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SPANISH LINKS: End of road for LD routes

LD Lines have closed recently-opened routes from France and Spain to England and Ireland after what was described as a ‘business review’. Norman Atlantic (2009/26,904gt) made a final departure from Rosslare to Saint-Nazaire and Gijon on 29 August, while Poole-Santander-Gijon services, originally expected to run to the end of September, finished with a northbound sailing from Santander by Norman Asturias (2007/26,904) on 5 September.

After establishing ‘Motorways of the Sea’ services from Monitior, near Saint-Nazaire to Gijon, LD extended its North Atlantic network with twice weekly trips to Poole in November 2013 with the Stena-owned 518-passenger/196-car Norman Asturias, one of the ro-pax ferry series built in Italy by Visentini.

A spokesman for LD Lines said several hundred booked passengers had been switched to sailings to Northern Spain by Brittany Ferries, who launched its own economy service from Portsmouth to Santander back in March using another Visentini-built ro-pax vessel Etretat (2008/26,904gt). The Irish connection, opened at the start of this year by Norman Atlantic, built by Visentini as Akeman Street, was cut back to a single weekly summer circuit.

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