Galicia touches water for the first time in China (Image: Brittany Ferries)
Brittany Ferries has marked two key milestones in its €550 million fleet renewal programme at AVIC Weihai shipyard in China – the float out of new E-Flexer cruise ferry Galicia and the steel cutting for her sister ship Salamanca.
Shipyard workers and representatives from Brittany Ferries watched as Galicia touched water for the first time, floating out of her building dock during a traditional Chinese ship launch ceremony. AVIC Weihai will now outfit the ship’s interiors and install her technical systems.
AVIC Weihai’s team also cut the first piece of steel for Salamanca during the double ceremony, marking the start of her construction.
When complete, both ships will operate long-haul services between Portsmouth, England and Santander and Bilbao in northern Spain. Galicia will start service in late 2020 followed by Salamanca in spring 2022. A third sister ship named Santoña will join the fleet in 2023.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here in China today to celebrate the launch of Galicia and the start of work on Salamanca,” said Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries. “Our customers rightly expect our fleet to be modern, comfortable and efficient, with the promise of minimal environmental impact from operations and we can only achieve this aim with the very best, innovative new ships. Galicia and Salamanca are perfectly suited to our long-haul Spanish operations, and will allow us to further enhance our service to holidaymakers and hauliers taking advantage of these routes.”
All three 42,200gt vessels will be among the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet and offer around three kilometres of space for cars and lorries. Galicia will be equipped with funnel exhaust gas cleaning systems, while Salamanca and Santoña will be two of the first ferries of their type to be powered by LNG. This will eliminate sulphur emissions and reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions by 95% compared to traditional marine fuels.
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