Tag: sustainability

A hybrid future for the ferry industry

Ferry stern and ship wake

A hybrid future for the ferry industry

  • Ferry industry invests in greener and more comfortable ships
  • A total of 20 new ships will be in service within next 5 years

(10 November 2022) Industry body, Discover Ferries, announces that the UK passenger ferry industry will introduce fuel-efficient, hybrid-powered ferries to reduce carbon emissions and improve passenger experience. Six new ships have already entered service in the past two years and a further 14 will join fleets by 2027.

The continued investment in new ships and improved port facilities underlines the industry’s strategy to cater for an increasing number of passengers, provide high quality, efficient and green transport at good value.

Abby Penlington, director of Discover Ferries commented: “This industry-wide investment is great news for the millions of travellers who value comfort, space and value for money but are also mindful of their environmental impact. The new vessels are important milestones in our journey towards a net-zero industry which operates across 80 passenger ferry routes from the British Isles.”

“This industry-wide investment is great news for the millions of travellers who value comfort, space and value for money but are also mindful of their environmental impact. The new vessels are important milestones in our journey towards a net-zero industry which operates across 80 passenger ferry routes from the British Isles.”

A hybrid now for an electric future

A zero-emissions Belfast commuter service is due to launch in 2024. Designed to fly above the water and use 90% less energy than conventional ferries, the ship is being developed by the Belfast Maritime Consortium with Condor Ferries, which will also inform plans for a future electric ferry for the Channel Islands.

Hybrid electric ferries are providing a stepping-stone towards zero emissions. Two new P&O Ferries ships, launching in 2023, are designed to run on battery power for carbon neutral sailings once charging systems are installed in the ports. Hybrid vessels are in development for routes operated by Brittany Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Isles of Scilly Travel, Caledonian MacBrayne and London’s Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – which is set to launch the UK’s first high speed hybrid ferries in 2023. The vessels can either run on fuel/biofuel or electricity or a combination of the two. As well as fewer emissions, they are significantly quieter and offer a smoother ride – great for passengers, residents near ports and marine life.

New hybrid vessel for the River Thames, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

Wightlink already operates a hybrid electric ship; Victoria of Wight is the greenest ferry to serve the Isle of Wight. In a bid to reduce carbon by a further 7,500 tonnes per year, it is now aiming to launch the Solent’s first all-electric freight and passenger ferry within the next five years. Similarly, all-electric vessels are in development by Caledonian MacBrayne for the West Coast of Scotland.

Shore power ready, both Wightlink and Brittany Ferries’ plan for future vessels to be plugged in at port to recharge. The ferry operator commitment coincides with Portsmouth International Port’s investment in solar generation, which completes early 2023. It is the first UK port to install solar canopies; 2,600 panels sit above Brittany Ferries’ car lanes providing shade for the vehicles while generating power. Together with a 1.5 megawatt per hour battery to store unused power, the renewable energy project could contribute up to 98% of the port’s electricity consumption in ideal conditions.

Stena Line is developing its next generation of E-flexer vessels which will be dual-fuel methanol hybrids. The ferry operator is working with engine manufacturers to convert the vessels as well as develop the port infrastructure to support them. The newly converted ships will operate on key routes from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and from Belfast to Cairnryan.

Cutting carbon on the Channel 

Efforts are underway to reduce emissions on the world’s busiest shipping lane. Next year, P&O Ferries will launch the largest and most sustainable ships to sail between Dover and France, P&O Pioneer and P&O Liberté. The two new double-ender ferries allow for boarding and disembarkation at both ends to aid fast turn-around on the busy Dover-Calais service. With a capacity for 1,500 passengers each, they will improve economic and environmental efficiencies.

P&O Pioneer and P&O Liberté, P&O Ferries

The Port of Dover itself is targeting net zero emissions by 2025 and was recently awarded funding as part of the Green Corridor Short Straits (GCSS) consortium. This includes French ports Calais and Dunkirk, ferry operators Irish Ferries, DFDS and P&O Ferries among other partners. The feasibility study will take steps to establish the first zero-carbon trade route in the UK.  

