Salamanca hoists the French flag

19th January 2022

On Tuesday 18th January 2022, the French tricolor was raised aboard Brittany Ferries’ newest ship Salamanca. The reflagging signifies that the vessel is now officially French, registered in France, part of the French merchant fleet, and crewed by French sailors.

At a ceremony in Santander, the red, white and blue of the French flag proudly replaced the orange and green of the flag of Cyprus under which the vessel sailed to Europe from its shipyard in China.

The ship’s hull now bears not only the name of a Spanish town of arts and culture, Salamanca (Castilla y León). It also incudes, as does every Breton ferry in the company, that of Morlaix, the Finistère town where the ship is officially registered.

New national flagship for energy transition

Salamanca becomes one of nine ships to sail under the French flag for Brittany Ferries, the largest employer of French seafarers. Being registered in France means that French law applies on board the ship. It also requires the ship to comply with rigorous French rules and regulations relating to ownership, safety, security, environment, and crewing.

Salamanca is Brittany Ferries’ newest and greenest ship. She runs on liquefied natural gas (LNG) which emits virtually no sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide or particulate emissions following combustion. In addition, because LNG burns more efficiently than diesel, there is a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) output of around 25 per cent. She’s the leading French ferry in terms of energy transition: one of the largest, most modern and cleanest in the European Union.

Brittany Ferries’ president Jean-Marc Roué, said:

It is with pride and optimism that we welcome Salamanca into the Brittany Ferries fleet. She’s a symbol of our ongoing commitment to fleet renewal. She’s a symbol of our confidence in the future of our company and travel by sea, and a sign of our recovery after these long months of the health crisis.

“As France’s first LNG-powered ferry, she’s a symbol of our commitment to responsible growth and energy transition as we adopt cleaner sources of energy.

“And today, as we raise the tricolore on board, Salamanca becomes a floating ambassador for France, its expertise and its know-how. She signals our commitment to the French regions we serve, to the French merchant navy, to the blue economy, and above all to the French flag and the employment of French seafarers.”

Following drydocking, crew training and berthing trials, Salamanca will enter service on 27th March carrying passengers and freight on routes from Bilbao (Spain) and Cherbourg to Portsmouth (UK).

By 2025, five brand new vessels will have joined the Company’s fleet. Galicia entered service in 2020, followed by Salamanca in 2022 and the Santoña in 2023, both powered by Liquefied Natural Gas. They will be joined by two LNG/electric hybrid vessels in 2024 and 2025.


About Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries was conceived in 1972, starting life as a freight-only service on 2nd January the following year. The first sailing linked Roscoff in Brittany with Plymouth in the South of England and carried a cargo of artichokes and cauliflowers. Since then the company has progressively launched, then strengthened shipping routes. Today millions of passengers and businesses transporting goods by sea across the so-called Atlantic Arc (France, UK, Spain and Ireland) rely on the links forged through six decades of operation. In addition to cutting congestion and emissions on busy roads, these motorways-of the sea have helped enrich local communities, creating jobs and nurturing international tourism. More details here:

Key figures (2020)
Revenue: €202.4 million (€469 million in 2019)
Fleet renewal: Four new vessels on the horizon, two powered by LNG entering service in 2022 and 2023; two LNG-hybrid powered ships arriving in the years that follow
Employment: 2,474 employees, including 1,600 seafarers (full-time equivalent)
Passengers: 752,102 in 2020 (2,498,354 in 2019)
Freight: 160,377 in 2020 (201,554 in 2019)
12 vessels connecting France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland, via 14 maritime routes
12 ports: Roscoff, Saint-Malo, Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Poole, Cork, Rosslare, Santander, Bilbao.
Tourist impact: 231,000 unique visitors to France, generating 2.6 million overnight stays in 2020 (857,000 in 2019 with 8.7 million overnight stays in 2019)

Press contacts:
Nigel Wonnacott  [email protected]
Christopher Jones  [email protected]


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