive over the next four years as part of a their extensive fleet renewal programme. Honfleur, powered by liquefied natural gas, will be delivered from the German FSG shipyard in 2020 and will serve the Portsmouth to Caen route. She will then be followed by three brand new ‘E-Flexer’ class ships to serve longhaul UK to Spain routes: Galicia in late 2020, Salamanca in 2022, and Santoña in 2023.