Brittany Ferries, which operates services on the western Channel to France and Spain, will launch Santoña, a new liquified natural gas (LNG) -fuelled ferry, in the Spring. Sister to the Salamanca, which entered service this year, the ships reduce CO2 output by approximately 25% and drastically reduces emissions that affect air quality. Fuel agnostic, they can also run on even cleaner fuels such as bio-LNG and e-methane when infrastructure is in place.

Saint Malo, Brittany Ferries

Increasing capacity in the British Isles and Irish Sea

In 2019 more than 37 million passenger journeys were made by ferry to the British Isles and Ireland, France, Spain and The Netherlands. The importance of comfort, value for money, and the desire to avoid airport queues, baggage fees and car rental costs is expected to increase the number of ferry travellers. To meet both passenger and freight demand, operators are investing in larger, more efficient ships.

Among the most energy efficient vessels in the world, three of Stena Line’s bigger E-flexer ships have already been deployed in the Irish Sea, these are the same model of ships as DFDSCôte D’Opale and Brittany Ferries’ Santoña, Salamanca and Galicia. Stena Estrid, Embla and Edda have boosted Stena Line’s capacity on the Irish Sea by a third and are 30% more energy efficient than the vessels they replaced. Recently added silicon coverings on the hulls have improved fuel efficiency further. 

The new Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ship can carry approximately 50% more passengers than the current ferry and features more cabins and a greatly enhanced passenger experience. Furthermore, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is working towards replacing its passenger ferry and freight ships. The new passenger ferry, Scillonian IV, would accommodate up to 600 passengers, increasing capacity by more than 20%.

Manxman, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Penlington adds: “As well as improved efficiency and a switch to cleaner fuels and hybrid propulsion, the new ships boast new onboard facilities and upgraded interiors to offer passengers and, increasingly, their pets a comfortable journey in a truly modern setting. Together with more sustainable engines, the improved onboard experience ensures future generations of ferry travellers, further cementing our industry’s future.”

“As well as improved efficiency and a switch to cleaner fuels and hybrid propulsion, the new ships boast new onboard facilities and upgraded interiors to offer passengers and, increasingly, their pets a comfortable journey in a truly modern setting. Together with more sustainable engines, the improved onboard experience ensures future generations of ferry travellers, further cementing our industry’s future.”

Onboard upgrades for four-legged travel

The investment also improves onboard experiences, to appeal to passengers’ needs and high expectations, strengthening ferries’ position as the most relaxing and comfortable way to travel.

With more space on board and access to fresh air on deck, it has always been easier and more comfortable to take pets away via ferry than by plane or train. With the growing number of pet owners and increasing cost of kennels, the trend for pet-friendly holidays is also expected to rise and operators have improved services accordingly. This year, P&O Ferries opened pet lounges on its cross-Channel services, which have space for pets and their owners to rest and access to an outside exercise area. Stena Line already offers dog kennels on routes to Ireland and Holland and new pet-friendly cabins on routes to Holland. Following requests from regular passengers, the new Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ship, Manxman, will feature two pet lounges. 

P&O Ferries Pet Lounge: Dover to Calais

Entry into Service Dates for New Ships

YearCompany and shipRoute
2020Brittany Ferries GaliciaPortsmouth-Santander and Bilbao
Stena Line Stena EstridDublin-Holyhead
Stena Line Stena EddaLiverpool-Belfast
2021Stena Line Stena EmblaLiverpool-Belfast
DFDS Côte D’OpaleDover-France
2022Brittany Ferries SalamancaPortsmouth-Santander
2023Brittany Ferries SantoñaPortsmouth-Santander and Bilbao
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ManxmanHeysham-Douglas
P&O Pioneer and P&O LibertéDover-Calais
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – Earth ClipperCelestial Clipper and Mars ClipperThames river
2024Caledonian MacBrayne Glen SannoxArdrossan-Isle of Arran
 Caledonian MacBrayne MV Isle of IslayIsle of Islay
 Condor FerriesBelfast-Bangor
2025Brittany Ferries Saint MaloPortsmouth-St Malo
 Brittany Ferries Guillaume de NormandiePortsmouth-Caen
Caledonian MacBrayne MV Glen RosaScottish West Coast
Caledonian MacBrayne MV Loch IndaalIsle of Islay
 Caledonian MacBrayne – two new shipsScottish West Coast
2026-27Wightlink – first electric shipSolent
2026Isles of Scilly Steamship Group – replacement for Scillonian III and freight ships Gry Maritha and Lyonesse LadyPenzance-St Mary’s

