Two new hybrid LNG-electric ships are coming to the Brittany Ferries fleet.
They will arrive in 2024/2025 to serve routes connecting Portsmouth with St Malo and Caen.
As well as significantly cutting emissions, the hybrids will deliver less noise, less vibration for passengers and a step towards future-proofing the company.
The ships operate on the same principle as a hybrid car.
At sea, they will be powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuel.
But in a first on the English Channel, they will also operate partially or completely on battery power– for example when arriving and departing ports.
Furthermore, they will be ready to plug in to shore-side power when this is available in ports.
This will allow recharging of onboard batteries and power for systems like air conditioning, heating and lighting while at berth, cutting funnel emissions to zero.
The ships will be chartered from Stena RoRo on a ten-year agreement, with a purchase option after four.
They will take the place of Normandie and Bretagne, two grandes dames of the fleet.
Designed to better serve freight and passenger traffic, they promise more scope to carry tourists to Normandy and Brittany outside of peak holiday periods.
The move is all part of Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal plan, one of the pillars of its five-year post-Covid-19 recovery strategy.
The vessels will follow the deployment of Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023, both of which will be fuelled by LNG ready to serve UK-Spain routes.
“Fleet renewal is not a choice for Brittany Ferries; it is an imperative to secure our future,” said Christophe Mathieu, chief executive of Brittany Ferries.
“Our customers rightly demand cleaner, greener vessels and our port partners expect us to be good neighbours.
“Furthermore, we will certainly face tighter regulation in the years ahead.
“The future of our company depends upon our ability to rise to the challenge today, to prepare for tomorrow.
“That is why I am so proud to announce these new vessels.”