The start of 2021 will see some changes to Poole’s cross-channel ferry fleet. The ro-ro freight ferry Cotentin (2007/19,909gt) will return to the Cherbourg route on 1 January, after an absence of over seven years, as part of Brittany Ferries’ contract with the UK Department for Transport for additional freight capacity.

Cotentin was delivered to Brittany Ferries in 2007 but from late 2013 to November 2020 was chartered to Stena Line as the Karlskrona-Gdynia vessel Stena Baltica. With a capacity for 109 lorries, she will operate a daily service between Poole and Cherbourg until 4 April after which regular vessel Barfleur (1992/20,133gt) will resume passenger sailings that were suspended in March 2020 due to Covid-19.

The freight vessel MN Pelican (1999/12,076gt) will be absent from the Bilbao route for a three week routine overhaul during January and February, but will be replaced from 18 to 30 January by the ro-pax ferry Connemara (2007/26,500gt), operating in freight-only mode.

Brittany Ferries had previously used Connemara between the Dorset port and Cherbourg on relief duties at the end of 2019, and before that she operated as Norman Asturias for LD Lines during 2013/2014 between Poole and Northern Spain.

Photo and report by Kevin Mitchell

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