Hovertravel secures gold standard for green tourism on both sides of Solent

Hovertravel secures gold standard for green tourism on both sides of Solent

Hovertravel has been awarded gold in both the Visit Portsmouth and Visit Isle of Wight Green Tourism Awards; securing the highest possible level of accreditation for operating sustainably and responsibly on both sides of, as well as across, the Solent.

Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explains: “We are committed to being respectful to the environment and managing a sustainable operation with  these phrases embedded in our mission and value statements. Our HoverGreen brand has been a highly successful way of engaging our staff and stakeholders to continually improve our environmental performance. We recognise that we have more work to do and both these awards, alongside our ISO 14001 accreditation, are demonstrable proof that we are headed in the right direction. We are proud to be the first Isle of Wight ferry company to achieve these awards.”

The award schemes follow similar guidelines based around three themes: people, place, and our planet. These themes are to promote sustainable and responsible tourism and under each theme there are four criteria to meet.

Alongside the repurposing of our used rubber from our hovercraft into a unique souvenir range and into secondary uses in equestrian and horticultural environments, HoverGreen has also maintained an awareness of the impact the operation has on the environment; particularly those areas of operation which are environmentally protected and looked to reduce the consumption of resources and improve the efficient and sustainable use of those resources.

For more details please visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/about/our-green-future/

Maritime Minister Lord Davies of Gower discusses the future of shipping on a visit to Wightlink

Maritime Minister Lord Davies of Gower discusses the future of shipping on a visit to Wightlink

Maritime Minister Lord Davies of Gower and Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield discuss the future of shipping

Wightlink welcomed Maritime Minister Lord Davies of Gower to its port in Portsmouth to discuss the company’s vision to reach net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible through powering its fleet with sustainable energy. The Minister and Department for Transport officials toured Wightlink’s ferry St Clare and met crew on the Bridge.

Wightlink already operates England’s first hybrid energy vehicle ferry, Victoria of Wight, which entered service in 2018. It uses both powerful batteries and conventional diesel generators as it sails between Portsmouth and Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight. The company is now ambitious to build all-electric ferries, with zero carbon emissions, once shore power can be supplied to recharge the batteries after every crossing.

“The Minister was interested to hear about our plans for the future of our fleet,” says Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield. “We are excited at the prospect of reaching net zero and are ready to commission new ferries once we are assured that electricity can be available at our ports.

“Wightlink is currently installing solar panels to generate power from sunshine and more EV charging points. It is also ramping up its recycling programme and reducing food miles.”

P&O Ferries leads the way on the decarbonisation of its fleet

P&O Ferries leads the way on the decarbonisation of its fleet with emission reduction and pioneering fuel efficiency measures

  • P&O Ferries cut almost 50,000 tons of carbon emissions from its operation in 2023 with the introduction of a new hybrid ferry and its new dedicated initiative to reduce fuel consumption – the Fleet Support Centre for Fuel and Energy Efficiency.
  • This follows a reduction of over 85,000 tons in 2022, achieved through partnerships with other operators to enable the company to sail less frequently – and other measures to improve the technical efficiency of its vessels.

P&O Ferries has today shared promising results from its new fuel and energy efficiency initiative following significant measures to reduce carbon emissions in 2023. The introduction of P&O Ferries’ new dedicated Fleet Support Centre for Fuel and Energy Efficiency, alongside the introduction of the new hybrid ferry P&O Pioneer, has contributed to a reduction of almost 50,000 tons of carbon emissions from the fleet during 2023.

P&O’s Fleet Support Centre for Fuel and Energy Efficiency

P&O’s Fleet Support Centre, based at the company’s Dover headquarters, uses the latest SmartShip technology and fuel meters onboard each ferry. This gives the company a wealth of new data that can be used to track and reduce fuel and energy consumption. The ability to see granular data on fuel consumption for each route and vessel allows P&O Ferries to investigate any changes in consumption and see the result of efficiency efforts straight away.

