French ferry operator Brittany Ferries has welcomed the largest-ever vessel to its fleet, the 215-metre-long Galicia.
Built at the CMJL shipyard in Weihai, China, the vessel, the first in a trio of sisterships, will be joined by Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the vessel, which will operate between Portsmouth, UK and Santander, Spain, was officially unveiled in an online inauguration ceremony.
Commenting, Brittany Ferries CEO, Christophe Mathieu, said the arrival of the vessel ‘marks the start of a bright new future’ for the company.
‘When we ordered her, we could never have imagined the current pandemic situation and its impact on trade, travel and tourism,’ said Mathieu. ‘But she is our symbol of hope and optimism, and above all our confidence in a much brighter future on the horizon.’
Mathieu also highlighted the vessel’s environmental credentials.
‘Our customers demand modern, comfortable and environmentally-friendly sea travel. We can only meet their expectations by introducing new, advanced and innovative ships,’ said Mathieu. ‘Galicia is a vital first step in our fleet renewal programme, and proof of our ongoing commitment to our customers, partners and colleagues in the years to come.’
Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries’ chairman added: ‘We made this investment before the pandemic hit, but we still believe in this decision. Galicia will be kinder to the environment. She’ll be more efficient. And of course – she will be crewed by expert, welcoming French seafarers – an aspect our British customers appreciate.
‘These three new ships are just the start of a bright new future for our company and most importantly our customers,’ said Roué.
As ship.energy’s sister publication Bunkerspot previously reported, Brittany Ferries took delivery of the Galicia in September. The vessel, which is fitted with a closed-loop scrubber, will begin its maiden voyage on 2 December.