The first of three brand-new ferries to join Brittany Ferries is expected to arrive in France for the first time this morning. GALICIA is expected to berth at Cherbourg shortly after 0:730 local time following a lengthy sea voyage from China. Last night she passed within a few nautical miles of fleet-mate PONT AVEN which had left Plymouth for Santander that evening.
After trials at Cherbourg, GALICIA is expected to visit a number of Brittany Ferries ports (including Portsmouth and Plymouth) before heading to Santander for dry docking. This will allow for finishing touches to be applied and likely a hull survey for the switch from the British to French register.
At present GALICIA has a “home” port of Portsmouth, but this will change to a French port in-line with the company policy of registering long-term fleet members in France.
Once the ship is prepared for service and all crew training, familiarisation, and any further trials complete, GALICIA is expected to enter service between Santander and Portsmouth during December. In service, she is also expected to sail between Portsmouth and Cherbourg once the route re-opens. The route has been closed until further notice following timetable changes resulting from the impact of COVID-19 Coronavirus restrictions.
The lengthy voyage from her builders yard at Weihai (China) took in a number of ports including Qingdao, Singapore, and Suez. Stena-subsidiary Northern Marine Management provided the crew for the voyage on behalf of Stena RoRo.
The latter company owns the ship and have agreed a long-term charter to Brittany Ferries. Stena RoRo have also agreed charters with Brittany Ferries for two similar ships, SALAMANCA and SANTONA, which will be fuelled by LNG rather than diesel. SALAMANCA and SANTONA are expected to join the fleet in 2022 and 2023.
GALICIA, which as an E-Flexer ferry is designed to be efficient, arrives in France just days after Brittany Ferries announced that it had become one of the first companies to be accredited by the Green Marine ‘green label’ initiative in Europe.
Although based on the same platform as STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA, GALICIA is built to a different overall design. While she shares many similarities, she is not therefore a direct sister-ship to the Stena Line ships. GALICIA will be the first Brittany Ferries ship to be “designed, themed and decorated around Spain“.
Earlier this year Brittany Ferries cancelled another ferry, HONFLEUR, after a number of delivery delays. The ship, which should have been in service during 2019, was up to a year off completion this June. The company is believed to have ended all interest in the vessel and no significant further work is believed to have taken place since the cancellation.
|Number of decks||10|
|Number of passenger decks||3|
|Design speed||22 knots|
|Vehicle capacity||3,100 lane metres or 155 trailers|
|Main engines||2 X 12,600Kw|