The Salamanca ferry docked at the Port of Bilbao after making its first crossing between Ireland and Spain. This ship, the first in the Brittany Ferries fleet to sail with natural gas, will leave Bilbao on Sundays and Thursdays bound for the Irish port of Rosslare.
On the one hand, the incorporation of this vessel to the Spain-Ireland route will expand and improve the offer for both freight and passenger transport, offering the latter a much more comfortable journey. “The Salamanca ferry is more like a cruise than a simple ferry and, thanks to this, our passengers can delight in facilities designed to enjoy the journey to the fullest,” said Roberto Castilla, Director of Brittany Ferries in Spain.
It is considered a cruise-ferry and has a capacity for 1,050 passengers, as well as spacious lounges to rest, bars, restaurants, game rooms for the little ones, shops and decks to practice sports or simply enjoy the sea breeze. In total, it has 343 cabins with bathroom, and 37 cabins for truck drivers. Among the 343 cabins, there are those adapted for passengers with reduced mobility and also cabins reserved exclusively for passengers traveling with their pets.
For his part, the President of the Bilbao Port Authority Ricardo Barkala highlighted the close relationship with Brittany Ferries and the shipping company’s significant commitment to this port. “We have an excellent relationship based on trust and we share the same vision of our commitment to the client and our responsibility to the environment. Brittany’s bet on this port is very important for us, and today it has shown it again with the improvement made in a strategic line for us,” he commented.
The Salamanca is the French shipping company’s first ship powered by LNG, a cleaner fuel that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 20%. “With the entry into service of this ferry on the Ireland route, we continue to show our commitment to Bilbao and, in short, to sustainability, the environment and the comfort of our passengers,” added Castilla.
The renewal of the fleet is one of the fundamental pillars of the recovery of Brittany Ferries after the Covid crisis. The Salamanca is the first of the four new LNG-powered vessels that are about to arrive at the company. The next one will be the Santoña and it will join the fleet in 2023.
In addition to the Salamanca and the Santoña, Brittany Ferries has invested in two LNG hybrid ships that will arrive in 2024 and 2025. These ferries will replace two of the oldest vessels in the company’s fleet, the Bretagne and the Normandie, covering the routes between the UK and France, and will work on the same principle as a hybrid car. At sea they will be supplied with LNG, while during berthing and departure maneuvers they will work partially or totally with batteries that can be recharged during berthing, which will also be able to power systems such as air conditioning, heating and lighting on board.
Source: Port of Bilbao