The data also gives deep insight into the impact of different variables such as: the weather, operating system, method of operating the vessel and its schedule. Close collaboration with the ship teams  and other stakeholders is critical to the success of fuel reduction in using the data to optimise vessel performance.

Since the rollout across the P&O Ferries’ fleet in recent months, the Fleet Support Centre’s new approach has reduced fuel consumption and related emissions on key routes during 2023, with further fuel reductions of 5% expected for 2024.

Examples of the initiative’s results so far include:

  • On the Hull-Rotterdam route, a change in speed and consumption was noted as the vessels adjusted to keep on schedule. A slight adjustment to the schedule allowed the vessels to keep to a consistent speed and resulted in a fuel reduction of 3.6% ton per leg.
  • On the Larne-Cairnryan route, the two vessels were showing different fuel consumption despite operating the same route. Deeper analysis of their operating systems and the route showed a 7% decrease in fuel consumption in 2023.
  • On the Dover-Calais route, the new system allowed P&O Ferries to find the most effective way to operate its new hybrid ferry P&O Pioneer, which uses a technologically advanced system with battery packs that optimises efficiency and significantly reduces emissions. This new approach ensures the vessel consumes the least fuel necessary for effective operations.

P&O Pioneer’s impact on emissions

P&O Pioneer was introduced on the Dover-Calais route in June 2023. The vessel’shybrid technology and innovative double-ended design (meaning that she does not need to turn around to leave the port) means that she uses up to 40% less fuel per crossing compared to our other vessels on the Dover-Calais route. This reduces carbon emissions by 6.49 tons per crossing – this is broadly equivalent to driving an average diesel car for 23,500 miles. P&O Ferries’ second hybrid ferry, P&O Liberté will come into service in March 2024, completing the replacement of the oldest generation of vessels in the company’s cross-Channel fleet.

Owen Barry, Director of Maritime Operations at P&O Ferries, said:

“P&O Ferries is committed to decarbonising its operation and our two new hybrid ferries, P&O Pioneer and P&O Liberté have shown that we are a step ahead in reducing our fuel consumption and related emissions. But for us to continue to drive down our emissions we have taken steps to digitalise our entire fleet so we have useful and reliable data on how our vessels are performing.

“We believe that our approach is leading the sector by combining the latest technology with a dedicated, experienced in-house team who work in close collaboration with our crew to get the best performance from every vessel in our fleet. We have already seen a solid reduction of fuel compared to 2022 and we expect another 5% decrease during 2024.”

‘Duck Tail’ installation on Brittany Ferries’ Pont Aven

Pont-Aven ‘Duck Tail’ installation could boost flagship-ferry’s fuel efficiency by 10%

Hull model HSVA

(24 January 2024) Brittany Ferries’ flagship vessel Pont-Aven is preparing for important upgrades to her hull. A ‘duck tail’ is about to be added to her stern, as part of her annual technical stop. The work will increase the ship’s length by around 3 metres, improving hydrodynamic performance. It is expected to boost fuel economy by around ten per cent when Pont-Aven returns to service.

Hydrodynamics is an important part of the sustainability jigsaw for any shipping company. Reducing resistance while moving through water cuts fuel consumption and therefore emissions. It’s why sleek design is such an important feature for Brittany Ferries’ newest vessels like Santoña and Salamanca. But it’s also why a Duck Tail was chosen as a retro-fit option for Pont-Aven which began operations in 2004.

The project started with Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations developed by the design office of Chantiers d’Atlantique in France. Engineers first considered the ship’s bulbous bow. A dozen proposed design tweaks were put through the programme, however all revealed little benefit in terms of fuel savings. That meant turning to the stern.

“When we looked at improvements in stern design, results of the CFD simulations were far more promising,” explained Brittany Ferries’ research and projects manager Brice Robinson. “In fact the data pointed to a significant reduction of around ten percent with the addition of a Duck Tail, which was very exciting.”

The next step was to put theory to the test. Brice and his team flew to Germany to a 300m long test pool at the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) in Hamburg. This was where Pont-Aven’s hull had originally been tested in 2002 by Meyer Werft. Original design drawings for Brittany Ferries vessel, allowed a 7-metre scale model of Pont-Aven’s hull to be re-crafted, complete with stern modifications.

