New Cork to Spain ferry completes its first sailing

New Cork to Spain ferry completes its first sailing
The Brittany Ferries vessel 'Connemara' passes Roches Point en route to Santander, Spain.Pic; Larry Cummins.

The first ferry service between Cork and Santander arrived into the northern Spanish city this afternoon.

when they departed Ringaskiddy yesterday, it was all smiles despite the drizzle when passengers boarded the Brittany Ferries Connemara vessel.

The service is the first Spanish-bound sailing of the new Cork to Santander route, which will operate two sailings per week from each port, leaving the Spanish port on Thursdays and Sundays and Cork on Wednesdays and Fridays.

“We’re delighted to see the customer demand for our new service, with our first sailing fully booked,” Hugh Bruton, General Manager, Brittany Ferries Ireland, said. “We are looking forward to welcoming passengers on board as we bring them to a very different kind of Spanish destination: a relaxing ferry journey from Ireland.”

Hugh McAllister of Grafton Barbers, Ballincollig travelling with Hugh McAllister (Snr) in their Lamborgini on the first ferry. Pic; Larry Cummins.
Hugh McAllister of Grafton Barbers, Ballincollig travelling with Hugh McAllister (Snr) in their Lamborgini on the first ferry. Pic; Larry Cummins.

There were fewer Munster accents than might have been hoped for — the province losing out to Racing 92 in the Champions Cup semi-final — however many of the passengers using the new route were Leinster fans using the new route as a way of getting to Bilbao to cheer on Leinster in Saturday’s Champions Cup final against Racing.

There were also 20 high-performance cars on board, carrying participants in the 2018 Bubblegum Charity Run. The 3,000km return trip from Cork to Spain takes in Madrid, Marbella, Valencia, Andorra and Biarritz over 10 days. Previously the car-lovers would have had to travel via the UK.

The new ferry crossing has made Spain much more accessible by car and Hugh McAllister senior and junior, from Ballincollig, were among the passengers in their orange Lamborghini.

First

Yesterday’s passengers were the first to make the journey, despite the Connemara sailing from Spain at the weekend. That first journey was made without passengers, as the ship had to be inspected in Ireland in order to fulfil health and safety requirements. “It hadn’t been previously inspected by the Irish authorities,” Port of Cork chairman John Mullins said.

“The ferry service is fully up and running now.

In addition to being popular with holidaymakers it is envisaged that the route will also be busy with agricultural and commercial traffic, particularly as the impact of Brexit continue to change trading patterns around Europe.

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