New ferry route from Cork to France a 'real vote of confidence'

Brittany Ferries' new midweek route from Cork to Roscoff has the potential to generate over €4m for the local economy
New ferry route from Cork to France a 'real vote of confidence'

Early bookings are up 35% on 2019, according to Brittany Ferries' President. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A NEW midweek ferry route connecting Cork and France will be made a permanent part of Brittany Ferries' schedule. 

The company made the announcement today, following the signing of a new three-year-long deal with the Port of Cork Company.

The overnight weekly sailing to Roscoff will take place on Wednesdays aboard the M.V. Armorique ship. The route joins an already popular Saturday Cork to Roscoff sail, which takes place on the 'Pont Aven', the flagship of the Brittany Ferries fleet.

The news was revealed at a reception held onboard the M.V. Armorique vessel in Ringaskiddy today.

Hosted by Brittany Ferries President, Jean-Marc Roué, Honorary Consul of Ireland in Brittany, the event celebrated the 45-year-long partnership between the companies.

“Our relationship with Cork and indeed with Ireland has always been a happy and successful relationship," said Mr Roué.

"While the last two years have been difficult for us all, I am delighted to be in a position to confirm that this year our early bookings are up by over 35% on 2019.

"While most commentators focus on our numbers of Irish holidaymakers heading for France, the reality is that Brittany Ferries makes a larger contribution to Irish tourism. 

"This year, once again, the split in our tourism traffic is 55/45 in favour of the French taking a holiday in Ireland. I have no doubt that our expanded service will enhance these figures even more. 

"The successful promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way in France and the ease of access to that product from Cork, along with the famous Irish welcome, has always been a compelling proposition for French holidaymakers".

The Port of Cork Company's Chief Executive, Eoin McGettigan, added: “This is a special day that not only celebrates our valued partnership with Brittany Ferries which proudly spans over four decades, but we also celebrate new beginnings with the addition of a new weekly sailing between Cork and France. 

"We are greatly looking forward to seeing a strong and welcome return to tourism and travel between our beautiful countries.”

According to Tourism Ireland CEO, Niall Gibbons, the new sailing has the potential to generate €4.3m for the local economy.

“The announcement is very good news and a real vote of confidence in Irish tourism. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct access cannot be overstated – it is absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism," Mr Gibbons said.

“France is one of our top four markets for Irish tourism and in 2019, we welcomed 557,000 visitors from France to the island of Ireland, whose visits delivered €283 million to the economy. 

"We are rolling out an extensive programme of promotional activity in France throughout 2022. Our message is very simple: Ireland is open for business again and we cannot wait to welcome back visitors from France.”

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