In total, three different duck tail shapes were tested, all of which backed up data from the Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations. “The improvement was obvious the moment the first model took to the water,” added Brice Robinson. “Extending the hull immediately changed the way it sat, flattening the turbulent wake behind the transom* thereby reducing drag around the stern. This should be even more significant when applied to our flagship, as it will help compensate for the additional weight of her scrubber system, fitted in 2015.”

Scrubbers work like a catalytic convertor on a car, stripping air quality pollutants like sulphur and particulates from smoke emissions. Pont-Aven was one of five ships in the Brittany Ferries’ fleet to benefit from a clean-ship investment of around €90 million in scrubber installation, supported by ADEME.

Having identified the most effective duck tail design, work was scheduled to coincide with Pont-Aven’s planned technical break this November. Brittany Ferries has also turned to drive-train partner Wartsila. To boost efficiency further, the partners are investigation improved propeller design. This could lead to a further improvement of around 5% of propulsion efficiency when retro-fitted to Pont-Aven at a later date.

*transon = cross-section of the stern

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group names Piriou as the shipbuilder of choice for construction of its new passenger ferry Scillonian IV and cargo vessel.

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group names Piriou as the shipbuilder of choice for construction of its new passenger ferry Scillonian IV and cargo vessel

(13 Sept 2023) The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has named Piriou as its preferred shipbuilder to build and deliver two new vessels for the Group. 

In April, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group announced a private financing solution for the replacement of the vessels and the intent to select a preferred shipyard. This announcement continues the next stage of the Group’s plan.

Piriou is a long-established ship builder with over 50 years’ experience building more than 600 vessels. It has over 1,400 highly-skilled employees, including an in-house design team and production facilities in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Piriou has a strong balance sheet with an annual turnover of over €300m.

Appointing Piriou comes after months of thorough evaluation, technical questioning and site visits to France and Vietnam, as part of the Group’s due diligence processes.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and Piriou will commence detailed design work with the intention of signing contracts in October 2023 for the new Scillonian IV passenger ship and a new cargo vessel to replace the current Gry Maritha.

Construction of both vessels will commence in Piriou’s Vietnam yard in spring 2024. The vessels will then be transferred to Piriou’s yard in France for commissioning and testing, ready for delivery ahead of the 2026 season.

Working with a team of experts, the project will be managed by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s two on-site project managers to make sure that there is constant representation at the shipyard and to ensure that the build programme remains on budget and on time for delivery.

The new faster passenger ferry will be designed to provide passengers with greater comfort through improved stabilisation, accessibility and an overall enhanced experience, in line with feedback received during the Group’s consultation with visitors and residents on Scilly.

The new cargo vessel will have increased freight capacity and provide comfortable transport for up to 12 passengers per sailing during the winter. Both vessels will use the latest propulsion technology with improved environmental credentials along with the capability to be upgraded as green technologies mature.

Stuart Reid, CEO, of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group said:

“This is a big step forward and an important milestone for our vessel replacement programme, which will deliver new and improved vessels for the Isles of Scilly. The selection process started with over 30 shipyards which have been evaluated by our experienced project team. The project team, consisting of a mix of technical expertise, shipbuilding experience and the four masters of our current vessels, worked through a series of bids delivered by the shipyards.  Visits took place to shortlisted shipyards to complete our extensive due diligence. The project team was unanimous in its decision to appoint Piriou as its preferred shipyard on the basis of experience, technical expertise in delivering specialist ferries and competitiveness.”

Ian Howard, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group said:

“Piriou has an excellent reputation for building both passenger ferries and cargo vessels. Its naval architects and senior management team have conducted multiple visits to Penzance and the Isles of Scilly and have a full understanding of the challenges of the route and infrastructure to support the new vessels. We are very excited to be working with Piriou and building vessels which will deliver significant service enhancements.”

