Brittany Ferries has announced that former Cork – Santander/Roscoff ferry CONNEMARA now fly’s the French flag. The Visentini-built Ro-Pax is now registered in the port of Morlaix. CONNEMARA was replaced by the older and smaller Visentini Ro-Pax KERRY on October 31. The move to the French flag means the ships crew will be provided by Brittany Ferries themselves. Previously Stena subsidiary Northern Marine had provided the crew for the ship which like KERRY is chartered from Stena RoRo.
CONNEMARA joined the Brittany Ferries fleet in May 2018, opening a new direct route between Cork and Santander. The ship originally joined on the Cypriot register but with a clear commitment from Brittany Ferries that she would move to the French flag and adopt a French crew in two years. The move to the French registry means that this has happened six months ahead of schedule with the creation of 111 jobs for French sailors.
“We’re delighted and proud to raise the French flag aboard Connemara,” says Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu. “Despite the current uncertain economic and political waters we’re navigating Brittany Ferries continues its development, and reaffirms its long-term commitment to the French flag, and its position as the biggest employer of French seafarers.”
CONNEMARA is currently in dry dock in Santander, but will leave the Spanish Port for her first sailing under the French flag operating a scheduled service from the Spanish port to Portsmouth. During December the ship will release BARFLEUR from the Poole to Cherbourg route so the latter can go for an extensive refit. In January 2020, CONNEMARA will operate between Portsmouth and Le Havre. Brittany Ferries now has eleven ships flying the French flag and crewed by French seafarers. Two further ships, HONFLEUR and the first Brittany Ferries E-Flexer GALICIA, are expected to join the fleet during 2020, also flying the French flag.