Bretagne’s replacement will be called Brittany Ferries Saint-Malo
1 June 2022
By Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries
I am delighted to join all our British friends in celebrating the extraordinary achievement of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this anniversary weekend. Her strength, humility and sense of duty are an example to us all and I hope you enjoy the long weekend whether or not you are travelling with us.
Our own grande dame of the fleet Bretagne will be taking many passengers to St Malo during the celebrations and it is to this ship that I want to turn my attention today. As many of you will know, she was launched in 1989. She was the first wholly-commissioned Brittany Ferries’ ship and she set a new standard for cruise-ferries.
She remains a firm favourite with passengers – and Brittany Ferries crew. After all, she proudly bears the name of the region that gave birth to the company 50 years ago this year. And she will continue to serve us until 2025.
However, time marches on and with it comes higher expectations for ferry travel in the 21st century. There is no doubt that our longest-serving vessel still offers excellent levels of comfort, cuisine and entertainment. However, there are things that are starting to betray her age.
The garage for example is comparatively tight; cars are around 30% wider than they were when Bretagne entered service. Her staircases and lifts too, feel a little steep and small respectively, reflective of a different time in ship-building.
More importantly, today’s vessels need to address the challenge of climate change. That’s why I’m delighted to confirm that Bretagne’s replacement will be a hybrid ship. She will be powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas), by battery power or by a combination of the two. In that respect she will be rather like a hybrid car.
I can also confirm that Bretagne’s replacement will be called The Saint-Malo. This name was confirmed at a press conference taking place in France yesterday (31 May 2022), with our president Jean-Marc Roué alongside Loïg Chesnais-Girard, president of the region of Brittany and Gilles Lurton, mayor and president of Saint-Malo.
I am particularly delighted by this choice. The famous walled-city is one of our most delightful destinations, hosting mile upon mile of sweeping golden beaches, fantastic shops intra-muros and some of the best restaurants in the region.
We have served this city since 1976 and I know it has become a firm favourite for family holidays, weekends away and as a gateway to other fabulous destinations served by Brittany Ferries.
Once again I should confirm that Bretagne remains with us for the next couple of years, serving us faithfully and with her customary panache. I hope therefore that you will join me in raising a glass her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but then perhaps a second toast to ships today and tomorrow: Brittany Ferries Bretagne and Saint-Malo.