Vincent Faujour, President of Piriou shipyard said:

“We are delighted and honoured to be named as the preferred shipyard by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group for construction of its new passenger ferry Scillonian IV and new cargo vessel. As we have been building and maintaining lifeline ferries for decades, we know how important this project is for the communities depending on the sea link services to the Isles of Scilly. Working closely with the Group’s project team, our teams in Brittany and Vietnam are already fully dedicated to deliver to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group the most suitable vessels, designed for rough seas, with increased comfort and a reduced environmental footprint. Finally, as Concarneau and Penzance have been twin towns since 1982, I must say it is a real pleasure to participate in a project that will strengthen the links between Cornwall and the Breton “Cornouaille”.”

UK transport gets greener with arrival of first hybrid high speed passenger ferry 

UK transport gets greener with arrival of first hybrid high speed passenger ferry 

The first of three new hybrid boats joins the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers fleet

12 September 2023 – From today, sightseers and commuters in London can make more eco-friendly journeys. Earth Clipper, Europe’s first hybrid high speed passenger ferry, built to the High-Speed Craft Code, and the first of three new Uber Boat by Thames Clippers passenger ferries to operate with zero tailpipe emissions in Central London, starts sailing. 

Leading the way in passenger boat design, Earth Clipper gives an almost 90 per cent reduction in CO2e compared with running solely on conventional marine diesel. The 18th high-speed catamaran in the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers fleet takes strides in improving the ambitious sustainability credentials of the business while also laying strong groundwork for the wider marine sector.

The hybrid boat will operate solely on battery power while transporting commuters and sightseers through the Capital – in the Central Zone, between Tower and Battersea Power Station piers – and recharge while using biofuelled power outside of central London. Offering an emissions reduction of 16.5 per cent when compared with running on biofuel alone throughout all parts of the route. 

As well as being the first hybrid boat for the business, it is also its largest at 40m long – almost the length of two tennis courts laid end to end – and has a capacity of 230 passengers. Earth Clipper has also been designed for optimum passenger experience with the cabin featuring large windows which look out onto the iconic views along the Thames and offers the onboard café service that Uber Boat by Thames Clippers passengers know and love.

“This is a momentous day for us, and something we’ve been working towards for some time” says Sean Collins, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers co-founder and CEO, “Being able to offer greener transport through the capital is no small feat but something we’re incredibly passionate about at Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. 

“We are committed to not only utilising the most advanced technology to drive down our carbon footprint, but also to playing our part in breaking new ground to advance that technology as much as we can. The new boats push the boundaries in catamaran design to deliver a future-friendly option that can be made even greener as and when technology allows. We’re excited to announce too, that Earth Clipper will be joined by two sister vessels; Celestial and Mars Clipper will also join the fleet this year as we work towards our targets of reducing carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2040 for the overall business.”

The business plans to introduce a hybrid system as a minimum with any new vessels and where possible, fully electrified or zero emission technology. In addition to the three hybrid catamarans, work is under way to deliver London’s first fully electric Zero Emission Cross River Ferry between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe by the spring of 2025 – the first of its kind in the UK. The company’s plans to 2030 include an investment of £70 million in new fleet.

Sean believes strongly in protecting and preserving the river Thames and the communities close to the river. For over 20 years the business has been at the forefront of innovation for the river marine sector and is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of infrastructure and economic development on and around the river to ensure its long-term importance to Greater London.

Earth Clipper was built at Wight Shipyard Co in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where the two sister vessels are currently being completed. An investment that has been transformational and significant for the local economy on the Isle of Wight, with 65 people building the boat over the past year and 14 apprentices involved.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers offers services that run as far east as Barking Riverside and out to Putney in the west. The business is now in its 24th year of operation and in 2023 alone, will carry over 5 million commuters and visitors through London on the river. 

For more information and to book, visit www.uberboatbythamesclippers.com.  

Brittany Ferries Santoña is the latest LNG-powered ferry to call Portsmouth home

Brittany Ferries Santoña is the latest LNG-powered ferry to call Portsmouth home

Brittany Ferries new LNG-powered ferry Santona arriving at Portsmout Port escorted by two Hovertravel hovercraft.
Brittany Ferries new LNG-powered ferry Santoña arriving at Portsmout Port escorted by two Hovertravel hovercraft. Credit: Strong Island

(3 March 2023) A new Brittany Ferries ship has sailed into Portsmouth International Port for the first time this week.

