Gas-Powered Ship to Sail to France in 2017


Brittany Ferries announces the order of €270 million luxury ferry for Cork-Roscoff route

Brittany Ferries – who last year celebrated their 40th year of existence – have just announced that they will be the first ferry service operating out of Ireland or the UK running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), something they say will set “new standards for environmental impact”.

The French ferry company – used by thousands of Irish going on holiday to France – has placed an order for its largest cruise-ferry yet and one of the biggest such vessels in the world. It is due to replace the Pont Aven as the company’s flagship when it comes into service in the Spring of 2017, taking over the Cork-Roscoff route from the cruise ferry that first came into service ten years ago. The new ship will also operate the longer routes between the UK and Spain, while the Pont Aven will move to the Portsmouth-St Malo route.

According to Brittany Ferries, the new ship – the Pegasis – will be the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly ship to operate in north-west Europe. LNG emits about 25% less carbon dioxide than marine fuel oil and emits no smoke. Its emissions are sulphur-free and very low in nitrogen oxide.

The ship is the result of a two-year feasibility study by Brittany Ferries and ship-builders STX France on powering a ship by LNG. The Pegasis will be built at STX’s shipyard in St Nazaire at a cost of €270 million.

The larger greener ship will have many of the features of the Pont-Aven, including an indoor swimming pool, two cinemas, restaurants and pet kennels. Additionally, she will have 30 pet-friendly cabins, as well as a quiet reading lounge, observation area and a spa treatment room with panoramic views. This latter feature will offer a more sophisticated service than the current one available on the Pont-Aven, according to a spokesperson for Brittany Ferries. There will also be Wi-Fi available in throughout the entire ship.

In keeping with previous changes of vessel, everything is due to be a step up in terms of quality from the ship before, with three bars instead of two, a high-tech stage area and numerous other luxury features including a balcony with every Commodore Suite.

The new ship will be longer (210m instead of 184m), wider (32m instead of 30.9m) and heavier (52,500 tonnes instead of 47,500). With a maximum speed of 45.4km/hour, it will be a little slower than the Pont Aven’s top speed of 52km/hour, but it seems a small price to pay for more quality, luxury and increased capacity. The new 12-deck ship will have a capacity of 2,474 (59 more than the Pont Aven) passengers and 800 cars (200 more than the Pont Aven).

“This represents a huge investment which will benefit not simply our customers but the environment as well,” said commercial director Mike Bevens. “Unlike other forms of transport, such as aircraft or trains, every one of our ships is different, each possessing its own unique character. This addition to our fleet will be no exception, but will incorporate all the best features of our other vessels so as to provide our customers with a truly exceptional experience. No other ferry in Ireland or the UK will come close to offering this new ship’s range of facilities and its launch will mark the beginning of a new era in ferry travel.”

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