Brittany Ferries’ new ship sets sail online

27th November 2020
  • Galicia at sea
  • The ship offers a Spanish-styled interior

Today French and Spanish ferry operator Brittany Ferries unveiled the latest addition to its fleet, Galicia. Due to the pandemic the debut event for the new ship took place virtually, in an online inauguration ceremony – a first for the company and the maritime sector.

The brand-new super-ferry, built at the CMJL shipyard in Weihai, China, is the first in a trio of sisterships – and represents a key milestone in Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal programme. Galicia’s future sisterships Salamanca and Santoña will arrive in 2022 and 2023.

Galicia is an ‘E-Flexer’ class ferry. At 215 metres long she is the largest-ever Brittany Ferries ship and will carry over three kilometres of freight and passenger vehicles.

“Galicia’s arrival marks the start of a bright new future for Brittany Ferries,” says CEO Christophe Mathieu. “When we ordered her, we could never have imagined the current pandemic situation and its impact on trade, travel and tourism. But she is our symbol of hope and optimism, and above all our confidence in a much brighter future on the horizon,

“Our customers demand modern, comfortable and environmentally-friendly sea travel. We can only meet their expectations by introducing new, advanced and innovative ships. Galicia is a vital first step in our fleet renewal programme, and proof of our ongoing commitment to our customers, partners and colleagues in the years to come.”

 Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries’ chairman added: “This has been a challenging year for our customers, and also for my colleagues across our business in France, the UK, Spain and Ireland,

“But this is a new start, and Galicia is a sign of hope for all of us. She will be followed by two beautiful sister ships: Salamanca in 2022 and Santoña in 2023. The entire project demonstrates our conviction and our ambition to continue serving our passengers, and our all-important freight clients, as well as the regions we serve during the years to come. We know that without them there would be no Brittany Ferries, and no Galicia.

 We made this investment before the pandemic hit, but we still believe in this decision. Galicia will be kinder to the environment. She’ll be more efficient. And of course – she will be crewed by expert, welcoming French seafarers – an aspect our British customers appreciate. These three new ships are just the start of a bright new future for our company and most importantly our customers”.

Galicia will serve routes linking Portsmouth and Santander (northern Spain) and Portsmouth and Cherbourg (Normandy).

In a first for French-owned Brittany Ferries, Galicia has been built from the keel up with the ship’s Iberian destination at heart. A warm, relaxing and authentic Spanish holiday ambiance will fill  the ship’s interiors, with décor, paintings, photography, sculptures and murals inviting passengers to take a journey through the towns, countryside and coastlines of northern Spain, and to delve into the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the region that bears her name. The theme will even extend to the food and drinks served on board, with authentic Spanish dishes and drinks on the menu in bars and restaurants., and its interior design and onboard experience will offer passengers a unique taste of Spain as soon as they board.

The ship has also been designed with the environment and efficiency in mind. Particular attention has been given to Galicia’s fuel-efficient propulsion plant and its long, slender hull and bow, with fine lines giving excellent seakeeping in all weathers, and a significantly lower emissions footprint compared to other ships of a similar size.

Brittany Ferries’ technical director Arnaud le Poulichet, who has overseen the conception of the ship since the first steel was cut in 2018 says: “Galicia has already exceeded all our expectations. She is technologically advanced, easy for our crew to operate, and most importantly comfortable for our customers. We are confident that they will appreciate her”.

Galicia will make its first commercial crossing between Santander and Portsmouth on 2nd December.


Key company figures (normal year):

  • Turnover: Approximately €444.2m per year
  • Multi-million Euro investment in three new ships, including two powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas)
  • Employment – Between 2,400 and 3,100 employees (including 1,700 seafarers), depending on the season. 360 in the UK.
  • Passengers: Between 2.5 and 2.7 million each year travelling in approximately 900,000 cars
  • Freight: 205,400 units transported annually, and one freight-only route linking Bilbao and Poole
  • Twelve ships operating services that connect France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain
  • Twelve ports in total: Bilbao, Santander, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth, Cork, Rosslare, Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Malo, Roscoff
  • Tourism in Europe: There were 854,000 unique visitors, staying 9.2 million bed-nights in France. .


Christopher Jones  [email protected]
Nigel Wonnacott  [email protected]


Galicia at sea (Image file)