Named Santoña, the luxurious cruise-ferry will voyage to Santander in northern Spain twice a week, with a single weekly return-crossing to Cherbourg in France.  Her first commercial crossing to Santander departs tonight, Friday 3 March 2023, after a champagne reception to toast her arrival.

Santoña is powered by cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG). That means passengers, freight drivers and crew can expect a smoother and quieter ride on this state-of-the-art E-Flexer class ship. Crucially, it also means far fewer air quality and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from her funnel.

She is the third in a series of five new vessels to join the fleet, covering the period 2019 – 2025.  It’s all part of the biggest ship renewal programme in Brittany Ferries’ 50 year history, a multi-million pound investment in a more sustainable future. Like LNG-powered sister-ship Salamanca, which entered service in 2022, Santoña will be a good neighbour to the port and to Pompey residents.

That’s because LNG is cleaner than diesel fuel. Virtually no air quality emissions like soot, sulphur or nitrogen dioxide are emitted from the funnel following combustion. Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) are also up to 20% lower than for diesel fuel. She therefore comes with the promise of cleaner air from day one in service, with the potential to realise further improvements in the years to come when new bio and e-Fuels are available to power what are sometimes described as “fuel agnostic” ships.

“We are proud to be long-term partners of Portsmouth international Port and the great waterfront city,” said Christopher Mathieu chief executive Brittany Ferries. “But we want to be more than just a company that contributes significantly to the local economy, taking people to beautiful destinations in France and Spain. We also want to be partners for change, boosting moves to improve air quality across the city and to tackle climate change. That’s why ships like Santoña and the hybrids to come are so important.”

The next two Brittany Ferries vessels on the horizon will feature hybrid technology. Like a hybrid car, they will run on fuel (LNG), on electric power or on a combination of the two. At sea the ships will be powered by cleaner LNG. But upon the approach to the city, while manoeuvring in port and at quay, hybrid technology takes charge.

Arriving in 2024/2025, the ferries will replace two grande dames and favourites of the Brittany Ferries fleet, Bretagne and Normandie. They will serve Portsmouth-Caen and Portsmouth-St Malo and both will be shore side power ready.

They are configured to be plugged-in to recharge batteries and to run systems on board while alongside, cutting emissions to zero. Portsmouth International Port and the City Council has been key to lobbying for – and securing – the large increase in power supply needed, as well as investment in infrastructure to get power to the port gate. Work is continuing to secure the final piece of the jigsaw, connecting power from the port gate to the quayside where ferries and cruise vessels will dock.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “We are proud of our long-term partnership with Brittany Ferries, and hugely impressed to see their plans for sustainable expansion going from strength to strength.

“Brittany Ferries shares the city’s ambitions for a future focussed on protecting the environment, we are committed to supporting them to achieve their clean growth goals, which is why we are securing additional green energy to provide power for ships in the future that can plug in when in port.

“As expected from Brittany Ferries Santona is an impressive ship and we look forward to seeing her sail regularly through Portsmouth.”

Santoña – on board

Santoña is a ship that brings the art of travel to all. Its capacious interior spaces are designed to be accessible to every passenger, with boutique shopping, a cinema and atrium bar with sky roof on the menu.

Cabins are roomy and boast mattresses that are said to be the most comfortable on the Channel. A C-Club Lounge is offered to those seeking a premium experience, to complement the comfort and relaxation that comes as standard when travelling on board a Brittany Ferries ship.

There’s ample space for 1,015 aboard this 215-metre ship. She hosts 343 cabins and pets are welcome too. There are 22 pet-friendly cabins, meaning Fido can join the family on holiday to France or Spain.

Artworks and meals on board are inspired by Santoña and the regions of Spain served by the ship. So Brittany Ferries can rightly claim to walk-the-talk when it says your holiday begins the moment you step on board.

While dreaming of beautiful destinations that await upon arrival in Santander, passengers can while away the hours on deck whale and dolphin spotting. The Bay of Biscay is one of the richest places on Earth for spying these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. Lucky travellers might even spot a blue whale, the largest creature ever to have lived on the planet.