Brittany Ferries Confirms New “Brexit Bypass” Routes

By: Gary Andrews
Last updated:
ARMORIQUE. Image: Brittany Ferries
ARMORIQUE. Image: Brittany Ferries

Brittany Ferries has now put some detail on last week’s announcement of additional freight ferry routes between Brittany and Ireland. The ARMORIQUE will be used on these crossings.

Three new services between Ireland and France will be added. Roscoff will be linked St Malo, as well as the early re-introduction Cork route seven weeks ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, Rosslare will be connected to St Malo and Roscoff.

Side profile drawing of ARMORIQUE. Image: Brittany Ferries.
Side profile drawing of ARMORIQUE. Image: Brittany Ferries.

Sailings will begin on Thursday 4 February with a sailing from Rosslare to St Malo. The following timetable will then be followed.

DayDepartureTimeArrivalNext day time
MondayDepart Roscoff20:00Arrive Cork14:00 next day
TuesdayDepart Cork20:00Arrive Roscoff14:00 next day
WednesdayDepart Roscoff20:00Arrive Rosslare14:00 next day
ThursdayDepart Rosslare20:00Arrive St Malo17:10 next day
FridayDepart St Malo20:00Arrive Cork15:00 next day
SaturdayDepart Cork18:00Arrive Roscoff12:40 next day
Brittany Ferries’ new freight services linking Ireland and Brittany.

These sailings are in addition to the current Brittany Ferries sailings out of Cork and Rosslare to both France and Spain.

ARMORIQUE at Roscoff. Image: Brittany Ferries.
ARMORIQUE at Roscoff. Image: Brittany Ferries.

The new sailings are in response to demands from both Irish and French hauliers seeking a more direct route. Normally, the majority of freight traffic between the two countries travels via the UK, using Irish Sea and English Channel ferry services. However, since post-Brexit trading rules came into place on 1 January, many freight customers have been deterred from the using the “Landbridge” due to concerns over increased customs checks and paperwork.

Hugh Bruton, General Manager, Brittany Ferries Ireland, commented:

“It’s clear that Brexit has distorted flows of trade between France and Ireland, there’s now clear and compelling demand both in Brittany and beyond to boost freight capacity direct from the region to Ireland. And Irish traders too are seeking direct links to Western France. We’re always listening to our haulier customers in order to best meet their needs and we look forward to restarting Brittany-Ireland services two months earlier than planned.”

Brittany Ferries Pres Release

The new Brittany-to-Ireland sailings come in addition to an extra weekly Rosslare to Cherbourg round trip which was introduced in mid-January. This was two months ahead of schedule. This means that from February Brittany Ferries will offer hauliers a choice of eight sailings a week in each direction between Ireland and France.

The company also offers two weekly roundtrips between Rosslare and Bilbao, northern Spain. Altogether the company will be offering 12 sailings a week linking Ireland with France and Spain.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cork said:

“The decision by Brittany Ferries to operate two freight only services from Cork to St Malo and Roscoff is hugely positive for Cork. Importers and exporters now have further transport options to get their freight direct to the EU and bypass the UK Land-Bridge. This announcement comes in the same month as we announced a second freight service from Cork to Zeebrugge. These direct freight services from Cork to the EU strengthen the region by offering more flexibility to Irish customers, ensuring supply chains are maintained. Our relationship with Brittany Ferries spans over 40 years and it continues to go from strength to strength. We wish them every success with this freight service.”

Brittany Ferries Irish Route Network
Brittany Ferries Irish Route Network

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort adds:

“The continuing commitment of Brittany Ferries to develop new services linking Irish industry to the European continent is once again demonstrated with this new service connecting to St Malo and Roscoff.  We have worked closely with Brittany Ferries to facilitate this new service, which will give further choice and capacity alongside existing Brittany Ferries services between Rosslare Europort and Bilbao and Cherbourg.”

These new freight only routes will operate until the end of March, when scheduled freight and passenger services will resume between Cork and Roscoff. With two weekly sailings in each direction, frequency has been doubled for 2021.

These new services come on the back of significant additional Ireland – EU capacity as a result of Brexit. Developments in the ferry sector since late December include;

  • Brittany Ferries: In addition to the new services described above linking Roscoff and St Malo with Cork and Rosslare, Rosslare – Cherbourg route began two months early.
  • Stena Line: RoRo STENA FORETELLER added to Rosslare – Cherbourg route. Additional weekend Dublin – Cherbourg roundtrip. Temporary switching of the E-Flexer ships STENA EMBLA then STENA ESTRID to Rosslare – Cherbourg service.
  • Irish Ferries: EPSILON Switched with W.B. YEATS to provide more driver-capacity on the Dublin – Cherbourg service. EPSILSON used on a weekend Dublin – Cherbourg sailing instead of Dublin – Holyhead.
  • DFDS: Six roundtrips per week Rosslare – Dunkerque service launched using VISBY, DROTTEN and KERRY.
  • CLdN (Cobelfret): Cork – Zeebrugge frequency doubled to two sailings each way per week.

Additionally, the following Container services have been added;

  • Samskip: Direct Dublin – Amsterdam Container service using RMS Veritas.
  • Containerships: Additional direct Dublin – Rotterdam roundtrip added.
  • Eucon: An additional ship. MUSIC. placed on Benelux – Ireland services.

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