Brittany Ferries sail again!
Well in truth they didn’t stop sailing between the UK, France and Spain, but during the COVID crisis they have been limited to just providing a freight service to make sure essential supplies were reaching Britain. However, on Monday 29th June they at last resumed passenger services, meaning we can finally saddle up and head south again. Hooray!
In all, five ships are now carrying passengers and a further three ships covering four more routes will re-open to passengers later in July.
So, you can now sail Portsmouth – Caen on the Mont St Michel and Plymouth – Roscoff on the Amorique. The Cap Finistere is going to Bilbao and thankfully the huge and luxurious Pont-Aven is sailing from both Plymouth and Portsmouth to Santander in Spain. As of the 10th July you’ll be able to take the Connemara from Portsmouth – Cherbourg and the Bretagne will be sailing Portsmouth – St Malo.
Sadly Brittany have confirmed that some of their smaller vessels won’t be able to sail viably while adhering to distancing regs, ensuring enough cabin space, or because of the way the cabins are configured etc.
Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO said:
“We are delighted and relieved that the British government has finally set out the framework to lift blanket quarantine restrictions. Today’s news brings clarity to the entire travel sector, and reassurance to the many thousands of passengers desperate to travel between the UK, France and Spain this summer. We are prepared for tough times ahead, but this is, at least, the silver lining on a summer season beset by dark clouds.”
As it is, complying with regulations and keeping customer safety as a primary priority, Brittany have decided to reduce passenger capacity by over 50%. Setting aside the economic devastation that must be causing to a company like Brittany which takes such pride in its employment standards and co-operative ownership principals, what that does mean of course, is loads of space to sample all the competitively priced restaurants on board and no rush at the bar! (Yes, we did develop a soft spot for Brittany when we realised they didn’t overcharge on board and that they were much cheaper than riding to Spain overland yourself (see the full story here).
Onboard they have introduced a range of new sanitary and social distancing measures on all vessels. These measures go above and beyond compliance with statutory guidance in the countries Brittany Ferries sails to. They’ve even drawn up a 12-point guide to safe travel this summer as part of their Together & Protected campaign. The guide is designed to inform, reassure and prepare all those thinking about ferry travel, as well as those who are about to embark on holiday.
1. Passengers may be required to fill-in a health form prior to travel. If you are unwell, stay at home.
2. Passengers must check-in at least 90 minutes before departure
3. Boarding and disembarkation will be staggered, to avoid queues.
4. Masks must be worn while boarding, disembarking and in public areas on board
5. Wash hands regularly, use hand sanitisers and follow all crew instructions
6. Customers are asked to read onboard signs and to respect physical distancing guidance in all public areas
7. A cabin or reserved seat is compulsory on all sailings. To minimise contact with others, remain in this personal space as much as possible.
8. Fresh sea air is supplied in all public areas on board, including cabins
9. Enhanced cleaning with virucidal cleaners will take place during and between sailings
10. In restaurants and bars, meal choices may be limited and space adapted to comply with new safety protocols
11. In all public areas, crew will wear masks when interacting with passengers
12. Medical assistance is available in the event of a suspected COVID-19 case, including a dedicated cabin for isolation
For further details on all sailings click Brittany Ferries