French shipping company Brittany Ferries has confirmed the charter of a third brand new cruise-ferry to serve its long-haul routes.
To be powered by LNG, the ship will be built at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China and is due to join Brittany Ferries’ network in 2023.
As yet unnamed, the new ship will be chartered from Stena RoRo and will be built to the Swedish shipowner’s E-Flexer design. Its arrival will bring to three the number of E-Flexer class ships in Brittany Ferries’ fleet following the arrival of Galicia in 2021 and Salamanca in 2022.
“We’re delighted to be adding another E-Flexer class cruise-ferry to our fleet. These are environmentally-friendly, capacious and comfortable ships which perfectly suit to our long-haul services,” Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries’ CEO, commented.
Brittany Ferries is also constructing another new ship, Honfleur, at the FSG shipyard in Flensburg Germany, expected to be delivered in late 2019.
The charter agreement, which includes an option to purchase the newbuild, represents the next step in the company’s fleet renewal and investment program worth around EUR 550 million (USD 621 million). It will offer increased capacity as well as employment of French seafarers, according to Brittany Ferries.
“The charter will continue our fleet renewal plans, marking the fourth brand new ship in five years. It signals our confidence in the demand for ferry travel post-Brexit and will help us meet the needs of our passenger and freight customers in the decades to come. It also clearly demonstrates our commitment to LNG as a fuel,” Mathieu added.
The three 42,200-ton E-Flexer class ships will be among the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will feature a length of 21 meters with 3,000 garage lane metres for freight vehicles and capacity for around 1,000 passengers.
The newest ship ordered by Stena RoRo will be a ninth newbuild the company has on order. In addition, Stena RoRo has an option for a further two vessels.
”We are very pleased to have placed another order with the AVIC shipyard, with which we have had a very positive cooperation over the last three years,” Per Westling, CEO Stena RoRo, said.