Portsmouth Anniversaries

On 6th June 2016 Brittany  Ferries celebrated the 30th  anniversary of the opening of the  Portsmouth-Caen service. A  lunch celebrating 40 years of  ferry travel from Portsmouth, and  30 years of Brittany Ferries’  Caen route was held on 8th June  aboard the Bretagne. In the last  40 years more than 90 million  passengers have travelled  through Portsmouth International  Port, taking 25.5 million vehicles  on 135,000 ferry crossings.

There’s now a modern steel and  glass terminal which is one of the  most eco-friendly buildings in the  country, and five berths to handle  the busy ferry schedule. The Port  continues to be owned and operated  by the City Council, which  ploughs profits back into local  services. £70 million pounds has  been generated for the benefit of  the people of Portsmouth since  1976. Alas the militant French  Unions again caused chaos to  travellers in May and their action  included cancellations on the  Portsmouth-Le Havre service.

Brittany Ferries hopes to order  replacement tonnage for the  1989 built Bretagne and 1992  built Normandie during 2016,  with delivery from 2020.


New Cross-Solent Tonnage

Wightlink Ferries has signed a  contract to build a new ship for  its Fishbourne to Portsmouth  route. The new ferry will be the  most environmentally friendly  ever to cross the Solent, will cost  over €30 million, and enter service  in 2018. This investment is  part of a £45million project to  improve the route, with other  work including new embarkation  ramps at both Fishbourne and  Portsmouth Gunwharf to permit  double deck loading, an extension  to the upper vehicle deck of  current flagship St. Clare and a  new terminal building at  Portsmouth.

This investment follows  the £70 million spent over  the last 15 years on new ferries  for the Yarmouth-Lymington and  Ryde Pier Head-Portsmouth  Harbour routes. The new, as yet  un-named G-Class ferry will be  slightly larger than the St. Clare  plus will use hybrid battery technology,  as well as conventional  fuel, to reduce emissions and  make the vessel quieter. The  newbuild will have two fixed  vehicle decks to accommodate  the equivalent of 178 cars and  space for more than 1,000 passengers  on board with luxurious  and comfortable seating and  cafés. The experienced Cemre  shipyard in Turkey has won the  contract to carry out the work.

Meanwhile trials of Hovertravel’s  new Southampton built  12000TD hovercraft Solent Flyer  continued during May with the  media preview scheduled for  27th June and naming in July.  The sister craft Island Flyer was  expected to begin trials from  mid-June. Red Funnel’s new  highspeed catamaran Red Jet 6  (built at East Cowes) took to the  water on 25th May for completion  and sea trials ahead of the  planned naming ceremony on  4th July.


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