Brittany Ferrries introduces three new freight-only services from Ireland to France

2nd February 2021

• Company responds to demand for more direct Ireland France freight links
• Two new sailings Cork – Roscoff
• New sailing Rosslare – St Malo
• First freight only services for Ireland from Brittany Ferries
• New services to begin this week with Rosslare – St Malo sailing on Thursday
• New Cork – Roscoff service begins on Saturday

Brittany Ferries has announced that it is introducing three new weekly freight only sailings between Ireland and France. The sailings will begin this Thursday (4th February) with a sailing between Rosslare and St Malo.

The first of two new sailings out of Cork to Roscoff will begin this Saturday. These sailings are in addition to the current Brittany Ferries sailings out of Cork and Rosslare to both France and Spain. The new sailings are in response to demands from both Irish and French hauliers seeking a more direct route.

Normally most lorries travelling between Ireland and France transit via the UK, using ferry services across the Irish Sea and English Channel. However, since new post-Brexit trade rules were introduced on January 1st increasing numbers of Irish and continental hauliers have been deterred from using this ‘landbridge’ due to increased customs checks and paperwork.

Hugh Bruton, General Manager, Brittany Ferries Ireland, commented: "It’s clear that Brexit has distorted flows of trade between France and Ireland, there’s now clear and compelling demand both in Brittany and beyond to boost freight capacity direct from the region to Ireland. And Irish traders too are seeking direct links to Western France. We’re always listening to our haulier customers in order to best meet their needs and we look forward to restarting Brittany-Ireland services two months earlier than planned."

The new Brittany-to-Ireland sailings come in addition to an extra weekly Rosslare to Cherbourg round trip which was introduced in mid-January. This means that from February Brittany Ferries will offer hauliers a choice of eight sailings a week in each direction between Ireland and France.

The company also offers two weekly roundtrips between Rosslare and Bilbao, northern Spain. Altogether the company will be offering 12 sailings a week linking Ireland with France and Spain.


Image by Brittany Ferries.


Image by Brittany Ferries.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cork said: “The decision by Brittany Ferries to operate two freight only services from Cork to St Malo and Roscoff is hugely positive for Cork. Importers and exporters now have further transport options to get their freight direct to the EU and bypass the UK Land-Bridge. This announcement comes in the same month as we announced a second freight service from Cork to Zeebrugge. These direct freight services from Cork to the EU strengthen the region by offering more flexibility to Irish customers, ensuring supply chains are maintained. Our relationship with Brittany Ferries spans over 40 years and it continues to go from strength to strength. We wish them every success with this freight service.”

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort adds: “The continuing commitment of Brittany Ferries to develop new services linking Irish industry to the European continent is once again demonstrated with this new service connecting to St Malo and Roscoff. We have worked closely with Brittany Ferries to facilitate this new service, which will give further choice and capacity alongside existing Brittany Ferries services between Rosslare Europort and Bilbao and Cherbourg.”

The extra sailings starting 4th February will operate to the following timetable, initially until 21st March when regular Roscoff/Cork sailings are scheduled to resume:



(Timetables are subject to weekly variation and change at short notice)

These new freight only routes will operate until the end of March, when scheduled freight and passenger services will resume between Cork and Roscoff. With two weekly sailings in each direction, frequency has been doubled for 2021.

About Brittany Ferries:
In 1967 a farmer from Finistère in Brittany, Alexis Gourvennec, succeeded in bringing together a variety of organisations from the region to embark on an ambitious project: the aim was to open up the region, to improve its infrastructure and to enrich its people by turning to traditional partners such as Ireland and the UK.

In 1972 BAI (Brittany-England-Ireland) was born. The first cross-Channel link was inaugurated in January 1973, when a converted Israeli tank-carrier called Kerisnel left the port of Roscoff for Plymouth carrying trucks loaded with Breton vegetables such as cauliflowers and artichokes. The story therefore begins on 2 January 1973, 24 hours after Great Britain’s entry into the Common Market (EEC). From these humble beginnings however Brittany Ferries as the company was re-named quickly opened up to passenger transport, then became a tour operator.

Today, Brittany Ferries has established itself as the national leader in French maritime transport: an atypical leader, under private ownership, still owned by a Breton agricultural cooperative. Eighty five percent of the company’s passengers are British. Around 210,000 freight units are carried each year.

Key figures (non-Covid year):

• Turnover: Approximately €444.2m per year

• Passengers: Between 2.5 and 2.7 million each year travelling in approximately 900,000 cars

• Freight: 210,000 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

Brittany Ferries press release