Brittany Ferries has confirmed the construction of a new cruise ferry to join its ten-ship fleet. The new craft will be named Honfleur, following a long tradition naming ships after destinations served by the company.
Honfleur promises to be the most environmentally friendly ship regularly operating in UK waters when she takes to the seas in June 2019.
She will also be a ship that presents a canvas of modernity, comfort and relaxation for passengers on the company’s busiest route, operating from Portsmouth to Caen.
Honfleur will be built at the Flensburger Schiffbau shipyard in Germany over the next two years and will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Compared with diesel fuel, LNG emits less carbon dioxide during combustion and burns with no smoke. It is entirely free of sulphur and produces very low emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.
She will carry up to 1,680 passengers and will come with 257 cabins, two cinemas, restaurants, boutique shopping and expansive passenger lounges. Honfleur will operate alongside Brittany Ferries’ Mont St Michel on three daily return sailings.
Normandie, the cruise-ferry she replaces, will move east to serve the Portsmouth to Le Havre route.
Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries president said: “The significant investment we are making reflects our on-going commitment to developing the regions in which we operate, to linking people and to reducing the environmental impact of our ships.
“Despite the challenges of Brexit we remain confident in the future and our first new ship since the delivery of Armorique in 2009, with a budget of around £175m, underlines this resolve.”
Honfleur represents the next step in Brittany Ferries’ drive towards the future of sustainable transport. The move to LNG follows a €90 million investment in sulphur and particulate-reducing ‘scrubber’ technology.
These exhaust emission systems have been retrospectively fitted to six Brittany Ferries ships over the last 18 months, in a project supported by around £5m in joint funding from the EU and its executive agency INEA – and the ADEME in France.
More than four in five people travelling on Brittany Ferries’ ships are British and up to 2.7 million passengers are carried each year, across routes covering southern UK, western France, Spain and Ireland.
Portsmouth-Caen is the most popular crossing carrying around 1 million passengers, 300,000 cars and 100,000 freight units on the western channel annually.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a cleaner burning fuel than diesel (see below for more on the benefits of LNG). But ships that feature LNG-electric propulsion systems are also quieter, more efficient and are less prone to vibration. This means a smoother, more comfortable ride for passengers.
To address the issues of LNG infrastructure, specifically the lack of storage facilities in ports served by ships, Brittany Ferries has partnered with Total for an innovative delivery solution in France.
Honfleur will be the first passenger ship in the world to be equipped with on board cranes that allow 40 feet (ISO standard) LNG containers to be lifted into a fixed position.