The French minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs was amongst the dignitaries at the blessing of the SALAMANCA on Saturday 5 February.
Brittany Ferries’ first liquefied natural gas-powered ferry underwent the traditional religious ceremony at the company’s homeport of Roscoff.
Delivered on 30 November, the ship, chartered from Stena RoRo, departed China on 10 December. After a journey which took in Singapore, Colombo, Suez, Cartagena and Valletta, the ship arrived at Bilbao on 14 January 2022. The Basque Country port will be the SALAMANCA’s regular Spanish port.
Four days later, on 18 January, SALAMANCA sailed to Santander. She remained at the Spanish port until she sailed to Roscoff on 3 February.
Proudly French flagged
SALAMANCA joins a fleet of nine Brittany Ferries ships sailing under the French flag. She is the latest and most environmentally-friendly ship operated by Brittany Ferries, the largest employer of French seafarers. On the occasion of the French flag being raised on 18 January Brittany Ferries’ president Jean-Marc Roué, said:
“It is with pride and optimism that we welcome Salamanca into the Brittany Ferries fleet. She’s a symbol of our ongoing commitment to fleet renewal. She’s a symbol of our confidence in the future of our company and travel by sea, and a sign of our recovery after these long months of the health crisis.
“As France’s first LNG-powered ferry, she’s a symbol of our commitment to responsible growth and energy transition as we adopt cleaner sources of energy.
“And today, as we raise the tricolore on board, Salamanca becomes a floating ambassador for France, its expertise and its know-how. She signals our commitment to the French regions we serve, to the French merchant navy, to the blue economy, and above all to the French flag and the employment of French seafarers.”Brittany Ferries Press Release 19 January 2022 https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/salamanca-hoists-the-french-flag/
Final preparations for beginning service
Departing Roscoff on Saturday 5 February, SALAMANCA sailed to Brest. She will be playing a role at the One Ocean Summit, 9 -11 February. This event is ‘dedicated to the ocean’ and is expected to welcome 20 heads of state.
On 13 February SALAMANCA is expected to carry out berthing trials at the Brittany Ferries’ Irish ports of Cork and Rosslare.
She will be back in Santander on 15 February and dry-dock at the local Astander yard 18 February to 7 March.
SALAMANCA will then enter service on 27 March, serving Brittany Ferries’ services from Portsmouth to Bilbao (Spain) and Cherbourg (France).
Last year, GALICIA, a similar (but not LNG-powered) E-flexer joined the fleet and next year an identical sister SANTOÑA will be delivered to Brittany Ferries. In addition, two smaller E-flexer versions are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025 These will be fitted with electric-hybrid technology in addition to the LNG-Diesel dual fuel capability and will replace the veteran ferries NORMANDIE and BRETAGNE.
In the coming days NIFS will present a full overview of the SALAMANCA.