French ferry operator Brittany Ferries has signed a ten-year deal with UK-based Portsmouth International Port to continue using the port for its services.
Signed on board Brittany Ferries’ ship Bretagne on May 17, the deal comes as the UK prepares to leave the EU to sail a new course in global trade and cooperation.
The agreement stretches through to 2027 and will see the port work even more closely with the ferry company.
“This is the first time a formal deal this long has ever been signed, despite the relationship between the two organizations dating back more than 40 years,” the port said in a statement.
“This deal … highlights the crucial role Portsmouth International Port and Brittany Ferries both play in cross channel trade. Whatever the details of the final Brexit deal are, we can now guarantee an ever stronger link for businesses and holidaymakers going to and from France and Spain from Britain’s Best Connected Port,” Mike Sellers, Port Director of Portsmouth International Port, commented.
The port has recently announced a GBP 9 million (around USD 11.5 million) investment in one of the berths used by Brittany Ferries. As informed, the current double deck linkspan, which acts as a drawbridge to load vehicles onto the ferry, will be replaced after 25 years of service.
What is more, Brittany Ferries is planning to build a new cleaner and greener “super ferry” to be based at Portsmouth International Port. The ship will be powered by LNG and will operate in tandem with the popular cruise ferry Mont St Michel.
The announcement comes as Brittany Ferries reports strong passenger and freight figures, driven by its business at Portsmouth International Port. In 2016, overall passenger numbers were up for the fourth consecutive year, providing Brittany Ferries with its best performance in a decade.