The history of Brittany Ferries
Year Information 1 Jan 1973 Brittany Ferries is created by Alexis Gourvennec. 2 Jan 1973 Kerisnel inaugurates the Roscoff-Plymouth route. 1974 Buy our first newbuild ship, Penn-Ar-Bed (Land's End in Breton). 1976 St Malo-Portsmouth route sets sail. 1978 Plymouth-Santander route sets sail. We also begin selling ferry-inclusive holidays in our new glossy colour brochures. 1982 The Brittany Centre built in Portsmouth. 1983 We celebrate our 10th anniversary with six ships on four routes (Portsmouth-St Malo route added). 1984 Brittany Ferries joins with Jersey-based Huelin-Renouf and MMD Shipping to create British Channel Island Ferries (BCIF) with a 27% shareholding. 1985 Brittany Ferries buys Truckline Ferries and its two ships to sail the Poole-Cherbourg route. 1986 Portsmouth to Caen route opens to overnight success. 1989 Buy our first purpose-built ship, Bretagne, which provides new levels of luxury in ferry travel. 1992 Buy two more purpose-built ships to add to our fleet, Barfleur and Normandie. Normandie and Bretagne are awarded the AA 5-star award. 1993 Val de Loire is largest ship ever to sail from Ireland on the new Cork-Roscoff route. 1994 The Channel Tunnel opens. Our carryings rose by 15%. Bought out of BCIF by Commodore and Condor Ferries. On the 50th anniversary of D-Day, Normandie carries the largest contingent of military vehicles since the invasion itself on 6th June 1944. We also sailed a special Portsmouth-Cherbourg sailing carrying Tour de France competitors as the official sea carrier of the race. 1998 Truckline brand is absorbed into the Brittany Ferries brand. 2002 Buy the purpose-built ship, Mont St Michel. 2004 Buy the purpose-built flagship, Pont-Aven. 2005 Our second fast ferry service is launched with Normandie Express. On her long voyage from Tasmania to France, she brought supplies to those in Indonesia who were stricken by the Boxing Day Tsunami. She also brought home the yacht Fil-et-Voila which was damaged during the Vendee Globe Solo Round-the-World race. 2006 Brittany Ferries Holidays voted 'Best Tour Operator to France 2006' by Maison de la France (the French Tourist Office). 2007 Buy Normandie Express and the purpose-built ship, Cotentin. Our founder Alexis Gourvennec dies. Jean Marc Roué becomes president. 2008 Brittany Ferries celebrates 30th anniversary of services to Spain. 2009 The £100 million purpose-built ship Armorique joins the Brittany Ferries' fleet. 2010 New Portsmouth to Bilbao route announced - the first new destination for 24 years. Buy the Cap Finistère. 2011 Which? readers voted Brittany Ferries the best ferry company in the magazine's customer satisfaction survey as well as being named 'Best Tour Operator to France' in the 2011 British Travel Awards. 2012 Named 'Best Tour Operator to Western Europe' and 'Best Small Camping and Mobile Tour Operator' in the British Travel Awards 2012. 2013 Brittany Ferries marks its 40th anniversary whilst sailing to France and Spain from the United Kingdom with eight different vessels (including the returning Barfleur to operate once again between Poole and Cherbourg). 2014 'No-frills' service launched on the Portsmouth-Le Havre and Portsmouth-Santander routes using a newly acquired freight and passenger vessel, Etretat. In June, Brittany Ferries transported around 500 D-Day veterans to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. 2015 Exhaust gas cleaning systems ("scrubbers") fitted to 3 cruise-ferries at a cost of £30 million. Baie de Seine joined the fleet to provide additional économie (no frills service) capacity to Le Havre and Bilbao. 2016 We celebrate 30 years of operations between Portsmouth and Caen. We also charter a freight-only vessel, Pelican, and complete the £65 million investment in emission-reducing scrubber technology. 2017 The company confirms the order for a new cruise ferry. Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), she will be named Honfleur and promises to be the most environmentally friendly vessel regularly crossing the English Channel. 2018 In January, we launched the first-ever direct ferry route between Ireland and Spain with sailings from Cork to Santander. We charter Connemara to sail the route, and, in April, we celebrate 40 years of Brittany Ferries sailings to Spain. In the middle of the year, we announced the charter of two new E-Flexer ships from Stena RoRo, to be built in China. These will be called Galicia, due in 2021, and the LNG-powered Salamanca, due in 2022. In November we launched our new logo as part of our rebranding. 2019 In March we chartered another LNG-powered ship from Stena RoRo, a third E-Flexer.