Brittany Ferries has confirmed the introduction of a more tourism-oriented ship”Galicia” on to their Rosslare – Bilbao route from November of this year. The huge cruise-ferry is one of the newest additions to the Brittany Ferries fleet having been launched in December 2020.
Brittany Ferries has been central to the dramatic growth which has seen Rosslare Europort becoming Ireland’s leading port for direct European services over the past two years.
Currently the Rosslare-Bilbao route is serviced by the “Connemara” a predominantly freight vessel with limited facilities for holidaymakers. This befitted the company strategy of establishing freight links from Ireland to Spain. Now the route has proved a success however, attention is turning into passenger traffic.
News of the new ship for Rosslare, was announced earlier today 7th April by Brittany Ferries President Jean-Marc Roué, who earlier this year became Honorary Irish Consul in Brittany who, along with the company’s Chief Executive, Christophe Mathieu was in Rosslare to meet with the port of Rosslare executives and with local business leaders. He said that the introduction of the “Galicia” was a further indication of the company’s long-term commitment to Ireland.
In 2019, Ireland welcomed 431,000 Spanish visitors to the island of Ireland. These visits delivered revenue of €218 million. The introduction of the Galicia on the Bilbao to Rosslare route is good news; It will allow Tourism Ireland to highlight ease of access from the greater Bilbao region and to encourage holidaymakers there to come and discover Ireland by car.
The visit to Rosslare followed on from yesterday’s visit to the Port of Cork where the company confirmed that its twice-weekly service from Cork to France, which was launched earlier this year will become a permanent feature of the company’s sailing schedule.
Speaking of the decision to introduce the Galicia to the route Monsieur Roué said that the “Galicia“Which can take up to 1,015 passengers is closer in style to cruise-ferries like the company’s flagship the”Pont Aven” with far better facilities for holidaymakers.
“There is no doubt that the Rosslare – Bilbao route has been successful and we are pleased with the way Irish hauliers have embraced it. The “Galicia” will continue to provide a strong freight offering. However our research has indicated that there is a demand there from Irish people wishing to holiday in Spain and the “Galicia” will certainly make for a far more enjoyable experience for them. The job now is to work in partnership with tourism bodies in Ireland and Spain to ensure that holiday makers fill our ships and enrich destinations in both markets.”
Glenn Carr, General Manager Rosslare Europort, welcomed the announcement by Brittany Ferries of Galicia’s introduction, saying “Brittany Ferries are more than just customers of Rosslare Europort, they are our partners in strengthening our direct links between Ireland and Europe. The Galicia will ensure that as well as freight customers, holidaymakers will benefit from this partnership, and provide a more sustainable travel choice for tourism to and from Ireland’s South East and beyond.”
For more information on the new cruise-ferry service launching this November, visit brittany-ferries.ie.
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